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on 5 April 2009
The Secret of LifeHaving heard a brief piece about them on Radio 4 some years ago, I was very pleased to find this Ukelele Orchestra CD. However, it was a complete disappointment, as it does not mention on the cover that the tracks are actually vocal, with ukelele backing.
As a retired professional musician and singer I was admiring of, and fascinated with the expertise of WHAT I COULD HEAR of the instrumental performances; completely disgusted with the vocals, for which 'Amateur Night in Dixie' is too kind a description.
If someone could point me at a CD which actually is The Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain (solo, upfront...no so-called vocals) I'll be grateful, and promptly purchase it.
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on 14 March 2007
I really tried to like this recording, but try as I did, I found it deeply disappointing.
The covers are really a bit too twee for me, and verge on taking on the "look how clever we are" stance.
I do not doubt the musicianship one bit, but I think they could of done better. The Ukulele Club De Paris for instance on their album "Manuia" offer a more vibrant, imaginative and original approach without a sellout to smugness.
Also worth a listen is the hugely talented (ukulele player) Janet Klein And Her Parlour Boys, Petty Booka, The Asylum street Spankers, Roy Smeck, Cliff Carlisle, Tom Marion, Bob Brozman, George Formby, and good old Tiny Tim.
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VINE VOICEon 10 August 2008
Like one or two other reviewers of this CD, I am sorry to have to admit that I really struggled to like this album enough to even play it to the end. It certainly starts off encouragingly enough, with the 'Miss Dy-Na-Mi-Tee' single, and it is easy to see why this track in particular was chosen for a single release. Unfortunately for me, it goes downhill fast from here on in.
One or two people have written reviews saying how 'brilliant' this group are live, and this may well be true. But the review in question is supposed to be about this album in particular, not their live show, and I'm afraid that listening to this CD, and evaluating this set in isolation gets no more than a lukewarm reception not only from from myself but also my Mother, who absolutely loves ukulele and banjo music, but who has also struggled to enjoy much more than 'Only You'.
Again, as a previous reviewer rightly claims, there is no question on the ability of this fine group of musicians, for me I'm afraid it is just down to the songs chosen, and their arrangements. On first playing, you are immediately hit between the eyes with what appears to be clever choices of songs and the arrangements of same. Unfortunately, this initial reaction (for me, at least) quickly turned to irritation, to the point that I can't actually bring myself to play more than the opening track before reaching for the eject button.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for novelty songs and quirky unusual arrangements, but for me they must have a little something more to give them extra longevity to make me want to play them more than just the once.
One reviewer also states that he has heard them perform 'Wuthering Heights', but sadly can't find a recording of it. This may well be true, but I'm wondering if he has perhaps confused the UOOGB with The Puppini Sisters. Now this is a fine group of ladies that have taken some classic tracks from many different decades, and given their chosen songs a swift kick up the rear with some dazzling arrangements, stunning musicianship and recordings which are just first class.
I can already feel those 'unhelpful' votes coming in, but for me, the Puppini Sisters breathe new life into their choices of music, whereas the Ukulele Orchestra are just doing a 'mash-up'. Don't just take my word for it, read some reviews of 'Betcha Bottom Dollar' here on Amazon. Finally, I would be interested to hear how frequently these current Ukulele Orchestra 'rave reviewers' are playing their copies three months after buying it. My guess is, many will be gathering dust on their shelves after the inital novelty has worn off.....
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on 17 January 2010
This disk and Miss Dy-na-mi-tee are a waste of time and money. If you want to listen to the ukele with vocal accompaniment then buy George Formby disks.

I bought this disk and Miss Dy-na-mi-tee because I heard a radio, (or TV), presentation which revealed a new and interesting genre of music. The sound and orchestration
were of sufficient interest that I bought both disks to hear more.

I was very disappoiinted with the output from the disks.

Instead of getting attractive sounds and clever orchestrations the whole potential of the recording was ruined by bad, disfiguring vocals from voices of no significance nor quality that totally obscuredd the ukele sounds that I wanted to hear.

If you want to hear the ukele do not buy these disks.

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on 20 October 2008
I recently saw them on the TV doing some covers -a search on You tube also shows some great stuff. The CD however is a bit lame -not enough ukulele work and too much 3rd rate X-Factor singing. They should stick to what there best at -playing instruments. Also the songs on the album will not appeal to anyone with more modern taste. I`m trying to like it, but will probably end up at the car boot sale for £1.
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on 27 November 2009
I can only imagine that this album is bought by people who just like the idea of a ukulele orchestra and don't really listen to what passes for music on it. The arrangements are unimaginative, the playing is poor as is the timing and, what I assume is the point of it all, the humour is weak. My copy was a gift and so I can't throw it away, but I won't play it again.
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on 27 September 2005
I first heard these guys on Jooles Hollands New Years Eve Show. My friends and I were amazed at their cover of Teen Spirit (originally done by Nirvana) and were amused by the fact it was played by 6 ukuleles and a bass guitar XD
I then got to meet them and hear them Live and i bought this Cd :3
It is surprisingly incredibly good music to listen to, and great for having a laugh as well. I especially love Le Freak whilst my mum loves Macaruthur park. Something for everyone you might say.
I would highly recomend this record :3
Ever get the chance to see these guys live, you MUST go!!
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on 8 September 2017
Even accepting it was second hand, the item was of poor quality and the reproduction values were even worse.
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on 7 February 2018
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on 16 October 2017
All good!!👍
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