Thursday, 28 December 2017

CLASSIC ALBUM REVIEW - WHAM! - "MAKE IT BIG"

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 of the charts and the three of the four singles made number 1, Band Aid prevented the double A sided "Last Christmas/Everything She Wants" from making it four in a row.  All the singles were big hits the USA.   The first single "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" was a 50s/60s inspired uptempo Rock and Roll/Pop crossover that would encourage every listener to try and stop themselves from singing the infectious chorus! "Careless Whisper" (credited to George Michael for the first time) was the next single and it was the perfect Pop ballad.  Breathy vocals from George for the most part with a fabulous saxophone riff throughout the song.  Full of emotion and a really classy love song, one of, if not THE best from George in my opinion.  The third single "Freedom" was a kind of Motown sounding track, which became a massive hit and the 10th best selling hit in 1984's year end charts.  The vocals and melodies changed throughout and maybe wasn't as much a sing-a-long as "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" but its still a great Pop song.  The aforementioned "Everything She Wants" had less airplay than "Last Christmas" due to its release date but for me is one of George's best lyrical songs.  I think as a stand alone single it may not have done as well as it is not a catchy Pop song, it doesn't have a catchy chorus, its composition keeps changing in the song, for fans of songwriting like myself though, the lyrics are brilliant.



"Heartbeat" has elements of a slowed down  "Freedom" hidden in the track but its ultimately a Motown Soul song similar to the greats of that genre in the 60s.  It showcases George's blossoming vocals and also his carrying of songs with a minimal backing.

"Like A Baby" in my opinion is the weakest track on the album, it meanders along and doesn't really light up in any way towards the end, I am sure George looking back could have included something better, although the quality of the album was a high one.

"If You Were There", the cover of the Isley Brothers song is a touch of class.  Proving that George could turn his hand to any genre, this R n' B Soul classic is given an updated feel and unlike many cover versions this one works.  A song with a chorus that is instantly in your head also shows Geroge chooses songs that live long in the memory in the most part.

"Credit Card Baby" has a little Jazz Swing feel complete with some brass to help it along.  Its a midtempo bright and breezy song which goes great with the theme of the album.



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Saturday, 23 December 2017

CLASSIC ALBUM REVIEW - DEF LEPPARD - "HYSTERIA"

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's records.

Onto this album, as I said the first single from it, "Animal" was the biggest hit reaching number 6 and rightly so, it set the pace for the album theme perfectly. It had the almost Pop Rock backing similar to Whitesnake at the time, an extremely catchy harmonised echoed chorus, perfect for radio airplay.  "Hysteria" the second single only peaked at number 26, surprising as it reminded me of Fleetwood Mac or The Cars, two popular 80s bands of the time.  A nice ballad, mabe after the much rockier first single fans weren't expecting this.  Another great favourite of mine, "Pour Some Sugar On Me" followed reaching number 18, this was in similar form to "Animal", harmonised powerful vocals, with a simple catchy chorus that everyone could sing along with.  These are the songs that epitomise Def Leppard.  The early Bryan Adams sound could be heard on the ballad "Love Bites", which came before "Armageddon It", an Aerosmith Pop Rock crossover. "Rocket" was the final single two years later which kind of summed up the whole "Hysteria" album with the guitar solos, simple chorus, chanted and harmonised lyrics and crashing drums.  No filler all killer album?


"Women" the opening track of the album is actually not my favourite track here, apart from the big chorus and hints of a guitar solo this isn't that memorable, but this album's standard is high so maybe it just has a high bar to reach.

"Gods Of War" in my opinion should have been a single, it is over 6 minutes long but a great member of the "Animal"/"Pour Some Sugar On Me" club, typical Def Leppard, all the elements are here for Rock radio.

"Dont Shoot Shotgun" is a Classic Rock throwback to the band's previous albums, with a similar sound to "Photograph".

"Run Riot" is a speedy foot stomper in the guise of an Iron Maiden/Kiss hybrid.  Great track.

"Excitable" also reminds me a little of Aerosmith, more electronically composed than the rest of the album , with spoken, vocoded and echoed vocals for effect.

"Love And Affection" is another retro hint to the band's early days with a Classic Rock ballad.  A nice raw look back to finish the album, before Robert John "Mutt" Lange took over production duties. 




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Friday, 22 December 2017

CLASSIC ALBUM REVIEW - THE CULT - "LOVE"

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, "Dreamtime" and all following albums too!  There is always something new to hear in the tracks on each listen.

