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bachelorboy (Bournemouth, United Kingdom)

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All Systems Go
All Systems Go
Offered by HitsvilleUK & more
Price: £13.25

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All Systems Go!, 3 July 2010
This review is from: All Systems Go (Audio CD)
After several years in the musical wilderness, during the course of which chart success eluded her, the Queen of Disco enjoyed something of a career revival during the late 1980's. That revival began with the release of this 1987 album, which saw Donna move away from her disco roots and record what is essentially a pop album. The single from the album, "Dinner With Gershwin", gave Donna her first hit in the UK for four years. It reached No. 13 during a chart run of 11 weeks and in so doing, was the first time she had featured in the UK Top 40 since her collaboration with Musical Youth, "Unconditional Love", back in 1983.

She certainly had some talent assembled for this album. Overall production duties lay with German songwriter and producer Harold "Axel F" Faltermeyer, who also co-wrote five of the nine tracks on offer here. "Dinner With Gershwin" was written by Brenda Russell of "Piano In The Dark" fame, and co-produced by Russell and Richard Perry, the man behind most of the Pointer Sisters' 80's hits.

I happen to love this album, and think it's one of Donna Summer's best. It's hard to pick a favourite track as I love them all, but I particularly love the ridiculously catchy, radio friendly "Bad Reputation" and the last three tracks, "Fascination", "Voices Cryin' Out" and "Thinkin' Bout My Baby" on which Donna's trademark vocals shine. Also of note is the ballad "Only The Fool Survives" on which Ms Summer duets with Starship singer Mickey Thomas.

Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £5.50

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Whitney!, 30 Jun. 2010
This review is from: Whitney (Audio CD)
This album is an absolute corker!!! It's hard to believe it's over twenty years now since this, Whitney's second album, was released back in 1987. If Whitney was practising her craft on her debut, "Whitney Houston", a couple of years before, with this release she reached perfection. The production on this album...the sound...that voice!! A superb set of songs, this album went on to spawn five hit singles, "Didn't We Almost Have It All", "So Emotional", "Where Do Broken Hearts Go", "Love Will Save The Day" and the UK No 1, "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)". Also included here is Whitney's cover of Elaine Paige & Barbara Dickson's "I Know Him So Well", on which Whitney duets with her mother, Cissy. A stupendous album, and Whitney's best.

Billy Ocean / City Limit
Billy Ocean / City Limit
Offered by HitsvilleUK & more
Price: £10.95

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Welcome release from Cherry Records!, 24 Dec. 2009
This is one of a number of 2 disc sets which I've bought recently from the series released by Cherry Records Ltd. Well done to whoever at Cherry Records came up with the idea of releasing albums on CD, for the first time, by a whole series of acts from the 70's!

I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Billy. I think he has such a soulful voice and I love his Eighties stuff, but apart from his Seventies mega hits, "Love Really Hurts Without You" and "Red Light Spells Danger", I wasn't familiar with his earlier work, until now that is!

Here we have his first two albums, his self-titled debut from 1976 and "City Limit" from 1980. Of the two, I much prefer the first album, despite its rather naff cover. Don't let the picture of Billy wearing a yellow, red and green combination put you off what is essentially an excellent set of songs, which is very Motown-esque in places. If you like three minute slices of upbeat, polished pop/soul you should enjoy this. In particular, I love "Tell Him To Move Over", "One Kiss Away" and "Eye Of A Storm", and have played them constantly since this arrived in the post! Of interest is that the album was produced by, and many of the songs co-written by, Ben Findon, who also wrote hits for Irish groups, The Dooleys and The Nolans.

The comprehensive sleeve notes state though that, rather surprisingly, this album failed to chart, despite featuring three hit singles. The brilliant "Red Light Spells Danger" is also included here as a bonus track, so all of Billy's Top 40 hits from the Seventies feature on this set.

The other album, "City Limit", has a great cover but generally I liked the tracks less. It's worthy of note though since it includes Billy's version of "Who's Gonna Rock You". Billy co-wrote the song with Ben Findon, but gave it to The Nolans who enjoyed a No 12 hit with it early in 1981.

