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Peter Durward Harris "Pete the music fan" RSS Feed (Leicester England)

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American Country Songs
American Country Songs
Price: $18.69
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jazz-pop singer covers country songs, October 28, 2014
This review is from: American Country Songs (Audio CD)
I'd not heard of Helen Merrill before this CD showed up in my Amazon recommendations. Quite often, those recommendations are useless but I watch them for the rare chances that I find something I wouldn't otherwise know about and which interest me, like this one.

The booklet notes are in Chinese or Japanese, but the backing paper has notes in very small type (but readable) in English, including a track listing. The country songs chosen include two associated with the Everly brothers (Maybe tomorrow, Devoted to you), three associated with Eddy Arnold (Any time, You don't know me, A heart full of love) and five associated with Hank Williams including My heart would know and four very famous songs. Two other songs (Condemned without Trial, I'm here to get my baby out of jail) complete the album.

Helen has a wonderful, slightly smoky voice that is ideally suited to these songs. This album was recorded in 1959 and was one of several by a variety of jazz and pop singers around that time to adapt country songs to their own style. I've heard a few of them and most work well in their different ways, but this is among the best.

Mallard: How the 'Blue Streak' Broke the World Steam Speed Record
Mallard: How the 'Blue Streak' Broke the World Steam Speed Record
Price: $7.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The story of the world's fastest steam locomotive, October 28, 2014
Actually, there's a lot more to this book than the story of Mallard. The author goes back half a century before Mallard was built, discussing the life of Nigel Gresley, the famous races between London and Scotland by rival railway companies and the other comparative tests such as those between the LNER and GWR and a lot of development that arose from the results of those racrs and other tests. There was also rivalry was Germany, not only with the steam trains.

The record-breaking run was hampered by maintenance work that prevented Mallard from beginning to accerate as intended, but whether that affected the resultant top speed is uncertain. It doesn't matter because Mallard not only took the British record, but also took the world record from Germany.

While it was a great triumph in many ways and it still remains a world record for steam, it's well short of the world record for a train, so that puts things in a bit of perspective. Still, this is a fascinating book that I expected to be interesting, but was even more interesting than I expected.

These Dreams
These Dreams
Price: $30.86
16 used & new from $3.07

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection of female pop / rock, October 28, 2014
This review is from: These Dreams (Audio CD)
Mostly spanning the 80s, 90s and the new millennium, this offers a good selection of artists from the Universal labels. While I generally prefer older pop and rock music, compilations like this one remind me that plenty of great music continues to be recorded.

My favorites here include Belinda Carlisle (Heaven Is A Place On Earth), Sixpence None The Richer (Kiss Me), Shawn Colvin (Sunny Came Home), Melissa Etheridge (Come To My Window), Cyndi Lauper (True Colors), The Bangles (Eternal Flame), Blondie (Sunday Girl), Bonnie Raitt (Nick of Time) and Jewel (You Were Meant For Me). not forgetting the older track by Linda Ronstadt (You're No Good), although I was surprised to find it on a compilation such as this.

This is a fantastic collection of its type. If you enjoy it as much as I do, you might also like the equivalent Warner compilation Songbird.


CD 1

1. Heart These Dreams
2. Starship We Built This City
3. Kim Carnes Bette Davis Eyes
4. Cher If I Could Turn Back Time
5. Belinda Carlisle Heaven Is A Place On Earth
6. Meredith Brooks Bitch
7. Jane Wiedlin Rush Hour
8. Tina Arena Chains
9. Sixpence None The Richer Kiss Me
10. Sheryl Crow All I Wanna Do
11. Sheryl Crow My Favourite Mistake
12. Tori Amos Crucify
13. K.d Lang Constant Craving
14. Divinyls I Touch Myself
15. Billie Myers Kiss The Rain
16. Shawn Colvin Sunny Came Home
17. The Motels Total Control
18. Melissa Etheridge Come To My Window
19. Nelly Furtado I'm Like A Bird
20. Rickie Lee Jones Chuck E's In Love

CD 2

1. Jennifer Paige Crush
2. Amy Grant Baby Baby
3. Fleetwood Mac Don't Stop
4. Alannah Myles Black Velvet
5. Cyndi Lauper True Colors
6. The Bangles Eternal Flame
7. Vanessa Carlton A Thousand Miles
8. Joan Osborne One Of Us
9. Pat Benatar Love is A Battlefield
10. Wilson Phillips Hold On
11. Patti Smith Because The Night
12. Blondie Sunday Girl
13. Suzanne Vega Luka
14. Rosie Vela Magic Smile
15. 4 Non Blondes What's Up
16. 10,000 Maniacs These Are Days
17. Lauren Wood Fallen
18. Toni Childs Don't Walk Away - Album Version
19. Linda Ronstadt You're No Good

