Profile for Mike > Reviews

Browse

Mike's Profile

Customer Reviews: 39
Top Reviewer Ranking: 3,507,970
Helpful Votes: 302




Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Mike RSS Feed (Philadelphia, PA, USA)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
pixel
Dreamboat Annie
Dreamboat Annie
Price: $5.19
98 used & new from $1.14

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last great classic rock band, and their best album..., July 19, 2009
This review is from: Dreamboat Annie (Audio CD)
For me this album is more than just a great debut album. Heart, in my opinion, were probably the last great rock band to emerge before the rise of disco, new wave, MOR, and punk, and this album shows them at their best. Heart certainly were more than just the "arena rock" brand that they were unfortunately lumped into, and they certainly were more than just Ann & Nancy Wilson and just a bunch of guys, which, I'm sorry to say, is what Heart has been ever since 1980; the sound of Heart indeed going the way of arena rock, hair metal, and adult contemporary.

The original lineup; Ann Wilson - the lead singer extraordinare and flute player, Nancy Wilson on rhythm and acoustic guitars, Roger Fisher on lead guitar, Steve Fossen on bass, the multi-talented Howard Leese on second lead guitar, keyboards, and string arrangements, and Mike DeRosier on drums; created a sound that for Heart and indeed for the Dreamboat Annie album, seemed to be the culmination of rock and roll. Equal parts the harsh sounds put forth by Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, The Who, and Black Sabbath; the folk sensibilities of Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, and Joan Baez; the stunning command of pop harmony and arrangement in the great tradition of The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Crosby Stills Nash & Young, and the downright innovation of progressive rock bands like Yes, The Moody Blues, Genesis, & Jethro Tull. Heart's sound seemed to synthesize all of the elements, yet come out totally original.

As for Dreamboat Annie, this is definitely their best album. The next 3 albums done by the original lineup all have their moments of sheer brilliance ("Barracuda", "Mistral Wind", "Heartless", "Love Alive"... just to name such moments...), yet they all lack the cohesiveness of Dreamboat Annie. Every single song on this album is pure genius, even the hits ("Magic Man", "Crazy On You", and the title track) are great songs, and in no way are diminutive to the deeper cuts or the flow of the album, like so many hit songs are to their parent albums.

For me, this album never gets old, because each time I listen to it, I find new layers of meaning or hear details in the recording that I never picked up on before, which is how a great album should be. I dare any band out there today, to actually try and accomplish something like that, and indeed it will be an arduous task, because of the lack of sonic and lyrical detail that is running rampant in music today.

Basically, my point is... Great music is great music. I bet it was certainly a shock to see a band fronted by 2 extremely talented sisters back in the day, but to me it doesn't seem like gender factors much into the music. It certainly wasn't like Heart were saying, "Look at us, we're girls playing rock!!!" as much as some other "girl bands" who followed have indeed needed to point out to us, time and time again. If anything, Heart were practically gender-neutral, because the 4 men of the group were just as responsible for the sound of this great record, as much as the 2 women on the front cover were.


Griffin RoadTrip FM Transmitter and Car Charger for iPod (Black)
Griffin RoadTrip FM Transmitter and Car Charger for iPod (Black)

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the iTrip, November 29, 2008
I used to own a Griffin iTrip, but unfortunately it got stolen out of my car. So I had to buy a new one. While looking on Amazon, I stumbled upon this device. And by the looks of it, I thought that this was exactly what I needed! It mounts iPod in place next to my radio, which makes it easier to work with. Also, as with the iTrip, if I'm going up a hill, there's the danger of the iPod falling off of my dashboard. No more with the RoadTrip. Also, the sound is better than the iTrip, and there's little to no interference, and I live in Philadelphia, where it's pretty hard to find an empty radio station. So if you're out in the middle of nowhere, it's gonna be even better for you! Not to say the the iTrip wasn't a great device, It certainly came in handy for me. But I'm gonna have to say that the RoadTrip is a far superior product, and would recommend it to anybody looking for something like this for their iPod.


