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161. The Future
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162. Foreigner
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163. Bigger Piece of Sky
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164. Buffalo Springfield
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165. Last Time Around
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180. The Columbia Studio Recordings

161. The Future
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Asin: B0000028W9
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5163
Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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Leonard Cohen's deeply personal first LPs came out at a time when many of his peers were issuing furious, counterculture-inspired rants; he clearly had little interest in sticking with the pack at the time. So it makes a certain kind of contrary sense that Cohen would put out an offbeat topical collection two and a half decades later. The Future is an odd duck of an album; it's also brave, funny, and fascinating. "Give me back the Berlin Wall / Give me Stalin and St. Paul," Cohen petitions sardonically in the title track, adding, "I've seen the future, brother: it is murder." "Can't run no more with the lawless crowd / While the killers in high places say their prayers out loud," he intones in "Anthem." In "Democracy," he name-checks Tiananmen Square while surveying the United States ("The cradle of the best and of the worst"). Cohen has only improved with age as a vocalist; he sounds like a cross between Mark Knopfler and Barry White. While the polished production takes some getting used to, it's somehow suitable that cooing background vocals and programmed tracks temper these low-boil diatribes. This is, after all, The Future. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

Reviews (37)

5-0 out of 5 stars The most beautiful album ever made. No doubt about that.
You simply cannot fault this album. Some say it's a far cry from his earlier recordings but it has to be said that the wistful, sad, , incisive, cutting, dark, and romantic Mr Cohen is still alive and well. Majority of the songs on the album are over 5 minutes long, but you never seem to notice, in fact, I often wish they were longer! The rythmn and melody, accompanied by the deft, poetic story telling of Cohen, takes you on a ride that can be exhillarating (The Future, Closing Time), profoundly moving (Anthem, Tacoma Trailer, The Miracle) cutting and ry (Democracy), and incredibly sexy and erotic (Light as the Breeze, Be For Real). There simply has never been a more angelic song than Anthem. I still am moved by it after literally thousands of listenings, particularly the final instrumental break where the strings pluck and the vocals soar. Incredible. Classical music purists generally only consider the obvious greats as musical geniusses, (Beethoven, Mozart, Bach etc) but I put this question to you, Was musical genius confined only to previous centuries? With The Future, Leonard Cohen prooves that he is up there with the best of them. If he had written this album in the 1700s, it would be played today by The London Philharmonic, Sung by Pavarotti, performed in The Met, and Royal Albert Hall, it would be played at Royal funerals, and after hundreds of years, would still move people. I re-iterate this point, you cannot fault this album, and if there was a fault, it has to be said, "...there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in."

5-0 out of 5 stars An Absolute Masterpiece
I don't know how many would agree with me on this, but I think The Future is undoubtedly Leonard Cohen's best album. The lyrics on this album are absolute poetry - mastery, sheer mastery. From the dark satire of the title track to the cynical but all-too-true Waiting For The Miracle, to the appropriately titled Anthem, to the poetic and highly erotic Light As The Breeze, Cohen's lyrics stand nearly unrivaled in music. However, the real lyrical standout of the album is Democracy, a biting satire that stands up favorably to anything he has ever written. The covers Be For Real (and especially) Always are also very well-done, and the latter even features a nice Cohen vocal. Tacoma Trailer, an instrumental, is a nice way to round up the album. You won't find bombastic musical arrangements or overbearing vocals here, though. What you will find are Cohen's great lyrics sung in an intensely personal and moving way. And that, surely, is enough.

5-0 out of 5 stars Songs that penetrate and don't let go
This was my first Leonard Cohen album and still my favorite. With intelligent lyrics, simple yet intoxicating melodies, and an underlying sensuality, every one of these songs will seep into your conciousness and never leave. From the subtle groove of "Waiting for the Miracle," the infectious "Closing Time," the thought-provoking "Democracy," to the simple beauty of the instrumental "Tacoma Trailer," Cohen takes the listener on a magical journey that you will want to take again and again.

4-0 out of 5 stars LC delivers.

Gets four stars from me.

LC is one of those singer-songwriters who seem to elicit strong opinions; there are those who really like him and those who can't stand him, but I haven't run across many who feel lukewarm about him either way. You'll rarely hear said about Leonard Cohen, "Yeah, he's ok."

Accordingly, listening to any Leonard Cohen album should give one an idea of how they'll feel about him in general. This being a later album, it's more highly produced than the early albums, many of which have an almost raw sound to them.

I didn't like all the songs equally when I first listened to it, but repeated listenings have had nearly all of them grow on me to one degree or another. My least favorite is his cover of Irving Berlin's "Always", where Cohen tries to both undercut and transcend Berlin's cloyingly sentimental lyrics with a sly, lounge-lizard cool. Just doesn't work for me.

On the other hand, "Closing Time" utterly succeeds in pulling off the same trick in reverse; undercutting and transcending a Country Top 40 sound with sneakily subversive lyrics, suggesting something just a wee bit more existential than just another tears-in-my-beer lament over a broken love affair. "Looks like freedom but it feels like death / it's something in between, I guess / it's closing time." skirts dangerously close to the edge of Deep Thoughts.

"Waiting for the Miracle" is one of the standouts of the album, and certainly the darkest. It evokes a bleakness in the vein of an Ennio Morricone score for a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It was used, in fact, as the opening theme for Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killer's", which also used the album's title cut, "The Future", as it's closing credits theme. Another upbeat piece subverted by dark, jagged lyrics.

The other cuts are all good, with my personal other real standout being his "Anthem", which is as close to spiritual hopefulness as you're likely to hear LC get, a quiet, nearly peaceful ode to faith in the Good, and True.

If you like Leonard Cohen, you'll get him on this album, if you don't know him and want to check him out, this is as good an album as any of his to start with, and you'll certainly get to hear him in his stride. He hits it enough times here.


1-0 out of 5 stars Entirely unclothed emperor parading about embarassingly
This is an album the enjoyment of which requires the listener to excuse him- or herself from the very smallest shred of critical intelligence. The gray "oracular" drizzle spreading dully from the 90% asleep gob of this fatuous ennervated biped drives this listener up a tree. I'd excuse him, but I have better things to do, like putting my head in the oven. The degree to which this album is embraced by a loving public strikes me as all the justification a person ought to need to write off the species entirely. Other than that, thumbs up. ... Read more

162. Foreigner
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Asin: B00004VW0V
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 10154
Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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If you need an early example of Cat Stevens's creative and spiritual restlessness, you needn't look further than this 1973 release. Following on the heels of worldwide successes such as Tea for the Tillerman, Mona Bone Jakon, and Teaser and the Firecat, the self-produced Foreigner must have been a jolt to fans of Stevens's melodic, often whimsical folk-pop songs. With a musically ambitious 18-minute title suite that seems more influenced by the ornate prog rock of contemporaries like Yes, Jethro Tull, and ELP, Stevens arguably reached beyond his grasp. Though the hit "The Hurt" hearkens back to earlier works, there's a musical aimlessness (particularly in the melodies) in the remaining three songs that seems very out of character with Stevens's typically incisive lyrics. It's an album of sometimes intriguing fragments that seems to lack the disciplined framework that might have brought them into focus. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (15)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not his best work
I guess quite a few Cat Stevens fans got excited when this album was released, but I wasn't one of them. I can't give it fewer than four stars, just because it's Cat Stevens and for its time (and its place in his career) it's rather daringly experimental. But it's not one of my favorites.

For one thing, "Foreigner Suite" itself seems to me to be much ado about nothing. My reaction, then and now, was about what it was to Jethro Tull's _Thick as a Brick_: hmm, this is interesting, I guess.

For another, the four shorter songs are mostly unremarkable. Three of them just sit there. The best of the four, "The Hurt," would have been better if it had been better produced, but it's always sounded to me as though the instruments are out of tune with one another.

Paul Samwell-Smith would never have allowed that to happen. But Cat produced this one himself, and I think his production was far less successful than on the later _Numbers_.

Cat completists (of whom I am one) will want this one, and it _is_ worth listening to. But to my own mind, it seems to be much overrated and too self-consciously "progressive."

Now here's a little history for the uninitiated:

"Cat Stevens" was the stage name of Steven Georgiou, who was born in the U.K. in 1948 of a Cypriot father and a Swedish mother. Something of a musical prodigy, he released his first two albums well before he was twenty years old and was on his way to becoming a "pop star." He then fell victim to a terrible case of tuberculosis. When he returned to singing and songwriting, he had taken a decidedly more reflective turn and found himself delivering absolutely beautiful stuff with no apparent commercial potential. That was fine with him; he was no longer particularly interested in commercial success. But, perhaps ironically, his delicate confessional songs and his deliberate avoidance of "commercial-ness" turned him into a huge international star.

