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L. G. F. Bedini
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Random Acts Of Beauty
Random Acts Of Beauty

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Random Acts of Prettiness, 9 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Random Acts Of Beauty (Audio CD)
David Minasian is undoubtedly an extremely gifted musician; he plays a whole host of instruments with consummate ease. Unfortunately, he does exactly that - piling layer upon layer of sounds giving no one instrumental voice a chance to shine, creating a musical mush that slides effortlessly from one chord to its most obvious neighbour. What is the difference between genuine beauty and mere prettiness, anyway? In fact it's little imperfections that give the whole its true beauty. Take In The Court Of The Crimson King [Original Master Edition], for instance. Famously beautiful as an album, it has its moments of brutish ugliness along the way. This album, on the other hand, is musical wallpaper, alleviated only by Andy Latimer's guest appearance on track one, and some (blessed relief) delicious dissonance on `Frozen in Time'. And the vocals? Well, imagine a record producer with a time machine getting an early incarnation of The Byrds to do the vocals on a Nightwish album. A bit... well... bland. Sorry. Over all it's over-edited, over-produced, much too clean and has all the heart, soul and depth of feeling of a washing-up liquid advertisement. Sadly, amongst today's musicians David Minaisian is not alone. As for listening to it while driving - DON'T! You'll be asleap at the wheel inside seven minutes.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 2, 2015 1:43 AM GMT


Raised In Captivity
Raised In Captivity
Offered by Leisurezone
Price: £7.96

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breaking Free, 31 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Raised In Captivity (Audio CD)
This is perhaps the most 'difficult' and subsequently rewarding of all of the Johon Wetton solo studio albums I've heard so far. As good as 'Arkangel', but perhaps a shade richer in atmosphere, and with Wetton's prog-rock provenance really showing through this time. My only quibble is why did the femail singer on the closing track, 'Mighty Rivers'. not get a credit? Did she put a hot mug of tea on the grand piano or something? At least Robert Fripp, whose soundscapes at the beginning and end of the title track, gets a co-writer's credit, although his contribution is omitted from the who-played-what listings. His sin must have been that much less vile. Nevertheless, it's a fine album, swinging from hard rock, folky, prog and stadium with consumate ease. I loved it.


Agenda/Amorata/Amata (2cd&Dvd)
Agenda/Amorata/Amata (2cd&Dvd)
Price: £26.67

5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Secret of Rock, 22 Dec. 2011
This trilogy of discs is a must-have for any enthusiast of classic/progressive rock. 'Agenda' is a live recording of a gig in Poland; abely assisted by John Mitchel (guitar) Martin Orford (keyboards/flute) and Steve Christey (drums), singer-songwriter-bass player John Wetton draws on his monster rock provenance, cherry-picking some of his finest work from over four decades. Doing justice to those four King Crimson numbers is a feat in itself - although that beautiful guitar line in 'Starless' is spoiled by some unnecessary twiddles from Master Mitchel. (Still, a vast improvement on Pat Thrall's God-awful rendition on Asias live album.) Also featured are two U.K. songs, 'In the Dead of Night' and 'Rendez-vous 6.02', as well as a fistful of Asia numbers. The songs from Wetton's solo albums have a scincerity and deapth of feeling that renders them quite haunting, particularly 'Battle Lines' which, though not quite up to the standard of the version on Steve Hackett's 'Tokyo Tapes', nevertheless delivers the goods.
'Amorata' is a live DVD of the same concert, with an interview and band biog. Great to have the visuals.
'Amata' is an unplugged concert, gaining in intensity what it might have lacked in volume.
All in all, a great addition to any rock enthusiast's collection.


Icon (Reissue+Bonus)
Icon (Reissue+Bonus)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Curate's Egg, 11 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Icon (Reissue+Bonus) (Audio CD)
Pleasant enough in its way. Perhaps a bit stadium-rock-by-numbers for my taste; too much like Asia after that first sensational album. It might grow on me, as some of John Wetton's solo albums certainly have, but I don't know. At the moment I'd recommend this to anyone who likes Elton John's 80s onwards work, or Meatloaf, but devotees of King Krimson and UK - or even solo Wetton - might find this of only passing interest. There's a kind of mock-heroic quality that conjours images of mid-80's Spandex Man. Fantastic musicianship, but a lack of sincerity and immediacy - Queen without the camp. School report would say "Average. Could do better."


Paradise Moves [VINYL]
Paradise Moves [VINYL]
Offered by marvelio-uk
Price: £14.80

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who the Devil are YOU?, 17 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Paradise Moves [VINYL] (Vinyl)
As a founder member of Airbridge, and writer of almost all the songs on this album, I am intrigued to find someone selling this album without either my permission, nor that of any other member of the band... and without paying any royalties. This is theft.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 31, 2012 12:10 AM BST


The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy [DVD] [1981]
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy [DVD] [1981]
Dvd ~ Simon Jones
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hitchhiker's Guide, 29 Dec. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Not to be confused, equated, or an any way associated with the flop movie, the TV serial of Douglass Adams' masterpiece is not only a great piece of entertainment, it was also a cornerstone of popular culture in the early 'eighties. Cleverer and more imaginative even than 'Red Dwarf', it's a joy-ride through the creator's sense of humour. OK, so purists might tell you it isn't as good as the original radio show, and perhaps the special effects aren't up to today's standards, but you can't digitise or otherwise fake genuine imagination, and 'the Hitchhiker's Guide' has that in bucket-loads. Besides, before hi-tech effects there were great scripts and good actors, and I think I know what I'd rather watch. This is a must for all sci-fi and fantasy fans, as well as anyone who just enjoys a really good laugh.