All in all, as with the other Cherry Records releases, I think this is well worth buying; with the pictures of single and album covers, discographies and biographies featured in the booklet that comes with each set, I think a lot of thought has gone into these releases.

The Nolan Sisters / Making Waves
The Nolan Sisters / Making Waves
Price: £12.56

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Nolans Made Waves With This!, 14 Jun. 2009
As a big Nolans fan, I'm well excited at the prospect of this release and I can't wait to get it! This sees two Nolans albums released together, "The Nolan Sisters", (which will be available for the first time on CD) and "Making Waves".

As there are 25 songs featured here, a track-by-track review would go on forever, so I'd thought I'd sum up each album as follows:

"The Nolan Sisters"

The year before this originally came out, the sisters had reached the Top 3 on the UK album chart with an album of covers, "20 Giant Hits", their first album to be given a general release. Titled quite simply "The Nolan Sisters", this then was their second album to be given a general release, but it was their first after signing to mighty Epic Records. The sisters must have been so excited to have secured this contract, as their fellow labelmates now included Abba and Michael Jackson. They must have felt they had now certainly hit the big time!

Released at the end of 1979, this album was their final release as The Nolan Sisters. They had a name change thereafter and all subsequent records were released as The Nolans. This 12 track album featured six covers and six new songs, including their first hit single, the magic "Spirit Body & Soul", their mega hit "I'm In The Mood For Dancing" and also the fantastic "All The King's Horses", with the lovely Linda on lead vocals. I've always wondered why they didn't lift this track as a single as it would definitely have been a big hit but there you go.

The six covers include the Nolans' versions of Cliff Richard's "Miss You Nights" and Art Garfunkel's "Bright Eyes". I know covers are rarely deemed equal to the originals, but, at the risk of upsetting Cliff and Art Garfunkel fans, I have to say, I think the Nolans' versions of these two are THE definitive versions of both songs.

This release also includes a bonus track, "Harry My Honululu Lover", which musically is very different to everything else on the album, but it's a welcome inclusion as it was the sisters' entry for that year's Song For Europe. They had high hopes of winning and being selected to represent the UK in that year's Eurovision, but they had the honour (if you can call it that!) of losing out to Black Lace!

"Making Waves"

It always frustrates me a little that the only song the media reference to the Nolans is "I'm In The Mood..." I like the song but it's not their best track; they recorded loads of other, much better material and it's showcased here on "Making Waves", which was their third album, released in the autumn of 1980.

This saw the Nolans at the highpoint of their commercial success worldwide. The facts and figures speak for themselves: "Making Waves" reached a respectable number 11 on the UK album charts, achieved Gold Disc status, and spent 33 consecutive weeks in the charts, the longest run of any Nolans release. It yielded four Top 20 singles, "Don't Make Waves" (No 12 in the UK; No 5 in their native Ireland), "Gotta Pull Myself Together" (No 9 in the UK; No 8 in Ireland), "Who's Gonna Rock You" (No 12 in the UK; No 14 in Ireland) and "Attention To Me" (No 9 in the UK; No 5 in Ireland).

The album also did very well in Japan, where it reached Number 1 and sold over half a million copies, no mean achievement in a market which is always difficult for western acts to break into. This album also includes "Sexy Music", with which the sisters won the prestigious Tokyo Music Festival in 1981, and which then went onto become a Top Ten hit in Japan.

This album also went Top 10 in Australia where the single "Gotta Pull Myself Together" reached number 3.

This album remains to this day one of my favourite albums ever. I remember Bernie saying in an interview on Channel 4 a few years ago, in a documentary on girl groups, that she and her sisters had never recorded an album of which she felt proud, but I have to respectfully disagree with her here. "Making Waves" in particular is an album of which they should feel proud, as it really showcases what talented vocalists the sisters are.

