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Vernal Scott (London, UK)

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Samsung ATIV Tab 3 10.1-inch Tablet - White (Intel Atom Z2760 1.8GHz, 2GB RAM, 64GB SSD, LAN, WLAN, BT, Webcam, Integrated Graphics, Windows 8)
Samsung ATIV Tab 3 10.1-inch Tablet - White (Intel Atom Z2760 1.8GHz, 2GB RAM, 64GB SSD, LAN, WLAN, BT, Webcam, Integrated Graphics, Windows 8)
Offered by Silicon Alley
Price: £225.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite Five Stars, but Easily 4.5, 9 Feb. 2015
This cutie is now under £180 new, if you know where to look. It offers a very a buoyant 10.1 screen - my previous 8 inch Voyo proved too small for my word processing needs - 64GB of expandable storage, S-pen functionality, well placed stereo speakers (either side of the screen, making Netflix, You Tube, and Amazon Prime a BIG YES!!!), decent cameras with flash, full MS Office which won't seek a painful 70 quid fee in a year from now, very pleasing aesthetics, as well as being joyfully portable. Those are all major pluses. On the minus front, I have to concur with other reviewers who have criticised the Ativ's processing performance, hence my four star rating. Also, the accessories are out there, but you have to really look for them! However, at this new lower price point, those are minor irritants that I am willing to put up with. I've updated the Tab 3 to 8.1, and while this took many hours and great patience, it was well worth it in the end. The even cheaper Linx 10 is a strong contender at under 160 quid, but it has fewer bells and whistles, and anyway, I'm a Samsung man at heart and get a certain confidence from their product name. Oh, speaking of contenders, a word of warning about the similarly priced Asus Vivo Tab LTE. It lasted just one day before it died an unexplained silent death. I accepted a refund and bought this happy Sammy instead. So, whilst I can't give it five stars, I certainly think it's better than the competition at the same price. All else aside, I am especially pleased that full Windows 8.1 tablets are dropping in price generally, and we can all celebrate that!


The Best Of Cerrone Productions
The Best Of Cerrone Productions
Price: £8.86

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Je suis Cerrone!" A Euro Disco Giant at His Very Best!, 29 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Cerrone is an original master of Euro Disco - second only to Giorgio Moroder. This double CD cleverly showcases his biggest hits and collaborations in edited but still gloriously enjoyable form. There are 38 tracks on my copy, even though Amazon is only listing 34 for some unknown reason. A few are remixes - the original 7 inch edit of Love in C Minor, plus its stunning Dimitri remix, for example - but they complement rather than irritate, thankfully. Highlights are Supernature, the aforementioned Love in C Minor, Take Me, Got to Have Loving, You Are the One (with Jocelyn Brown on vocals), Standing in the Rain, Give Me Love, Look for Love, and Music of Life. If you are new to Cerrone, then I would urge you to treat your ears and feet to Love in C Minor in its original 16 minute glory, and the same with Supernature, which, incidentally, was recently creatively updated in the form of the eargasmic 'Supernature Symphony' by the man himself, bettering the original, in my view. This excellent collection demonstrates why Cerrone deserves a place in your throbbing 70s dance floor collection alongside the likes of Moroder/Summer, Chic, Salsoul, and Gloria Gaynor. Yes, disco has survived! As for the oddly suggestive cover art, well, this is Cerrone.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 5, 2015 11:39 PM GMT


Brown Leather Laptop Travel Bag Case Cover Satchel for 13" inch Laptop (Macbook Air, Macbook PRO, Toshiba, Sony, Dell, Chrome Book, Ultra Book, HP)
Brown Leather Laptop Travel Bag Case Cover Satchel for 13" inch Laptop (Macbook Air, Macbook PRO, Toshiba, Sony, Dell, Chrome Book, Ultra Book, HP)
Offered by Purplemoose007
Price: £64.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A Case Above the Rest., 24 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is one classy looking case which has been made with great attention to detail and with the end user in mind. It has lots of very helpful compartments for your bits and pieces, and everything fits just great. I was also impressed with the low price and grand packaging. Absolutely first class! Buy it without hesitation.


The Real... Billy Ocean
The Real... Billy Ocean
Price: £6.80

5.0 out of 5 stars Bargain Billy!, 19 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Real... Billy Ocean (Audio CD)
Every hit and worthwhile album track is included in this 3-CD Billy bargain box. Red Light Spells Danger, through to Suddenly, Caribbean Queen and everything else. If you are going to buy one collection by this excellent artist, then this is it. Highly recommended.


