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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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The Man from U.N.C.L.E: Season 1
The Man from U.N.C.L.E: Season 1
DVD ~ Robert Vaughn
Price: $18.79
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4.0 out of 5 stars "The Man From U.N.C.L.E" arrives in a nice looking 10 DVD set but no special features for the series., August 29, 2015
During the 60's there was an explosion of spy shows influenced by the popularity of James Bond and the Cold War. "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." was one of the best shows of the lot particularly during the first two seasons where it embraced the more serious one of the Bond films right down to the one liners. Ian Fleming contributed to the creation of "U.N.C.L.E." although he is not credited due to his contractual obligation to the Bond films. Sam Rolfe (who created "Have Gun-Will Travel") was brought on board to develop the series and write the pilot as well as other episodes and as a supervising producer on the series. He left after the first season was completed. Originally titled "Mr. Solo" the series was unusual in that it also featured David McCallum as a Russian agent working with his American counterpart Napoleon Solo.

Most folks known the premise but I will give a very brief description of the series; Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) and Ilya Kuryakin (David McCullum)/ work for the United Network Command for Law Enforcement fighting an evil organization that threatens the balance of world power and peace called T.H.R.U.S.H. This requires the two to travel the world protecting secrets regardless of national borders and preventing war between various nations. Their boss is Mr. Waverly (played by the marvelous, late Leo G. Carroll).

An interestingly bit of trivia--the first episode is named "The Vulcan Affair" and, later in the series, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy co-star in the ninth episode "The Project Strigas Affair". Seems like "Star Trek" was meant to be for them.

The first season was shot in black and white and the transfers here are pretty good although the series cold have used a bit of cleaning up (these were mastered back in 2006 or so) as there are various imperfections in the image but they are minor. There is a rather loud popping sound on the soundtrack during the credits that should have been corrected for the first episode of season one. Other than that, the set looks and sounds very good. I do wonder if there is a Blu-ray release pending. The show was shot in color but the final broadcast film masters were in black and white and that's what we get here. I'm oping that, at some point, Warner discovers the original MGM color masters but I doubt they exist at this stage.

The tone of the first season matches shows like "Secret Agent Man" (the retitled UK import "Danger Man") starring Patrick McGoohan although there is wry one liners and moments provided by Vaughn, McCallum and Carroll that nicely compliment the episodes. By the third season, the tone drifted into parody due to shows like "Batman" where camp was king. The series was limping badly quality wise at that time but still was doing fairly well in the ratings. By the time of the fourth season, the series made an attempt to return the more serious tone of the first two seasons.

We don't get any extras in this stand alone release (although there were extras in the original boxed set) but Warner has wisely only put three episodes per disc which allows for maximum bit rate for the shows and the best quality

This is a nice release and the series stands up remarkably well 50 plus years later.


1970-1975: You Can Make Me Dance, Sing Or Anything... (5CD)
1970-1975: You Can Make Me Dance, Sing Or Anything... (5CD)
Price: $46.98
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CD Review-"You Can Make me Dance, Sing or Anything" puts the entire Faces output with bonus tracks in handsome packaging., August 28, 2015
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Handsomely packaged, "1970-1975 You Can Make Me Dance, Sing Or Anything" is the promised CD box set from five years ago finally released by Rhino. Rhino is releasing this on CD, vinyl and MP3 simultaneously. This review is for the CD edition although the vinyl edition mimics the vinyl set. The vinyl set is packaged more faithfully than the CD version--the "Oo La La" release for example on vinyl features the moving eyes and moving mouth that was on the original vinyl. It's a pity that Rhino didn't replicate this packaging for the CD version as well. It's a minor point but one that will matter to purist since the CD version IS in mini-cardboard replicas of the original album packaging.

All of these are packaged in a clam sheet box just like the Foreigner, Alice Cooper, Doobie Brothers and other sets that Rhino has been cranking out over the last two years or so.

The mastering by Bill Inglot and Dan Hersch is pretty good--Inglot and Hersch's work tends to be a bit brighter than some folks might like--but it's dyanmic and sounds really good here.