Well, he eventually (1977) became a Muslim and adopted the name "Yusuf Islam" (after the biblical dream-interpreter Joseph). At about that time he also left the music industry. He has since recorded a couple of albums about Islam, but his last collection of commercial music was _Footsteps In The Dark_ (ostensibly a second volume of his "greatest hits," but in fact a set of lesser-known favorites and a handful of tunes not available elsewhere).

You can feel safe in ignoring the comments from people who think he has become "rigid" and/or "intolerant." The simple fact is that nearly every Cat Stevens album (the exceptions being his first two) is filled with "spiritual seeking," and he eventually found what he was looking for in Islam. His "recent" (actually, 1989-90) remarks on Salman Rushdie were not what you probably think they were (and in particular he didn't call for Rushdie's death). He's no more "rigid" or "intolerant" than the rest of us; he's simply a religiously observant Muslim, that's all. There's a problem here only for people who think seekers should never get around to finding, or that traditional religion is more "dogmatic" than irreligion.

His songs don't need to "transcend" their creator in order to be great; there's no need to run down Yusuf in order to elevate Cat. And since they _were_ written during his "seeker" stage, they're suitable for everybody -- future Muslims or not.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best There Is
Foreigner is by far the best Cat Stevens has ever done. Quite possibly the best album by anyone who is able to see the difference between creating music and selling music. I believe that He came to grips with the knowledge that He couldn't get his music to the public without the money people being between him and the public. And He was one of the few artists who didn't care about the money. He is well on the way to giving up the terrible way that we, the public, are allowed to be exposed to new music. I think this album is part of his decision making to tell the commercial part to go take a flying leap. Truely one of the all time great pieces of music available to the general public.

2-0 out of 5 stars 2 hits on this album
This album was hard to swallow after Teaser and Tillerman. The only two decent songs out of five are The Hurt and Later. In fact, Later is the one I always yearn for when I think of Cat. Why? I'm not sure but you will see for yourself. The other three songs are just plain forgettable.

5-0 out of 5 stars Re-Master the Master
A critic who fails to acknowledge the power and talent of this artist because the work didn't fit the "3-1/2 minute" rule missed the point, embarrasses himself and does a dis-service to his craft. Here is an artist that was driven from the industry TWICE by the greed of an uncaring industry. This record is a collection of works that represented a fresh new direction for Cat Stevens. It's what those who appreciate his work looked forward to hearing from him. Cat Stevens could be trusted to change direction because he established his writing credentials early. This entire record spills forth emotion and meaning that we find hard to get close to on our own.
Although the Suite is a very unique offering it represents a complete expression of the thoughts and feelings that give the piece its character and significance. Not a half baked chopped down 3-1/2 minutes that would better suit most "critics." Cat Stevens session work was meticulous in every detail. He spent hours pouring over tracks to get them right. The time spent on arrangements and attention to detail is well known in the industry by those who worked with him at A&M and at Crystal Studios etc etc. By the time this record was released, Cat Stevens had gone through the "mill" and had polished his performance such that the reproduction of his recordings in a live setting was amazing. Buy the record. It documents the efforts of an accomplished artist as he reaches about himself and produces a product that is his alone and well worth the investment of ownership, not to mention respect. I believe that Cat Stevens wrote this record for himself - a kind of splurge. It contains the essence of his art and is very much a part of what he was about in 1973. Too bad we pushed him out of the business - our loss.

5-0 out of 5 stars I LOVE IT!
Looking at other reviews, a majority fans are absolutely singing this albums praises. But there are a few who would havge probably preferred to hear somethign else. I rather like it. I think the lyrics on this album are nice. I like the production too because of the subduedness of the Low and High range sounds. I mean he's made the bass adn treble soft. I don't know if that's wat eh's done but that's what it sounds like to me! It gives it an easy feel abotu it.
Firstly, the Foreigner sutie is pure experimental excellence and the excerpt that appears on Remember CS, the ultimate collection is one of my favourite Cat songs, as is How many times. He's trying he's hadn at Gospel/funk a lot on this with the backing girls and brass and wood. Later is especially Gospel btu I feel the melody is a bit aimless, Oh well. I hope you like it. 100 I dream as an experimental masterpiece as any, as is the hurt. Overall good to relax to. I like it. More relxing than Catch Bull at 4. I think anyway. ... Read more

163. Bigger Piece of Sky
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Asin: B0002IQGCG
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 10791
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164. Buffalo Springfield
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Asin: B000002IAI
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 10522
Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
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Although the Byrds receive more credit (and perhaps rightfully so), Buffalo Springfield, in some respects, were just as responsible for the country-rock and singer/songwriter explosion that continued through the full flight of the Eagles and later mutated into '90s neo-country. This 1966 debut reveals the precocious songwriting talents of both Neil Young and Stephen Stills; check out Stills's Beatlesque "Sit Down, I Think I Love You" and Young's weird (for '66!) but classic "Burned." Their next album, Again, is widely considered their best effort, but this is an excellent debut, made even stronger with the addition of their hit, the single-only "For What It's Worth." The CD offers both stereo and mono versions of each track. --Bill Holdship ... Read more

Reviews (15)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good Start But Not Great
The various members of Buffalo Springfield, in most cases (but not all), went on to bigger and better things - this is where they started. The album is dominated by the songwriting of Stephen Stills and Neil Young: Stills contributing 7 songs to Young's 5. "For What It's Worth", is not only the best Stills' song on the album, but the best song overall, immaculately played and sung - unfortunately Stills' other songs aren't as good, the best being the country-rockish "Hot Dusty Roads" and the striking "Everybody's Wrong", the nadir is the tedious rocker "Leave". Young's songwriting ("For What It's Worth") seems more mature, especially on "Flying On the Ground Is Wrong" and "Do I Have to Come Right Out and Say It", which are good and distinctive enough to have come from any part of Young's career. "Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing" is another excellent song, despite some rather awkwardly Dylanesque lyrics - curiously, the two weakest Young tracks are the ones he sings himself (Richie Furay sings the other Young compositions), "Burned" and "Out of My Mind" are rather more sopohomoric (the former sounds like a demo). Given that a much better Young sung song (how poetic!), "Down to the Wire" was recorded around the same time, it's odd it wasn't included on the album. Vocally, Richie Furay takes most of the leads, and his clear and attractive voice is always very easy on the ears, Stills is also an excellent singer but at times seems to be overdoing it on this album, Young's two vocals are pretty good. The band took something of a quantum leap with their next album but this is a fine if, at times, tentative debut.

5-0 out of 5 stars A glorious rock album
I can live without the gimmick of mono and stereo versions of all the songs, but what great songs there are here, with Stephen Stills and Neil Young collaborating in their pre CSNY days. For What It's Worth is one of the great protest songs of all time, I Am a Child is a beautiful ballad, Bluebird is clearly the precursor to Stills' later Suite Judy Blue Eyes, Broken Arrow is a weirdly beautiful Neil Young song, Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing is absolutely haunting and in my opinion the great unknown treasure from the album, and the list goes on and on. Anyone who likes Crosby Stills and Nash with or without Young will love this album.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good debut album
Buffalo Springfield (1966.) Buffalo Springfield's first album.

Although the first half of the sixties was dominated by pop-rock acts who were more concerned with scoring big, high-charting hits, the second half of the decade saw a radical transformation of the genre. Rock and roll acts began to get progressive. Among the progressive acts were those musicians who attempted to fuse folk music stylings with those of rock and roll. Among these musicians were the legendary Bob Dylan, the wildly-successful Byrds, and the lesser-known Buffalo Springfield. Although the band contained future rock and roll sensations Stephen Stills and Neil Young, they just never managed to achieve very much chart success. This was a shame, because Springfield's music was VERY good. Their debut album was released in 1966. Read on for my review.

As I previously stated, this was the first Buffalo Springfield album. It's also far from perfect. That said, this is still a damn good album that manages to cover a lot of musical ground. The true star on this album is, surprisingly, Stephen Stills and NOT Neil Young! Stills makes the most contributions to the album, while Young doesn't contribute too much at all. It's also interesting to note that Young hasn't found his voice on this album. Still, he sounds good. The other members of the band, the lesser-known but still excellent folks, serve up their own compositions as well, and they are all excellent in their own way. Although a relatively short album, it does cover a lot of musical ground. There are Beatles-esque songs, songs that are the perfect fusion of rock and folk music, slower-paced tunes, and even experimental songs. And through and through, Stephen Stills proves himself to be the hero of the day, and his comrades prove to be no slouches themselves. In the end this is a solid sixties rock album - enough said.

Upon doing some research on the band, I discovered that the version of this album that was released on CD (and is readily avaiable on CD as of July 17, 2004) is NOT the original album. The original version of the album's first track was Baby Don't Scold Me. This CD reissue of the album (and probably several of the pre-CD reissues) features the band's biggest hit of all, For What It's Worth, in place of that track. I don't really blame the band for doing this track - It's Stephen Stills' masterpiece, after all. Still, I think the band should have restored the song that was cut - they had plenty of room to do so on the CD. In fact, they could have fit this album, that missing song and the band's entire SECOND album on a single disc! Oh well, I'm not complaining.

