Music Reviews

Contents on this Page – Chris’s Music Reviews:

Elbow – Little Fictions (CD)

La La Land (CD)

Lindisfarne – Access All Areas (Vinyl)

Status Quo – Back on Vinyl (Part 1)

Status Quo – Back on Vinyl (Part 2)

T2 Trainspotting Soundtrack

Uriah Heep – Live in Moscow (Vinyl)

Elbow – Little Fictions (CD Review)

Elbow – Little Fictions Album Review

By Paul-Coates Black

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Available on CD, Vinyl, Download, Streaming
Out Now

Released twenty years after their formation (as Elbow, they performed together under two different names prior to adopting the name) Little Fictions is the Seventh studio album and first to be released without Richard Jupp (drummer and a founding member). Despite a Mercury Music prize nomination for their debut album (‘Asleep in the Back’) in 2001, it wasn’t until the release of ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’ (which won the Mercury Music Prize) in 2008 that Elbow gained commercial & critical acclaim.

Coming in at 49 minutes this is the shortest release from Elbow both in album length,
as well as number of tracks contained within. In addition to the four band members the album is recorded with Manchester’s Hallè Orchestra and Choir, which whilst it is the sound of the standard successful Elbow formula, this addition brings something different and fresh to the sound. Starting with first single, ‘Magnificent (She Says)’ you get the orchestra and band building in a crescendo towards the chorus alongside lead singer Guy Garvey’s soaring vocals, continuing in this way throughout the song. ‘Gentle Storm’ is much more stripped back, with just a simple drum beat and occasional piano chord to support the vocals. On ‘Trust the Sun’ the song has a similar drum beat to the previous song, resembling a steam train pulsing throughout the song in a wave, supported by increased piano and occasional guitar alongside the vocals. ‘All Disco’ is up next, apparently inspired by the Pixies lead singer Black Francis, although I have to confess to not being sure in what way. However another stunning track with the subtle introduction of the choir behind the vocals and a tune encompassing all the band members that moves along like the ticking of a clock. ‘Head for Supplies’ another mellow number featuring minimal instrumentation alongside Guy’s simple yet powerful vocals and the afore mentioned choir, adding to the melancholy sound of the track. A steady drum beat and piano starts off ‘Firebrand and Angel’ as gradually more instrumentation is added, in layers before the introduction of the vocals, halfway through another instrument kicks in, no idea what, that gives the tune a completely different sound, yet still works perfectly and enables the song to rise further giving it an additional beat, before stripping the instrumentation down towards the end. ‘K2’ has a repeating hypnotic drumbeat throughout alongside the piano and percussion, once again a mellow sounding track.
The shortest track on the album is ‘Montparnesse’, a simple track that has an acoustic sound to it with just piano, vocals and minimal usage of the orchestra’s string section plucking along, almost ballad like in its simplicity. Up next is title track ‘Little Fictions’ featuring all the band, starting with a steady drum beat that continues throughout intermittent vocals and alongside the sound of the piano. Three minutes in the style of the tune changes dramatically with the introduction of the cymbals, before returning back to its previous sound, much like Queen did on their 1991 number one Innuendo. Three minutes later the orchestra kicks in to support the instrumentation already described. You can’t say this epic song (the longest on the album at 8:26) goes nowhere, as it goes in so many different directions, although this is hard to fathom at times, however it works beautifully as a song and I suspect will reveal more of itself on subsequent listens. To close the album we have ‘Kindling’ the first half of which features all band members with a simple rhythm behind the vocals. This is then supported by the sweeping strings of the orchestra, before this and the vocals fade away as one by one the rest of the band fades out. Strangely the last ten seconds of the track seems to be a comment, presumably from the band, about looping the drums! I’ve listened to the album twice now and whilst I have all of Elbow’s previous releases, I would never count myself as a big fan, however this is one album I can see myself revisiting on a regular basis and returning to repeatedly in the future.