Each disc features the original album followed by appropriate bonus tracks. The fifth disc of this five disc set includes the single a and b sides that were released by the band.

Disc 1 The First Step Album aka Small Faces
1. Wicked Messenger
2. Devotion
3. Shake, Shudder
4. Stone
5. Around The Plynth
6. Flying [Side 2]
7. Pineapple And The Monkey
8. Nobody Knows
9. Looking Out The Window
10. Three Button Hand Me Down
Unreleased bonus tracks:
11. Behind The Sun (Outtake)
12. Mona – The Blues (Outtake)
13. Shake, Shudder, Shiver (BBC Session)
14. Flying (Take 3)
15. Nobody Knows (Take 2)

Disc 2: Long Player (and, it is, indeed now a long player on CD)
1. Bad 'N' Ruin
2. Tell Everyone
3. Sweet Lady Mary
4. Richmond
5. Maybe I'm Amazed (Live)
6. Had Me A Real Good Time [Side 2]
7. On The Beach
8. I Feel So Good (Live)
9. Jerusalem
Unreleased bonus tracks:
10. Whole Lotta Woman (Outtake)
11. Tell Everyone (Take 1)
12. Sham-Mozzal
13. Too Much Woman (Live track)
14. Love In Vain (Live track)

Disc 3: Nod's As Good As A Wink…To A Blind Horse
1. Miss Judy's Farm
2. You're So Rude
3. Love Lives Here
4. Last Orders Please
5. Stay With Me
6. Debris [Side 2]
7. Memphis
8. Too Bad
9. That's All You Need
Unreleased bonus tracks
10. Miss Judy's Farm (Live)
11. Stay With Me (Live)

Disc 4 Oo La La
1. Silicone Grown
2. Cindy Incidentally
3. Flags And Banners
4. My Fault
5. Borstal Boys
6. Fly In The Ointment
7. If I’m On The Late Side
8. Glad And Sorry
9. Just Another Honky
10. Ooh La La
Previously unreelased bonus tracks
11. Cindy Incidentally (BBC Session)
12. Borstal Boys (Rehearsal)
13. Silicone Grown (Rehearsal)
14. Glad And Sorry (Rehearsal)
15. Jealous Guy (Live)

Disc 5: Singles, stray tracks
1. Pool Hall Richard (A single a-side release)
2. I Wish It Would Rain (With A Trumpet) (a single b-sde)
3. Rear Wheel Skid (a single b-side)
4. Maybe I'm Amazed (this is the single edit, the full length version is on the other Faces boxed set "Five Guys Walk Into A Bar")
5. Oh Lord I'm Browned Off (single b-side for "Maybe I'm Amazed")
6. You Make Me Dance, Sing Or Anything
7. As Long As You Tell Him
8. Skewiff (Mend The Fuse)
9. Dishevelment Blues (A flexi disc release from 1973)

It's nice to see Rhino finally release this set along with all the bonus tracks and the bonus disc that have been languishing in the vaults. This is a nice and essential set for Faces fans particularly because we get the albums with bonus tracks that have never been released before.

Also recommended: "Five Guys Walk Into A Bar" an excellent boxed set that features many previously unreleased tracks that are no here.

After the Pearl
After the Pearl
Price: $19.85
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong solo album from Badfinger's Joey Molland with nice mastering., August 20, 2015
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This review is from: After the Pearl (Audio CD)
There has been a lot of fact, rumor, conflict, fraud over the years between the former members of Badfinger. All of that is water under the bridge when it comes to the music they created. Joey Molland's "After The Pearl" remains one of his finest solo efforts and this remastered CD sounds pretty good. The mastering is dynamic.

As mentioned in the profile review, there's no doubt that the music here was colored by the dispute and suicide of Tom Evans. Molland never was able to resolve his differences with Evans regarding his version of Badfinger vs. Evans that were touring around the same time. Evans and Molland had worked together on two albums as Badfinger before parting ways.

This features the best production values of all of Molland's solo albums including the mastering for the original vinyl. As mentioned, the mastering here is pretty good. It would have been nice to get some liner notes from Molland regarding the making of the album.

