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Wayne Klein "If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.-Albert Einstein" RSS Feed (My Little Blue Window, USA)

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Savage Eye
Savage Eye
Offered by Fulfillment Express US
Price: $12.72
23 used & new from $7.36

3.0 out of 5 stars "Savage Eye" not as bad as its reputation but it does include the putrid song "Tonight" as a bonus track., January 20, 2016
This review is from: Savage Eye (Audio CD)
"Savage Eye" finds The Pretty Things playing catch up with the styles that were popular on in the 70's. "Savage Eye" echoes Queen, 10cc, Golden Earring and other bands very well. The craftsmanship on display from Phil May (who wrote or co-wrote most of the tracks) and the production of the late Norman Smith all combine to make an unusual but fun album and probably the weakest in The Pretty Things discography at the time.

Dick Taylor is still sorely missed (and he left three albums before although Wally Allen stepped up to help fill the gap quite nicely collaborating with May on songs).

It does have one major misstep. The putrid song "Tonight" an awful creation that the band was forced to record to create a hit. Unfortunately, it's included here (against May's wishes at the time but evidently some folks enjoy it) as a bonus track along with other tracks that show the band low on creative steam "Love Me A Little" and "Dance All Night" songs that could have been recorded by any mediocre band.

Enjoy "Savage Eye" but stop playing the music after "Theme For Michelle" otherwise you'll regret it.

Is this a bad album? Nope. The last three bonus tracks could have been lost to posterity and no one would have missed.

Hotel California
Hotel California
Price: $7.50
270 used & new from $0.26

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glenn Frey RIP--the Eagles masterpiece continues to resonante despite over exposure on radio., January 19, 2016
This review is from: Hotel California (Audio CD)
The media can do funny things to great works of art. By over exposing them, a work can seem to lose much of what made it unique almost as if the spirit of it becomes drained by over exposure.

That doesn't make the work less inspired or important really because it kind of exists in a vaccum. It's a matter of perception.

"Hotel California" was te biggest album the Eagles ever did and that is, largely, down to Don Henley and Glenn Frey who came up with a concept album that captured all that was wrong about the 70's and its excesses.

With the death of Frey, the Eagles work will, no doubt, be reassessed. Listening to this album after having not listened to it for a long time because of the saturation due to radio airplay, it's still as potent as it was back in 1976. It recalls an era that has passed and uses California, the excesses of the 70's as a potent metaphor about the world. It still resonates because, not surprisingly, the world hasn' changed all that much in the 40 years since it was released.

The latest CD version of "Hotel California" was remastered by Ted Jensen and, although it isn't quite as good as the masterings done by Steve Hoffman and others (including the original vinyl), the musical aspects of the album still haven't changed.

The remaster features the original album artwork. It would have been nice to see an expanded version of this with some outtakes, etc. but, as Frey once pointed out, all the worthwile music the band did WAS released or reworked for other albums. They came in, largely, with just enough material for each album developing the most promising bits into songs.

Highlights remain the title track, "Life In The Fast Lane" (inspired by a dealer friend that Frey had about the drug use of stars in L.A. and a riff that Joe Walsh used to use to warp up at practice with other band members), "The Last Resort" which seemed to be Eagles ultimate comment on the world of the 70's as a counterpoint to the darker elements of the title track focusing on the world and how we can affect it.

Frey's "New Kid In Town" (largely written by Frey with J.D. Souther) remains a bright spot on the album (and his only lead vocal on the album unfortunately).

Pick it up, give it a listen. Some of it may be a bit worn out by the media but if you give it a chance, you may find that it still has power.

Solo Collection
Solo Collection
Price: $7.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glenn Frey, RIP--A nice overview of his solo material., January 18, 2016
This review is from: Solo Collection (MP3 Music)
Glenn Frey you'll be missed.

While this doesn't include everything of worth that Frey cut as a solo artist, this is an exceptional set of Frey's solo material covering the hits, some great album tracks.