Buffalo Springfield were musical masterminds. The band was never quite as influential as the Byrds or Bob Dylan, and sadly, this ends up being their commercial downfall - because of their lack of successes and influential nature, they have become forgotten rockers. This is a real shame, because their material is some of the finest country/folk rock music out there. You could call it folk rock OR country rock, or maybe a bit of both, but I just call it excellent. A little word of advice, though - If you're new to the band, either start with their second album, Buffalo Springfield Again, or the Retrospective hits compilation. They serve as a much better introduction to the band than this, even if this was the first album.

4-0 out of 5 stars Classic Debut
This album is often misunderstood because of the time it was released. Buffalo Springfield was released in late 1966 and is caught bewteen the folk rock and psychedelic eras. When listening to this album now reviewers expect fire works in line with Bluebird or Mr. Soul and dismiss the modest charms throughout Buffalo Springfield. This album is similar to the Byrd's first 3 albums or the Beau Brummels From The Vaults which is also an excellent mid 60's folk rock album. There is not a weak cut on this album which display great tunes and wonderful harmonies throughout. Go And Say Goodbye is classic mid to late 60's country rock that has that hard charging sound that made Buffalo Springfield so successful. Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing and Flying On The Ground Is Wrong are two exquisite folk rock ballads which I believe Neil Young wrote. Everyone's Wrong and Baby Don't Scold Me are both excellent hard rock tunes that seem to veer towards psychedelia. In addition, the downer rock of Out Of My Mind and Burned are also pretty great. This is a great, underrated debut that is brimming with many ideas and tight musical energy.

3-0 out of 5 stars Young, For What He's Worth, Saves it!
Neil Young's songs saves the album. His songs are all standouts on this Buffalo Springfield debut album, where Steve Stills' "For What It's Worth" is the only other track of any real substance. But it's a great exception; one of the great 1960's West Coast Classics - like Jefferson Airplanes' "White Rabbit" or "Somebody to Love"

After this great opener follow 2 more Stills songs; "Go and Say Goodbye" is country-styled pop-song and "Sit Down I Think I Love You" which is Stills' best contribution, besides "For What It's Worth"

Excitement rises again with Neil Young's "Nowadays Can't Even Sing" with lead vocals by Ritchie Furay.

2 more Stills songs "Hot Dusty Roads" and another of his better efforts "Everybody's Wrong"

Next track is one of the highlights for me, Neil Young's beautiful "Flying on the Ground is Wrong", again sung by Ritchie Furay'.

Young takes over the lead vocals on his own "Burned", one of the most rocking tracks on the album. This song features some odd off-key instrumentations ( piano and the guitar-solo) . It's a good song, but the vocals sound a little strained.

"Do I Have to Come Right out and Say it" is another strong Young composition.

Steve Stills contributes 2 more songs, none of them particularly memorable.

Again it's a Neil Young song that keep interest going with "Out of my Mind" this time sung by himself. ... Read more

165. Last Time Around
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Asin: B000002JKX
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 18181
Average Customer Review: 4.15 out of 5 stars
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One of America's seminal 1960s rock bands, Buffalo Springfield's brief career yielded just three studio albums before its various members splintered into a variety of successful solo career and new group endeavors (including Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Poco, and Loggins & Messina). In fact, one of its chief architects bolted before this, their last album, was even completed. Fortunately for both the band and their fans, Neil Young left behind a pair of pop gems--the band showcase "On the Way Home" and the country-tinged "I Am a Child." Stephen Stills largely picked up the slack in Young's absence, penning a slate of tunes as ambitious as they were eclectic (his "Questions" here eventually evolving into CSNY's "Carry On"), while Richie Furay weighs in with three tunes, including the clear Poco precursor "Kind Woman." A bit more pop-oriented than its predecessor, the often haunting Buffalo Springfield Again, but nearly as memorable. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (13)

3-0 out of 5 stars A glimpse of things to come
This final Springfield album was a jumping off point into the solo careers of Steve Stills and Neil Young. It also marked the debut of what was to become the country-rock group Poco. Though generally an average album overall, a few of the songs are outstanding. 'On The Way Home' and 'I Am A Child' are Neil Young masterpieces. Driven by Richie Furay's delectible lead vocal and a perfect horn arrangement, 'On The Way Home' has a great pop feel. 'I Am A Child' is just plain elegant - a simple arrangement, a lovely acoustic guitar and Neil's understated voice make you want to keep hitting the repeat button on your CD player. Still's 'Pretty Girl Why' is an example of his mastery of musical styles - a pretty song with excellent harmonies and a nice trade off of guitar licks from Neil and Steve. When you listen to 'Questions' you'll swear you've heard the song before. Well, you have - if you bought 'Deja Vu', Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's first collaboration, Stills used the song as the second part of 'Carry On'. 'Kind Woman', a Richie Furay penned tune was actually the first Poco song. The song was performed by Furay, Jim Messina (the Springfield's new bass player)and Rusty Young (a pedal steel guitar player who was shipped in from Colorado for the session), these three went on to become the core of Poco - Stills and Young weren't even in the recording studio when the song was cut. The Springfield had already broken up prior to this album's release. As witnessed by this album, Furay, Stills and Young were already discovering their future musical directions.

4-0 out of 5 stars Definitely Worth Owning
Although this album is somewhat thought of as a grab bag of material due to the band falling apart, there is enough strong material here, to force myself to come back over & over again.... as often as the first two Springfield albums.

There are many great songs here, especially Kind Woman, arguably, Furay's finest moment in the business. If I had a voice like his... I could've saved myself in many relationships that went wrong.

Another highlight for me is Stills' Questions. This is VINTAGE Stills... where his voice is carrying over the music being played. Yes, the CSN(& sometimes Y. Especially as of late) Carry On is a great song... but with Crosby & Nash, the harmonies can sometimes bury Stills' amazing voice. The man used to be able to flat out sing. He's got some nice guitar here as well, but his vocals on this cut, is one of the highlights of the Last Time Around.

Which makes us think: what would this album been like if Young actually was present for the album? If Bruce Palmer was there (I ask this due to it not being a "Springfield" album. The irony that w/o Messina, there might have been no album)? There is a good chance this would've been their strongest album yet. The songwriters were definitely developing & reaching new heights... what they lacked was the chemistry to be a band, which they had... & unfortunately lost.

Their recent box set reminded me again on what a terrific band they were, & made me make this review. In my humble opinion, this was the best gig they were involved in musically (yes, even CSNY), & I will cherish the music they made for all of us to hear.

4-0 out of 5 stars Their third and final album
Last Time Around (1968.) Buffalo Springfield's third album.

Despite having released two excellent and wildly diverse rock and roll albums, Buffalo Springfield just never managed to achieve any major popularity. This was a shame, because they really were excellent musicians. Among their ranks were the widely talented Stephen Stills (who wrote most of the band's compositions) and the future rock legend Neil Young. For the band's third album, which would be their final one, they recruited new bass player Jim Messina (who would achieve great fame in the seventies playing alongside Kenny Loggins.) How does the band's final album, the appropriately-titled Last Time Around, measure up? Read on for my review.

This was Buffalo Springfield's third and final album. The band must have finally realized that their music, while good, could never be as influential as that of, say, the Byrds or Bob Dylan (the major folk-oriented rockers of the day.) It was a shame that they decided to call it quits, but before quitting, the band served up this album, and I'm glad they did. By far Buffalo Springfield's greatest strength was their musical diversity, and they serve up plenty of that on this album, drawing influences from a number of genres and artists of the day. There's really not a whole lot more that I can say about this album, but it's not quite as good as it's predecessor, Buffalo Springfield Again. However, in my mind, it DOES top the band's self-titled debut. It's doubtful that any fan of the band will be disappointed with it.

Like the other Buffalo Springfield releases (as of July 18, 2004), there is only one version of the album readily available on CD. This is a real shame, because it could use some remastering and bonus tracks, since so many of the band's excellent rarities are unavaiable outside of their restrictively expensive box set. If there are executives from the record company reading this, I urge you to reissue the band's catalogue and remaster it!

Last Time Around was, well, the last time around for Buffalo Springfield, but it certainly wasn't the last time around for the members of the band. Several spin-off bands were born from the downfall of Buffalo Springfield, including Crosby Stills Nash And Young, Poco, and Loggins And Messina. Many of the former members also released solo albums. Last Time Around stands as the last effort by this great classic rock band, so it's fortunate that its members would find successes elsewhere. If you're new to Buffalo Springfield, I would have to recommend either starting with the band's sophomore effort Buffalo Springfield Again, or the Retrospective hits compilation. This is an excellent album, no question, it's just not a very good starting point for new fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must be purchased in addition to the box set.
If you own or are planning on buying the box set, this disc needs to be acquired as well. Neil Young was in charge of compiling this collection and possibly allowed his feelings(about the band and subsequent departure) to limit the possibilities this collection could've offered. Aside from the fact that many songs(the same versions)were duplicated throughout the four discs, there were some of their best songs that were left out.(there are 36 unreleased tunes though) Not to worry, the three songs missing are on this album: "It's So Hard To Wait", "Carefree Country Day", and "In The Hour Of Not Quite Rain." This doesn't complete the entire studio collection however as the nine-minute "Bluebird" jam that was briefly available on a 1973 best-of-LP was not included. Nor is the "lost album" Stampede. The order of these songs also flow better than any of the box discs.