As previously mentioned Little Fictions may not deviate from the previously successful Elbow formula and sound, but whilst it’s still popular it would be foolish to do so. Judging by the fact that the album shot straight to the top of the UK album chart on its release last week this is the sound Elbow fans know, love and can’t get enough of. They’re heading out on the road around the UK for two tours in the coming months, next month smaller venues before hitting the arena’s and outdoor venues in the summer, if they’re accompanied by the orchestra for any of these, it surely would be something truly spectacular and not to be missed.

Chris: Thanks to Paul for this great album review and thanks to Polydor for kindly providing a copy of the album for us to review.  Keep us bookmarked – more reviews to come!

La La Land (CD Review)

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Time on Sport on Freeview to review La La Land.  And why not?  It’s gathering a wide audience – I’ve heard mixed reviews from friends and family who have seen it so far – what did you think of it?  Please do leave a comment and let me know.

La La Land got nominated for an unbelievable fourteen Academy Award nominations – but only won six of them, including Best Director, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Original Song and Best Production Design.

I’ve still to see the film, but thanks to Polydor I have a copy of the soundtrack to review… incidentally the soundtrack is the biggest selling vinyl of 2017 so far – http://www.nme.com/news/music/la-la-land-best-selling-vinyl-2017-so-far-2043023

Here’s my critique on various songs – there’s fifteen on the CD in total:

Someone in the Crowd – Emma Stone with a number which starts bright and upbeat, but in a tiwst goes softly part way through, then upbeat again. I liked this one. Another favourite was Another Day of Sun – great vocals.
Herman’s Habit is a nice, short jazz number – could have easily been longer. ‘Summer Montage’ is another nice jazz number, again only two minutes in duration. ‘The End’ is even longer at just 45 seconds.
There are two versions of City of Stars – both have a gentle feel to them, one you can hear Emma Gosling humming and the other you hear Ryan Gosling singing and whistling along to it.
‘A Lovely Night’ is another easy-listening number, a duet which is similar in style and feel, to songs from vintage Hollywood musicals from an era gone by. I’m biased, it will never replicate those – but it’s a good effort.
Audition (The Fools Who Dream) starts off with an audio extract from the film, then into the song itself. If there’s any song which showcases Emma Stone’s vocals, it has to be this one.

The soundtrack makes me very curious to see the film – the music does sound good.  Whether the storyline will live it up to my expectations, remains to be seen!  Chris

Full Track Listing to Soundtrack:

1. Another Day of Sun – La La Land Cast (3:48)
2. Someone in the Crowd – Emma Stone, Callie Hernandez, Sonoya Mizuno & Jessica Rothe (4:19)
3. Mia & Sebastian’s Theme – Justin Hurwitz (1:37)
4. A Lovely Night – Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone (3:56)
5. Herman’s Habit – Justin Hurwitz (1:51)
6. City of Stars (Pier) – Ryan Gosling (1:51)
7. Planetarium – Justin Hurwitz (4:17)
8. Summer Montage / Madeline – Justin Hurwitz (2:04)
9. City of Stars – Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone (2:29)
10. Start a Fire – John Legend (3:12)
11. Engagement Party – Justin Hurwitz (1:27)
12. Audition (The Fools Who Dream) – Emma Stone (3:48)
13. Epilogue – Justin Hurwitz (7:39)
14. The End – Justin Hurwitz (0:46)
15. City of Stars (Humming) – Justin Hurwitz (feat. Emma Stone) (2:43)

Lindisfarne – Access All Areas (2016 Vinyl)

From Demon Records: In 1972, Lindisfarne topped the UK chart with the classic ‘Fog On The Tyne’ album. This 1990 performance in Central TV’s Nottingham studios catches the Newcastle folk-rock band just before the departure of singer, mandolin and harmonica-player Ray ‘Jacka’ Jackson, who also played on Rod Stewart’s mega-hit ‘Maggie May’.

The original line-up of Jackson, Alan Hull, Rod Clements, Ray Laidlaw and Simon Cowe from 1968 was augmented by multi-instrumentalist Marty Craggs and bass-player Steve Cunningham. They had just recorded their best album for some years in ‘Amigos’, represented here alongside earlier hits like ‘Lady Eleanor’, ‘Meet Me On The Corner’, ‘Clear White Light’ and the crowd-pleasing ‘Fog On The Tyne’.

