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A. B. Kennedy (UK)

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Live At The Marquee 1980
Live At The Marquee 1980
Price: £23.67

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Approach With Caution, 19 Sept. 2008
Whatever your opinion of the various incarnations of Atomic Rooster, I'm sure that most people would concede that the line up of Du Cann, Hammond and of course Vincent Crane, must rank as one of, if not the best, line ups the band had. And I'm sure that most people would also agree that, no matter what the personnel of the band at any one time, the name of Atomic Rooster is forever associated with Vincent Crane.

So this CD poses something of a curio for the Rooster fan. The front cover is a picture, not of Crane, but of Du Cann. And even the back picture is that of Hammond. No Crane on the packaging at all. And once you play the CD, you begin to feel that this is Du Cann's attempt to reclaim the Rooster name for himself. To be fair to the man, he write or co-wrote many of the tracks from the 'Death Walks Behind You' LP that are regarded so highly today. But even so, Atomic Rooster without Vincent Crane, is not Atomic Rooster at all.

And so to the music on the CD. It was recorded in 1980 by the reunited members of the 'Death Walks' lineup. Getting together for one last throw of the dice. My hopes and expectations for this CD were high. The sound quality is rough and ready, but you certainly get a feel for what it would have been like to have stood on the front row of the Marquee Club the night this was recorded. Everything sounds good until Du Cann starts to sing. Or should that be shout. Being the height of the NWOBHM, and coming so soon off the back of punk, Du Cann takes it upon himself to toughen up the band by grunting and shouting his way through all the vocal parts. Which needless to say, ruins many of the songs that I hold dear.

The album does improve after the first few tracks, and the instrumental numbers are very good. Displaying that as a band, Atomic Rooster could still cut it with the best of them.

It's a real shame for me to say this, but I'd advise hearing a sample of some of these tracks before purchasing. If John's vocals don't put you off then you'll find much to love about this album. But for me, the vocals bring this review down to 2 stars only. Sorry Vincent.


Arriva La Bomba: The Easiest Italian Party Of The Year
Arriva La Bomba: The Easiest Italian Party Of The Year

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Italian Groooove, 5 Aug. 2008
This is a gem of a compilation, crammed full of Italian 60's groove. Some of the highlights include a fabulously lounged out version of Spencer Davis' 'I'm a Man' sung in Italian; the title track 'Arriva la Bomba' taken from a 1967 movie spoof of Danger Diabolik. And speaking of Diabolik, this CD also has the only surviving track from that film to be officially released - Morricone's Deep Deep Down, sung beautifully by Christy. (It's worth the price of entry just for this.) Then there's a brilliant track from Brian Auger and Trinity, recorded live in a Milan - in Italian - from 1968. How much more encouragement do you need?? Still not enough eh? Well how about Giorgio Moroder (he of Donna Summer fame) unleashing a wigged out version of 'Mah Na Mah Na'!! (You know - the one the Muppets made famous...) I could go on, but I think you're getting the jist. If you're a lover of 60's groove, as I know you are, then this album will have you wearing a hole in your rug.

Now where did I park that Fiat....


The In-Kraut Vol. 3 - Hip Shaking Grooves Made In Germany 1967-1974
The In-Kraut Vol. 3 - Hip Shaking Grooves Made In Germany 1967-1974
Price: £17.82

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Wow! Wow!, 31 July 2008
Over the years I've delved deeply into the often murky world of beat / library / easy listening compilations, from Italian 60's soundtracks to French incidental music for TV and film. But "In-Kraut Vol 3" leaves most of those albums standing awkwardly at the edge of the dance floor, gazing desperately at the groovy young things cutting a rug in front of them.

Every single one of the tracks on this album is a killer, with way out fuzz guitar, fabulously stabbing horn sections, hammond to die for, and funky bass lines designed to dislocate your spine.

I know there is a dizzying array of similar looking albums already out there, but believe me, this is one of the best. Wunderbar!!!


Roots
Roots
Offered by giraffebooksandmusic
Price: £12.00

3.0 out of 5 stars The Real Mastermind Behind the Original Santana Band, 29 May 2008
This review is from: Roots (Audio CD)
I want to start by saying how happy I am that Gregg Rolie is still out there, playing music and occasionally releasing albums. For me, he's always been the main man behind the original Santana band: lead singer, major song writer, amazing hammond player. It would have been interesting to know how different the fortunes of Gregg and Carlos would have been if the band had been called Rolie (although admittedly the name's not quite as exciting as Santana!) But I digress.

Anyway, back to Roots. I have to confess that I approached this album, hoping upon hopes that it would transport me back to the sound of the Abraxas album. You should know for the offset that this is not 1970 mark two. And to be fair to Gregg, why should it be. He's been there, released the records, and moved on. So once I overcame this initial disappointment, I settled down to enjoy this album in its own right.

Roots is very heavy on the Spanish / Latino vibe. It's probably easy to split the songs into two halves: the acoustic Spanish guitar slow ballad numbers, and the mid tempo Santana-esque songs.