Now to this album, released in 1985 it peaked at Number 4 in the UK and two of its three singles also reached Top 20.  The aforementioned first release, "She Sells Sanctuary", a superb Rock song with its repetitive train-like backing guitar an drums amidst Ian's powerful vocals and a fabulous catchy chorus made it the band's first big hit reaching number 15.  The atmospheric echoes make it even more powerful.  The second single "Rain", a fans' live favourite reached number 17 in the UK and is one of my favourites from the band.  A more anthemic song than the previous single, the chorus is just great, there are elements of Classic Rock of the 60s and 70s and hitns of Gothic Rock, the repeated almost chant-like chorus is absolutely awesome.  The third single, "Revolution" only reached number 30.  A slower song but still having a similar sound to the two singles prior.  Pretty repetitive and clocking in at 5 and a half minutes, it was maybe too much for the radio listening public.  I personally love it, its a great Rock ballad, with Psychedelic undertones.


"Nirvana" the opening track, has all the Classic Rock elements and could have easily fitted in the "Hair Metal" of the 80s.

"Big Neon Glitter" is a brilliant mash up of off tune vocals but with with a kind of Rolling Stones chorus and screeching guitars that reminded me a little of Big Country amidst some tiny specks of Progressive Rock.  Class song!

"Love" the title track is a superb track, its kind of a Classic Rock/Punk hybrid with sounds like Adam And The Ants' "Kings Of The Wild Frontier" album, searing guitars and thumping drums.  Well I love it.

The epic "Brother Wolf, Sister Moon" is a ballad that stretches to 6 and a half minutes.  I remember hearing this in headphones and the sounds are incredible, more instrumental than the previous tracks and proved the band could experiement with different sounds.

"Phoenix" is a dark, mass of noisy screeching guitars and drums with random solos thrown in for good measure.  Not one of my favourites but then this album has high standards to keep.

"Hollow Man" reminds me a little of Tom Petty, its an uptempo track with a backdrop of Blues and Punk Rock.  It speeds along nicely and keeps your foot tapping!

The final track is "Black Angel" is another slow ballad, prety much in the vein of early Europe especially with Ian's vocals reminding me of Joey Tempest.  This album's experiements paved the way for all kinds of genres to be tried and tested by the band in the future.




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Tuesday, 19 December 2017

NEW MUSIC PROFILE - PUNK ROCK POP BAND "DAGGERPLAY"

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 Classic 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 "Brainfuck Euphoria", a Ramones/Generation X style fast Punk rocker and "Glitter Rodeo" a kind of The Damned/Green Day merger.  Interesting band and it will be equally interesting to see how far they can conquer in these boring DJ/Mixers/Pop pap times.  Maybe this edgy Rock band is just what we are crying out for!





Tuesday, 12 December 2017

CLASSIC ALBUM REVIEW - BIG COUNTRY - "THE CROSSING"

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 had before 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 Crossing" gave us four singles, the debut "Harvest Home" failed to chart in the UK.  It was a brilliant introduction to the band's sound, a pulsating almost Punk-like chanted spoken track with Scottish drum and bagpipes (guitars) abound, like a marching band rhythm.  The first hit for the band came with their next single, the exciting "Fields Of Fire", I remember listening to this in headphones and the guitar sounds were so pure and the Celtic Folk elements were heard in abundance.  More melodic than the debut single which was probably why it was a bigger hit, a great chorus and more atmospheric.  After this single reach number 10 in the chart came, the most well known song of their repertoire although only reaching number 17, "In A Big Country".  The track became a massive hit in the U.S.A. too.  As the opener to the album it was simply huge and a fantastic song.  Everything that "Harvest Home" and "Fields Of Fire" gave us appeared in this track.  Celtic drums, catchy chorus, chants, the classic Bagpipe guitars, simply a brilliant song and one of my alltime favourites by any artist.  Great singalong and one for the Air Guitar enthusiasts! "Chance" the fourth single reached top 10 and peaked at number 9.  A ballad, and it was a gorgeous song, simple in its composition but incredibly emotive, no big booming crescendos just a light, lilting backing to Stuart's sensitive vocals.  Love this song.


"Inwards" was a more Pop Rock song than the singles, with minimal normal Big Country traits, also parts of it reminded me of Medieval ambience.

"A Thousand Stars" reminded me of U2 at the time for some parts but then the guitars kick in with that familiar pipe onslaught and it brings you back to where you belong.  A little more Instrumental than usual but its a nice song.