Their song writers, Ben Findon, Mike Myers and Steve Puzey, were writing some of their best ever material for the girls and the musical and vocal arrangements on every song on this album are second to none; there's not a duff track here; each one works. So, if you only know the Nolans for "I'm In The Mood..." and fancy seeing what else they did, you won't go far wrong in buying this!
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 20, 2016 10:52 PM BST

Sheena Easton
Sheena Easton

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheena Shines On This!, 14 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Sheena Easton (Audio CD)
I've always wanted to get the UK version of this album on CD, but unfortunately, to date, it's never been released. The UK version of Sheena's debut album was released in 1980 with a different title, "Take My Time", and a different track order to this US version which was released the following year under the title "Sheena Easton".

This was the only Sheena album to sell well in the UK. It reached the Top 20 on the album charts and stayed on the charts for 19 weeks, going gold in the process and yielding most of her UK Top 40 hits, "9 To 5" (which got to number 3), "Modern Girl" (number 8), "One Man Woman" (number 14) and "When He Shines" (number 12). I'm in agreement with another reviewer in thinking it rather odd, and a little disappointing, that the latter track was omitted from this US release, as it's one of the lady's best ever songs.

What we have here then is the re-issue on CD of the US version, which features five bonus tracks and, quibbles aside over the omission of "When He Shines", it is, quite frankly, superb!

Whether strutting her stuff on the uptempo pop numbers such as "Take My Time" or singing her heart out on plaintive ballads like the wonderful "So Much In Love", Sheena never puts a foot wrong on this album; it's polished, well crafted middle-of-the-road pop at it's best. Such a shame then that her career in the UK went off the boil so quickly after this, as her subsequent albums didn't do nearly as well.

One Heart
One Heart
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £5.05

5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely one of her best!, 14 Jun. 2009
This review is from: One Heart (Audio CD)
One Heart

I think I must have been hiding under a rock or something when this album was released back in 2003, as it's only recently that I discovered this little gem. I count myself as something of a Celine fan and yet I only discovered this album when trawling through her back catalogue on Amazon recently to see what other albums she'd done. I decided to buy this and am well pleased I did!

I can see from the other reviews that it's had a bit of a mixed reception, but I think this album is terrific. It's good to see Celion varying her style and repertoire by moving away from the big power ballads for which she's known and doing something more pop orientated. The album opens with a gutsy cover of Roy Orbison's "I Drove All night" and the uptempo pop theme continues with "Love Is All We Need", "In His Touch", the title track and my favourite song from the album, "Coulda Woulda Shoulda", all of which are, quite frankly, superb, and all of which definitely warrant a 10 out of 10.

Overall, I think this album is up there with the likes of "The Colour Of My Love" and "Let's Talk About Love" as amongst Celine's best, and it's certainly much better than her 2007 release, "Takin' Chances", which I was really disappointed with.

Price: £9.88

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silver? This album's pure gold!, 16 April 2008
This review is from: Silver (Audio CD)
I've got quite a few Cliff CD's in my collection and have to say this is my favourite...I think this is one of the the best albums Cliff ever recorded! It came out way back in 1983 to mark, as its title suggests, Cliff's 25th year in showbusiness. The album reached a respectable No 7 on the UK album chart and spawned a handful of hit singles...the disco-ish "Never Say Die" (No 15), "Please Don't Fall In Love" (No 7) and the double A Sided "Baby You're Dynamite/Ocean Deep" (No 27).

Although with this album Cliff tries his hand here at a variety of styles (for example, he rocks out on "Love Stealer" and there's a couple of very good ballads in "Hold On" and "Please Don't Fall In Love"), overall this is very much a pop album and what a flawless, well crafted collection of songs it is. There's some absolute gems on this album, "Front Page", "Locked Inside Your Prison", "The Golden Days Are Over" (later to be covered by Bucks Fizz) and "Never Say Die" are all fantastic pop tracks.

For me though the highlight is the big ballad "Ocean Deep", a wonderful song which I think deserved to do a lot better on the charts than it actually did.

