Page 1 of 0
Shades Of Rock
The Shadows - CD
3 New from
By 1970, Alan 'Mohawk' Hawkshaw had replaced Bruce Welch in the band and his honky-tonk piano and gurgling Hammond organ add a totally new dimension to their sound. Hank Marvin's sound is heavier than usual, whilst still retaining those 'singing strings' and trademark twang. The drums, courtesy of the incomparable Brian Bennett, are fluid, expressive, powerful and tight. The Prog-Jazz/Motown/Rock line-up is completed by John Rostill, and various other seasoned sessioners such as Herbie Flowers. Sadly, this experimental approach was not taken further and this collection of uniquely-arranged covers would be this line-up's only studio album. A pity, as Shades of Rock is as satisfying as it is underrated. The Informative booklet and inclusion of the funky Scotch on the Socks as a bonus track make this an essential purchase.
Dead Like Me: Season 1 (4 Discs)
19 New from
Georgia Lass is a frustrated and unhappy girl. She hates her job, hasn't got any friends, cannot communicate with her family and just doesn't seem to fit in. And this is after she's died! Dead Like Me is a quirky, off-beat, totally original, bittersweet series about life after death. Ellen Muth is a revelation as Georgia; juggling the mundanity of her office job with her often heartbreaking role as a grim reaper. With an extraordinary cast and stories that will make you laugh and cry, this is a series as poignant and perceptive as it is unusual and funny. Watch it and become addicted.
Cliff Richard And The Shadows - CD
22 New from
You would have to go back 30 years to find a better album from either Cliff or the Shadows, and back over 40 to find a better one recorded together. Although there is nothing brand new on this album, Reunited presents 2009 re-recordings of the classics and, as such, gives them all a new lease of life. The new arrangements are close to the spirit of the originals, but differ significantly here and there. Move It gains an extra chorus; Nine Times Out Of Ten an extra guitar solo; Do You Wanna Dance a dramatic new intro and Don't Talk To Him gains an atmospheric string section. Elsewhere, Willie And The Hand Jive owes more to its late '70s live outing than it does to its '60s original; In The Country could have been written yesterday and the obscure Ivor Novello winning Time Drags By is a rediscovered gem. All in all, an incredible album.
Avril Lavigne: The Best Damn Tour - Live In Toronto
16 New from
First of all there was Grungey Avril. Then there was Indie Avril. Now, all glittery and sparkly, we have Glam Avril, her once mousey hair now blonde with pink streaks. Crowd-Pleasing Avril sings and dances her way through a breathless 75 minutes of her greatest and latest hits. Only occasionally does she look slightly uncomfortable playing to a capacity crowd of glow-stick waving girls now half her age. The unplugged section in the middle is well structured, When You're Gone giving way nicely to Innocence, allowing Avril to display a voice that is both beautiful and poweful. The dancers and frequent costume changes are distracting and by the time Urban Avril has appeared, dressed in a pink hoodie, we've got the message: she has a new album and a range of clothing to sell. But she does it so damn well, it's hard to dislike her.
Life Story: Very Best Of The Shadows (2CD)
11 New from
Released in 2004, this double CD set was produced to coincide with The Shadows Final Tour of that year. Although it contains a plethora of well-known and loved tunes, these are not the originals but re-recordings from 1989 and 1990. As such, they sound incredible, but perhaps lacking the rawness and excitement of their 1960s predecessors. Disc one concentrates on the classics as well as more recent singles such as Equinoxe Part V and The Third Man. Disc two consists mostly of their post-EMI reportoire, highlights being Turning Point and Brian Bennett's unsurpassable Mountains of the Moon. Life Story, the title track, is also significant as being the first new Shadows recording for 14 years. An excellent, good value compilation, although purists may prefer 20 Golden Greats.
Christina Aguilera - CD
28 New from
Far deeper and more emotionally-charged than the front cover pic suggests, 'Stripped' is almost a concept album. From start to finish, this epic album takes us on one woman's journey from (and let's not shy away from this) childhood pain and betrayal to ultimate release, fulfillment and success. Forgiveness and empowerment are recurring themes throughout, as is the sense that this is a hugely personal and autobiographical record. Christina co-wrote almost every song and the end-result somehow manages to be both heart-rending and uplifting at the same time. If you've never bothered to listen to her music before, then I'd recommend that you give this album a try. It deserves to be heard.
Spearhead: Complete Series 1 (2 Discs)
14 New from
The trials and tribulations associated with peacekeeping duties in Northern Ireland are explored in this slightly uneven but fairly realistic army drama from 1978. Subjects such as loyalty, racism and isolation are handled competently enough and the performances are edgy and convincing. Jackal is perhaps the strongest episode, showing how the troops must walk on eggshells when dealing with the hostility shown to them by the local people and an antagonistic pressman, determined to scrutinise and report on their every move. Set in both Ulster and mainland UK, this is a well-made and thought-provoking series. The strong cast is led by Michael Billington and includes such British TV regulars as George Sweeney, Roy Holder and Jacqueline Tong.
Rock School: Series 1 (2 Discs) (Gene Simmons)
12 New from
Kiss bass player Gene Simmons finds himself in an exclusive English boarding school, teaching a not-entirely-representative class of 'spoilt brats' how to rock. The results are unpredictable and surprising, as the kids discover talents that they never knew they had. The sinister but strangely comical Simmons makes an inspiring, if unconventional, teacher and must have made thousands of kids wish that their music lessons could be this much fun. Compelling and, at times, touching, by the end of the series you find yourself liking both Simmons and his pupils more than you had at the start. So, does he succeed? Buy the DVD and find out!
Rock 'n' Roll Juvenile
Cliff Richard - CD
16 New from
Quite simply, 1979's Rock 'n' Roll Juvenile is by far Cliff's best album of the decade. The lacklustre, unfocussed approach of the early '70s was well and truly behind him when he recorded and co-produced this energetic and highly diverse collection of songs. Written in the main by lead guitarist/co-producer Terry Britten and singer B.A. Robertson, the songs have an up-tempo spontaneity that captures perfectly the creative new-wave zeitgeist of the time. They are further helped by a powerful studio band that includes the incomparable drums and bass of Graham Jarvis and Herbie Flowers. Cliff contributes the semi-autobiographical title track, which fits in perfectly and could easily have been a huge hit if released as a single. As it is, Cliff's biggest hit, the poppy We Don't Talk Anymore, sits rather uncomfortably at the end of the album, but having just spent four weeks at number 1, its inclusion was perhaps unavoidable.
Kiss - CD
17 New from
Released in '92, 'Revenge' is probably the best album of the make-up-less era of Kiss. Musically it is tight and surprisingly powerful in places; lyrically the songs are split between the darker, satanic verses of Gene Simmons and the more puerile ditties of Paul Stanley. Where Simmons rages about war, the devil and religion, Stanley prefers to sing about strip clubs and sex. Elsewhere lead guitarist Bruce Kulick is more Steve Vai than Ace Frehley and drummer Eric Singer is an admirable replacement for the greatly-missed Eric Carr. Buy the album for Unholy, Thou Shalt Not and Carr Jam. Take or leave the rest.