4-0 out of 5 stars they've come undone
Although bandmembers concede that Bruce Palmer was the glue that held the Buffalo Springfield together, functionally the band existed as a steppingstone in the development of Neil Young and Stephen Stills into mega-stars, and Richie Furay and Jim Messina into minor stars. So just how unglued had Buffalo Springfield become by the time 'Last Time Around' was released in July of 1968? Unglued enough to applique a portrait of Neil Young over a photo of the rest of the band looking in the opposite direction on the emblematic cover illustration. Neil would have his first solo album released within four months of this release, and Stephen Stills, the only remaining epoxy in the Springfield, would follow Neil by only a month to appear on the 'Super Session' recordings with Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield. Even Richie Furay and Jim Messina would be aligned with Poco (originally named 'Pogo' until cartoonist Walt Kelley sued to protect the namesake of his progeny) within a year. Basically, it was over for Buffalo Springfield by the Spring of 1968 (and Palmer well before then)... which is a shame because they were such a unique and diverse band, and 'Last Time Around' evokes this stature.

Young only makes two contributions to the songlist, but they are stellar compositions that he has continued to perform throughout his career. The opener, 'On the Way Home' also appears on the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young 'Four Way Street' LP, and 'I Am a Child' graces 1978's 'Live Rust' LP and the 'Rust Never Sleeps' film. Aside from a writing collaboration with Furay on 'It's So Hard To Wait', this was all Neil would muster for BS's swan song.

That left Stills and Furay to take up the slack, and both make admirable contributions. The standout is Stills 'Questions'. The song was later grafted by Stills onto CSNY's 'Carry On' for the 'Deja Vu' LP, but more importantly it previewed the folk-rock, singer-songwriter style Stills was honing. It is unquestionably (pun intended) one of his finest compositions, instrumentally bright and lyrically moving... Stills at his best.

Other Stills contributions include two songs which would later appear on his 1974 tour and 1975 'Stephen Stills Live' LP: 'Four Days Gone', which with the BS sounds more country, while the live version is more bluesy, and 'Special Care', which Stills turned into an obliterating tsunami of a finale in 'Live's electric set. While the BS version is certainly more restrained, it's enjoyable to hear the cleaner and more methodical (traits the band hated in their studio productions), studio version offered on 'Last Time Around'. 'Pretty Girl Why' has an appealing melody and chiming vibrato guitar work, and 'Uno Mundo' ("One World") introduces us to Stills' Latin influence, with a curious but entirely effective addition of a fuzzy, psychedelic lead guitar. Overall, 'Last Time Around' is a work dominated by Stills more than any other Springfield member.

Furay makes four contributions, the best of which is the melodic love ballad 'Kind Woman'. It's really a Pogo/Poco tune, recorded without Stills or Young in the studio. 'It's So Hard To Wait' is aptly named, moving so slowly one wonders if it will actually be stopping anytime soon, while 'Merry-Go-Round' offers a more bouncy, pop fare. 'The Hour of Not Quite Rain' is an interesting, seemingly experimental attempt at psychedelia, quite unique for Furay, and perhaps demonstrating the reach of Young's influence. While not groundbreaking, or even able to stand on their own, Furay's additions save the album from Palmer and Young's abandonment.

One last song is contributed by Jim Messina. 'Carefree Country Day' has it's own unique feel, light and unassuming in contrast to most of what Furay and Stills were serving up.

Six of the twelves songs on the disc check in between two and two and one-half minutes, and only one song (the closer, 'Kind Woman') exceeds four minutes, so quantitatively there isn't a lot of music to be had. The real appeal is in the overall mix... Buffalo Springfield was a truly eclectic band, and the classic work offered by Stills and Young, covering seven of the twelve compositions, debuts the artists ascent into the prime of their careers. It is an especially desirable album for fans of Stephen Stills. ... Read more

166. Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid [Soundtrack]
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Asin: B000002518
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Sales Rank: 10668
Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars Relive the Chase..Dylan Style
If you have seen the film Directed by Sam Peckinpah, or if you love Dylan, or even if you just love Westerns and the thematic musical scores from them, this album is for you. You can relive the chase as Pat Garrett hounds Billy the Kid from start to finish across the old west.

There are 10 tracks, music by Bob Dylan, accompanied by Booker T on Bass, Carl Fortina on Harmonium, and Russ Kunkle on Tambourine among other various artists, that capture the story. Four variations of Billy's theme, one recoreded in Mexico City with Terry Paul, tell his story.There is some great foot stompin music "Turkey Chase" and it also includes "Knockin on Heaven's Door", the sad lament of knowing the end is near.For a complete list, see buyer's info.

All the sound is distinctive and clear. It's a great album to pass the time with at home or in the car. also If you have not seen this film and you are a western or Dylan fan you might want to check it out also. Dylan has a supporting role as "Alias", Billy's friend, and he is quite good.

relax and enjoy.....Laurie

4-0 out of 5 stars Dylan Soundtrack
Bob Dylan made his acting debut as Alias in Sam Peckenpaugh's Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid. In addition to acting, Mr. Dylan provided the songs for the soundtrack. In fact, its one song from the soundtrack that has become infinitely more famous than the movie itself. The song is one of the all-time best from a man who many consider the voice of a generation. The song is of course "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" and its power is undeniable. The song conveys the fears and confusion of both men of good (Pat Garrett) and bad (Billy The Kid) and it shows that no matter how you live your life, the specter and fear of death creeps into us all. There are some decent instrumentals and four versions of the song "Billy" which are good, but the album is really carried by one song.

4-0 out of 5 stars Final Theme Will Chill Your Soul
This is the sound track for the movie of the same name starring Kris Kristoferson, Rita Coolidge, Slim Pickens and, of course, Mr. D. himself. All of the music is instrumental, , except for "Knockin' on Heaven's Door and the two and a half versions of Billy. Personally I love the instrumental stuff, but if you don't you can get "Heaven's Door," on a lot of compilations, but without this record, you'll miss out on "Billy." Four stars for this one, even though "Turkey Chase," is a hoot and the beautiful and haunting "Final Theme will chill your soul.

Reviewed by Stephanie Sane

4-0 out of 5 stars lonesome western on the run......
Great album to throw in and get taken into the old west, acoustic guitars with simple dusty boots and gun slingin' singin'. If you have ever driven' through AZ. or CO. and felt like becoming a cowboy (cowgirl) then this album will be a favorite for that person inside you. If your looking for a Dylan album for your collection, get Blonde on Blonde.

5-0 out of 5 stars Made the film work
Bob Dylan gathered together a cracker jack group of musicians to record this excellent soundtrack, a romantic and mythic ode to a west that could only have existed in a collaboration between two artists walking the desperate line between sentimentality and mourning.

Sam Peckinpah when making the deeply flawed but often beautiful companion film, tottered on the abyss. The film may have marked his falling off the precipice, but Bob Dylan's brilliant fusing of folk, country and western and rock provided a sonic union rarely found in soundtracks. This album serves as a funeral dirge not only for the mythic Billy The Kid, but for Sam Peckinpah also. In fact, Dylan's score makes the film work far better that it perhaps deserves to.

Granted, like the film it echoes, this album does often sound redundant. But when it hits as it does with the brilliant opening theme "Billy" (Wes Anderson resurrects it most magnificently in "Royal Tennenbaums") and of course the classic "Knocking On Heaven's Door". Dylan even pulls off a comical Kris Kristofferson impersonation in one cut. Much of this album contains arguably some of Dlyan's finest instrumental and acoustic work. The sheer sound of the music evokes strong images of southwestern sunsets and small rivers rolling lazily by sandy dunes. It evokes images of time passing and figures holding passionately to the ephemeral. To quote the film:

"It feels like times have changed"

"Times maybe. . . but not me."

Like Ry Cooder's equally excellent score for "The Long Riders", Dylan transcended time and space and created a great album that made a film work. ... Read more

167. The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion/The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter
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Asin: B00006BC4Z
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 16037
Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

2CD set combines '5000 Spirits Or The Layers Of The Onion'with 'The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter'. Highlights include 'Chinese White', 'No Sleep Blues' and 'Nightfall.'Originally released in 1967 & 1968. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Double Magic !!!!
I have these records in single cd's, but having this double is double magic!!
These works (specially Hangman's...) fulfilled my life over eight years ago, when I finally found it on cd. The Incredibles are so unique, a lot of people trying to imitate them with fabulous and theatrical worlds, but this mysticism is in many ways the most sincere, with that naif flavour and gayness and pure "joie de vivre"...
"The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter" it's a kind of an Ancient Magic Compendium...also one of the most brilliant records of the me in a very high place...
I love them, Robin and Mike and the childish girls Licky and Rosie...I bound to them...