CD 3

1. Martika Toy Soldiers
2. Natalie Imbruglia Torn
3. Gwen Stefani Cool
4. Edie Brickell & New Bohemians What I Am
5. Sophie B Hawkins Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover
6. Maria McKee Show Me Heaven
7. Robin Beck First Time
8. Til Tuesday Voices Carry
9. Bonnie Raitt Nick of Time
10. Roxette Listen to Your Heart
11. The Go - Go's Our Lips Are Sealed
12. Paula Cole Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?
13. Laura Branigan Self Control
14. Jewel You Were Meant For Me
15. The Pierces You'll Be Mine
16. Lissie When I'm Alone
17. Lana Del Rey Video Games
18. Scandal The Warrior
19. Quarterflash Harden My Heart

Try a Little Kindness/the Glen Campbell Goodtime Album/The Last Time I Saw Her
Try a Little Kindness/the Glen Campbell Goodtime Album/The Last Time I Saw Her
Offered by Fulfillment Express US
Price: $18.61
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three excellent albums from 1970 and 1971, October 28, 2014
Whatever the track listings might say, the first two albums are on CD 1 and the third album is on CD 2. It doesn't really matter though, as all three are of a very high quality.

The first album occupies the first 12 tracks of CD 1 and contains two of Glen's hits, these being Try a little kindness, along with a fine cover of Both sides now, plus several other songs that are mostly obscure but well worth a listen.

The hit from the second album is a cover of It's only make believe, originally released as the B-side of a Conway Twitty single, which was eventually flipped over and became an international hit. Glen's cover also became an international hit. This album contains the wonderful Funny kind of Monday, together with excellent covers of Bridge over troubled water, MacArthur Park and My way. The booklet note writer is incorrect in saying that Paul Anka co-wrote My way; he is co-credited because he translated the original song into English. It was actually a French song co-written and first recorded by Claude François in 1967 as Comme d'habitude. (Google for more info if you're interested.)

The third album was less successful commercially than the other two, but includes a cover of Rose garden, which is rarely recorded by male singers. Joe South originally wrote and recorded the song, and his is the only other male version of the song that I can remember hearing. The remainder of this album contains some other great covers along with some interesting obscurities.

This is a great collection that should appeal to Glen Campbell fans everywhere, along with other fans who like top quality country music with pop influences.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 24, 2014 7:08 AM PST

Now That's What I Call a Million
Now That's What I Call a Million
Offered by skyvo-direct-usa
Price: $12.69
37 used & new from $4.56

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting selections, October 28, 2014
The notes that are printed inside are brief but define the criteria. The million refers to sales within Britain since 1955, including downloads. Apparently just over 150 tracks qualified at the time this set was put together. What the notes don't say is that some artists won't allow their recordings to be included on multi-artist compilations, so the Beatles, Stones and some others aren't here (although Wings and John Lennon are), but I never expected them to be here.

There are a few cover versions here, some of which I expected. However, I didn't expect the versions of Unchained melody (Robson and Jerome), Tragedy (Steps) and Killing me softly (Fugees) that I found here. Maybe these versions outsold those I'm more familiar with, or maybe the other versions also sold a million, but the compilers chose the versions here instead.

Another surprise for me was the inclusion of Don't stop believin' (Journey). I like Journey's music but I knew that their music didn't do much business in the UK first time around, so I was pleased to find that they have become more popular in the intervening years, albeit mainly due to this song being featured on X-factor.

There is plenty of great music throughout, but my favourite tracks are Mull of Kintyre, Imagine, The power of love and Rivers of Babylon.