The mastering here is pretty good but what matters is the music. Could you quibble over the selection of material? Yes you could. Having said that, this is a nice collection that is superior to the other release that covers some of the same materal.

Lyrics are included in the package.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 19, 2016 10:10 AM PST

The Studio Albums 1969-1987
The Studio Albums 1969-1987
Offered by megahitrecords
Price: $46.99
115 used & new from $35.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly an exceptional set of classic albums-the packaging design is better than the execution, bonus tracks from deluxe included, January 18, 2016
Although they have yet to be inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame (a major oversight IMHO), Yes helped define the good and the bad of prog rock during the late 60's, 70's and 80's.

This set includes all of the band's studio albums released while they were signed to Atlantic Records/Atco.

While there are those who prefer the Diament mastering for these, the deluxe editions sound pretty good and we get nice bonus tracks for most of the albums here.

The packaging is better than the Original Album Series mini-boxes replicating gate folds (and in one case a quad fold) sleeves. We also get a replica of the original label for each respective album based on when they were released.

The box itself is a sturdy and well designed clam shell box. There isn't any booklet (which would be nice since it would be good to have all of the credits, lyrics and comments from the band on the various releases) unlike the superlative Sony releases deluxe boxed sets like what was done for Cheap Trick and BOC. For that Rhino misses the boat a bit here.

The sleeves themselves are a little too big for the discs as if they were designed for some inner sleeves like the Japanese reissues of these that have inner sleeves to protect the discs but there aren't any here.

The mastering by Bill Inglot might be a bit bright for some audiophiles but the average fan will really really enjoy these.

So, on the whole the intentions were good as is the design while the execution could be a bit better for these classic albums. The price is certainly right for these classic albums.

Soul Manifesto 1964-1970 (12CD)
Soul Manifesto 1964-1970 (12CD)
Price: $44.43
48 used & new from $37.62

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice set but there's a clicking sound that mars two tracks for the "Dock" album--Rhino should have fixed this by now., January 14, 2016
Otis Redding was amazingly prolific during a very brief period. Before his untimely death (he was killed in a plane crash before his biggest hit was released "The Dock Of The Bay"). This collection puts together 12 of his classic albums.

Why four stars then?

Because Rhino botched one album "The Dock Of The Bay"--it has a digital click on the 9th and 11th track. That could be forgiven if it wasn't also a problem with the "Original Album Series" version of this CD as well. That's been out for some time and Rhino was made aware of the problem.

These use whatever the latest remasters were and that were on the shelf. Most of these received upgrades by Bill Inglot in the 90's but there are no credits for the individual releases here as to mastering. The box itself doesn't tout new masterings (like the America boxed set did for example) so I wouldn't expect anything new here.

It's sloppy. I expect better from Rhino and so should you. Here's hoping that, two months later, they get around to fixing the problem because it mars one of Otis' best albums.

The individual release from the U.S. doesn't have the problem (at least mine doesn't). This was made in the EU not in the U.S. so I suspect that's where the flawed release originated from.

The rest of the albums sound pretty terrific. There aren't any bonus tracks or expanded editions here and all of these feature the mastering done by Bill Inglot for the individual releases.

The clam shell box is nicely designed (there will be those who hate the cover, like it, etc. but that doesn't impact the quality of the music). Each individual CD comes with a replica of the label appropriate for its original release and in a cardboard sleeve replica of the original. Some of the artwork could look a bit sharper with a better reproduction. The set IS inexpensive though so, depending on how important the quality of the artwork is to you and the packaging, all of this may not matter.

The cardboard covers don't have the colored borders that mar the original album series releases.

Like many of the clam shell boxed sets that Rhino has released over the last couple of years, there isn't a booklet and the information we get on the original albums are only the info that was on the back cover of these releases. It's a pity that Rhino couldn't have licensed one of the essays written for another boxed set or even an article about Otis and his career for this set. Yes, it might have added a bit more cost but for those discovering Otis for the first time, it would be nice to have some context for the music. It's a minor flaw especially given the issue with "Dock".