The highlight of the acoustic tracks is Ordinary Man, where Gregg's voice is perfect as a world weary man looking for the love of his lady. But to these ears, there's too many of these types of songs on the album. One or two would have been an excellent divergence, but there's three or four on offer. And as a result, they lose a little of their uniqueness.

The majority of the remaining tracks are mid tempo latin rockers. Yes, the guitarist Ron Wikso does some excellent Carlos sounding fills throughout, but I found myself wanting them to cut loose a bit more and up the tempo. If Gregg was worried about his voice not quite reaching the dizzy heights of his younger years, then chuck in a couple of instrumentals and really let the hammond fly. Unfortunately that never happens. The only track that hits that sort of vibe is Going Home, where the mid section of the song makes way for some great conga action.

I'm sure that in a live environment these songs would take on a new dimension. But it's just a bit too restrained in the studio. Don't get me wrong; the playing, the singing and the songs are all faultlessly presented. And as I said, I love the fact that Gregg's still out there - I just hope that if he does a follow up album, then he'll cut loose a bit more next time.


Myths, Legends and Other Amazing Adventures Volume 2
Myths, Legends and Other Amazing Adventures Volume 2

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thank the Lord for the Aquabats, 16 April 2008
Thank the Lord indeed! In some parallel universe somewhere, these guys are knocking Madonna's latest off the top spot. And that's exactly where they should be, in my humble opinion. Rather bizarrely, I only discovered the existance of the Aquabats through their appearance on the kids TV show "Yo Gabba Gabba", which my daughter religiously watches. They popped up on one of the episodes singing "Pool Party" - and I knew from that moment that I had to track these dudes down. (I've since learned that the Bats lead singer is one of the masterminds behind the show, which listening to some of the fantastically weird lyrics on this album, kind of makes sense).

In a nut shell, if as me you are new to the Bats experience, then they mix some revival punk ska, with electronic sounds, a great sense of the absurd, and some genuinely funny lyrics to make an album that will have you smiling and laughing out loud. Tracks like "I Fell Asleep on my Arm" which is a raging rant about the horrors and frustrations of having a numb arm, in which he muses what he'll do if he needs to pee; to the Radiation Song about a mutated tap dancing boy, done to the music of an English tea dance, are just inspired.

If you've been thinking about buying an Aquabats album, then think no longer. Just do it. Now.


Lucifer's Friend
Lucifer's Friend
Offered by KELINDO³
Price: £22.35

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Real Deal, 26 Mar. 2008
This review is from: Lucifer's Friend (Audio CD)
Hey Boys and Girls - settle down and lend me your rock pummelled ears. Because what I have to tell you could put a smile on your face. You all know how it starts: first of all you get into Sabbath and some Deep Purple. Then you begin to look a little further afield. A bit of Uriah Heep here, maybe some Atomic Rooster there. And once you've played these albums to death, you then start to look under smaller rocks and stones. Maybe there's an overlooked, long forgotten, LP gathering dust at the back of a charity shop somewhere that'll blow your mind with it's screaming hammond, caustic guitar riffs, and glass shattering vocals.....well - Lucifer's Friend, dear readers, are just that band! Rejoice!

'And why have you never heard of them until now?', I hear you cry. Well, largely because four fifths of the band were German, and after their first album, they made the decision to give up touring and focus instead on recording. I'm sure they thought it was the right thing to do at the time, but it robbed them of the far greater exposure they deserved.

'And what do they sound like?' Think Deep Purple at their heaviest. Hammond organ by the lorry load, lots of inventive bridges and twists in the songs, a guitar sound that could strip wallpaper. And the vocals...! The vocals were handled by John Lawton, better know for singing with Uriah Heep at the end of the 70's. But here, he really lets rip. His voice seems to combine a bluesy quality of early David Coverdale - but with the vocal range of David Byron, and a hint of the Scorpions' Klaus Meine on the top notes. It all combines to create one hell of a fantastic noise.

The first 8 tracks on this 1970 album are the original running order. And are worth their weight in gold. From the Viking call-to-arms of the opener 'Ride in the Sky', to the fabulous 'Baby Your a Liar', to the evil closer 'Lucifer's Friend'. This is top drawer stuff.

The 5 bonus tracks actually detract from the release. Four of them were recorded in 1973, by which point the band's sound had changed quite significantly. With more emphasis on horns and a more straight ahead rock feel, they lost all their originality.

So there you have it. Hunt this beast down. You won't regret it.


Hatchet For A Honeymoon [1969] [DVD]
Hatchet For A Honeymoon [1969] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Stephen Forsyth
Offered by babsbargains - *Domestic, EU & International Shipping*
Price: £14.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Far From Bava's Best, 18 Mar. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In my opinion this is far from Mario Bava's best. It's easy to make comparisons between this film and Blood and Black Lace. Both are set in a large fashion house. Both have the killer preying on the beautiful models around him. But while every shot in Blood and Black Lace is crammed full of suspense and colour, Hatchet feels like a pale imitator. As opposed to traditional Giallo films, the killer is known right from the start. The hook intended to grab you in this film is the reason why he has to kill. But unfortunately it becomes pretty obvious half way through the film what the ending will be, thus robbing it of any real suspense.