CD 1

1. Queen - Bohemian RhapsodyJohn
2. Oasis - Wonderwalll
3. Wings - Mull Of Kintyre
4. Robbie Williams - Angels
5. Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You
6. Celine Dion - Think Twice
7. Alexandra Burke - Hallelujah
8. George Michael - Careless Whisper
9. Take That - Back For Good
10. Elton John - Something About The Way You Look Tonigt
11. Natalie Imbruglia - Torn
12. James Arthur - Impossible
13. Robson & Jerome - Unchained Melody
14. Wet Wet Wet - Love Is All Around
15. Jennifer Rush - The Power Of Love
16. Will Young - Evergreen
17. Boyzone - No Matter What
18. Paul Anka - Diana
19. Bill Haley & His Comets - (We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock

CD 2

1. Pharrell Williams - Happy
2. Maroon 5 - Moves Like Jagger FT Christina Aguilera
3. The Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feeling
4. Clean Bandit - Rather Be FT Jess Glynne
5. Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines FT Pharrell & T.I.
6. Gnarls Barkley - Crazy
7. Fugees - Killing Me Softly With His Song
8. Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise FT L.V.
9. Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know FT Kimbra
10. Ed Sheeran - The A Team
11. Passenger - Let Her Go
12. Take That - Rule The World
13. All Saints - Never Ever
14. Britney Spears - ...Baby One More Time
15. Atomic Kitten - Whole Again
16. Kylie Minogue - Can't Get You Out Of My Head
17. Cheryl Cole - Fight For This Love
18. Steps - Tragedy
19. Hear'Say - Pure & Simple
20. Shaggy - It Wasn't Me FT Ricardo "RikRok" Ducent
21. RUN-DMC vs. Jason Nevins - It's Like That

CD 3

1. John Lennon - Imagine
2. Elvis Presley - It's Now Or Never
3. Journey - Stop Believin'
4. Survivor - Eye Of The Tiger
5. Cher - Believe
6. Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax
7. Soft Cell - Tainted Love
8. The Human League - Don't You Want Me
9. Blondie - Heart Of Glass
10. New Order - Blue Monday
11. Irene Cara - Fame
12. Village People - Y.M.C.A.
13. Boney M. - Rivers Of Babylon
14. Ray Parker, Jr. - Ghostbusters
15. Spice Girls - Wannabe
16. Whigfield - Saturday Night
17. Aqua - Barbie Girl
18. Culture Club - Karma Chameleon
19. Dexys Midnight Runners - Come On Eileen
20. UB40 - Red Red Wine
21. Tony Christie - (Is This The Way To) Amarillo

Nostalgia (Ltd. Ed CD/DVD Deluxe Amazon Exclusive)
Nostalgia (Ltd. Ed CD/DVD Deluxe Amazon Exclusive)
10 used & new from $19.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Annie covers oldies from before she was born, October 27, 2014
Perhaps this has become very familiar territory in recent years, but there's a reason for that - the quality of song writing in the first half of the 20th century was, at its best, extremely high. Anything sub-standard hasn't survived the test of time. So Annie Lennox may be going where plenty have gone before, but in the last 15 years or so, I've gone from knowing next to nothing about this type of music to knowing quite a lot, although there's always plenty more to learn.

Most of the songs here are familiar to me via other versions, but Annie sings them well. All the songs are ballads, but I don't mind that. I don't immediately recognize I Cover the waterfront or Memphis in June, but I might have older versions of these songs and forgotten about them, so I'm glad Annie recorded them.

Elsewhere, Georgia on my mind, Summertime, You belong to me and others have been recorded by plenty of artists but I never tire of hearing them, especially when they sound as good as Annie sings them.


In Love The Whitman Way / Happy Street
In Love The Whitman Way / Happy Street
Offered by IMS Distribution
Price: $15.58
30 used & new from $8.44

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent albums from 1968, October 26, 2014
These two albums are both of a high quality, but weren't massively successful at the time. Rainbows are back in style (a top 20 country hit) was the most successful single from either album, but both albums are packed with great songs.

Among the other highlights are Just loving you (a UK top ten hit for Anita Harris), Walk through this world with me, You've still got a place in my heart (both covers of George Jones country hits), Unchained melody (Slim's version is superb), South of the border (he's good at those Western songs) and my favourite here, Love lanes Of yesterday, a cover of an Al Dexter song.

These two 1968 albums are not Slim's most famous albums, but if you enjoy any of his other music, you'll surely enjoy this too.

Gonna Have a Really Soul Christmas
Gonna Have a Really Soul Christmas
Price: $14.99
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soulful Christmas recordings 1954 to 1962, October 26, 2014
This collection of music, all recorded early enough to be avoid European performance copyright, includes plenty of top quality American soul music including four tracks from the famous Phil Spector album as well as early Motown tracks by Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson, not forgetting Harry Belafonte (Mary's boy child) and the classic soul version of White Christmas by the Drifters. If, by some chance, you haven't heard the Phil Spector album, one track each by the artists involved (Darlene Love, Crystals, Ronettes, Bob B Soxx & the Blue Jeans) will surely tempt you to buy it.