"The Storm" is a beautiful song, some intricate musicianship here.  Amazing ambient sounds with some choral backing and harmonies amid a light chug-a-chug guitar and drum which at times features on its own to give a mysterious feel.  Again, my advice to you is listen to this album in headphones to get the full effect!

"Lost Patrol" is almost Goth Rock, minimal lyrics and the familiar atmospheric whirring backing akin to The Mission and The Cult who came later on the scene.

"Close Action" hints at Progressive Rock with a little Folk thrown in for good measure.  A reasonably slow track but nonetheless excellent.

The album ends with the 8 minute epic "Porrohman".  A fitting end as it incorporates every sound and nuance of the previous 9 tracks.  For this track see above! Its epic and sums up the whole amazing album by a great, original and unique band.




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Monday, 4 December 2017

NEW MUSIC PROFILE - POP ARTIST "JESSICA BOSWELL"

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 hear more from Jessica.  I think she is a real talent crossing genre boundaries that could set her up well in the music world.


Tuesday, 28 November 2017

CLASSIC ALBUM REVIEW - ALISHA'S ATTIC - "ALISHA RULES THE WORLD"

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 year it 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".  This was the track that got me hooked, as a fan of Wendy and Lisa (part of Prince's Revolution band), this track did remind me of their beautiful harmonies and melodies and the vocals had a hint of Alanis Morissette's croaky angry vocals, a class song.  "Alisha Rules The World", the title track had elements of Motown, pure Pop and was a little like The Bangles.  "Indestructible" was a mesh of Spice Girls and Sneaker Pimps with Kelli Ali, ambient sounds and almost psychedelic backing.  "Air We Breathe" is a lovely track, Belinda Carlisle meets Susanna Hoffs, atmospheric at times, almost Trance backing but a brilliant Pop song, complete with minimal guitars to make it a rocky ballad.


The album opens with "Irresistible U Are", a sweet almost lullaby short song, gorgeous harmonies and sweet vocals with an Eastern feel and childlike kaleidoscope backing.

"Intense" is the most angry and most Rock song on the album, very Alanis Morissette, would not be out of place on Alanis' own "Jagged Little Pill".  Great song.

"White Room" is a 70s Psychedelic track with almost Cyndi Lauper-like vocals, a driving rhythm complete with echoed harmonies, also has hints of Prince's Rock Funk.

"Stone In My Shoe" is a very nice ballad, similar to the opener "Irresistible U Are" with sweet, breathy, almost whispered vocals until the catchy chorus.  Reminds me a little of Madonna's "Dear Jessie" in its composition. 

"Personality Lines" is a 50 second 80s Electronic Pop track, starting with a telephone ringing and obviously slating the chat line industry in a humorous little dig.

"I Won't Miss You" is a Rock track complete witha  few "na na na na" angry chants and is a Garbage/B-52s hybrid, love this as the vocals are to the fore and its Electronic Rock at its best.

"The Golden Rule" is another short snippet at just over a minute, an almost mono track with a kind of Swing/Jazz feel and comes with obligatory "doo doo" moments. Fun track.

"Just The Way You like It" is a lot like Prince, a minimal funky Pop backing and sensual breathy vocals, a touch of class.

"Adore U" ends the album and is also covered with a Prince influence.  A quiet start building into a crescendo of chorus at the end.  The Electronic backing is similar to the sounds Prince was using for his 1999/Purple Rain era.  Great track to end a great album.




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Friday, 24 November 2017

NEW MUSIC PROFILE - ALTERNATIVE AMBIENT ARTIST "LEXIS"

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 Winehouse, Duffy and Lily Allen.

The vocals are pure, sultry and sweet, with only these two tracks you can hear the talent emerging from this bright prospect.  Working on her E.P. currently and after winning a songwriting award judged by K.T. Tunstall (whom her style does resemble when seeing her live) she attracted attention from Warner Music and Island Records so she enrolled at the Institute of Contemporay Music Performance in London.  Look forward to the E.P. as I would love to hear more songs, I am sure this is the start of a long, successful career!




Thursday, 23 November 2017

CLASSIC ALBUM REVIEW - BRYAN ADAMS - "RECKLESS"

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" and in Bryan's case also, although some newer fans may disagree with me!

