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on 9 February 2014
My Dad loved this and I bought it because of happy memories of growing up. I recognised each track, I even liked it as a youngster, he has such a lovely voice. A number of people have put reviews of not liking the music. I don't understand that. The music makes it even more listenable and each piece is ideally suited to the words. I can recommend this to anyone and everyone. He has put some accents onto his characters, but not over the top. The policeman in the Cadogan Hotel arresting Oscar Wilde is great.
9 people found this helpful
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on 2 June 2013
I remember this coming out in the 70's on vinyl while at school and wanted to buy it then but didn't so when I discovered it was available on CD I jumped at the chance to own it.
The combination of Betjemans voice and the accompanying music work wonderfully well together and helps transport you away from all the cares of the day for a while. As always with his poems there is a reflection on his life which makes them the more intimate and enjoyable.It has reawakened my interest and love of his verse
Sir Johns voice and delivery add to its quality.I whole heartedly recommend this to all lovers of poetry young and old.
11 people found this helpful
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In the Seventies, Sir John Betjeman recorded four albums, setting some of his works to music. This is the best of the four. It is a joy to hear Betjeman reading his own work. The choices here are glorious - who could have thought the English language could be so deeply satisfying? Parker's accompanying music has often been criticised but at the time, it was praised to the hilt. Indeed, with Betjeman's self-confessed dodgy timing, he actually did a remarkable job. In my opinion, the music enhances the readings and adds to the enjoyment of the overall experience.
15 people found this helpful
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on 23 September 2015
Very clever beatnik/beat generation type variation of music overlay into very clever classic poetry make this unique collection very much a timeless favourite. Much as the Doors tried with their album release many years after Jim's demise with American Prayer, completely different styles and yet both create some thought provoking ear noises that stay with you long after playing
One person found this helpful
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VINE VOICEon 24 October 2015
What an ingenious idea: the lyrical tones of Betjeman supported by Jim Parker's evocative music. In some tracks (Longfellow's visit to Venice for example) Betjeman affects an accent which does not always hold as his natural tones come through but on the whole it's a joy. Working Girls is particularly good with the wistfulness of the poem supported and amplified by the music
One person found this helpful
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on 17 April 2017
Love it but the music is a little too much....still love it though.
One person found this helpful
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on 10 June 2018
The poems are sublime but the music is off the scale rubbish which blots out many of the poems. If you want to listen to Betjemen who I think was a genius then don't buy this.
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on 10 March 2018
So lovely to hear the poems read by the writer. Makes you appreciate them a lot more! My only small complaint is that some of the music in the background gets a bit irritating
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on 15 August 2017
I used to have an LP of this many years ago, so it was lovely to be re-acquainted with it. Jim Parker's quirky music does real justice to the poems, read in his own inimitable way by the late John Betjeman. Love it!!
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on 2 February 2015
You have to be convinced that JB is a splendid fellow before listening to this. If you think that he is an old duffer then there's plenty of evidence to support that view in this CD, although the musical accompaniment is very jolly. I decided to take the plunge and decide I liked JB. The musical accompaniment fits the words beautifully. Altogether - delightful.
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