Chris:  My only experience of ‘Lindisfarne’ before hearing this record was seeing a grainy clip of the band perform on an ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’ compilation on BBC Four some time ago.  The infamous song features here, but it’s a livelier version which really gets the crowd going.  It’s one of my favourites from the eight tracks featured on this record.

On Side A, songs that stand out for me are ‘Court in The Act’ and ‘Anyway the Wind Blows’.  ‘Court in the Act’ sounds like the theme tune to Southern TV’s ‘Runaround’, anyone care to agree with me?  Please drop me a message if you think so, I’d love not to be on my own in thinking that.

‘Meet Me On the Corner’ and ‘Fog on the Tyne’ are my picks from Side B.  Like most of the ‘Access All Areas’ releases, tracks have been edited out for the vinyl release.  The CD from this concert (also released by Demon), has five more tracks on it.  (‘Roll on That Day’, ‘Everything Changes’, ‘I Want You to Be My Baby’ amongst the missing tracks).

Good concert recording – you can also watch the full concert, courtesy of Demon, on You Tube for free – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHmlizIp0gs

 

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Track Listing:

Status Quo – Back on Vinyl (Part 1)

Many thanks to Demon Records who have sent me three Status Quo albums to review that have recently been re-released on vinyl.

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On Christmas Eve, there was the sad news of band member Rick Parfitt’s death – so there doesn’t seem a better time to celebrate Parfitt and the band’s back catalogue.
First up to review is ‘Don’t Stop’, originally released back in 1996 as their 30th anniversary album, made up entirely of songs by other artists, and available for the first time on a double LP, with a transparent heavyweight vinyl.
The Gold certified album debuted at number 2 in the UK Charts and was Top 40 in France, Germany, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden. It also includes the hit singles When You Walk In The Room, Fun Fun Fun, Don’t Stop and All Around My Hat.
I’ve always been a big Quo fan – and it was during the time of the ‘Don’t Stop’ album that I went with my Mum, Dad and brother Phil to see them perform live at the MEN Arena in Manchester (Carol Dekker and T’Pau were the warm up, and I can remember Dekker walking off stage after a couple of songs!).

I didn’t buy the ‘Don’t Stop’ album at the time of its original release (although I can remember listening to it on my friend John Bennett’s cassette outside on a ghetto blaster during our school summer holidays), but purchased it a few years later on CD, when it was re-released with bonus tracks.
The first track on LP1 is ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’ where Quo joined forces with The Beach Boys and reached number 24 in the UK charts. Next up, is one of my favourites from the whole LP – an excellent cover of ‘When You Walk in the Room’ which was the first single to be released from the album and deserved to finish higher than number 34 in the charts. I also like ‘I Can Hear the Grass Grow’ which concludes Side One.
Side Two of LP1 has ‘You Never Can Tell’, ‘Get Back’, ‘Safety Dance’ and ‘Raining In My Heart’ (this track features Brian May from Queen).
Then, we get into Disc 2 – ‘Don’t Stop’ was the third single off the album – this cover of the Fleetwood Mac hit only reaching Number 35 in the charts, and for me admittedly, the Fleetwood Mac version is never in danger. Side One concludes with ‘Sorrow’, ‘Proud Mary’ and ‘Lucille’.
The final side features Robert Palmer song ‘Johnny and Mary’, then into another of my favourites – ‘Get Out of Denver’, which is a loud, energised number and Parfitt leads the way on vocals. The final two tracks are ‘The Future’s So Bright’ (I Gotta Wear Shades) and ‘All Around My Hat’ with guest Maddy Prior from Steeleye Span, which is the fourth and final single from the album and only reached number 47 in the charts. (In fact, Quo wouldn’t have a top 20 hit again until ‘Jam Side Down’ in 2002 through the brilliant album ‘Heavy Traffic’). You wouldn’t think the worlds of Status Quo and Steeleye Span would work together, but I’ve always liked this collaboration.