3-0 out of 5 stars Damn hippies...
Like Pentangle on acid. Way too much acid, and without the girl singer most of the time. Makes Donovan sound like Johnny Cash. In some ways, these guys' talents were better used as sidemen on Shirley and Dolly Collins' record The Power of the True Love Knot. They really can play, but, my god, the singing...the songs...although sometimes it's so psychedelically ridiculous, so over the top, so shameless it's kinda fun...kinda...if you have a very high tolerance for this sort of thing...

With the release of their eponymous first album, the ISB made it know to the music listening public that a new force had arrived - one which would inject some energy and vitality into the folk music scene in the UK and the world. With the appearance of this album, THE 5,000 SPIRITS or THE LAYERS OF THE ONION, there could be little doubt that something special had been born. It was released originally in 1967 - at the height of the psychedelic music movement, filled with rapidly expanding imaginations and creativity at work, breaking new ground right and left. I feel it stands head and shoulders above most other releases of its day, in many ways, and should be regarded as a classic for its lyrical content alone. Musically, the ISB were going places - and drawing from sources - that other artists would only dare to touch in years to come. I believe it was their long-time producer, Joe Boyd, who once said that the ISB was the original 'world music' group - he couldn't have stated it better.

The set opens with Mike's 'Chinese white' - the bowed gimbri played by Robin on this track lets the listener know right away that things have 'expanded' a bit since the band's 1966 release. 'The bent twig of darkness grows the petals of the morning', sings Mike - a beautiful image worthy of traditional Asian poetry. Mike's other songs on this album run the gamut from love songs ('Painting box' and the eternally lovely 'Gently tender') to humorous looks at our place in the world ('Little cloud' and 'The hedgehog's song') to a song offering encouragement to the listener to reach for his full potential ('You know what you could be'). The seriousness of some of his topics is gently offset by a childlike quality that, through the ensuing years, would infuse most of his writing with an innocence that would endear it to his fans.

Robin's offerings here are for the most part more serious than Mike's - but there is humor in his writing as well, as is evidenced by 'No sleep blues' and the hilarious 'Way back in the 1960s'. His 'First girl I loved' - covered by Judy Collins as 'First boy I loved' on her WILDFLOWERS album - is simply one of the most beautiful songs ever written to a first love, looking back with honesty and tenderness on the gifts exchanged, both physical and emotional. His guitar work on this song is (as always) astonishingly creative and lovely. In 'The eyes of fate', he muses 'O who can see in the eyes of Fate all life alone in its chronic pattern?' He is one of the most amazingly talented writers ever to pen a verse.

THE HANGMAN'S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER is the third album by the ISB, recorded in late 1967 and released in early 1968. Combining instruments and melodies from the far corners of the earth with lyrics unequalled in their day (and rarely since) reflecting on everything from humankind to the natural world, from love to violence, from ancient mysticism to modern realities, the ISB made music like no one else. It spoke - and still speaks - to the heart, the soul, the mind and the body.

The album begins with a trio of Robin Williamson compositions, extremely varied in their presentation, but all tied together by myth. 'Koeeoaddi there' mixes images from Williamson's childhood, including imaginings, songs and games shared with his playmates (including Licorice McKechnie). The variegated visions are pulled together by the chant that becomes the refrain: 'Earth, water, fire and air met together in a garden fair - put in a basket bound with skin. If you answer this riddle, you'll never begin'. The third track, 'Witch's hat', is quite simply one of Williamson's most beautiful songs. The visions his words invoke are dark and crystalline, fog-shrouded shapes moving in the woods - the kind of stuff that scares the hell out of kids and grown-ups alike, but which is beautiful at the same time.

The album's longest composition, Mike Heron's 'A very cellular song' follows. It's a tour-de-force, encompassing several styles of music and themes - including a West Indian funeral song. His subject is nothing less than the beauty and interconnected nature of life itself, told from the level of a single cell. This has been singled out by many reviewers as not only the high point of this album, but of the band's career as well -- and to be sure, from this period onward, it remains one of their most adventurous, popular pieces. Heron's 'Mercy I cry city' is next - a simple man's troubled view of the confusion we call 'civilization'. Humor and innocence play large roles in these lyrics, as in several of Mike's songs over the years (check out 'Cousin Caterpillar' on their WEE TAM/THE BIG HUGE).

Another trio of Robin's songs follow. The first of these, 'Waltz of the new moon', incorporates spiritual images from China, India and the Nordic countries of Europe into a swirling tapestry. Dolly Collins' harp and harpsichord arrangements of this song are especially beautiful. This piece flows effortlessly, seamlessly (and appropriately) into the next tune, 'The water song', another of Williamson's most moving pieces, an ode to the beauty, energy and sacredness of water itself. "Three is a green crown' follows, a beautiful but separate companion to his later work 'Creation' (on CHANGING HORSES), with many mystical references to the process by which the earth was formed, and life appeared and progressed. This is a very hopeful song (I believe), encouraging us to learn all we can about the earth and each other - through knowledge and understanding will come peace: '...the book of life is open to us, there'll be no secrets between us'.

Mike Heron's 'Swift as the wind' is next, in which a child's parents scoff at his nightmare visions - but the visions belong to the child, not the parents - and the fear and dread he feels are very real to him. 'Nightfall', a Williamson composition concerning the power of the night and of sleep itself, end the album very fittingly: 'O sleep come to me, you who are night's daughter, and I'll give you my eyes for the colors that rise as time's echoes reflect on your water...O river of sight flow through me, washing thoughts of the day on your waters away...for the morrow that dawns never knew me'.

This double-disc package brings together two if the Incredible String Band's most creative and important recordings. It's nice to have them available together at an affordable price.

5-0 out of 5 stars Blake's Legacy in Song
I've owned, worn out and re-bought both of these albums over the years. If you're interested in inspired mystical poetry, exotic instrumental textures or soaring, highly-ornamented vocals--this is the best of the best. Musicians can learn all kinds of riffs and melodic phrases from these albums. There's some great bluesy and flamenco-esque guitar work, raga-like drones in alternate tunings, undulating rhythms with Moroccan drums and flute styles, spontaneous, chaotic vocal harmonies that somehow fit perfectly, natural water sounds, and some aggressive backing on accoustic bass from Danny Thompson (Pentangle, Donovan, Songhai).

The ideas contained in these two seamless sets have a lot in common with the mystical themes found in the writings of Blake, Yeats, Thoreau, Jung and especially in Lao Tzu's book, Tao Te Ching. Putting it another way, if getting to know the root of existence itself is on your list of things-to-do, you might want to consider spending some quality time with these songs. Brilliantly played accoustic music chock-full of meaningful dream words/worlds.

The only thing I'm not sure of on some of these new CD releases is this: Have the engineers added sufficient warmth (via sonic maximising, spectral enhancement, etc.) during the process of remastering--going from analog to digital? But hey, it's great to have this stuff available again in any format. This is as significant as Sgt Peppers or Axis Bold As Love. It's that good. Buy it and delve deeply. Then move on to Robin, Mike and Clive's current stuff, via Robin Williamson's Pig's Whisker label. And don't forget The Merry Band's re-releases, too--or Robin's storytelling CDs. Players--don't forget to check out Robin's two instructional books: Fiddle Tunes and The Pennywhistle Book for lots of well-introduced tunes that can fit on any melodic instrument.

