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NEW MUSIC EAR'S FAVOURITES - WHAM! "MAKE IT BIG"

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THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)
WHAM!

"MAKE IT BIG"
Wham!'s second album was for me, the defining moment that George Michael became a superstar and brilliant songwriter paving the way for the superlative albums that were to come like "Faith" and "Listen Without Prejudice Vol 1".  With no disrespect to his pal Andrew Ridgeley, Wham! was the vehicle for George Michael, he was the main (if allegedly the only) songwriter and producer of this album.  The well crafted Pop songs with catchy choruses and such a leap ahead of the debut album, "Fantastic".  Where the debut was raw and a poor man's dream this second long player was polished and rich in hooks and melodies.

"Make It Big" made the top…

NEW MUSIC EAR'S FAVOURITES - DEF LEPPARD "HYSTERIA"

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THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)
DEF LEPPARD




"HYSTERIA"


In the late 80s I picked up on Def Leppard, they and Bon Jovi were really my only favourite Rock bands (before I latched on to a couple of my brother's favourite bands Thin Lizzy and Rush).  Both bands were similar, catchy Rock songs with the obligatory guitar solos and great vocals from Joe Elliott and Jon Bon Jovi.  Hysteria caught my attention because it had the brilliant "Animal" on it and soon there would be seven singles spawned from this album but this one was the big hit and I had to hear more.  I soon found the previous three albums and realised I remembered songs like "Hello America", "Rock Of Ages" and "Photograph" from my brother'…

NEW MUSIC EAR'S FAVOURITES - THE CULT "LOVE"

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THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)
THE CULT

"LOVE"

The Cult are one of those bands that could be like marmalade, you either love them or you don't! I am not sure why they are not loved more by the Rock brigade as their albums are guaranteed a mighty whack of guitar based excellence.  I bought this album on the back of the hit single, "She Sells Sanctuary", having not yet found The Mission (that was to come later) this was my first hint of Gothic Rock.The Cult's sound was like nothing I had heard before, atmospheric, almost mystical with pounding drums and guitar riffs apelenty.  Ian Astbury, looking like a Cherokee Indian brave singing in an unusual Rock style that is unique got me hooked and I had to buy the debut album, "…

DAGGERPLAY

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Daggerplay are a Finnish Rock band comprising of Pekko Mantzin, Tommi Luostarinen, Ville Ahonen and Sirpa Immonen.  Their sound incorporates Punk, Pop Rock, a little Gothic Rock, Classic Rock and good old fashioned Rock 'N Roll.
I first caught this band on YouTube with the song "Cruel Wind Blowing".  Withing the first minute their are elements of Clssic Rock, Goth Rock, a little Punk of The Clash and a hard rock version of Roxette! I kid you not, take a listen for yourself below.  Its a unique sound but all Rock lovers will embrace this band. The band released their debut album in 2013 entitled "Urban Campfire Songs" and are scheduled to release their follow-up set in 2018.  The album has been preceded by a handful of singles teasers, my favourite being "One Mile Town" which is akin to Big Audio Dynamite with a little Fall Out Boy incorporated within.   The debur album seems to carry an explicit warning throughout containing the charmingly titled &quo…

NEW MUSIC EAR'S FAVOURITES - BIG COUNTRY "THE CROSSING"

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THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)
BIG COUNTRY

"THE CROSSING"

This debut album certainly gave me a new music ear (no pun intended), it was something I was just blown away by.  A Rock band with a sound that incorporates the energy of Punk, the anthemic sound of Rock and incredibly the unmistakeable Scottish bagpipes! It was like nothing I hadbefore and have not heard since.  Big Country are an exceptional band of musicians and even though they are still playing today, the superb gutsy vocals of the late Stuart Adamson were the key to their success.  I personally think they were a very underrated band, they were unique, they wrote great songs and also incorporated Folk styles into their own brand of Scottish Rock.

Onto this album, "The Crossi…

JESSICA BOSWELL

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Jessica is a British singer songwriter who hails from Nottingham before attending Leeds University and completing a Masters degree at the Leeds College of Music.  She is about to release her first E.P. this month and big things surely await this lady.


After releasing her debut single, "Did You Know" the E.P. "Alive" will feature the dbut as well as the lead single "Alive" and three other tracks.  Upon seeing the video to "Did You Know" on YouTube I see a few genres involved in her songs.  This song is a mix of Country, Pop with a little Folk thrown in for good measure.

There is a purity in Jessica's voice which reminds me of early Taylor Swift and obviously the comparison is easier with seeing her playing guitar too.  The song is a very "live" sounding track which I always like, not too over produced letting the artist convey more emotion into the track.