Now onto the album, spawning 5 singles, the first being my "hooked song", "Run To You", it was Rock I hadn't heard before, having been brought up listening to Thin Lizzy, Rush (thanks to my brother) and Bon Jovi and the like.  The almost Country twang guitars, searing solos and gruff throaty vocals and anthemic chorus was a piece of class.  The video helped featuring the gorgeous Lysette Anthony!  "Somebody" was a kind of Fleetwood Mac, Heart, REO Speedwagon mash up with a chanted chorus and typical of the Pop Rock of the 80s.  "Heaven" was actually similar, hearing it back, to "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" but a little more bearable! I always had the opinion that Bon Jovi did the best ballads and Bryan did the best rockers.  Its just my thought both were suited better to these type of songs.  With "Somebody" and "Heaven" only reaching 31 and 38 respectively "Summer Of '69" amazingly only reached 41, probably the best known track by non-fans.  Really love this track, a proper air guitar sing-a-long, pure Pop Rock at its best, similar to Bon Jovi and Def Leppard in the 80s Rock stakes.  Again a class record.  The last single off the album, "It's Only Love" reached a creditable 29 on the UK chart, by no means being degrading to Bryan but it featured the unmistakable vocals of one Miss Tina Turner no less!  Its a great song, pure Rock N' Roll and both stars make it a rare gem of a collaboration, it worked just perfect!


"One Night Love Affair" is a mid tempo ballad/rocker which has undertones that remind me of some later Gothic Rock such as The Mission.  A great opening track!

"She's Only Happy When She's Dancin'" reminds me of The Cars at their peak and a little Rolling Stones, great Rock 'N Roll track.

"Kids Wanna Rock" is one of my favourite Bryan Adams tracks, I am surprised this wasn't released as a single over here, at the time ZZ Top were hitting the big trail, and this wouldn't be out of place on Eliminator, their big album at the time.  Blues Rock at its best, big solos and sing-a-long anthemic chorus.

"Long Gone" is another bluesy number, a little slower than "Kids Wanna Rock", it breezes along and is a foot tapper, a little like Gary Moore in its composition.  Very nice!

"Ain't Gonna Cry", the final track of the album,  is a real manic Punk Rock song, there must have been a Ramones or Sex Pistols influence here.  A fine end to a fine album.


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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

NEW MUSIC PROFILE - ALTERNATIVE ROCK ARTIST "LAUREN WALLER"

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 to the ear and you just want to hear more and hear something different every listen.

"100 Sleeps" on the "No Names Here" E.P. is a favourite of mine, loads of guitar and borders on Grunge Rock.  This lady could be huge, she has everything going for her to appeal to all lovers of music around the world.  Check out the stunning new single "Sunshine"out now.

THERE WOULD NORMALLY BE A COUPLE OF VIDEOS HERE BUT FOR SOME REASON THE YOUTUBE VIDEOS ARE BLOCKED IN UK

Saturday, 18 November 2017

CLASSIC ALBUM REVIEW - THE CORRS - "FORGIVEN, NOT FORGOTTEN"

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 that a talent like that couldn't go amiss.

This brilliant debut album was something different for me, beautiful Irish melodies and instrumentation mixed with Pop, it was unique at the time.  Andrea, Sharon, Caroline and Jim Corr knew how to deliver a tune with aplomb.  When the album was released only "Runaway" dented the top 50 although it did considerably better reaching number 2 four years later.  The debut single as I mentioned hit me like a ton of bricks.  A simple yet effectively emotive and cutely sung by Andrea.  "The Right Time" and "Love To Love You" had Fleetwood Mac influences, the first being abright and breezy number while the latter was a kind of Soft Rock ballad.  The title track "Forgiven, Not Forgotten" had that mystical medieval feel, Pop Rock with a hint of Celtic backdrop.  I had no idea an album with half being Instrumentals would have such an effect on me.


"Erin Shore (Traditional Intro)" is the opening track on the album, a sweet minimal Irish instrumental for less than 30 seconds seamlessly linking into the drumbeat of "Forgiven, Not Forgotten". 

"Heaven Knows" is a more poppy track which reminds me of the singing group Wilson Phillips or early Bangles.  Great harmonies showcasing the girls' vocals.

"Along With The Girls" is an instrumental that does what it says on the tin! The girls giving us a brief 50 second showcase of their prowess on various classic Irish instruments.  

"Someday" is a real Pop Rock track, heavier drums than usual, catchy chorus,  lots of musical backing going on and it works brilliantly. 

The Irish song by Thomas Moore is given the Instrumental treatment by the band, "The Minstrel Boy" which then leads in to one of my favourite tracks, storming live favourite "Toss The Feathers".  Such a brilliant foot tapper, on seeing the band live this got everyone up and bouncing.  Superb musicianship by everyone involved.  I never thought one of my favourite songs would be an Instrumental as I am a former songwriter and poetry writer I love lyrics! The traditional Irish Folk song is given the big Rock rendition!