5-0 out of 5 stars Clarification of review below
I agree with what's been said further below, i.e. great albums, masterpieces, etc. Should go without saying (what the hell does "instrumental competence" have to do with great music anyway? The road to hell is paved with "virtuostic" albums). Just wanted to add that the "I bid you goodnight" riff on "A Very Cellular Song" goes back further than the ISB, and is also heard on an album by Joseph Spence & The Pinder Family (called "The Summer of '66" if I remember correctly) in its original (?) recorded form. I suspect it's one of those many songs that fits into the "traditional" section of writing credits (think of how many trad arrangements are on the first ISB album). I recommend the Spence/Pinder album as well, but even more, PLEASE find a copy of Joseph Spence's Complete Folkways Recordings! No more joyous music has ever been put to tape and released for the public. Not even on ISB discs (sorry!). ... Read more

168. Gorilla
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Asin: B000002KFT
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 9975
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible! You NEED this CD!
A young James Taylor at his best! Includes the happy Mexico and How Sweet It Is, along w/ the sad I Was a Fool. Listen as Crosby and Nash synchratically harmonize as back up to James on Lighthouse or the soft-sung love that passionatly pours from Sara Maria. This is one of James' best ever. If I'm ever lucky enough to meet him, I will thank him for this album with a sincere gratitude.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stephen Hurren from London (UK)
I did read reviews about this CD being such a good album. But there was one person who wrote comments about it, saying that "I was a fool to care" & "You make it easy" were such nice ballads. And I wouldn't mind those two songs being put on a double greatest hits album that should hopefully be released in the future either. Which basically would feature the songs just from the years of Warner Brothers. Remember me saying that I would like each disc to have 20 tracks or more? I am aware that James still makes records for Columbia at Present. Considering no-one
knows how many more years he will carry on making records.
I'll soon send you some information about which tracks from his other Warner Brothers albums should go that double greatest hits
album in the future.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stephen Hurren from London (UK)
Yes, I agree too about this album becoming so good. Although "Mexico" & "How sweet it is" are already on his Greatest Hits albums, my other favourites of JT's songs which are
not included on greatest hits albums are "Music", "Wandering",
& "Sarah Maria". I also think that there should be a double greatest hits album by James Taylor to be released in the future,
featuring just the stuff from his Warner Brothers years. Basically, each CD featuring 20 tracks or more, so that those three favourites of mine are included on it aswell. "Music" was what I saw James perform when I went to see him in conert for the first time. James usually performs "Wandering" in most of his concerts too. I'll probably send some more thoughts about this album after I keep reading the information about it from
other people on this website.

5-0 out of 5 stars Balsam for the soul
West Coast music never really caught on in Britain in the 70s. In the US, on the other hand, Anglo rock behemoths like Led Zep, Stones, Bad Company, etc. didn’t stand a chance next to the seductive charms of Linda Ronstadt, Eagles, Carly Simon, Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell, etc. James Taylor’s Gorilla is one of the best mid-70s soft rock albums. It comes from the period when Mr. Taylor had hit a purple patch songwriting-wise and was consolidating his position as one of USA’s top recording artists. Like so many of his albums from that period like In The Pocket, it is a filler-free zone. Here we have mid-tempo nuggets like Mexico (check those harmony vocals!!), bitter-sweet confessions (I Was a Fool to Care, You Make it Easy), a truly glorious cover of a soul classic (How Sweet It Is), and sad, quiet interludes of unmatched tenderness like Wandering and Sarah Maria where Taylor in troubadour mode is transcendent, displaying a vulnerability and humanity that warms the deepest recesses of the soul. As backing vocalists, Taylor engages the services of friends and lovers (David Crosby and Carly Simon respectively) and the best musicians in town like Steve Gadd ensure that the whole thing swings like a mutha. Simply put, Gorilla is accomplished but relaxed, polished but sensual, sophisticated but almost painfully human. Gorilla is a slice of West Coast paradise. Come as you are and bring your own Margaritas.

5-0 out of 5 stars All TIme Fav!
Maybe because James is deeply in love(with his ex-Carly)when he produced this album with her clearly does wonderful things to an artist...he makes beautiful this case, music....and what a vote for the BEST JT album ever(this is hard to beat)!If there ten CD's I'm stuck with in a remote island(with an enviromentally friendly SOLAR powered CD player...hey SONY, how about that....James will love it too)....this is one of them! No fillers here...every song is a rare is that? ... Read more

169. Nashville Skyline (Reis)
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Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 14886
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170. Ragged Glory
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Asin: B000002LMK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 14596
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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After a long period of unfocused weirdness, Young spotted grunge around the corner and declared unity with the loud, scruffy sounds coming from Seattle. The countryish ballads, such as the opening "Farmer John," get roaring Crazy Horse treatment, and the headbanging "F*!#in' Up" is the most self-effacing rock anthem since the Who recorded "I'm a Boy." Amid the clatter, though, there is beauty: Crazy Horse's sympathetic backup vocals turn "Mansion on the Hill" into a pretty pop song despite the electric guitars, and even the white noise that closes the 1990 album is soothing in a scream-therapy kind of way. --Steve Knopper ... Read more

Reviews (57)

Wanna see a bunch of 70's folkies run? Just put on Ragged Glory and crank it up. This definitely isn't the Neil Young that I suffered through highschool with in the early 70's. It's not that he didn't write great songs. It's not that he couldn't sing. It's not that I was listening to too much Jeff Beck and Ten Years After at the time. I'ts just that I had too bad memories of those Neil Young folkie wannabees who liked to bring their acoustic guitars to school and give their own lame (and flat) renditions of "Heart Of Gold" or "Only Love Can Break Your Heart". Ugh. So, I never was a big fan. But then Neil Young met this little garage band called Crazy Horse, and everything was good again. Which brings us to this Raggedly Glorious album. What a way to wring out the New Wavish 80's and bring in the Grungy 90's. Yes this is sloppy. And yeah, it's noisy. But it's also melodic. And it's also some of THE best Neil Young songwriting since those early 70's days. It's a very unique album that's mixes stretched out notes of distortion ( a great Crazy Horse trademark) and extended guitar solos that, as the old 70's phrase goes, "I can really get into man". Songs like the great 7 minute opener "Country Home", which is actually one of Young's leftover songs from the 70's with Crazy Horse that he had never recorded before. And "Mansion On The Hill" feature some of Young's best songwriting of his career. They also can play some flat out mean grungy Seattle type rock with the excellent 60's garage classic "Farmer John" and "Love To Burn". I love the way they end this too, with a kind of acapella version of Mother Earth done live with just a hint of a quietly distorted guitar playing in the background. Young doesn't sound half bad when he's singing a chorus with someone else. Especially on a song this catchy. This is great stuff. One of the best rock albums of the 90's. Even though I'm much more of a folk fan now than I was way back when, if I had to choose between the Gold Rushes, the Harvest's, and this Ragged little album, well let's just say I'll take the Crunch. Highly recommended listening!

5-0 out of 5 stars A bountiful harvest of crunchy pre-grunge mud!
Neil Young, in all his incarnations never seems as focused or full tilt as when he and Crazy Horse hit the stage or studio together. This tour-de-force of feedback, white noise and amp farts is no exception. Everything gels in some of the most melodic hard rock blasting this side of nowhere. Country Home and Mother Earth are simply two of the most perfectly constructed grunge-fests ever recorded, and sandwiched in between are eight other delights for any fan of strong-armed guitar rock. How Neil can record perfect hard rock like this and follow so shortly with one of the most beautiful CDs of the 90's (Harvest Moon) is beyond me. He is truly a North-American treasure who despite his revered status is hugely underrated! Ragged Glory deserves at least 6 stars, buy it now, then snap up his entire 70's catalogue, you'll be glad you did!

5-0 out of 5 stars Bible of grunge and garage
In the first chapter of the grunge and garage Bible, it is written that Neil told his followers to turn the amps up to 11. But master, said his disciples, "the amps only go to 10". When they looked back down, the amps had miraculously been turned way past 10. In the next chapter, Neil told his disciples to lay down a mostly country music style backbeat, and they did. But, the scripture from the gospel according to Neil that is most widely quoted among those preaching his gospel to this day is the one where he proclaimed "You will play till your fingers bleed, and then you will play some more!!". Make no mistake, this is the holy scripture of any band that even has a remote connection to garage or grunge. While there are many musicians preaching the scripture according to Neil today, no one will ever be able to replicate the feeling of Ragged Glory. It will stand as a testament for generations to come on how massive double lead electric guitar rock is supposed to sound. This CD may sit in the CD stack unplayed for periods at a time, but it's always going to sound glorious, just as the title implies. There isn't a bad song on the album. You'll be looking for that proverbial "11" on your stereo too.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best Neil ever
This is by far Neil's best album, with or without Crazy Horse. The lyrics are typically inane, but who cares when the guitars rock this hard? "Country Home" has Neil's best soloing since "Like A Hurricane." His tone is amazing, and this record spawned numerous copycat efforts in the 90s.

5-0 out of 5 stars great young
this is a great cd from start to finish i dont have any complaints about any song. The highlight of the cd is Mother earth which i realley love. ... Read more

171. Broke Down
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Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 12599
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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On his second Philo release, singer-songwriter Slaid Cleaves builds a bridge between New England, where he grew up, and Texas, where he now lives. Cleaves's voice often affects a yearning quality reminiscent of traditional Irish music, and his songs are populated by the sort of tragic characters familiar to old folk ballads. In "Cold and Lonely," a poor farmer grieves for his dead wife and children, while the narrative "Breakfast in Hell" is a Canadian logger's answer to "John Henry."The suffering takes a more personal turn in "One Good Year," where Cleaves laments, "It's a bitter wind, in your face every day / It's the little sins, that wear your soul away." But just when the downcast mood begins to grow oppressive, Cleaves comes back with the defiant "Bring It On" and the redemptive "This Morning I Am Born Again," featuring Woody Guthrie's amazing lyrics set to new music. Austin-based producer Gurf Morlix , known for his long association with Lucinda Williams, contributes spare and evocative instrumental textures. --Rick Mitchell ... Read more

Reviews (35)

5-0 out of 5 stars Cleaving to Slaid
This album sneaks up on you. You're taken in by the melodies of "Broke Down," "One Good Year," and "Horseshoe Lounge," but you soon find yourself (after repeated playings) longing to hear "Lydia," "Bring It On," and the witty, humorous "Key Chain" (a necessary addition to the CD given the dark atmosphere of the other songs). Then, when you've enjoyed those tunes repeatedly, you get hooked on "Breakfast in Hell," a great epic verse, and "This Morning I Was Born Again," a superb Woody Guthrie lyric that Cleaves writes great music for. Add to the mix a Del McCoury remake (excellent harmonies), and all of a sudden it hits you that you're listening to ONE GREAT CD! I haven't tired of playing it yet. The only cut I could do without is "Cold and Lonely," which is so utterly without hope that I wonder why Cleaves was intent on placing the song on a CD full of characters who still retain some hope. I do find the melody appealing (in a dark sort of way), but "Cold and Lonely" is the one cut (the ONLY cut!) I don't mind skipping over. All in all, this is a first-rate CD. I'd highly recommend it to any country, folk or bluegrass fans!