And… it sounds FANTASTIC on this vinyl release.  It makes a 21 year old sound as if it’s brand new again – that’s how good the remaster is, fantastic sound quality… a brilliant release from Demon, adding to their extensive catalogue.  I hope Demon release ‘Heavy Traffic’ and more Quo albums soon.
You can find out more about the Demon Release of ‘Don’t Stop’ at http://www.demonmusicgroup.co.uk/catalogue/releases/dont-stop-vinyl/

Part 2 and 3 to come! And look out for a T-Rex review too – coming soon! Chris

Status Quo – Back on Vinyl (Part 2)

You may have seen Part 1 of our Status Quo vinyl reviews – here’s a chance to take a look at Part 2 and this features two reviews… first up, my review for ‘Under the Influence’ and then my 2016 vinyl review for ‘Quid Pro Quo’…  Look out for more vinyl reviews right here – as well as the usual sport etc, all on http://www.sportonfreeviewuk.wordpress.com

Under The Influence Vinyl Review

March 1999.  As a 17 year old, I go out with the money earned from my paper round and buy ‘The Way It Goes’, the first single from Status Quo’s 1999 album ‘Under the Influence’.  The other two tracks on the CD single were a cover of ‘Sea Cruise’ which I thought deserved to make the final album, and the more curious addition was Track 3 – which was an album sampler – several tracks from ‘Under The Influence’ edited into a three and a half minute teaser.  And, I was impressed with what I heard.

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‘Under The Influence’ was released three weeks after ‘The Way It Goes’ was released as a single (the first single from the LP only reaching number 39 in the UK charts).  I didn’t go out and buy the full album (although I remember I only got £10 a week from a paper round IF I worked weekends, and if I just worked Monday to Friday I wouldn’t be earning to enough to buy any album, let alone a Status Quo one!).

I did however go out and buy the second single released in June 1999 – ‘Little White Lies’ (only reaching number 47 in the UK charts) which was available as two different releases.  I picked CD 1 – which included a new version of ‘Pictures of Matchstick Men’ and a cover of ‘I Knew The Bride’ which I was particularly fond of.

Now, in 2017 – time to review the full album.  Demon Records have done a great job releasing this – superior sound, and a turquoise vinyl which looks elegant as it plays.

The LP starts off with ‘Twenty Wild Horses’… which is ok – incidentally this was the third single released (and I didn’t purchase this one, and it only reached number 53 in the charts), but for me, the album really gets going with the title track ‘Under The Influence’.  It should have started the album off – it’s a traditional Quo song, upbeat and lively and catchy, just as it should be.  Why ‘Under The Influence’ wasn’t released as a single I’m not sure – commercially I think it would have charted better than some of the others released.

On Side 1, we hear ‘Round and Round’, ‘Shine On’ and ‘Little White Lies’ (the single mentioned above), then ‘Keep ‘Em Coming’, which for me is one of the best tracks on the album – and like ‘Under The Influence’, it’s similar in style to some of Quo’s back catalogue hits, and all the better for it.

Side 2’s best tracks for me are ‘Little Me and You’, and ‘The Way It Goes’ which concludes the record.

It was a transitional period for Status Quo – it was the last album featuring new songs written by Francis Rossi together with Bernie Frost, as Rossi continued his 1970s songwriting partnership with Bob Young afterwards. It is also the last studio album featuring new material with drummer Jeff Rich, who left the group the following year.

There are some great Quo tunes here in this 49 minute set, the album itself only reached number 26 on its original release, but 18 years on, it’s well worth discovering.

You can find out more about the release at http://www.demonmusicgroup.co.uk/catalogue/releases/under-the-influence-vinyl/

Track Listing:

Under The Influence (Vinyl) – Demon Music Group
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Quid Pro Quo Vinyl Review

Hi many thanks to Demon Records for letting me review Status Quo’s ‘Quid Pro Quo’ album on vinyl.  Originally released in 2011 and reaching number 10 in the UK album chart, last year this was re-released by Demon on vinyl.  If memory serves me correctly, the album was exclusively released through Tesco before going out to other stores online and on the high street.

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The vinyl has been released as part of a 2LP set.  More on that later…

Disc One

Starts with a brilliant number, ‘Two Way Traffic’ which got quite a lot of radio play, as did track 2 ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll ‘N’ You’.  Had my headphones on listening to this record, and sounded superb, acoustics were brilliant.  Track 3 – Dust to Gold is another vintage Quo album track.