"Secret Life" is pure Pop Rock with funky basslines, catchy chorus, crashing drums and searing guitars.

"Carraroe Jig" is another Instrumental track and as the title says an irish jig, this is like a toned down "Toss The Feathers" but still gets the feet tapping and your head nodding! Pity it only lasts 53 seconds but I think this album was a nice teasing showcase of what the band would offer in later albums.

"Closer" is just a beautiful song, similar to "Runaway" and just as emotive, Andrea's vocals sound lovely here with the very minimal backing, ending with a flourish of atmospheric sounds and vocals to fade.

"Leave Me Alone" is a Pop Rock number which reminds me in composition of a Deacon Blue/Blow Monkeys hybrid.  A bright uptempo track with various vocals, sometimes doubled up sometimes echoed, a very catchy chorus and "oohs" in the background.  Classic Corrs track with the obligatory crossover Irish segment.

"Erin Shore" the full version ends the album and is absolutely beautiful.  Light, lilting building into a crescendo of ambient sounds and atmospheric chirps and beeps before the masive drum solo which gives you goosebumps.  A fabulous end to an album which just said to me, "you have witnessed something great and its going to get better". 


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Sunday, 12 November 2017

CLASSIC ALBUM REVIEW - A-HA - "STAY ON THESE ROADS"

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 although the the little girls fans waned and the chart placings were falling the band evolved into a tight musical unit.  The live performances were exceptional, and were actually more rockier than the actual album output.

"Stay On These Roads" contained 5 singles, the fabulous emotive title track reached number 5 in the UK chart and its Everly Brothers, early 60s feel was just brilliant, also reaching the same position was one of the great Bond themes in my opinion, "The Living Daylights".  Bond collaborator John Barry released his version as the single but A-ha reworked it for this album and by all accounts preferred their version to his! The summery and bright and playful "Touchy" and "You Are The One" could have appeared on both previous albums as the composition is similar, both reached top 20 positions.  The worst performer on the chart reaching a peak of 25 was "The Blood That Moves The Body".  This is one of my favourite A-ha songs and has a mysterious feel similar to "The Living Daylights" with a catchy chorus and orchestrated backing.


"This Alone Is Love" is the ultimate Pop ballad, at times reminding me of Pop Rock like The Cars to the electronics of Yazoo.  Morten's vocals are stretched to all levels in this superb track.

"Hurry Home" is so unusual, it has a faint hi-nrg beat, almost disco-like but also has funky beats and classic late 80s soft Pop Rock guitars with a singalong chorus.  Experimental but it works!

"There's Never A Forever Thing" is just a beautiful song, it lilts along with a minimal piano and drumbeat acoustic sound and Morten sings softly and quiet sometimes reaching that famous hgh pitched vocals to give the desired full emotional effect.  A gem of a song.

"Out Of Blue Comes Green" is A-ha being soulful, a six minute epic track which reminds me of "Hunting High And Low" with its low and high vocals, complete with minor searing guitar and minimal keyboards, this is quite an awesome track.

"You'll End Up Crying" ends the album and is a kind of Latin sounding track, synchronised singing chorus and verses with trumpets and reminds me of Cowboys in Mexico for some reason!


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Saturday, 11 November 2017

NEW MUSIC PROFILE - PSYCHEDELIC DREAM POP BAND "MAGIC WANDS"

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 80s and 90s Grunge and Goth bands with earlier decades standard Rock N' Roll elements.  It all makes for an intriguing mix, the first album was a little more accessible to the Radio listeners with more electronic backing whereas the second is more "live" sounding and what seems like less production and more spontaneous sounds.  Interesting band, look forward to seeing what the third album brings!




Monday, 6 November 2017

CLASSIC ALBUM REVIEW - GUNS N' ROSES - "USE YOUR ILLUSION 1"

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 despite what has transpired since.  "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Patience" are two of my favourite Rock songs of all time.

Use Your Illusion was three years in the making, two albums on sale the same day, I prefer the first album of the two as it contains one of my favourite songs "November Rain", superb Slash solo, a song of epic proportions and sad and romantic at the same time, orchestras, piano, the ultimate rock ballad.  Sheer class.  All three singles released from this album hit top 10 in the UK with the brillaint cover of "Live And Let Die", which blasts away the Wings version in my opinion and the lush original version of "Don't Cry" which is similar in vein to "Patience".