I Am What I Am
I Am What I Am
Price: £10.71

5.0 out of 5 stars She Is What She Is - the Godmother of Disco!, 18 Jan. 2015
This review is from: I Am What I Am (Audio CD)
I Am What I Am is a fantastic record and was a big Euro hit for Gloria back in 83/4. The other cuts on the album are worth having too, except, perhaps, Eeeny Meenie, which is a poor take on Donna's Unconditional Love hit. I've Been Watching You borrows from Luther Vandross mid-tempo tunes of the time. Only in a Love Song is an awesome ballad, which became a single in its own right. Strive, also a single, entered the UK charts and is a positive uplifting dancer, as is Bullseye and Chain of Whispers. For some unknown reason, this CD has been expanded with two tracks from Park Avenue Sound album, instead of the wealth of material from the original album, 'I Am Gloria Gaynor'. Potential content for a proper expansion includes: I Am What I Am (original, instrumental and 7inch,) Bullseye remix, Chain of Whispers remix, Strive 12inch and dub, More Than Enough alternate take. So let's hope Funky Grooves or Big Break Records decide to put out a real issue of this awesome album, but this release will have to do for now.

We love Gloria, our survivor supreme!


Legends
Legends
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £24.92

5.0 out of 5 stars A Special Collection by a Special Woman of Song and Hearts, 17 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Legends (Audio CD)
Dionne treated us to countless musical gems in the 60s, but she was rather quiet during the disco dominated 70s. This brilliant collection captures the very best of her golden 80s comeback, courtesy of Arista Records - and at an obscenely affordable price, too! All the big hits are here in their infinite glory, such as Deja Vu, No Night So Long, That's What Friends Are For, I'll Never Love This Way Again, Heartbreaker, and Love Power etc, but there are many fabulous high quality album cuts too. As well as a unique talent, Dionne was also a commendable humanitarian, as captured - with pics - in the non-fiction book, God's Other Children: A London Memoir ( - also on Amazon). Get this CD collection and the book!


VOYO A1 MINI 8 Inch/8'' WIFI windows 8.1 Z3735F Tablet Quad-Core 1.33GHz 32G ROM 1280*800 IPS Capacitive Touch Screen Tablet PC Bluetooth 4.0 HDMI OTG Dual Cameras Sensor (Black + Grey)
VOYO A1 MINI 8 Inch/8'' WIFI windows 8.1 Z3735F Tablet Quad-Core 1.33GHz 32G ROM 1280*800 IPS Capacitive Touch Screen Tablet PC Bluetooth 4.0 HDMI OTG Dual Cameras Sensor (Black + Grey)
Offered by moonar

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fabulously Talented Tablet, 17 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was a little nervous about buying this tablet, but was seduced by the relatively low price, decent spec, and positive reviews on you tube and elsewhere. Arriving the very next day, and costing just under 100 quid, I needn't worry, because it has turned out to be a pocket-sized beast and my new best friend; second only to my Lumia 1520. It features full Windows 8.1 and an overall confident performance, topped by a great screen of natural colours that cause you smile with glee. The tablet is truly fast and capable of handling all that you throw at it; indeed, you get the impression that you are holding a fantastic little secret that the rest of the world has yet to discover: Voyo, who?!!! I already owned Office, so I put it onto the tablet without a hitch; it's now fully functional for everything that I need on the go. The sound is very good too, as is the essential battery life. As a happy Samsung customer of their various tablets of the past, I have to give credit to Voyo for coming up with a product that, whilst lacking somewhat in the aesthetics department, delivers a robust performance where you need it most. Do not hesitate to buy it, but be prepared to spend some time at the outset updating the software before attempting to use it, or you'll run into avoidable performance issues. Well done, Voyo (who?)!

Update: I sent it back, and for 80 quid more, opted for the bargain and better specified Samsung Ativ Tab 3 instead. For that I get a very useful bigger screen, 64GB of expandable storage, S-pen functionality, well placed stereo speakers, better cameras with flash, attractive design, and full MS Office which won't seek a painful 70 quid fee in a year from now. The Linx 10 or Vivo Tab LTE are also strong alternatives at under 180 quid new. Just to be clear, the Voyo is a great machine, but it now has reasonably priced competitors with great specs. Choose well.