Although I have done this review on the basis of one song, I would like to hea…

NEW MUSIC EAR'S FAVOURITES - ALISHA'S ATTIC "ALISHA RULES THE WORLD"

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THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)
ALISHA'S ATTIC

"ALISHA RULES THE WORLD"

Alisha's Attic were bright young thngs in 1996 and the debut album by sisters Shelly and Karen Poole was a brilliant first offering.  The album hit platinum sales the following yearit made the Top 20 in the UK as did the four singles released from it.  It was unique with a various range of styles and I was surprised later they did not make more albums, I guess it was a little too experimental and different for the radio listening public.  I purchased all the albums they subsequently made and I believe they had a lot more to offer to the said "world"!

Of the four singles released 3 made number 12 and the debut single made 14 which was "I Am, I Feel&qu…

LEXIS

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LEXIS is a currently "unsigned and totally DIY" (as stated on her Facebook page) singer songwriter from Solihull, West Midlands, England.  Her real name is Kimya Tarr, taking the name LEXIS from a derivative from the Greek word for "of, or for words", that being Lexicon.  Playing an Alternative style music with Ambient and Persian influence she is destined to be a unique performer.


 Her latest single "Back To The Start" has just been released on iTunes and you can also find her previous single, "Flame".  LEXIS was born of Persian parents growing up in the 80s, and learning classical piano and guitar while scanning her parents' record collection of Fleetwood Mac and Queen amongst others.


On listening to the two tracks available you can easily pick up on the Fleetwood Mac influence on "Flame" as well Classical and Eastern elements.  On "Back To The Start" it sounds more ambient and with the vocals ranging from an Amy Wineho…

NEW MUSIC EAR'S FAVOURITES - BRYAN ADAMS "RECKLESS"

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THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)
BRYAN ADAMS

"RECKLESS"

I was a big fan of Bryan Adams in the 80s, well until "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You", having listened to it constantly for weeks and weeks on the radio, it lessened my following of his music for a few years.  Ironically, with one song steering me away from his music, one song also got me listening, that was "Run To You" from this very album.  On hearing this, which was the only single to reach the Top 20 from the album, peaking at number 11, I was hooked.  I bought this album on cassette (yes kids a cassette!) and played it to death, prompting me to buy his previous 3 albums which I also loved.  Like most artists still going today, the 80s was their "time"…

LAUREN WALLER

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Lauren Waller is a flame haired singer/songwriter from Los Angeles.  Or as her Twitter states in her own words "SoCal Ginger".  With two E.P.'s to date entitled "Perhaps" and "No Names Here", after hearing this lady I cannot wait for the debut album.


Combining the quirky look of Bjork and Paloma Faith, some forceful lyrics akin to Alanis Morissette or PJ Harvey and the Pop Rock musical backing of Echobelly or Sleeper, Lauren has a lot to offer in a unique Alternative style.  Her songs range from Rock as in "Breathe" from the first E.P. "Perhaps" to Morcheeba-like Trance Pop as in the second E.P.'s track "Secret Garden".

Check out the unusual but brilliant cover of Black's "Wonderful Life", it is a nice tribute to Colin Vearncombe.  Lauren actually reminds me of one of Holland's most underrated bands, Krezip.  A variety of genres all in one bundle but so well composed the songs are extremely engaging …

NEW MUSIC EAR'S FAVOURITES - THE CORRS "FORGIVEN, NOT FORGOTTEN"

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THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)
THE CORRS

"FORGIVE, NOT FORGOTTEN"



I remember seeing The Corrs for the first time on a UK TV midday show and being mesmerised by this cute song "Runaway" and thinking firstly what a good looking family (still being said today!) and secondly what a talented group.  I was so hooked from that first performance I was telling everyone at work about this new group I found and said they were going to be big.  Unheard of anywhere over here so much I tried hard to get the album as it wasn't released iin the UK yet, I searched for months until finally I got this album.  Seeing them in later years being massive, I told my co-workers "told you so!".  I was so proud of them and sometimes you just know…

NEW MUSIC EAR'S FAVOURITES - A-HA "STAY ON THESE ROADS"

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THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)
A-HA

"STAY ON THESE ROADS"

A-ha are not a boy band.  I always used to get frustrated at them being labelled as such, because their songwriting and musicianship live proved them to be extremely talented.  Yes Morten Harket and the boys were good looking and appealing to the young girls but it was all about the music which is why they still go on today just like Duran Duran who also were labelled as such.  Boy band is a very broad term nowadays, basically A-ha were a band full of musicians, "boy bands" should be labelled as "singing groups".Rant over now to the music! After the Pop of the first album and the leanings to more rockier songs on the second, this third album epitomises A-ha and alth…

MAGIC WANDS

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Magic Wands hail from Los Angeles, USA and play an atmospheric Dream Pop with borders on the hypnotic and Psychedelic, mainly comprising of duo Dexy and Chris Valentine incorporating members to complete the live performances and recordings.