Away from the famous tracks, there are plenty of obscurities, carefully selected or so it seems. I particularly like Santa done got hip (The Marquees), but there's plenty of other great music here.



CD 1

1. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - Christmas Everyday
2. The Debonaires - Crazy Santa Claus
3. Detroit Junior - Christmas Day
4. The Coasters - Frosty The Snowman
5. The Quotations - (Have A) Merry Christmas
6. Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
7. John Greer - We Wanna See Santa Do The Mambo
8. Kim Weston - Wish You A Merry Christmas
9. The Voices - Santa Claus Boogie
10. Toni Harper - Jingle Bells
11. Bob B. Soxx And The Blue Jeans - The Bells Of St. Mary
12. Fat Daddy - Holiday Baby
13. The Cameos - Merry Christmas
14. Sam Cooke - Any Day Now
15. The Marquees - Santa Done Got Hip
16. Freddie King - I Hear Jingle Bells
17. Dee Dee Ford - Good Morning Blues
18. Gary U.S. Bonds - Call Me For Christmas
19. The Uniques - Rock n rudolph
20. The Ronettes - Sleigh Ride
21. Ron Holden & The Thunderbirds - Who Said There Ain t No Santa Claus?
22. The Ravens - Silent Night
23. Santo & Johnny - Twistin Bells
24. The Penguins - Jingle Jangle
25. The Willows - Church Bells May Ring

CD 2

1. Titus Turner - Christmas Morning
2. Marvin & Johnny - Christmas Time
3. Hank Ballard & The Midnighters - Christmas Time For Everybody But Me
4. The Crystals - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
5. Jackie Wilson - Joy To The World
6. B.B. King - Christmas Celebration
7. Jimmy Butler - Trim Your Tree
8. Selena Jones - I Want A Man For Christmas
9. The Cadillacs - Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
10. The Moonglows - Hay Santa Claus
11. Marvin Gaye - The Christmas Song
12. Tommy Lee & The Orbits - Jingle Rock
13. Oscar Mclollie & His Honey Jumpers - Dig That Crazy Santa Claus
14. Darlene Love - Marshmallow World
15. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - Winter Wonderland
16. Harry Belafonte - Mary s Boy Child
17. The Voices - Santa Claus Baby
18. Sheb Wooley - Santa Claus Meets The Purple People Eater
19. Sandy Baron - Swingin Santa
20. Jimmy Boyd & Mitch Miller - I Saw Mommy Do The Mambo (With You Know Who)
21. The Drifters - White Christmas
22. Frankie Lymon - It s Christmas Time Once Again
23. Marguerite Trina - The Rocking Tree
24. Jo Ann Campbell - Happy New Year Baby
25. The Enchanters - Mambo Santa Mambo

Not So Silent Night: Christmas with REO Speedwagon
Not So Silent Night: Christmas with REO Speedwagon
Price: $8.50
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A distinctive Christmas rock album, October 26, 2014
I enjoy listening to REO Speedwagon, although I don't have a lot of their music. This album containd two songs that I don;t think I've heard before (The white snows of winter, I believe in Santa Claus). The latter song was written by two members of REO Speedwagon, and isn't remotely like the identically titled Dolly Parton song.

The opening track (The first Noel) lasts less than a minute, but the rest are all full-length songs, although some verses are skipped in Children go where I send thee; it is a very long song if done in its entirety. Apart from the two songs that I hadn't heard before, the rest should be familiar to everybody, though some are more frequently heard than others. All of then sound a little different on this album.

Maybe I need to look again at my modest collection of REO Speedwagon's music to see if I should expand it. This is excellent.

Four Classic Albums
Four Classic Albums
Price: $11.63
16 used & new from $8.29

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great jazz-soul singer from Detroit, October 25, 2014
This review is from: Four Classic Albums (Audio CD)
Jazz is one of those generic descriptions that covers a lot of different styles, but Betty was clearly influenced by soul music rather than mainstream pop. I like jazz-pop singers too, but I had a fair idea of what to expect when I bought this.

Many years ago, I acquired a Betty Carter album, I can't help it, which I like but never bought any more of her music until I bought this set of four albums to remind me of how good her music is. As it happens, the middle two albums here were featured in their entirety on I can't help it, but this came at a budget price so I have no regrets.

The first album features Betty only on alternate tracks, the others being instrumentals. The second album is an all-ballads selection, while the third is more diverse, covering a whole range of tempos. The final album features duets with Ray Charles, most of which are ballads although there are a couple of up-tempo songs including Side by side.

This is a great collection of Betty's early music

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