Lennon Legend: The Very Best of John Lennon
Lennon Legend: The Very Best of John Lennon
Offered by Great Price Media
Price: $13.99
111 used & new from $0.01

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A nice introduction to the Genius of John Lennon., August 21, 2007
But eventually you will need to buy his albums if you want to really experience Lennon. This compilation just doesn't quite do justice. One thing that I was disappointed about is that the Sometime in New York album was completely left off.


Cables To Go 35508 iPod-Compatible 3.5 mm to Dock Connector Audio Cable (4 Feet)
Cables To Go 35508 iPod-Compatible 3.5 mm to Dock Connector Audio Cable (4 Feet)

4.0 out of 5 stars Great solution to technical difficuties, August 21, 2007
I bought this cable because the headphone Jack on my iPod broke. I didn't want to take it to a repairman who may not know what to do, and I didn't want to replace it so soon. So I looked for any cheap alternative, and I came across this. I saw iPod dock connector to 3.5mm jack, and I thought that I could do something with that. So I run the 3.5mm jack into a female-to-female into headphones, and it works perfectly. The only downside is that it doesn't respond to the volume on your iPod, but a necessary sacrifice, and the preset volume is perfect. Not to loud and not to soft. Perfect.


Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970
Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970
Offered by carmelbeachbooks
Price: $28.88
14 used & new from $10.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good solid live album, although it has it's fair share of problems., August 21, 2007
I'm sure no band is perfect their first night out. Emerson Lake and Palmer is no exception. Although technically their 2nd performance, they still had to tighten things up a bit. One of the most marring qualities of this record is Greg Lake's mostly out of tune bass. At a close listen, it only seems to be only one string out of tune (the A-string or second from lowest is my guess), and he had so many oppurtunites to fix the tuning ("Sage" section of Pictures, between "Barbarian" and "Take A Pebble", etc.), but never does which is a shame.

The sound mix is a bit raw. The piano and clavinet are never quite fully in the mix, which hurts "Take A Pebble" and "Nutrocker". Emerson's short spoken intro for "Pictures At An Exhibition" is almost inaudible, and Greg Lake's short quippy response to that isn't that funny.

Also, the version of "Rondo" here is severely cut up. If you want to, ditch the version on here, and buy the "Message To Love" album, which along with other great performances from the Isle of Wight festival, has the full 8-minute version of "Rondo".

Anyway, with all the negatives out of the way, it's still a very interesting document, and one that no fan of ELP, prog rock, or extreme bombast in Rock music should not be without.


One Toke Over the Line: Best of
One Toke Over the Line: Best of
Offered by Media Medley
Price: $9.50
25 used & new from $2.12

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Jesus!, June 10, 2007
I discovered this group by reading in the liner notes of the Grateful Dead's 'American Beauty' album, where it says that Jerry Garcia contributed some Pedal Steel Guitar to Brewer & Shipley's 'Tarkio' album, and then a good friend of mine played me "One Toke Over The Line" and I knew that I had to hear more.

Basically what I was dealing with a singer/songwriter duo that easily rivals Simon & Garfunkel, America, and CSNY. However, their sound has a more country twang. Starting off with the hippie anthems "People Love Each Other" and the title hit, I knew that there was something special with these guys.

These guys do good political songs like "Oh Mommy", nice folk tunes like "Ruby On The Morning", and good road trip anthems like "Rise Up (Easy Rider)" and "Tarkio Road". They even jam out a little with "Fifty States Of Freedom" and their superb covers of Jim Pepper's "Witchi-Tai-To" and Bob Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower".

If you like the country-rock stylings of Gram Parsons, The Flying Burrito Brothers, New Riders Of The Purple Sage, or The Grateful Dead, you'll love Brewer and Shipley, and this is the best place to start with their music.