4-0 out of 5 stars Truly Excellent
Slaid Cleaves' Broke Down is the finest album I've heard in some time. It's a combination of strong melodies, haunting lyrics and simplicity that recalls Freedy Johnston, a more tuneful approach to themes on Springsteen's 'Nebraska' and Steve Earle's work on Guitar Town. The title cut and 'One Good Year' are so strong that they could carry the record alone, but there's more. The lament of 'Horseshoe Lounge,' the despair of 'Cold and Lonely', and the confidence of 'Bring it On,' bear multiple listnings. 'Lydia' sounds like it could've been lifted off a Freedy Johnston record and Slaid's version of Woody Guthrie's 'This morning I was Born Again' offers hope among some of the tougher tunes. "Key Chain" brings to mind Carl Perkins -all in all great listening. My only reason for not giving the CD five stars is that I find after one or two listenings I skip over the story-in-a-song Breakfast in Hell. Still, my advice is run don't walk to get this CD.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best around
This album is astonshingly good. The more I listen to it the more I am blown away.

5-0 out of 5 stars McCabe's #6 - Slaid Cleaves 05-23-2004
This is a review of Slaid's concert at McCabe's in Santa Monica on Sunday 05-23-2004. He was simply incredible, playing his signature blend of Folk-rock & Alt/Country with his touring band (His fellow guitarist Michael O'Conner ROCKED!) He played most of this album along with songs from his latest album "Wishbone". My favorites of the night were the title track (Lots of airplay on Sirius Disorder // 24 satellite channel) and 'Bring It On' - also a staple of Sirius' and NPR radio. The encore brought Slaid alone with his guitar, playing a unplugged piece from his new album called 'New Year's Day'. After the concert - he signed my copy of "Broke Down" with his inscription "For Joe, Slaid Cleaves 2004". I told him he was the first artist that I heard over Sirius Satellite Radio, and he was happy to hear that. He told me he was 'thinking' of satellite radio, I told him to go "Sirius". He said he would look into it. Thanks Slaid!! JG

1-0 out of 5 stars Would be songwriter in search of a melody...none found.
At first I thought the lyrics were promising, then realized they only seem much better than they are because of the god-awful, mindless, endlessly repetitive naryl,naryl,naryl,nothingness of anything resembling a memorable musical phrase. How this collection got wasted onto perfectly good plastic boggles the mind. Whatever happened to the kind of music that Webb Pierce, Hank Williams,Johny Cash,etc. produced? I'll have to send these bowl floaters back to Rounder for a refund. ... Read more

172. Hourglass [Enhanced CD]
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Asin: B000002BSX
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6990
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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The merchant of mellow's first studio album since New Moon Shine (1991), and you've gotta have a heart of naugahyde not to be touched by the simplicity and uncommon wisdom of these dozen tunes. "Little More Time with You" is a trademark Taylor single augmented by a Stevie Wonder harmonica line, "Ananas" is sly and lusty, while the expertly crafted "Line 'Em Up" features a fond recollection of Richard Nixon's "shifty little eyes." A-list guests like Sting, Shawn Colvin, Branford Marsalis, and Randy Brecker add to the charm. --Jeff Bateman ... Read more

Reviews (55)

4-0 out of 5 stars Sophisticated an' mature music...
I've never really been into music on this side'a the spectrum, but a few years ago I discovered a few Jackson Browne albums an' was deeply moved by his heartfelt an' introspective lyrics. Surprised by my sudden taste for adult contemporary singer-songwriter rock, I started lookin' into some more artists of the genre.

James Taylor was the first one I came across. Though I don't find his songs as deep an' groundbreaking as they're reputed to be, I respect his talent as an musician an' singer an' he still appealed to me somewhat. This album especially. Is' jus' a collection of pleasant, melodic, simple songs about love, family and social activism all binded together by the experience of adulthood. He songs delicately an' gives off the aura of a man whose been around the block a few times, seen a lot, and lived to tell about it. The opener 'Line 'Em Up' is an expertly-crafted mid-tempo number with its first verse referring to Richard Nixon's final day leaving the White House in '74; a moment of quiet and nostalgic reflection, loved it. The following song 'Enough to Be On Your Way' probably ranks among his strongest and most powerful journeys, with a terrific arrangement and heart-breaking lyrical imagery. There's excellent emotion an' depth across the entire album an' is' certainly helped along by cameos from heavy-hitters such as Stevie Wonder, who provides a lovely harmonica line to the deceptively-light-sounding 'Little More Time With You' that actually tackles topics of drug use, celloist Yo-Yo Ma (Remember Kramer on the 'Seinfeld' episode 'The Ticket'? Jus' thought I'd mention it) on the heartfelt 'Another Day', Shawn Colvin on the upbeat 'Yellow and Rose', an' Michael Brecker and Branford Marsalis both provide lush tenor sax on 'Gaia', 'Ananas' an' 'Up From Your Life'.

I like bein' able to expand my musical horizons an' find things my homeboys would never expect to hear me listenin' to. This ain't the kinda music I'd listen to in my ride, or back up a date with, or durin' a poker game. This is jus' some gentle, slow music for those lazy Sundays when I jus' wanna put my phone on silent, sit around the house, maybe grill some hot dogs, drink a few beers, an' be at one with ALL things. Yea, I'm a geek. But at least I'm honest.

4-0 out of 5 stars Review
I have never heard James Taylor before I first listened to Hourglass. This cd is great. Walking My Baby Back Home, Jump Up Behind Me, and the hidden track. The music on this album reaches from contemporary to melodic rock songs. James has a great band is a great guitar player. The songs on this album are memorable. I didn't know James has been making albums since 1970. He looks in his 20s or 30s and sounds older then he looks. He has a nice voice and can really carry on a tune. I think he will sing and make music for the rest of his life and I hope he does. I don't really like this kind of music but I liked this cd. I usually listen to metal and punk rock but I stray away sometimes for something good. This is some good rock music that isn't on the charts. Buy this. You won't regret it.

4-0 out of 5 stars excellent
Three of these songs ("Enough To Be On Your Way," "Another Day," "Look Up From Your Life") would be worth the price of the disc. Fortunately, the rest of the songs are of similar quality.

The lyrics, especially on those three songs, have a maturity & emotional depth that stays with you after you've listened to them. And the arrangements are always uncluttered and efficient, so that they present the melodies & harmonies without overshadowing them.

Of course, this has been a great feature of JT's records from the beginning. He gets a lot of flack for being "Mr. Mellow," when the simple fact is that he & his folks just know how to write, arrange, and perform his songs perfectly. Some call mellow. I call it pretty damned fine.

5-0 out of 5 stars James Keeps on Truckin
What a delight. JT is getting better with age, like a fine wine. "Another Day" is my favorite track on the CD.
"Walkin My Baby Back Home" is a brilliant remake.

This guy still has it, and I wouldn't be surprised if he is still at it when he is 70. I also recommend seeing Jim's brother Livingston in concert. I saw him in Door County Wisconsin a couple of years ago, he is also a great entertainment, more of a comedian but almost as talented as JT.

I've been listening to James since college days in Ripon, Wisconsin.