"Right Next Door To Hell" is a riotous Punk rocker, akin to Sex Pistols and The Damned etc, its raw speedy energy surely gave the pogo dancers a bit of a surprise!

"Dust N' Bones" is a mid tempo Blues Rock number that has a very slight Country tone but also midway through Axl does his best horror snarl that reminds me of Ozzy, Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson!

"Perfect Crime" reminds me of Iron Maiden, its manic and its two and a half minutes of energetic Rock with a hint of pure Metal.

"You 'Ain't The First" is a goodbye to a lover who obviously was not a favourite when you listen to the lyrics! Basically the girl was a temporary lover and not the first and also that she will be thought of while the guy is "deep down inside" with another lover, use your imagination for that line! Don't be fooled by the almost mono Country Folk bright, light and happy backing!

"Bad Obsession" reminds me of Marc Bolan and T-Rex or early David Bowie.  Complete with slide guitars, harmonica and Country style Rock, its a GNR foot tapper!

"Back Off Bitch" is a pure AC/DC soundalike, a real Heavy Rock masterblaster.

"Double Talkin' Jive" is similar to "You Could Be Mine" on "Use Your Illusion 2" from the Terminator 2 soundtrack.  Almost muffled singing and frenetic music backing with added movie like talking parts.  Very Progressive Rock type song.

"The Garden" is like a Horror movie backdrop, very Alice Cooper, lots of deep snarling by Axl amidst searing guitars.

"Garden Of Eden" is a crazy fast paced Punk Rock track which also incorporates some 70s style riffs and chants on the chorus.

"Don't Damn Me" is half classic GNR, half Iggy and The Stooges imitation, not one of my favourites, doesn't really work for me.

"Bad Apples" is pure Rock N' Roll which I have heard similar by Bon Jovi and Def Leppard, an almost Blues backing complete with guitar solos a plenty.  Great track.

Iron Maiden meets AC/DC on "Dead Horse", classic GNR, more Glam Rock than usual.

The album ends with "Coma", a fitting last track that sums up the whole album as there are bits of everything in this 10 minute epic.  Some Bowie, some Alice Cooper, some T-rex and ending with AC/DC and Iron Maiden!  Their influences are seen in this track for all to see but the fact that they could intersperse these together is testimony to their songwriting and musical ability.


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NEW MUSIC PROFILE - BLUES ROCK ARTIST "LAURENCE JONES"

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" in 2016.

There is much of his influences in his music, Hendrix, Clapton et all but there's also a good old fashioned Rock and Roll experimented and intertwined with other genres but keeping the Blues Rock sound.  Laurence is a force to be reckoned with, and am glad to give him this endorsement, he is a rare talent indeed.  See below the video for "Give Me Your Time" from new album "The Truth"




Thursday, 2 November 2017

CLASSIC ALBUM REVIEW - PRINCE - "SIGN 'O' THE TIMES"

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 missed while he was alive.  The songs came from sessions from the proposed Camille album, "Dream Factory" and "Crystal Ball" 3 album set.

The singles, the lead track "Sign 'O' The Times" was pretty cutting edge containing references to AIDS (the first song that mentioned the disease), gang violence, drug abuse and poverty.  The Blues guitar and minimal drum machine backing made it thought provoking and with the ground breaking lyric only video just made it more powerful.  It was the lyrics and not the performer that mattered, something Prince was always proud of, breaking boundaries.  The single sleeve amused me because some people thought Prince had shaved his legs, wore a skirt and modelled for the cover.  It was actually Cathy (Cat) Glover who was part of Prince's backing band.  "If I Was Your Girlfriend" was the alter ego Camille, again minimal keyboard, bass and drum beat singing a unique perspective of a man asking the woman if he was a woman would she open up her feelings to him.  Again, ground breaking at the time but it reached number 20 in the UK charts but didn't match the title track's top 10 placing.  "U Got The Look" with Sheena Easton, there is so much going on but its a great thumping track and background guitar riffs with harmonies, Camille vocals and Sheena's unmistakeable (to UK fans who remember her hits from the 80s) vocal.  The song reached number 11 but the last single from the album, "I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man" could only scrape to 29.  This was a single version as the album is much longer at over 6 minutes.  Its Blues driven guitar with catchy chorus and searing solos and funky Blues break in the middle is one of my favourite Prince tracks.


"Play In The Sunshine" is a full on joyful and playful, a real Summer foot stomper with it seems like all the Revolution band in virtuoso mode, there a little instrument breaks all over and the chorus is singalong, just brilliant.