At the Movies
At the Movies
Price: $10.99
39 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Good beginner's compilation..., June 10, 2007
This review is from: At the Movies (Audio CD)
...but if you want the really Nitty Gritty on Creedence, get the 2 Chronicle compilations.

However, those 2 albums neglect the awesome "Keep On Chooglin'" that is included here, because of it's use in the Hunter Thompson semi-biopic "Where The Buffalo Roam". And "Keep On Chooglin'" is a good enough song that should've been on Chronicle 2, in place of the extremely unnecessary "Susie Q (Part 2)".

If you got the Chronicle albums, get this for "Keep On Chooglin'". That's it.


To Bonnie From Delaney
To Bonnie From Delaney
14 used & new from $46.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By Far their best album., May 25, 2007
This review is from: To Bonnie From Delaney (Audio CD)
I've got it on vinyl, but that won't last forever. Why won't Atlantic reissue it?


Two-Lane Blacktop (Limited Edition Tin Case Packaging)
Two-Lane Blacktop (Limited Edition Tin Case Packaging)
DVD ~ James Taylor
10 used & new from $23.21

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock Stars can act!, May 11, 2007
Although I don't really don't know if you can consider this acting. What procedes between Mr. Fire and Rain, The Beach Boy, and their many acquaintances on the road sound like things that everyday people would discuss, and that doesn't take alot to do. But most people can't transfer onto the screen as well as these boys can.

As for the movie itself. I loved it! What happened to America in the past 35 years since this movie first came out? We've all become so embroiled in our daily activities that we forget about what else is out there. This movie is, for me, a 100 minute snapshot of what freedom is. It's being out on the road, not being tied down to any real commitment, except for the occasional breadwinning. And these 2 friends have found their breadwinning niche in the form of their biggest passion, racing. For other people it could be music, surfing, or painting.

The only really thing I didn't like about the movie was Laurie Bird's butchering of some great tunes. Like her tonedeaf interpretation of The Stones' classic "Satisfaction" in the arcade or her annoying lyric echoing for that killer blues number playing on the GTO's sound system. You can see Dennis Wilson trying to keep himself from laughing at her in that scene. But luckily for me that isn't enough for me to take away a star.

It's interesting that director Monte Hellmen, known for his Westerns, decided to choose a couple of rock stars (who at the time could've been considered the Wild West Heroes [and Villians, haha Beach Boys reference] of the day) to star in this movie.

Much like the dialouge, music is kept to a minimum. Mainly the only real excuse for music in this movie is the fact that it's always coming from a car stereo, instead of the usual dramatic effect (like in "Easy Rider" or "Vanishing Point"). It's same as everything else in the movie. A song just passes by as if it were an object by the highway. If you're going fast, it passes by quickly.

Hopefully this movie can translate to you, the same way it translated to me.


Ace
Ace
Price: $14.99
34 used & new from $7.40

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be put off by the name of the artist..., May 11, 2007
This review is from: Ace (Audio CD)
The album says Bob Weir, but this album is purely Grateful Dead! All of the songs (except for the underrated coulda-shoulda-woulda been counterculture anthem "Walk In The Sunshine") on this album go on to become staples the Dead's live shows. But just like "Workingman's Dead" and "American Beauty", "Ace" provides a snapshot into what these great tunes sound like in the studio.

The horn section on "Black Throated Wind", "Mexicali Blues", and "One More Saturday Night" really add a new dimension to the Dead sound that unfortunately would not be explored much furthur (yes I mean to spell it that way).

This album isn't lacking in jams either, this studio version of "Playing In The Band" (which improves greatly over the short version on the "Skull and Roses" album) includes a middle jam section that is just as satisfying as every other live version released.

If you liked the "Garcia" and "Rolling Thunder" albums, you'll be especially pleased by this set. For Dead studio completists, this provides a perfect bridge between their sound on "American Beauty" and what they would sound like on "Wake Of The Flood".


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4