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C. L. Gardom (manchester, uk)

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With The Beatles
With The Beatles
Price: £10.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ... re-master really screams from the speakers and is highly recommended. The vocals are crystal clear, 21 Jan. 2015
This review is from: With The Beatles (Audio CD)
This 2009 stereo re-master really screams from the speakers and is highly recommended. The vocals are crystal clear, the drums are loud, the bass is deep and the guitars sound great. I used to have the awful 1987 mono version of this which was everything this is not: flat, muddy, lifeless.

I will post a word of caution that it doesn't sound great through headphones as the stereo spread is mainly vocals right, instruments left. The notable exception to this is the astonishing Money which has a much more sympathetic spread and provides as fitting a climax to an album as Tomorrow Never Knows and A Day in the Life.

Blasting out of the speakers With the Beatles sounds fantastic and is an essential purchase.


Doctor Who - The Enemy of the World [DVD]
Doctor Who - The Enemy of the World [DVD]
Dvd ~ Patrick Troughton
Price: £7.99

20 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enemy of the World, 27 Nov. 2013
Some people have complained about the lack of extras, but who cares? This is Patrick Troughton Dr Who that we thought we would NEVER get the chance to see and here it is complete, on a lovely shiny DVD. And a cracking story it is too - essential for all true fans of Dr Who.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 6, 2014 5:28 PM GMT


Ultra
Ultra

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Fire Still Burns, 28 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Ultra (Audio CD)
I find listening to Ultra to be an extremely frustrating experience. The songs are (mostly) great, there is a real edge to the sound and the lyrics have real depth.
However, there appears to have been no consideration given to contrast or pacing. By the time Jazz Thieves crawls to its end you really need a face paced, up beat (or as up beat as Depeche Mode ever get) track to liven things up. But what do we get? The drawn out Freestate and the ballad The Bottom Line.

Also, the absence of Alan Wilder means that the complex, immediate arrangements of the previous albums have given way to the more stripped back production of Tim Simenon. Simenon brings a lot to the table: great beats, crystal clear sound. What he doesn't seem to have though is a great pop sensibilty which means songs take an eternity to get going, they don't build on early promise (eg Barrel of a Gun) and they take an age to limp to the finish.

Having said all that however, the songs (always the bedrock of course) are still great and all the album ever needed was a strong edit to cut out the deadwood (aforesaid Jazz Thieves and Freesate, the latter making a decent b-side at a time when the band couldn't conjour up a decent b-side for love nor money) and thus reduce the running time to a more listenable 45-ish minutes.
Then you've got a four star set that has cohesion and doesn't drag. For those downloading and/or with ipods i suggest you do just that.


Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Price: £9.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Beatles' Best, 12 Nov. 2010
It seems that this album has come in for some revisionist stick in recent years, but for me this is the Beatles' best album.

It appears that some listeners who dismiss this record as twee and MOR and music hall just don't GET it: this is an album whose every song is about escaping the early 1960's deferential mindset and all consuming consumerism by freeing your 'head' by taking mind altering drugs! Yes, very twee - ON THE SURFACE, maybe.

With a Little Help from My 'Friends', Getting Better (since 'you've' been mine) and Fixing a Hole are all about 'substances' helping you get through life; A Day in the Life shows a way out (I'd Love to Turn you On) of the hum drum lives described in She's Leaving Home, Good Morning and When I'm 64. The latter song in particular is often showered with scorn - twee, 1920's music hall whimsy. It seems that its biting satire of the aspirations of the older (unenlightened) generation is lost on some folk.

And this is before i've started on the music. This is not Rock music - the Beatles had spent the last 4 years recording rock and they were bored sick of it. They wanted to make music that didn't sound like it had come from 2 guitars,a bass and some drums; they wanted to put behind them the days of Beatle Mania and make a record that used instruments and sound in ways that people hadn't tried before. Every sound on this album is altered in some way (varispeeded, layered, phased, played backwards) to make something slightly not quite right, something from a weirder more wonderful world. To 40 years later criticise them for such innovation, for not recording standard rock tracks, is somewhat bizarre.