"Housequake" is a funky scorching dancefloor track, its manic and features the brass section of the band with a minimal drum beat.  "Shut Up Already..Damn!"

"The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker" allegedly was about a dream Prince had, even though the name was the same as an American writer and poet he later said he did not know who she was!  Its a very nice song, although the lyrics suggest it must have been a sex dream! Minimal backing again with just Prince on vocals and a lady harmonising which perhaps is Susannah Melvoin.

"It" is a guitar driven track, almost Hendrix style with a drum machine backing, searing guitars and Prince basically saying he wants to do "it", and yes your imagination is correct, it is precisely "that"! Great track though.

"Starfish And Coffee" is apparently a sweet little story about one of Susannah and Wendy Melvoin's classmates, including all the names and even the starfish for breakfast were Susannah's recolelctions of Cynthia Rose! Minor drum, bass and keyboards that make for a jolly little ditty that kids can enjoy.

"Slow Love" is an orchestrated typical Prince ballad with a little guitar and a lot of strings, an epic almost Classical Opera style.  Falsetto and normal Prince vocals abound for the full romantic effect.

"Hot Thing" is one of my favourites, a pulsating drumbeat with brass accompaniment and bass was one of the "Crystal Ball" tracks as it references "tell him you're going to the Crystal Ball".  A little like another of my favourites from the "Lovesexy" album the following year called "Dance On".

"Forever In My Life" is minimal here and is a really lovely track and romantic, Prince singing in his usual voice and the backing vocals sometimes come to the fore over the lead which is very unique.  The "Sign 'O' The Times" concert film version has superb guitar backing, very Blues style and a little funky. Classic Prince.

Another of my all time Prince favourites is "Strange Relationship", credited as Camille once again on vocals.  The keyboard Sitar sound gives a faint Easter feel to the track and its thumping drumbeat keeps the tempo going.

"The Cross" is just amazing, the song that epitomises Prince as a superb guitarist and underrated.  A bluesy feel to the song, spiritual lyrics with slow guitar building and building into a mega crescendo solo ending.  Always loved this song live, the lighters would come out, the arena goes dark, and everyone feels part of the Prince family.  Maybe it wasn't God they believed in but Prince.  Just awesome.

"Its Gonna Be A Beautiful Night" is a live Instrumental jam with all the Revolution involved, and fun is had by all.  Funky and with overdubs, a "transmississippirap" by Sheila E (allegedly recorded over the phone!) and each section of the band gets a segment to show their skills.  Brilliant fun and is a live killer.

"Adore" ends the album with a falsetto ballad that would not be out of place on Prince's first couple of albums.  Its a couple of minutes too long for me, but its a lovely song and I am sure its been used on many a romantic night for lovers!


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Friday, 27 October 2017

CLASSIC ALBUM REVIEW - TORI AMOS - "LITTLE EARTHQUAKES"

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, she had dallied with the Top 30 with "China" and "Winter".  One of my favourites of Tori's is "Silent All These Years", amazingly the worst placing from the singles off this set.  Its quiet minimal piano and beautiful vocals reminiscent of Sarah McLachlan and to an extent Kate Bush.  Its such a lovely song.  "Crucify" has a little more punch with a slight drum beat and a 70s Psychedelic Rock segment and harmonising vocals.  "China" is another piano ballad, with soft whispering vocal verses leading into a crescendo chorus and back down again.  A very romantic song about a distant lover who doesn't share her views on the relationship.  "Winter" written about her relationship with her minister father is an absolute gem, as with most of Tori's songs you can pick up the emotion and sense this is autobiographical.  Tori is not afraid of any subject however tough it may be, as we find out on this album.


"Girl" has a little orchestration and light drumbeat as well as Tori's unmistakeable vocals and keyboard skills, it also has a kind of Progressive/Psychedelic Rock middle segment.  

"Precious Things" has a quicker pace, a frantic piano with a more powerful Rock drumbeat and with screeching vocal accompaniment and a range of other atmospheric vocals.  This is a darker track, a powerful angry emotive track that us fans have grown accustomed to over the years.

"Happy Phantom" is one of those funny, bright and breezy Tori tracks that even if the lyrics are somewhat strange and maybe dark you can't help but smile, she has this given talent for music composition.  I think its her thinking how her death would impact on a lover or so I read somewhere.