Donna - The CD Collection
Donna - The CD Collection
Price: £73.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hottest Summer on Record!, 2 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Donna Summer was considered something of a sexy novelty act when she arrived on the thumping 70s music scene with Love to Love You Baby, but within a few years she had successfully claimed Gloria Gaynor's disco queen crown, with hits such as I Feel Love, Last Dance, MacArthur Park, and Hot Stuff. This ten disc box set of previously released and unreleased bonus material, coincidentally released on World AIDS Day (1st December 2014), was compiled with much love and care, and is an essential replacement for the original CD/LP releases. Still deliberately danceable, but, as we had come to expect from Donna, creatively versatile too, these post disco recordings provide powerful evidence that she was a hugely talented musician of the highest calibre; gifted as a writer, and blessed with a limitless vocal ability that silenced her early critics. In my view, her distinctive instrument only got better with time. My only disappointment here is that She Works Hard for the Money is not included, perhaps for reasons to do with ownership of the related rights, and there's a terrific rare medley of hits from Another Place and Time that's missing from its expanded 3-CD reincarnation. Also, the box cover art seems more fitting to Donna's disco years than her later recordings and this box set. But hey, these are minor gripes that are easily forgiven, especially given the excellent packaging, first class liner notes, and exemplary sound engineering.

Pick up her 70s material too, and you'll appreciate that Summer is much more than a stunningly beautiful season; it's also the name of a very special woman of song, who will remain in our hearts (and ears!) all year round.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 2, 2014 7:07 PM GMT


Samsung ATIV 500T1C 11.6-inch Smart PC with Keyboard (Intel Atom 1.8GHz, 2GB RAM, 64GB HDD, Intel Graphics Media Accelerator, Windows 8 Professional)
Samsung ATIV 500T1C 11.6-inch Smart PC with Keyboard (Intel Atom 1.8GHz, 2GB RAM, 64GB HDD, Intel Graphics Media Accelerator, Windows 8 Professional)

5.0 out of 5 stars Versatile, Effective, and with Full Windows 8.1 too!, 17 Nov. 2014
I am totally thrilled with this tablet/PC - it works fantastically well. You can find machines with better resolution, but expect to pay more. I picked this baby up (complete with the keyboard) for under £230, a real bargain for what you get: full Windows - Desktop and Metro, plus Android, if you know where to look! Office works a treat, and you can access the tablet interface for things like e-mail, browsing, blogs and gaming. I must stress that it's crucial to run the SW Update at the first opportunity or expect problems!!! It will update just about every driver and the BIOS. Be sure to install the optional updates as well. Once ready, you'll be thrilled to bits with this very capable machine. If I have one gripe, then that would be a wish for louder speakers, but at least they are front facing, delivering glorious stereo. I am one happy Samsung customer, thanks to this purchase.


Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva Classics
Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva Classics
Offered by MediaMine
Price: £7.99

22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars We All Love Aretha But This is Painful Listening, 20 Oct. 2014
It should be quite an honour to have your music covered by the Queen of Soul, but the various ladies concerned can rest assured that she has patently failed to add anything of worth to their classics. I Will Survive, No One, I'm Every Woman, Nothing Compares, all sounded much better sung by the original artists. Like Dionne Warwick, Martha Reeves, and a few others from the former glory days of black music, Aretha now sounds ghastly and irritating to listen to. I was tempted to throw the CD into a fire, but feared it would spit itself out and slash my throat in some kind of Franklinstein revenge. And if I was ever tempted to deliver drive-by punishment, then I would simply drive up and play this CD; it really is that appallingly bad.

In my youthful years of the 1980s, I was lucky to catch a very elderly Ella Fitzgerald live at the Royal Festival Hall here in London, and despite her obvious frailty, I was amazed to discover that her voice hadn't lost any of its wonderful abilities. Sadly, our beloved Aretha isn't that lucky!

The above said, I want to make it perfectly clear that I love Aretha of the golden age - 60s through to the 80s, or even later - and own just about everything she's ever breathed on; she was and remains my ultimate soulful diva, but this CD is an insult to her stature and to my ears. Her rendition of Midnight Train to Hell, sorry, Georgia, gave my cat a hard on, and whilst Gloria will survive, I won't if I ever have to listen to this poor excuse for good music ever again. Instead of singing, perhaps Aretha should consider diversifying and give lectures about her awesome history in music. Now that would be worth paying for. Respect to you, Aretha, for your treasure chest of musical gems of the past, but not for this vacuous, karaoke-like CD. Co-producer Clive Davis should be ashamed of himself; both for this sordid attempt at making money out of Aretha, and for his abysmal response to Whitney's tragic passing. You have to be some kind of rattlesnake to go ahead with a party while her body was still warm in a room above your head.

Ahh... that's better; I finally got that gripe off my chest. Now, where's my Queen of Soul box set?

(Vernal Scott is author of the Polari shortlisted (non-fiction) book, God's Other Children: A London Memoir)
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 8, 2014 12:52 AM GMT


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