Then I turn the disc over, and for me, Side 2 is even better than Side A.  How many albums do you pick up, and Side B is an absolute let down?  Not here.  This is turn the volume up, raw Quo.  Every track on this side is a belter.

The album reminds me a little of Quo’s 2002 classic ‘Heavy Traffic’, that album really brought Quo back to their best for me, and Quid Pro Quo is right up there at the same level.  On its original release, from what I recall it was exclusively available in Tesco stores for a while, which perhaps diluted the appetite of the release at first.  But listen to it – and just appreciate it for what it is – classic Quo.  And in the year where Status Quo are meant to be ceasing live ‘rock’ performances, there is no better time to enjoy this on vinyl… quite frankly it’s left me wanting more from their back catalogue on vinyl (180 grams I will add).

There is one omission from the original release.  The ‘new’ version of ‘In The Army Now’ which was included on the UK release back in 2011 does not feature here.  But let’s face it, the 1986 version is a classic – let’s just remember that?

And, that would be good enough just with the review above – but this release from Demon has a second record with it!  An Official Live Bootleg recorded live in Amsterdam and Melbourne back in 2010.

Now, this is the first ‘live’ vinyl I’ve heard, and it sounds amazing.  Starts on Side 1 with ‘Whatever You Want’ – and then onto the classic ‘Down Down’…  and on – it’s what vinyl was made for.  This is why vinyl has made a comeback – you really have to listen to it!

Side 2 has ‘Caroline’, ‘Rockin’ All Over The World’ and concluding with ‘Softer Ride’.  I’ve seen Quo several times live over the years (last time was at Doncaster Races, and I can stand proud and say I was in my suit rocking away with my air guitar!).

Treat yourselves now – it’s available right here on Amazon

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Quid-Pro-Quo-VINYL/dp/B017TFUZXU/278-5040693-0111331?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

To find out more about Demon Records, check out http://www.demonmusicgroup.co.uk

And Part 3 of the Status Quo vinyl reviews still to come!

Chris

T2 Trainspotting Soundtrack Review

2017 – and the wait is over.

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Fifteen tracks on the T2 – Trainspotting soundtrack, now available and released by Polydor Records, how does it fare?

First thing of note – no two tracks are the same.  It’s an eclectic playlist – there’s classic tracks from Blondie, Queen and Frankie Goes to Hollywood which would sound great in any soundtrack, but for me the highlight of the album was hearing the Young Fathers tracks, and there’s three of them in total.  ‘Get Up’, is their first chronologically on the soundtrack and I think it’s the strongest.

Iggy Pop is back with a Prodigy Remix of ‘Lust for Life’ (which featured in the original movie), Underworld are here too.  The Wolf Alice track ‘Silk’ is dark, but hypnotic and is another gem on this compilation.

Well worth a look – it’s always hard to look at a sequel and not draw comparisons to the original, but this selection is a great hour’s worth of music, which compliments the film perfectly.  Chris

Track Listing:

  1. Lust For Life – Iggy Pop (The Prodigy Remix)
  2. Shotgun Mouthwash – High Contrast
  3. Silk – Wolf Alice
  4. Get Up – Young Fathers
  5. Relax – Frankie Goes To Hollywood
  6. Eventually But (Spud’s letter to Gail) – Underworld, Ewen Bremner
  7. Only God Knows – Young Fathers
  8. Dad’s Best Friend – The Rubberbandits
  9. Dreaming – Blondie
  10. Radio Ga Ga – Queen
  11. It’s Like That – Run D.M.C.
  12. (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais – The Clash
  13. Rain Or Shine – Young Fathers
  14. Whitest Boy On The Beach – Fat White Family
  15. Slow Slippy – Underworld

Uriah Heep in Moscow – Demon Records (Vinyl Review)

Demon Records & Access All Areas are excited to announce a special range of limited edition Picture Discs from the illustrious AAA catalogue.