Private Heaven
Private Heaven

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heaven indeed!, 26 Mar. 2008
This review is from: Private Heaven (Audio CD)
I was a huge fan of the lovely Miss Easton back in the Eighties and this was, in my humble opinion, one of her best albums. So I was delighted to discover recently that this album, along with the rest of her EMI back catalogue, had been released on CD. This album originally came out in 1984, but by then Sheena's career in the UK had unfortunately gone off the boil. In a terrible lack of good taste, the UK record buying public ignored this album completely and it failed to register at all on the charts. In contrast, Sheena remained a chart regular in the States throughout the '80's and indeed, this very same album was a great success in the USA, where it remains to this day the biggest seller of her career.
This is a great pop album and gave Sheena two consecutive Top Ten hits in America, the fantastic "Strut" and the controversial "Sugar Walls", which was written and produced for her by Prince, under the pseudonym of Alexander Nevermind. I love all the tracks on this set and, aside from "Strut", my favourites are "Hungry Eyes", "Double Standard" and "It's Hard To Say It's Over" (what a ballad!). If you liked Sheena's early releases such as "Modern Girl" and "9 to 5" and want to know what she was up to a few years down the line, then you can't go wrong in getting this album. If you like extras, this album also has no less than seven bonus tracks(!), including two remixes of "Sugar Walls", and "Straight Talking". The latter track was originally the B-Side to the "Strut" single and has never been available on CD before.

Very Best Of The Nolans
Very Best Of The Nolans

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still getting the chemistry right!, 23 Aug. 2006
This review is from: Very Best Of The Nolans (Audio CD)
One of a number of different Nolans compilation albums which have been released in recent years, this 18 track collection features new versions of all their UK hits, plus "Sexy Music" and "Every Home Should Have One" which were hits in Japan but not the UK.

If you're as familiar as I am with the fantastic original versions of their songs, these re-recordings of The Nolans' hits do take a little getting used to, but I have to say they have really grown on me!

Vocally, the girls are, as always, in fine form and their vocals remain faithful to the original recordings, but the production and musical accompaniment are very different!

Some of the re-recordings work much better than others, for example the new version of "Attention To Me" (one of my favourite Nolan singles) is okay, but the reworking given to "Who's Gonna Rock You" and "Sexy Music" are excellent, both of which are given a much more contemporary, modern feel.

This album is definitely worth getting, particularly as it also includes new Nolan tracks such as the opening number, the brilliant "Somebody Loves You" (why was this never a single?! It would have been huge!). Other gems are "Out Of Control", the covers of Bryan Adams' "Run To You" (an interesting choice which works well) and Deniece Williams' "That's What Friends Are For" (on which Coleen takes lead vocal).

The album changes tempo towards the end with their first hit, "Spirit Body & Soul", followed by Bernie singing solo for a great cover of Randy Crawford's "Almaz", and it finishes with all the sisters doing a terrific acapella version of the Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody".

Overall, I think this is a great album and it has proved a much played, welcome addition to my CD collection.

Laura Branigan - The Platinum Collection [International Release]
Laura Branigan - The Platinum Collection [International Release]

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A nice tribute to a sadly missed talent., 26 July 2006
Sadly, the lovely Laura is no longer with us as she died of a brain aneurism in 2004 at the tragically early age of 47.

Sometimes called the "white Donna Summer" she had a very powerful, distinctive voice which to my mind was equally at home on synthesiser-driven Eurodisco numbers as it was on the emotive ballads which became something of a trademark.

The eighteen tracks featured here are all lifted from Laura's studio albums, from her 1982 debut "Branigan" through to 1990's self-titled "Laura Branigan". In fact, looking through the tracklisting, I think all of her American singles are here, which is great as I've been able to fill some of the gaps in my collection!

Laura struck gold early on in her career when she released "Gloria", an English language cover of an Italian pop song. It became an international hit, reaching No 2 in America, No 6 in the UK and No 1 in Germany, where it kept the Italian original at No 2! She followed it up the next year with the brilliant "Self Control", which made No 4 in America and No 5 in the UK, but unfortunately subsequent releases didn't sell as well.

Laura will be familiar then to UK audiences chiefly through those two singles.

Anybody who liked those singles and is interested in finding out more about her would do well to buy this CD, as there's not a duff track on here.

In all, a fitting tribute to her!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 10, 2010 6:52 PM BST

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