However what is great about this DVD is the documentary on Bava that's been included in the bonus material. It has interviews with Kim Newman, Tim Burton, Bava's son and grandson, and a whole host of others who give some great insights into the "Italian Hitchcock". Well worth the price of admission just for this.

So overall, the film's not the best, but the extras are great.


Danger Diabolik [DVD] [1968]
Danger Diabolik [DVD] [1968]
Dvd ~ John Phillip Law

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Total Eye Candy - Fabulous, 17 Mar. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Danger Diabolik [DVD] [1968] (DVD)
This movie was taken by Mario Bava from an Italian comic book, and turned into a fantastic late 60's explosion of colour, swinging music and speeded up car chases. The lead character - Diabolik - is a master criminal with an incredible underground hideout, which makes the bat cave look like a pot hole. John Philip Law, who plays our anti-hero, is incredible to watch. As Diabolik spends a lot of the time masked up in black PVC, with only his eyes and eyebrows on view, Philip Law brilliantly portrays a man on the edge by constantly moving and twitching. Always on the look out for the cops or other criminals. He's ably accompanied by the beautiful Melissa Mell as his partner in crime - and she certainly makes the most of the rather skimpy wardrobe she has. And then there's the groovy soundtrack by Ennio Morricone. Great stuff. The only drawback to the film is the lack of structure. It watches like 4 or 5 different issues from the comic it was taken from. There's a number of different heists that, on their own are great fun to watch, but as a whole don't lead anywhere. They're just the latest in his string of master crimes. But if you're willing to accept that as a whole, the film doesn't really have any beginning or end, then you should be ready to squeeze into that PVC cat-suit, jump into the nearest E-type, and speed off into the psychadelia horizon with a beautiful chick by your side. Italian crime caper at its best!


Lionheart
Lionheart

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Believe the Hype - CLASSIC Heavy Metal, 29 Feb. 2008
This review is from: Lionheart (Audio CD)
I've been a metal fan for many years, but came to Saxon with some trepidation, as they were always the butt of the latest spandex joke when I was growing up, reading my Kerrang. So I couldn't believe what I was hearing when I bought and played Lionheart for the first time. This is just pure undiluted heavy metal from start to finish. Amazing screaming vocals from Biff (what a voice after all these years), superb riffs and solos, insanely catchy hooks and choruses. And an overall sound of pounding metal. I saw these guys play the Graspop Metal festival in Belgium a few years ago, and expected the crowd to all head for the nearest beer tent. Quite the opposite. I couldn't believe how many people came from watching other bands, so they could pack into the stage area for Saxon's performance. I asked one of the Belgians I was with, why so many people were bothering to see Saxon - a band regarded as a bit of a joke in the UK. He gave me a confused look and simply replied "These guys are the founders of Metal". And having watched their performance that sunny afternoon, I couldn't agree more. Long Live SAXON!


Local Anaesthetic
Local Anaesthetic

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Should Have Been So Much Better, 27 Feb. 2008
This review is from: Local Anaesthetic (Audio CD)
Nirvana had been around the London music scene since the late 60's, creating psychedelia albums of cult status. By the time of recording Local Anaesthetic, Nirvana had slimmed down to a one man project - founder Patrick Campbell-Lyons. In the original album notes that accompany the CD he states that this album marked the real birth of Nirvana, although it was 'mentally un-balanced'. It was released on the Vertigo label, and if you are familiar with the Vertigo band Gracious, then you'll have an idea of how this album sounds. It composes of 2 tracks, although the second has been broken into it's 5 component parts on the CD track listing. The first track 'Modus Operandi' has been built up from various musical snippets, similar in approach to the first Gracious album. A soft flute passage will suddenly jump into a boogie rock piece, and then cut to some harpsichord, with no real musical theme connecting any of the different elements. This doesn't necessarily have to be a criticism if the different elements grab your attention, but too much of the music in Modus Operandi just passes you by. It should also be said that Patrick isn't a great vocalist. Again not necessarily a criticism in itself, as some of my most favourite singers from the 70's didn't exactly fit the normal classic vocalist role - but the sections with lyrics feel as if they bog down the inventiveness of some of the instrumental passages.

And this theme continues into the second track Home. It starts with some fabulous almost voodoo sounding congo drums. Then stops. And a harpsichord comes in for no obvious reason, followed by Patrick on vocals again. Unfortunately the greater use of vocals and a more structured song based approach actually makes Home the weaker of the two tracks, in my humble opinion.

Hmmm. I really wanted to love this album, but I think it's destined to remain one for Vertigo completists only.


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