This reissue from Gonzo Multimedia allows Joey's solo albums to be reevaluated by Badfinger fans. It's a strong album with some terrific performances (the production may be a bit dated). Sadly there aren't any bonus tracks here but the remaster sounds pretty good.

The packaging is bare bones with only the lyrics and original credits. There aren't any notes on the making of the album. The rest of Molland's solo albums have been reissued as well by Gonzo.

Molland's career with Badfinger and after the suicides of Pete Ham & Tom Evans continued to be a challenge. Molland continued to tour as Joey Molland's Badfinger making a variety of recordings (some of which were remakes of Badfinger tracks--often misleadingly sold as the originals). At the end of the day, it's about the music that Molland produced just as it was for Ham (the most talented of the writers in Badfinger) and Evans. This is a fine album that could have benefited from additional vintage recordings (if available) and liner notes but the fact that this is even available is a big plus.

The Complete Epic Albums Collection
The Complete Epic Albums Collection
19 used & new from $189.50

4.0 out of 5 stars All twelve of the Cheap Trick albums recorded for Epic plus the "Found All The Parts" EP-ALL remastered by Vic Anesini., August 19, 2015
Every rock fan needs the first eight (and their EP) Cheap Trick albums. Flaws (and the sixth and seventh have their flaws) and all, it's some of the best music produced in rock music. After that their careers had peaks and valleys as they tried to do what their record company wanted them to do to sell albums.

This boxed set takes the band's entire discography and puts them in replica cardboard sleeves of the original vinyl releases, plus all the bonus tracks and packages them in a handsome (if flimsy) cardboard box. This set has a couple advantages over the individual releases and a disadvantage, too. Why this should be out of print so quickly (it was release two years ago) is beyond me.

So the advantages include "Next Position Please" in a deluxe definitive edition with ALL the bonus tracks that were on the original cassette edition. Sixteen tracks makes this edition (exclusive to this set) makes this a major reason to get this set.

We also get a handsome booklet with plenty of photos and credits. What we don't get are the extensive sleeve notes for the individual releases for the first six deluxe albums. It's a pity these weren't included but the fact that we do get a booklet (unlike the Rhino releases which rarely include bonus tracks or never a booklet) is a good thing here. We also get ALL the bonus tracks for the previous individual releases. We also get all of the rest of the albums by the band remastered by Vic Anesini.

Each disc is also text encoded.

The disadvantage, is as mentioned, the notes are missing on the making of the albums that were included with the individual releases. There aren't any bonus tracks for the rest of the remasters included here after the first six reissues and which is a pity because there were some worthwhile tracks that are probably in the vaults and Japanese bonus tracks as well. Vic did a great job of remastering these albums and, flaws aside, this is an essential set for fans of the band.

We get a total of 12 albums, one EP ("Found All athe Parts" which was originally added on to "All Shook Up") including the expanded editions for ALL the albums released individually and "Next Position Please".

Highly recommended

Split Enz 1972-1979/1980-1984
Split Enz 1972-1979/1980-1984

4.0 out of 5 stars Review--these are two different sets with each housed in their own box so be aware you may be buying one or the other., August 19, 2015
This set is actually TWO boxed sets not one as shown here. 1972-1979 covers the band's early years. Both sets feature five discs including a bonus disc of b-sides and singles that didn't make albums.

Set one consists of "Beginning of The Enz" (which compiled their early material), "Mental Notes", "Second Thoughts","Dizzyrhythm", "Frenzy" and the bonus disc entitled "Oddz and Enz".

Set two consists of "True Color", "", "Waiata / Corroboree", "Time and Tide", "Conflicting Emotions", "See Ya' Around" and the bonus disc entitled "Rear Enz".

Each has a booklet with photos, tour dates and trivia about what occurred to the band for each respective year (i.e., members leaving, etc.).

Each set was remastered at Metropolis mastering and housed in two colored boxes--one silver (the first set) and the other gold (the second set).

Each release sounds quite dynamic and, unlike the remasters, are not peak limited or brickwalled.

I personally prefer these sets to the earlier masters and the later masters and, as I recall, these were reissued overseas individually without bonus tracks or disc.