The Russia House [DVD] [1991]
The Russia House [DVD] [1991]
Dvd ~ Sean Connery
Price: £5.09

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cold-War Swansong, 29 Dec. 2009
Overshaddowed by the release of the more sensational 'Hunt for Red October', this must surely be Sean Connery's finest performance. Cast against type as Bartholomew Scott Blair, a bumbling, boozey English publisher, Connery, Scottish to the core, nevertheless finds all the depths and complexity of John Le Carre's creation. Equally impressive is Michelle Pfeiffer as 'Katja', the kind of girl an incurable romantic like Blair would do anything for. A first class supporting cast and beautiful photography in Moscow, St Petersberg, Lisban and Canada (standing in for an island off Vermont) gives a special atmosphere to a tense, but very human, thriller of the closing days of the Cold War. Less bleak than 'The Spy who Came In from The Cold', it offers hope rather than despare for the future.
Retrospectively, it also begs the question: why has something as momentous as the Cold War been more or less forgotten by writers and film makers,etc., whereas the Second World War remains a firm favourite? Could it be because no one wants to look too deeply into what happened to all that brave-new-world promise that seems to have dribbled away since the 'fall' of the Soviet dictatorship? Didn't John Le Carre himself say that "It was as if a great moment in history went by defalt"?


Caravan & The New Symphonia: The Complete Concert
Caravan & The New Symphonia: The Complete Concert
Price: £8.03

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Last...., 28 Dec. 2009
It's many years since I bought my vinyl copy of 'Caravan and the New Symphonia...', so knowing it note for note as I do, was it worth the switch to CD? Yes it was. The album should have been a double in the first place - the restored 'missing' tracks, played as a first half and without the orchestra, are as fresh and exiting now as they must have been on the night, while the grande finale, 'A Hunting We Shall Go', is just delicious, with those haunting chromatic strings in the quiet section. The accompanying booklet tells of all kinds of back-stage shenannegans (How do you spell that word?), as well as unscheduled on-stage pyrotechnics, none of which impinges on the fantastic performance of band and orchestra alike.
As a result of that concert, and the subsiquent truncated vinyl release back in 1974, Caravan earned the reputation of being the first band ever to make an orchestra really rock. Listen to this and find out why.
And cheers to Pete Drummond: at last you really did make it onto the album.


Camel: Moondances [DVD]
Camel: Moondances [DVD]
Dvd ~ Camel

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moondances, 11 Nov. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Camel: Moondances [DVD] (DVD)
If you're already a prog rock enthusiast you probbably won't be reading this; you'll already know. For those who thought that Camel was simply the name of a desert-dwelling mammal or a river in the south of England, let me tell you that it's also the name of an outstanding rock band who fuse jazz, clasical and folk to create flowing melodies and haunting atmospheres; somewhere between Santana and Pink Floyd, with a bit of Daelius thrown in along the way. This dvd, gleaned from two televised concerts and sporting two bonus audio tracks from those great previously-unreleased archives, is a rare treat. Andy Latimer's epic guitar style is perfectly complemented by Pete Bardens (Them) keyboard and Andy Ward's sensitive drumming. Quite what bass player Doug Ferguson said to the camera man remains a mystery, but the camera studiously avoids him throughout the 1976 concert. Richard Sinclair (Caravan/Hatfield and the North)takes over on bass for the 1977 gig, while Mel Collins (Circus/King Crimson/Caravan'Clanad/... well, everybody, really) joins in with saxes and flutes. Sadly, the BBC were never ones to take this kind of thing seriously, so, whereas an opera by Verdi would have been allowed to over-run, 'One of These Days I'll Get an Early Night' gets faded out. Never mind, there are some wonderful renditions of 'Metrognome' and 'Another Night'; two great versions of 'Luna Sea', good chunks of 'Snow Goose', and the afore mentioned audio tracks are truely worth having - more so than most bonus track material these days. Turn on, tune in and enjoy.


A Murder Of Quality [DVD]
A Murder Of Quality [DVD]
Dvd ~ Denholm Elliott
Offered by pokerbooks
Price: £37.00

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Smiley, 11 Nov. 2009
This review is from: A Murder Of Quality [DVD] (DVD)
It's no surprise that John Le Carre's adaptation of his own novel makes good viewing. No one has a better handle on character and psycology, and all too often screne adaptations have gone all out for plot without understanding that for J le C plot and character are as interchageable as matter and energy. Better still is Denholm Elliot's portrail of George Smiley. Alec Guiness's enterpretation of the same character was to many as definitive as Sean Connery's Bond, but in many ways it was just as wrong. Guiness's Smiley had far too much authority and presence for the froggy, self-effacing little spy of Le Carre's novels. Denholm Elliot captures Smiley perfectly, embewing him also with the kindness and compassion missing from Guiness's portrail. The supporting cast also create fully rounded personalities; even Glenda Jackson manages not to be annoying, while Billie Whitelaw's Mad Jane is poignantly real. (I work in mental health, so I know). Gavin Millar's direction recreats the rural early-sixties setting with a great sense of atmosphere. The plot may not be as dazzlingly clever as those of other mystery thrillers today, but it's not so much about who done it as why, and that, as any Le Carre fan will tell you, is where the story really starts.


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