So should you buy this? Well that depends. If you have the two "Original Album Classics" (the EU version of this for "Dock" has the same issue) releases which collect ten of these albums (two of these were not part of that set and they have slightly better cardboard sleeves), there's no reason to get this. If you want an instant Otis collection, this is a very good but flawed set due to the sloppy manufacturing for "Dock".

Certainly mistakes occur but, since this was a problem with the previous release for "Dock" in the smaller boxed set (it's on mine and many others) and it should have been caught before this was released.

Docked (pardon the pun) a star for the flawed disc. If Rhino fixes this or sends out replacement discs, I will update this review accordingly but fans are warned about the flaw now.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 25, 2016 8:25 AM PDT

Camille Beckman Hand and Shower Cleansing Gel, Camille, 8 Ounce
Camille Beckman Hand and Shower Cleansing Gel, Camille, 8 Ounce
Offered by Paris Lamps

5.0 out of 5 stars Smells nice, lasts a long time, not harsh on the skin., December 30, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My wife loves her products so I had to ask...why?

Beckman provides stuff to lots of hotels and spas and my wife discovered her by accident when she was reading reviews here looking for honey body lotion.

It smells nice, endures throughout the day. The gel feels both amazing and isn't harsh on the skin. I will testify that she does smell nice after getting out of the shower so that part I can personally verify.

My wife is pretty picky about what she uses and goes for exceptional quality. She found it with this product.

X-files Season 9 [Blu-ray]
X-files Season 9 [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ David Duchovny
Price: $15.49
35 used & new from $13.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ninth season finds "The X-Files" no longer stumbling with a solid final season and a return from Mulder., December 30, 2015
The end of the line (at least until the second movie and the January 2016 mini-series which is an unoffical 10th season for the series) for The X-Files has gotten a lot of flack from fans (along with the 8th and even the 7th) because of minimal Mulder. The show struggled during the 7th season but began to find some balance again with season 9 as we began to know our characters of Doggett and Reyes.

We got a new conspiracy story arc and there were some new and challenging stories (including one that took place in an alternate universe which should and could have provided an interesting story arc had it been pursued). I would disagree with those that indicated that the 9th season was tired

The 9th season introduced the Super Soldier plot line featuring some stellar guest stars (Lucy Lawless, Alan Dale, Cary Elwes, Terry O'Quinn) which helped to elevate even the occasional marginal episode. Interestingly, Chris Carter was going to leave around season nine and going to let others run the show but he stepped back in once he saw what Frank Spotnitz, Vince Gilligan and others had come up with for the ninth season. Returning also allowed him to return and close out the last season with a concluding episode closing off most of the plot points that had been established but not answered over the previous eight seasons.

The transfer to Blu-Ray looks extremely good. The 2K scans also feature, wherever possible, new compositing and transfers for some visual effects sequences as well.

The special features from the previous boxed set s are included here but nothing more substanial including international clips, audio commentary and various featurettes all in their original SD format (1.33:1 full screen as well).

Flicker of Time
Flicker of Time
26 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Strong solo album from front man for Translator--recommended along with "The Boy Who Rode His Bike Around the World", December 30, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Flicker of Time (Audio CD)
Very few people spend a flicker of time listening to music today in the way it matters.

Music has increasingly become little more than background noise. For those of you looking for something other than background noise or prefabricated pop I have a name for you to try.

Steve Barton. He's the best singer/songwriter you've heard but never heard of. Really. He had one really decent sized hit with "Everywhere That I'm Not" with his 80's band Translator. This terrific song got the band signed but, unfortunately, beyond this song and "Unalone" they were virtually ignored except on college radio and a few progressive stations at the time.

He hasn't given up making great music although the music world, which is even more fickle than movies, has seemingly given up on him so now he does his own thing.