The ABC/Dunhill Singles Collection
The ABC/Dunhill Singles Collection
Price: $19.89
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional 2 CD set including remastering of the single masters for the Steppenwolf and John Kay tracks from Dunhill., August 18, 2015
For many Steppenwolf will always be associated with three songs--"Born To Be Wild", "The Pusher" and "Magic Carpet Ride" all three of which do demonstrate the blues-rock basis of the band's music but also limits them in the minds of many listeners as well.

"THe ABC Dunhill Singles Collection" intends to change that with two discs of the band's best A and B-side singles and a collection of John Kay's solo singles that give a much broader picture of the band.

The mastering was done from the mono masters where possible prepared for 45 release. If there was no master available, the best source for the transfer was chosen. The mastering is excellent. Keep in mind that all of these are mono where possible as that's how the original singles were released and, for many of these tracks, this is the first time that they have appeared on CD. Please keep in mind that the mono 45 master for John Kay's song "Monster" was NOT included at his request. He, instead, requested, the album version because he had nothing to do with the single edit and prefers the full length version (it was included at his request).

The CD includes an excellent booklet with comments from John Kay that discusses each track.

Highly recommended.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 26, 2015 1:32 PM PDT

Eric Burdon Delcares WAR
Eric Burdon Delcares WAR
Price: $7.99
36 used & new from $5.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Reissue of Rhino release--no bonus tracks, no liner notes, same mastering. Great album., August 16, 2015
The first abum by War (Eric Burdon would remain a member for two albums and also on a later compilation of outtakes) featurin Eric Burdon remains a stone cold classic album. Yes, it was topical then and it remains topical now.

This reissue is exactly that--it's a reissue of the Inglot/Hersch Rhino remasters after a head-to-head comparison between the previous version and the new one. The differences between this disc and the original are cosmetic--this one does not includes booklet (to save money). Instead, a single sheet provides the cover and directs those who want to read the liner notes online (it refers to them as them as the 1992 liner notes). The only problem is, while there is a biography for War under "Evolution" at the website, the original liner notes aren't available (at the time of this review) anywhere that I can see. Perhaps they are forthcoming or, perhaps, they forgot to add them. It would be nice to have them (heck, I'd pay for them separately if this truly is an issue of cost) as it provides the background and context with comments from the band about the albums.

It does seem cheap to NOT include them and also NOT include bonus tracks for an actual remastered release but the original mastering was pretty good (a bit bright mind you). Many prefer the gold Avenue releases as they were received a different mastering by Joe Gastwirt that were a bit less bright (as I recall) with a nice bottom end. Either way, this version is inexepensive and features a nice. dynamic mastering from Bill Inglot. We could have gotten a compressed, loud release without any dynamics so, for fans, this is a pretty good place to start collecting the band.

Having said that, if you can find an original 1992/3 release of these albums the big advantage is the inclusion of the liner notes.

For the price this is a great way to get the band's music on CD. Could it have been improved? Yes it could but it also could have been much, much worse.

This is a fine reissue of a classic album. After the departure of Burdon, the band would continue to put out a series of successful albums that are underappreciated today as the group skillfully melded Funk, elements of Jazz and Soul into a unique sound.

Real Thing (2CD)(Explicit)(Deluxe)
Real Thing (2CD)(Explicit)(Deluxe)
Price: $15.69
26 used & new from $10.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice expanded remaster although the mastering could use a bit more dynamics and less compression., August 15, 2015
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Sometimes the stars align and when they do magic seems to happen as was the case with Faith No More's third album. Mike Patton joined the band as lead singer and lyricist after guitarist Jim Martin heard a tape of Patton's band Mr. Bungle (which he continued to perform and record with on the side. In a week Patton came with a set of clever, well written lyrics and melodies that complimented the band's already written music.

When "Epic" broke the band on MTV and radio, it helped open the way for other bands that weren't quite lumped in with the same genre but demonstrated the same creative approach. Patton witty lyrics, the band's decision to do unusual covers and stage presence allowed them to each an entirely new audience beyond the hardcore fans without compromising their sound or integrity.