The band have released two albums to date, "Aloha Moon" in 2012 and "Jupiter" in 2016.  New album "Abrakadabra" is coming in 2018.  Currently on a European tour their music has a heavy ambience feel but with all the elements of Goth and Progressive Rock with sneaky little catchy choruses and melodies. Its like nothing I have heard before.

"Crystals" from the first album for instance starts off with a little Fleetwood Mac, moves into The Cult territory then back again incorpirating a guitar part similar to Duane Eddy and all those guitar stars in the 50s and 60s.  "Lazer Bitch" from the "Jupiter" album is like a really angry and avengeful Bangles!

Certainly a unique band intertwining the 80…

NEW MUSIC EAR'S FAVOURITES - GUNS N' ROSES "USE YOUR ILLUSION 1"

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THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)
GUNS N' ROSES




"USE YOUR ILLUSION 1"


Guns N' Roses "the most dangerous band in the world" blasted on on the scene in the late 80s with two opening albums "Appetite For Destruction" and "G N' R Lies" complete with back stories of drugs, drink and anything goes Rock n' Roll.  This was the band everyone wanted to see and hear, forgetting the hype the band were a great band of musicians, especially Slash, who has since become a most wanted guitarist and renowned figure in Rock.  Axl Rose provided the "marmite" vocals, you either loved him or hated him, there was no middle ground.  The fact is, his vocals and Slash's guitar riffs WERE Guns N' Roses despit…

LAURENCE JONES

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Laurence Jones is an exceptional Blues Rock artist who even though he is in his mid-twenties is a very mature singer-songwriter.  He has already won Young Artist of the Year three years running in the British Blues awards making a little bit of history!


Suffering a diagnosis of Crohns Disease in 2012 didn't stop Laurence fulfilling his dream and he released his debut album, "Thunder In The Sky" featuring the almost Punk "Bad Girl" and the funky "Too Good".  Laurence has also been Best European Guitarist at the European Music Awards in 2015 and in 2016 took Guitarist of the Year in the British Blues Awards!


The second album, "Temptation" was released in 2014 featuring my favourite track "Whisper In The Wind" which is a lovely Acoustic Country Blues track which reminds me of Bon Jovi playing it right down.  Following hot on the heels in 2015 came ""What's It Gonna Be" and then the fourth album, "Take Me High&q…

NEW MUSIC EAR'S FAVOURITES - PRINCE "SIGN 'O' THE TIMES"

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THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)
PRINCE

"SIGN 'O' THE TIMES"

Although Non-Prince fans claim "Purple Rain" was his finest long player (ignorantly also claiming it was his only famous album!).  Sure it was absolutely massive and so was "1999" containing the most memorable radio hits.  "Sign 'O' The Times" was a creative masterpiece which is why it is probably my favourite, it just had everything that Prince was about.  Taboo subjects, sexuality, faith, scorching dancefloor tracks, gorgeous ballads, instrumental jams, searing Rock anthems and he even had time to create an androgynous persona called Camille (basically Prince vocals speeded up!).  This album alone exhibits the genius that most people mis…

NEW MUSIC EAR'S FAVOURITES - TORI AMOS "LITTLE EARTHQUAKES"

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THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)
TORI AMOS

"LITTLE EARTHQUAKES" I first saw Tori Amos on some TV show, I can't remember which one, and I thought how intriguing this lady was.  A mass of red hair, legs astride a piano stool, with an organ behind and a piano in front.  This quirky yet attractive lady was writhing her legs in a playfully sexy way, curling her pouty red lips and singing the most pure and sultry whispered vocal around sometimes manic Rock keyboards and sometimes slow and Classical.  I bought this album and every album since, until "Cornflake Girl" became a big hit the UK hadn't caught this alternative singer songwriter just yet.
Although "Crucify" became Tori's breakout single as it reached number 15,…

NEW MUSIC EAR'S FAVOURITES - FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD "WELCOME TO THE PLEASUREDOME"

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THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)
FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD




"WELCOME TO THE PLEASUREDOME"


The Liverpool quintet fronted by Holly Johnson blasted onto the scene amidst controversy, thought provoking hit singles, 3 consecutive number ones, plethora of remixes and risque videos.  I remember seeing the band live at Manchester G-Mex on the Rage Hard tour.  Hearing whispers in the media that the band couldn't actually play (as Trevor Horn allegedly used session musicians for the records) and being a big fan of this unusual group I had to see what the live show was all about.  The band could play, it was a blistering gig, great musicians, good banter with the crowd, Holly's voice on full throttle and with great support from Terri Nunn and Berli…