"Flicker of Time" is probably, like "The Boy Who Rode His Bike Around The World" one of his best solo albums (I don't want to say THE best because then you set up unrealistic expectations and everyone responds differently to music).

So I'd suggest picking this up before it vanishes going unfairly going out-of-print.

The World Won't End
The World Won't End
Offered by cdgiveaways
Price: $7.69
56 used & new from $0.26

5.0 out of 5 stars Great second album (and my personal favorite this week) by Joe Pernice and his band of compatriots., December 30, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The World Won't End (Audio CD)
The Pernice Brothers. If you have just heard of them and you like what you have heard so far go out--quickly--and buy ALL of their albums. There isn't a clunker in their collection. Some are slightly better than others but, on the whole, the quality control of this outstanding band has been terrific.

How best to describe their music? I can't. Really. It wouldn't do it justice but I will say that Joe Pernice who writes the songs and sings them has an amazing voice. If you enjoy this you may want to check out the other albums that Pernice has made under his own name as well as a member of the Scud Mountain Boys (kind of indie alt country) or one of his side projects Chappaquiddick Skyline or The New Medicants . Whether the sound of the album is more alt pop/rock based or the more ornate sounding "Live A Little" with horns and strings, the songs are smartly written with strong hooks, melodies and pretty insightful lyrics most of the time.

"The World Won't End" is my personal favorite although "Overcome By Happiness" is a close second for me with "Goodbye Killer" a very close second as well.

You may find that the rewards vary with each album. The ornate sound of something like their debut may not appeal to you and other albums are more stripped down in approach sometimes very, very spare sounding focusing more on the song than the arrangement.

The mastering varies a bit as well. Most of these albums are mastered pretty well while there were a couple that were fairly close to being brickwalled. There are some solutions to that when you rip these to your hard drive but it doesn't replace the dynamics that are lost--it does make them more listenable however.

Playback [6 CD Box Set]
Playback [6 CD Box Set]
Price: $42.13
55 used & new from $20.81

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Petty boxed set a nice addition to a collection with a warning or two about fidelity., December 30, 2015
This review is from: Playback [6 CD Box Set] (Audio CD)
I never realized I had not written a review for "Playback" until I came here wanting to compare my thoughts on it then to now. I wanted to do so because I had been reading Petty's biography and wanted to listen to the music.

This covers key hits, album tracks and rarities for Petty and it is nicely packaged (although it is an early digipak and slides in and out of the cardboard containers so, if you plan on playing the CDs a lot rather than rip them to your hard drive and not play them as often, I'd recommend putting them in jewel boxes.

If you aren't an audiophile you can skip the next paragraph.

The mastering has a decent DR rating (of 12 or so (that's not the be all and end all though as EQ choices, additional reverb, etc. play a role as well in how releases can sound) but tends to sound a bit in your face and brickwalled (it isn't though--I will explain) compared to the earlier CD releases of his individual albums. This is HD encoded. High def CDs for those that don't know have roughly 4 extra bits of info bringing it up to 20 bits due to a special encoding process. When played back non HDCD equipment this can create a bit more of a brickwalled and sometimes shrill or brighter sounding disc. It may bother you or it may not. There is a way to rip the HDCD to your server and avoid this problem (it's on the internet) so be aware of that as well.

With less and less players supporting HDCD (unless you have a really old CD player with an HDCD logo or an Oppo player which generally supports HDCD), this might be an issue for some folks.

The booklet is pretty good as well although it didn't really tell me as much as I wanted to know about the recording of each album per se or Petty's thoughts on such issues as the fact that "You Got Lucky" sounding a lot like another popular song by another popular band within a couple of years.

Handsomely packaged (especially considering to other boxes that came out at the same time such as the original long box version of the Buffalo Springfield boxed set which had a completely illegible booklet due to choices made by Neil Young and his crew), this is a good place to collect most of Petty's essential releases.

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