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From Demon:

Uriah Heep were pioneers in taking music to the rock-starved former Iron Curtain countries. And where better to start than in the heart of the Soviet Union? The band wowed Moscow’s Olympic Stadium in December 1987, playing ten consecutive nights and proving Mick Box’s merry men – still active today – rank alongside Zeppelin, Purple and Sabbath as global hard-rock trailblazers.

We’ve hand-picked some of the hardest rocking and most sort after performances and cut them to limited edition heavyweight picture discs. Each record will be limited to 500 copies worldwide and feature the hits and soaring moments from the live recordings in these very special collectors items.

Vinyl Track Listing:

Chris’s Review:  I’m all new to Uriah Heep, and what a way to listen to them for the first time!  Great sound quality from this Moscow concert.  ‘Pacific Highway’ is a brilliant song to start Side 1, loud and upbeat – perfect to get things going.  ‘Too Scared to Run’ is up next – and another tune which gets the thumbs up from me.  Was there going to be a track I didn’t like?  Up next was ‘Stealin’ – another catchy number, sounding great live.  If anything, for me, ‘Gypsy’ wasn’t as strong as earlier tracks on the record.  The album ends with a bang – ‘Look at Yourself’ leaves you wanting more.  And, Demon have released another Uriah Heep Access All Areas vinyl – more on that soon.

This concert has also been released by Demon on CD – the CD features 10 tracks, and the LP features 8 tracks.  Sadly ‘Wizard’ and ‘July Morning’ are omitted from the vinyl release.

I might have to check out Uriah Heep’s back catalogue – this was a great introduction to them.  Sounds great on vinyl, and it’s a jazzy picture disc to add to your collection.

For more information, visit http://www.demonmusicgroup.co.uk/catalogue/releases/access-all-areas-uriah-heep-live-in-moscow-vinyl-picture-disc/

More Vinyl Reviews from My Collection

Welcome to my latest hobby – the world of vinyl!  For my 34th birthday, my wife got me a vinyl player – I’d been hinting for a while that I wanted one!  So, record by record, I’m going to be reviewing some of my finds – and hopefully reviewing some new releases along the way too.

01 – Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass (Going Places)

Bought on September 1st 2015 from Good Neighbours Charity Shop, Holmewood, Bradford

Reviewed: January 13th 2016.  Approx 15 minutes each side.

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Herb Alpert smiling before take off!  Picture: Chris Benson

I’ve had this album on my Ipod for a while, but got this from a charity shop near to where I live… 5 LP’s for £1!  Released in October 1965, there are 12 records on this album and I never tire of hearing it.  It starts with ‘Tijuana Taxi’, which is a feel-good song I’ve heard many DJ’s use as instrumental music whilst they talk during various breakfast shows, etc…. ‘Cinco De Mayo’ is one that’s been getting played regularly in our house, my two children love dancing it – and before bedtime, it’s become a nightly fixture, we dance around the conservatory to it!

During the blog, I’ll be asking myself whether I’ll be keeping hold of the records I find.  In this case, it’s a yes – without question!

02 – The Best of Tony Christie

Bought on September 1st 2015 from Good Neighbours Charity Shop, Holmewood, Bradford

Reviewed: January 18th 2016.  Approx 20 minutes each side.

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Could almost be an advert for C & A!  Picture: Chris Benson

I remember buying a similar compilation of Tony Christie back in 2005, after Peter Kay had got ‘Amarillo’ back in the charts for Comic Relief.  I’d never really heard any of Christie’s back catalogue, but with the CD, I really did like what I heard.  This vinyl record encapsulates most of the CD I have, and it sounds superb.  ‘Don’t Go Down to Reno’ sounds particularly good on vinyl, you can fully hear the orchestral background like my Ipod never captured.

It doesn’t have this one… Christie singing to a Kellogg’s Corn Flakes commercial back in 1974, they don’t make ’em like they used to!

03 – Ken Dodd – Somewhere My Love

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Bought on September 1st 2015 from Good Neighbours Charity Shop, Holmewood, Bradford

Reviewed: January 22nd 2016.  Approx 15 minutes each side.