The arrangements of these songs is fantastic, such invention, so multilayered: I'm still hearing new things when i listen to this record 20 years after i first heard it. And Paul's bass lines!! So melodic, so restrained and so in keeping with the mood each song wants to convey. Stunning.

If you already have the 1987 Cd release of this album and are wondering whether to buy the 2009 remaster i wholeheartedly recommend that you do so. The odd stereo mix on a couple of tracks is still there but the sound is so much more full, vivid and clear that it makes for an even greater listening experience.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 24, 2013 8:22 PM GMT


Help!
Help!
Price: £9.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remaster, 14 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Help! (Audio CD)
I believe Help to have improved the most from the Beatles Remastering process.

If you've only ever heard the 1987 CD release i wholeheartedly recommend you purchase the remaster. The sound is really full, good bass sound, the guitars ringingly crisp and clear. And of all the Beatles ALbums Help! has by far the best stereo spread - great to listen on headphones from 1st track to last.

On many tracks on Help! the Beatles continue the country tinged feel of some of its predecessor (Beatles for Sale - also a great remaster)but the highlight is Ticket to Ride which is now heavier than ever - superb, it really hits home with the droning repeated chord to the fore.

However, no amount of remastering can salvage Dizzy Miss Lizzy which provides a disappointing end to an album that is due reappraisal.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 19, 2011 9:57 AM GMT


Beatles For Sale
Beatles For Sale
Price: £8.74

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remaster, 14 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Beatles For Sale (Audio CD)
What a revelation the remastered Beatles for Sale is. Previously this release had been one of my least favourite Beatles albums - the sound flat and tinny. But here the clarity and fullness of sound is truly breathtaking.
Tracks i previously had little time for (Kansas City, Honey Don't and Words of Love) are truly amazing, the stereo mix helping you hear all the instruments skillfully playing off one another.

It also contains some of the Beatles best and most underrated originals - Every Little Thing, What You're Doing, I'm a Loser, Baby's in Black and No Reply - and the single that should've been - Eight Day's A Week.

Together with Help! Beatles for Sale seems to have improved the most from Remastering. Where it does fall down however is in the stereo spread on the key opening tracks No Reply and I'm A Loser. It's frustrating because for much of the album the stereo spread is really good.

Oh, and it seems nothing can save Mr Moonlight - it's still dreadful.


The Beatles In Mono
The Beatles In Mono

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Full Picture, 8 Oct. 2010
This review is from: The Beatles In Mono (Audio CD)
Let me say at the start that this set is far too expensive and the new remasters should have been released with the Stereo and Mono versions in that same package. I think this is a real shame because the majority of people will now only ever hear substandard stereo versions of a lot of the Beatles catalogue: let's face it only real Beatles fanatics are going to shell out £160.00 on a mono set that is not even complete (missing the albums Abbey Rd and Let it Be and a couple of stereo only late singles).

But back to the music and if you are a Beatles fan wondering whether this set is worth the outlay the answer is definitely YES.
The first 4 albums plus the first Past Masters disc are all vastly superior in Mono: the Stereo separation is often lamentable on these albums while the Mono versions really hit home. It's a real shame that most people won't hear how great With the Beatles and Please Please Me should sound compared to the often unlistenable Stereo versions.

However, Mono is not always the better version. Help, Rubber Soul and Revolver I find a bit muddy in Mono: there are a couple of exceptions (Taxman, Girl) but Stereo wins out on these.

I was begining to think that maybe Mono only wins out on the more rock orientated tracks but Sgt Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour are a revelation: at times it's like your listening to a completely different album and people really need to own both versions. In stereo you get to hear the intricacy of the arrangements but Mono makes for a much more psychedelic experience with a wash of sound.

The White Album is similarly excellent in Mono and though stereo wins out on many tracks (Dear Prudence, While My Guitar, Birthday) Mono is superior on tracks such as Glass Onion, Helter Skelter, 'Monkey' and Savoy Truffle: again you really need to have both versions.