Rhino has chosen to reissue the band's two biggest bestsellers (the other one is a deluxe reissue of "Angel Dust") with a second CD of previously unreleased and released tracks (in the case of the latter they were either bonus tracks for Regional release or tracks that were released on singles). Unfortunately, Rhino chose not to work with the band on this release which might have yielded further riches in the form of demos and other unfinished tracks not in the possession of the label. It also would have allowed a bit more recent insight from band members in the excellent booklet included.

The mastering is decent--it isn't as badly compressed as, say, the Oasis remasters or even recent stuff from Metallic and has just enough dynamics to prevent listener fatigue. Still, they could have been more dynamic and still had more bottom end than the original CD release. This still deserves five stars because it isn't brickwalled although I would have liked to see a release with no clipping, it does sound pretty good (although frankly this release sounds best in my car, on my computer or on my iPod rather than the home stereo system)

It's nice to see these live tracks, originals, and extended remixes.

I'm not a big fan of Digipaks and this one does use somewhat think careboard packaging than I would have liked to see as it might not stand up to wear and tear as well as, say, a Mobile fidelity mini-LP cardboard sleeve. Still, this is serviceable although you might want to move these to jewel casesafter you rip them.

This is a very nice package with few surprises because of the lack of the band's involvement in the release but both casual and hardcore fans should appreciate having everything in one place rather than having to search out all the CD simgle releases from the time.

Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 16, 2015 8:58 PM PDT

16 Lovers Lane
16 Lovers Lane
17 used & new from $29.37

5.0 out of 5 stars The Go-Betweens pinnacle as songwriters and performers. Nice expanded remaster worth picking up for fans and even first timers., August 15, 2015
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This review is from: 16 Lovers Lane (Audio CD)
This was Go-Betweens pinnacle achievement. It received a heavy push from their label at the time and I'm still a bit dumbfounded that this album didn't make the top 20. "16 Lovers Lane" finds both songeriters at a peak . They would scale this height again but this was the first completely unqualified classic.

The remaster sounds quite good of a bit on the bright side. What makes this essential are all the b-sides with Robert Forster and Grant McLennan mining their personal experience in failing relationships and expanding on what they both experienced and observed without falling into cheap sentimentality. This would be the band's last and crowning achievement until they reformed in 1999. The lyrics, music and singing all mine primal emotions but with subtly and well structured melodies.

The second disc includes alternate versions, a Bob Dylan cover and various tracks thst were single bonus tracks. The booklet is quite nice as it includes a complete discussion of the making of the album and the fractured relationships that influenced the writing and recording of the album.

Streetlife Serenade
Streetlife Serenade
Price: $26.11
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hybrid CD/SACD with both the stereo and quad mix from Audio Fidelity, August 13, 2015
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This review is from: Streetlife Serenade (Audio CD)
This review is for the SACD from Audio Fidelity.

Before the explosion of wide spread fame thst engulfed Billy Joel, he made a series of singer/songwriter albums that largely get overlooked except for "Piano Man" (which was a break through selling a million copies on the strength of the title single and FM playing "Captain Jack").
"Turnstyles" and "Streetlife Serenade".
The latter album receives a nice upgrade with an SACD release that makes use of the multi-channel quad tapes for the first time in over 40 years. For those that don't know, quadrophonic was a brief craze for music fans with upscale systems because of the early multi-channel analog capability. These tapes have largely remained unheard for years and it's nice to have these available again.

To be clear-the multi-channel capability is ONLY available on the SACD layer of the disc not the CD layer. This can be played on CDlayers as well because this is a hybrid disc. The multi-channel is presented in, not a surprise, 4.0 (hence the word quadrophonic). Both the stereo and SACD layers sound exceptinal with plenty of dynamics and noticeable distortion during playback.

The booklet features the credits as well as pictures of the original labels for the quad vinyl releases from the 1970's.

My only issue with this album is that there are a few filler tracks in my opinion but the best material here measures up to Joel's classic material after "The Stranger".

If you only know Billy Joel from his big singles, this is a terrific album to listen to and will gice you a slightly different view of Joel before the massive explosion of fame with "The Stranger".

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