Tori makes light of one of the most traumatic experiences of anyone's life, her rape at knifepoint, maybe its her way of dealing with it, the song is light but the lyrics if you listen closely are quite dark on "Leather".  "Me And A Gun" is a more vivid recollection of the whole ordeal, just Tori singing a cappella, this was released as a debut single but "Silent All These Years" the B-side was preferred.  The former is is bright and positive while the latter is quite disturbing and you feel sad that Tori or any woman has been put through this.

"Mother" is another minimal sounding track and seems to be about a controlling mother, maybe being forced into the Church in some way or someone making her do something she does not want to do.  Not a favourite track of mine but the insight into Tori's upbringing is interesting.

"Tear In Your Hand" has like a Classic Rock or Rock Pop vibe, with more Psychedelic moments, I love this track.  It has a great full musical backing and more produced than other songs Tori has made, and it works to full effect.  

"Little Earthquakes", the title track and unusually at the end of the album, is simply gorgeous, almost Gothic, and almost sounding like Alanis Morissette at times.  It has off tuned segments, a little sixties psychedelia, screeching vocals, soft vocals, basically is Tori Amos in a nutshell, well in 6 and a half minutes!


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Wednesday, 25 October 2017

CLASSIC ALBUM REVIEW - FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD - "WELCOME TO THE PLEASUREDOME"

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 Berlin.

This album was probably one of the most eagerly anticipated albums of the 80s, the double vinyl album I bought was like nothing I had seen before.  It was released on ZTT(Zang Tumb Tumb) records and mastered in music by Trevor Horn and in words by Paul Morley.  The striking Picasso-esque erotic gatefold sleeve was not something mum and dad would ever see! I loved the intrigue, the mystery and probably yes the naughtiness which at the time I was not quite sure of! Anyway the album is packed with great tracks, the energetic disco classic "Relax" , the brilliant loud raucous war anthem "Two Tribes" and the beautifully romantic "The Power Of Love" all hit the top spot in quick succession.  The shortened and remixed "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" peaked at number 2.


The album opens with "The World Is My Oyster" including "Well" and "Snatch of Fury" which serves as a teaser for what is to come.  Siren-like singing, mysterious ancient film extracts and Holly announcing the world is his oyster and giving us his best maniacal laugh!.

The 13 minute plus version of "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" is a riveting listen, just what you expected, the unexpected! It was cinematic, chanting abound, little instrumental breaks ending with another maniacal laugh and a little Holly giggle having fun.

The cover of "War" by Edwin Starr is also a much remixed song by FGTH.  The mainly bongo-like drumming with some minimal guitar backing sends a powerful message and is one of my favourite tracks by the band.  Chris Barrie (Rimmer in Red Dwarf) portrays Ronald Reagan informing us about Love and War.

"Tag" was an orchestrated track (snippet from Two Tribes), with Prince Charles (Barrie again) giving us thoughts on orgasm and ejaculation.  No idea why this was here, but hey, I am sure it caused controversy which was their forte at the time!

"Fury" was a shortened "Ferry Cross The Mersey" and became a backdrop for the unemployed as it is a really nice cover version that ends with (possibly Paul?) stating he left his DHSS card at home and the jobcentre lady says the supervisor will put him on daily signing if it happens again! 

In like a bullet straight after "Fury" was the blistering Rock classic "Born To Run" previously made by Bruce Springsteen.  Holly does a great job and the track really hits the spot, to me band make it a little more rocky than the original.

The Dionne Warwick song "San Jose" is next for the Frankie treatment, its a lovely song and just like "The Power Of Love" Holly proves he knock out a ballad as good as anyone.

"Wish (The Lads Were Here)" is a funky original song by the band, with a catchy chorus "love is on the run, wish you were here, my love has got a gun, wish you were here" and its another song that could have been a hit in my opinion.

"The Ballad of 32" is an almost Progressive Rock song with searing gutiar solos and minimal atmospheric backing and breathy vocals faintly heard.  

"Krisco Kisses" isn't one of my favourites from Frankie, it seems a bit muddled, fast paced uptempo manic Rock, then slowing down with repetitive lyrics.  Not a bad song but seems a bit of a last minute addition.

"Black Night White Light" is one of my favourites, a really accomplished song, a little Funk, a little Electro and a little Pop Rock.  A really good track.

"The Only Star In Heaven" could have been a hit single as well.  Building up and up into a fast paced crescendo, great chorus, great percussion and guitar licks, a great original song.

"Bang" ended this awesome album like it began, a small snippet of Electronic orchestation finishing with the great Chris Barrie ending everything as Ronald Reagan stating "Frankie Say...No More!"




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