Ok, this is a ‘Music For Pleasure’ release, which isn’t what it sounds like 🙂

This was a famous budget range, manufactured by EMI – this LP is basically a re-release of Ken Dodd’s 1967 album ‘I Wish You Love’, but two songs, ‘If’ and ‘The Sun Is Always Shining Somewhere’ which were originally on the album have been omitted.  It’s certainly of it’s time, but I have so much admiration for Ken Dodd – one of the funniest comedians I think I have ever seen perform live (seen him perform live in Llandudno at the North Wales Theatre and in Manchester and if you’ve never been – go and see him, just don’t book a taxi before midnight!)

It’s easy listening with a capital ‘E’ – it’s of his time, but that’s no reason not to appreciate it now.  Let’s not forget Ken Dodd reached number 1 in the UK charts with ‘Tears’ – hit record and a top comedian!

I show a link below, to my You Tube video which has an audio interview I did with Ken Dodd back in December 2011.  He’d been on my wish list of people to interview for ages, and I loved every minute of it, my expectations were so high, and Ken didn’t disappoint!

Will I keep the LP?  I think I’ll be donating it again to the charity shop in time – I’ve only got so much room for vinyl!  I’ve just got rid of a load of DVD’s because I was running out of room; kind of defeats the object if I’m filling the house full of records again… and Ken Dodd at that!

04 – Englebert Humperdinck – The Last Waltz

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Englebert at his best!  Picture – Chris Benson

Bought on September 1st 2015 from Good Neighbours Charity Shop, Holmewood, Bradford

Reviewed: January 18th 2016.  Approx 20 minutes each side.

I like this album – for starters I like the title track ‘The Last Waltz’, but there’s a good lively number on here called ‘If It Comes to That’ which for me is the best song on the LP.

Englebert also has a go at Stevie Wonder’s 1966 hit ‘A Place In The Sun’ – Stevie’s is still brilliant, and who could beat it?  But it’s not a bad version at all.

05 – Russ Abbot – Songs of Joy (well, it should be… read on…)

Bought on September 1st 2015 from Good Neighbours Charity Shop, Holmewood, Bradford

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Lesson to learn Chris when buying these records… always check it’s the correct record inside!  I’d bought this one, hoping it was Russ Abbot’s ‘Songs of Joy’ album… and instead, there were three albums, but none of them were Russ Abbot!

More disappointingly, they were all badly scratched.  So what did I get?

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Picture – Chris Benson

a) Leo Sayer – The Best of.  If the condition of the album was better, then it would be brilliant, there’s classics such as ‘When I Need You’ and ‘How Much Love’ – but I’ve tried a couple of times to play it, and sound wise, it’s crackle, crackle, crackle.  Not as damaged as Russ Conway below… but it’s bad enough not to keep.

b) Abba – The Album.  Again, great album, let down by the amount of scratches!

c) Russ Conway – 24 Piano Greats.  Sounds terrible – a constant crackle throughout!  Doesn’t matter what the tunes sound like, the record is knackered!

I’d take these back to the charity shop – but sad to say, they’re fit for the bin… so… check your records… make sure they’re what they should be… and check for scratches!

06 – New Wave

Given to me on January 13th 2016 by a work colleague (thank you!)

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Reviewed: January 26th 2016.  Approx 20 minutes each side.

I’m reviewing this one now, because I’m passing it on to a fellow work colleague who may appreciate it more than I do!  #notmycupoftea

A 1977 Vertigo compilation…  I start playing it to confirm my dislike of the LP – first couple of tracks, yeah, don’t like it…  (e.g Patti Smith’s ‘Piss Factory’)

But wait… It’s ‘Personality Crisis’ by the New York Dolls.  I first heard this song in the BBC comedy drama series ‘Happiness’ starring Paul Whitehouse, and today was the first time I’d heard this song in full.  Brilliant song!

Then, there’s another one I like, ‘Hollywood’ by the Runaways – what’s going on Chris?!  And to conclude Side A, Little Bob Story do a pretty decent cover of ‘All Or Nothing’.

But, overall, it’s back to how much space I’ve got – and on this cold and wet Tuesday afternoon in January I’ve given it a couple of plays back-to-back, but would it be one of my essential ones to keep?  It’s still a no.