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4.4 out of 5 stars
115
4.4 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 October 2010
This album is certainly a fitting tribute for the anniversary of the Battle of Britain. The band itself is excellent, and the choice of tracks doesn't disappoint either. The Battle of Britain March is actually probably my favourite on the album, but having said that, I can't find fault with any of it! Well worth a purchase, if only to show support for those that fought to make it a better place for us all.
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on 4 October 2010
I eagerly awaited the delivery of Reach For The Skies and was certainly not dissapointed. It's a fantastic album - one not to be missed - with a very good mix of music
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on 17 October 2011
This is the 70th anniversary CD by the Central Band of the RAF to mark the Battle of Britain in 1940. This Decca CD has all the amped up sound that one would expect from a mainline recording company not normally associated with military bands these days.

The band sounds larger than it really is today. At about 35 pieces the RAF Central Band is about a third smaller than it use to be not long ago. Cuts and reductions continue to plague these fine bands with a UK Gov that seems to have scant regard for them these days while calling on their services all the more!

The music reflects the Battle of Britain era pretty much although there are some curious inclusions and some surprising omissions. At 47 mins. this is not a full length CD issue. The remaining time could have added such signature marches as "Holyrood" which is the regimental march of the RAF Regiment and the Queen's Colour Squadron drill team. This is also a popular Alford march, although not as well known as Col. Bogey of course. "Blue Devils" would have been a good one to include as well, and why the signature "Aces High March" from the Ron Goodwin music of the Battle of Britain was not included remains a mystery to me.
Other music from that movie are included on here yet not this famous march so closely associated with RAF Band displays.

Modern selections like "Its a Long Way To Go" with American style singing are ok to include, although as a Yank myself I often tire of our influence on everything these days! Must everyone try to sound like US now? A nice vocal number like "A Nightengale Sang in Barkley Square" could have been here instead or in addition with the modern singing style if you must! This is certainly a 1940s era Battle of Britain song and surprising that it also was not included.

The Churchill speeches are a nice touch but the music acconpaniment makes it a little hard to follow the great man's tone, although I suppose it does provide atmosphere.

At least such favorites as "Dambusters March, 633 Squadron, and Those Magnifient Men" are included as old standbys. Thank goodness too the "RAF March Past" is there as well since no CD by RAF Bands is complete without this fine classic Corps march. The recent pop military music Coldstreams CDs by Decca have failed to include their regimental marches which I think is unfortunate.

All in all a good CD of pop martial music with some curious omissions recorded in brilliant sound. I give it 4 stars because of some of the selections excluded as listed above. Also it does not contain any band bio or linear notes about music. Only the Director of Music is highlighted.
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on 3 October 2010
This cd is one of the finest I have ever heard.Sheer professionalism from start to finish.The central band must be one of the best wind bands in the whole world second to none.
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on 20 January 2014
I actually was really pleased with this as I wanted a piece of music to play at Dad's funeral - and 633 Squadron was that piece. Great CD, which will obviously hold special memories for me and I will treasure it forever. Dad was an aircraft and war film fanatic.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 9 November 2010
When I worked in London there were regular weekly military band concerts at Tower Hill. The best were those given by the Central Band of the RAF, and this CD brings back memories of those days. It's brilliantly recorded in a clear spatial acoustic, which does full justice to the orchestral range (which is as it should be, particularly from the company which pioneered ffrr). Where I agree with others who have marked it down, is that around 45 minutes playing time is on a par with a long-playing record, but short measure for a modern CD. Nor is that a one-off, because "In The Mood" by the RAF Squadronaires has a similar playing time. So much as like to award five stars on the basis of quality I've docked a star for lack of quantity.
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on 17 November 2010
Full of stirring and moving tunes and a couple of songs, generally associated with airforce themes, films, The Battle of Britain, and even two of Churchills most famous speeches with a backing track. All well played, and worthy of the traditions of the RAF.
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on 18 November 2010
Fantastic band music. Loved Churchill's famous speeches. The vocal renditions were good but would have preferred to hear the band instead. The singing had little to do with the RAF or the military, it just seemed out of place.
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on 28 October 2010
Good product if you like Military music with a bit of extras thrown in. All tracks good studio recordings in best British RAF tradition . Loved it
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on 25 October 2010
I enjoy listening to this C.D.it makes a nice change to listen to some outstanding band music.
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