On the 2nd Past Masters CD again it's a bit of a mix: Stereo is more complete and wins out on the majority while Mono has some unwanted stuff from the Yellow Submarine CD. However, you REALLY need to hear mono versions of Paperback Writer, Lady Madonna, Hey Bulldog and Revolution - great tracks that have woeful stereo separation and that are really brought to life in Mono.

So overall, like i said at the start, it's a lot of money to pay for stuff that's not ALWAYS better in Mono, but there's so much in here that's so much better in Mono that for Beatles fans you DO need to buy it. it's such a shame that only completists will get to hear a lot of the Beatles music at its best.


Flip-flop (Doctor Who)
Flip-flop (Doctor Who)
by Jonathan Morris
Edition: Audio CD

5.0 out of 5 stars Timey Whimey, 8 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Flip-flop (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
For me the best Big Finish Plays are those that keep your concentration from begining to last with a complex plot that needs a couple of relistens to fully get your head round.

Blink is often cited as one of the best ever TV episodes for its intricate plotting and i believe Flip Flop stands as one of the very best Big Finish Plays for this very same reason. Your head is often left boggling with the complexities thrown up by time travel (ie the cast of characters being in more than 1 place at 1 time) but Morris has obviously thought things through exceptionally well as i still cannot see a flaw in his design.

The biggest compliment i can give this play is that whenever i finish listening to it i want to go back to the begining and start all over again: not something i can say for many BF plays whose plots i find too linear.


Kings Of The Wild Frontier
Kings Of The Wild Frontier
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £6.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wild Frontier, 12 Aug. 2010
This was the first album i got into, aged 11. 30 years and many many albums later i looked back on it thinking 'well i liked it then, but i was only 11, what the heck did i know about music?'
well, it seems that it's got even better with age: so original, so daring, so inventive, teeming with mad ideas and packed full of uplifting tunes. it welds post punk, new wave and native american into a seemless whole that is deadly serious and carefree all at the same time.
for one shining moment adam ant got it right on the money in a unique, thrilling, kaleidescopic album that truly stands the test of time. stunning.

the only problem was: how can you follow that?
the answer? you can't and he soon descended into parody and panto cliche and within 5 years his pop career was over.

but 30 years later this burns as brighlty as ever and Adam Ant: I and my 11 year old self salute you.


Doctor Who -- The Complete Series 5 [DVD]
Doctor Who -- The Complete Series 5 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Matthew Smith

3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Wear a Fez Now, 6 Aug. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The 5th new series of Dr Who has many high points and for me only a couple of lows.

It starts brilliantly with The Eleventh Hour which I personally rate as the greatest debut story since Troughton's Power of the Daleks.
The other Stephen Moffat written episodes also stand out and while i still can't get my head round the season's climax that's no bad thing as I like it when stories leave questions unanswered and leave the viewer guessing (as opposed to tearing his or her hair out eg Last of the Time Lords).

Other episodes i enjoyed were Amy's Choice (great villain, great dialogue), Vincent and the Dr (good old weepy), The Lodger (genuinely funny and creepy at the same time) and Vampires of Venice.

Which leaves Victory of the Daleks and the Silurian 2 parter. The former i found hammy and naff while the latter had a plot that was constantly contrived (eg 'Ambrose go in the Tardis and find the sick bay and fix yourself up': i know there's nothing wrong with you but Rory's going to die in a minute so Amy and I will need a bit of space to do some emotional stuff) and for the first time since Fear Her boring.

Matt Smith is brilliant: so versatile and inventive while Karen Gillan is a delight.

What does let the series down at times however is the budget and some of the design. Since its return Dr Who has always looked fantastic but there are times when the BBC's recent cost cutting shows through: Amy's Choice, The Lodger and Vincent are all FX light while The Hungry Earth (esp for a 2 parter) is very underwhelming.
And the design on new Who has always been faultless but here there are several let downs: the new Daleks, the cramped feel of the Tardis interior,the room where the Space Whale is tortured looking like something from CBBC.

But overall an excellent series which keeps up with the high standard we've enjoyed over the last 5 years.


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