5-0 out of 5 stars Delicious!
I love the early JT albums best--but this more recent release is delicious! It is currently on heavy rotation--I've had to bring it back forth from home to work, something I rarely do. If you are a fan of "the old stuff," don't worry--you will not be disappointed by this album. (The same is true of "October Road," BTW.) ... Read more

173. Moby Grape
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Asin: B000000DP9
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6185
Average Customer Review: 4.73 out of 5 stars
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Even one of the most misguided marketing campaigns in history couldn't obscure the sheer brilliance of this San Francisco-based quintet's self-titled 1967 debut. Guitarist Skip Spence was the original Jefferson Airplane's drummer, and lead guitarists Peter Lewis and Jerry Miller, bassist Bob Mosley, and drummer Don Stevenson were seasoned garage-band veterans. Everybody sang, everybody wrote songs, and their musical influences were equally diverse. They favored tight compositions and performances in an era when most groups didn't, so naturally they were the subject of a huge bidding war. To celebrate its triumph, the record label released five singles--and the album--simultaneously. People cried "hype" and not one of 'em hit. The album, however, was a solid seller and remains the rock upon which the group's reputation still rests. The slashing guitars and soaring harmonies of "Omaha" and "Hey Grandma" still snap, crackle, and pop! The sock-it-to-ya soul of "Changes" and the dueling guitars and vocals of "Indifference" still rock. The gentle folk ballad "Fall on You," the delicate "Sitting by the Window," and the country-flavored "8:05" are all strong songs, distinguished by their balance of four-part harmonies and three-guitar power. --Don Waller ... Read more

Reviews (55)

5-0 out of 5 stars Desert Island Disc
The eponymous debut album by 1960s San Francisco rockers Moby Grape is truly one of the greatest rock/pop albums ever released. Everything, from its eclectic, memorable songwriting to vigorous, pulsing instrumentation is of a calibre one doesn't encounter very often in any time period, even in as remarkable an era as the mid-1960s! Grape cult favourites, such as madman Skip Spence's relentless "Omaha" and "Indifference", are skilfully blended with ethereal ballads such as "Someday" and "Sitting By the Window" and country rockers such as "8:05" and "Ain't No Use". Only The Byrds and Buffalo Springfield (both from LA--commercial anathema to San Francisco rockers) were doing anything like this, but not without the track-for-track consistency of this album. That Moby Grape never scaled these heights again is no surprise given Columbia's appalling management and marketing (and front man Skip Spence's deteriorating psyche). If you have the money, plump for Columbia/Legacy's double CD compilation (which includes this album in its entirety!) "The Very Best of Moby Grape". You will find many more delightful moments from a terrific yet unfairly neglected group. Must have been that off-putting group name. Miss this album at your peril.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb!!!!!!!
This may very well be the greatest San Fransisco rock album of all time. Moby Grape, from 1967, is a very even album that combines country, folk, rock, soul, and psychedelia into a brilliant statement. Many of the songs such as Fall On You, Omaha, Hey Grandma, and 8:05 sound like obvious hits. Omaha is great acid rock with a punk attitude and is one of 67's true classics. Fall On You has a tight compact guitar solo that nearly explodes off of the record (or cd). With Indifference, the Grape jam without losing focus and 8:05 is a solid gold folk rock gem. The band sings beautifully and the playing is very solid and professional. This album is a must own and Wow and 69' are very solid (underrated) as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the true classics
I've followed Moby Grape from the beginning when my big brother brought home the album with the controversial cover. This is a must is anyone's collection. The music was new and innovative back then and stands up to today. Each track is performed with passion and fondly reminds me of how records were made in those days - loose and not so much emphasis on perfection. I even included my personal favorite, 8:05, on my own CD,

1-0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware -
I wondered why this re-issue was so expensive until I saw Matthew Katz' 'San Francisco Sound' label on this junk. Katz co-opted everything he ever touched and what he couldn't steal outright, he litigated out of existance.
Don't give this guy a dime. The out of print Vintage - The Very Best of Moby Grape by Columbia Legacy is the definitive Grape collection, and is probably available on Amazon's used list. Either that, or borrow someone's Moby Grape LP and burn your own copy. You'll be twenty bucks wiser & have a copy that sounds every bit as good as this lame effort.
Having this masterpiece hawked by Katz is like Sergeant Pepper being sold out of Allen Klein's car trunk.

5-0 out of 5 stars South, west, north, east. And forever in our hearts.
The obvious work and passion that went into the making of this record were unfortunately ignored by the mainstream audience of the time... mainly because the band's record label thought it would be fun to push several radio songs at the same time, and none of them reached major chart success (as they got in the way of one another). No matter what the charts say, audiences then and now would appreciate "8:05", one of the ultimate rock/country break-up songs, and "Omaha", a brief but mighty rock n' roll splash, if they had the chance to enjoy each one at their own pace. Meanwhile, western and southern influences make themselves obvious from the beginning, with "Hey Grandma" and "Mr. Blues". It's brilliant to hear a band combine sounds from all over the country (let's not forget that many great rock n' roll bands have come from the north and the east).

But this isn't to cut the rest of the record short. Moby Grape's selftitled is 13 tracks of pure rock/country/pop bliss. It's the perfect length for a record of its type (31 minutes). The magical time, however, remains 8:05. ... Read more

174. Nomads Indians Saints [Bonus Tracks]
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Asin: B00004Z3TM
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 25591
Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Songs and Harmonies!
This was my first Indigo Girls album. I had never heard of them until I coincidently turned on my car-radio just as "Hammer and a Nail" had started. I knew at once that there was something special about this band. Later of course, having bought their album "Nomads." I found out that they were actually only a duo.

Though "Hammer and a Nail" was the only obvious up-beat song, I was not as at all disappointed with the album. Judged from this album alone, I was sure that Emily Saliers here. It's not that Ray's songs are not good, it's more that Saliers'are so great. Luckily Ray has grown as a songwriter in recent years so there is a more balance between them today. Her best song here is "Hand Me Downs", which really is great.

It's hard to pick out one of Emliy's songs from the others because they're all great; many of them have become live-favourites.

The blend of their two voices, their brilliant acoustic guitar-playing and their classy songwriting - what more can you wish for.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Good
The unique sound continues on this disc.

"Southland in the Springtime," "Waterfall" and "Hammer and Nails" are the best songs.

Let's hope this duo stays young for the rest of their singing lives.

5-0 out of 5 stars best harmony ever.
Great upbeat song: "Hammer and a Nail". Sweet, melodic song: "Southland in the Springtime." Overall, this is an *amazing* album. By this point in their career, the Indigo Girls have perfected their characteristic harmonies. They are writing expressive, musically interesting songs. The album also has several guest artists singing backup, including Mary Chapin Carpenter and Michelle Malone.

5-0 out of 5 stars my favorite album of all time
If you're a true IG fan, you know that this is the most unappreciated collection of songs ever put together. Alternating between Amy's intense and primal vocals and Emily's sweet sounding melodies, "Nomads" has it all. It's an album to be listened to in its entirety, like "Being There" by Wilco or like "Southern Harmony and Musical Companion" by the Black Crowes...a unit that exceeds its individual parts when you look at it as a whole. "Watershed", "World Falls", "Pushing the Needle Too Far", "Welcome Me", "Hand Me Downs"... in a better world, these would be radio singles, not just obscurities for die hard fans... This album is pure poetry and if you don't believe it, just take out the liner notes and read for yourself...

5-0 out of 5 stars review
This was the first Indigo Girls album I bought, though not the remastered version, the original one. I felt like it was the first time somebody was singing about what it's like to live my life. There is a quality of both melancholy and optimism about many of the songs here that almost perfectly captured my emotional state when I bought it. ... Read more

175. Transcendental Blues
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Asin: B00004S9AN
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7122
Average Customer Review: 4.24 out of 5 stars
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While Steve Earle's last album, The Mountain, was an all-acoustic collection of folk and bluegrass, his latest project returns to the trademark stylistic eclecticism that he displayed on El Corazon (1997). Transcendental Blues flows from gentle folk to British invasion pop, from Celtic-flavored jaunts to hard-edged country-rock and bluegrass romps, and as always Earle deftly blurs these lines. --Marc Greilsamer ... Read more

Reviews (105)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not the same old stuff
Steve Earle deserves credit for attempting to expand his muscial horizons, as he does mostly with success on "Transcendental Blues." When I heard the title track of this album on a modern rock station, I knew it wasn't business as usual for Steve. About half of the tracks wouldn't sound out of place on any Earle album. But with the title track and several others, he aims for a sound closer to modern rock. He also throws in a bluegrass nember just to keep the stylistic mix truly diverse. But whatever the style, it wouldn't matter if the songwriting stinks. The best songs here in addition to the title track are "Another Town," "Halo Around the Moon," "Over Yonder" and "The Galway Girl." The latter is an Irish tune that wouldn't be out of place on a Pogues album. It is true that some of the songs don't really work, but not enough to keep it from being a strong outing.

Overall, give credit to Earle for attempting something different. I'll take "Transcendental Blues" over most of the bland garbage that is coming out of Nashville these days.

4-0 out of 5 stars read this review
"Transcendental Blues" is another solid album from gravel voiced Earle. On a level with "El Corazon", but just a little weaker than "I Feel Alright". There are maybe 6-8 great Steve Earle songs here, including "Lonelier Than This", "Halo Round the Moon", the title cut, "Galway Girl", and "Steve's Last Ramble". Much of the rest of the album sounds like he may be going through the motions. Still, his going through the motions is better than many artists best, and songs like "Another Town" and "Wherever I Go" are highly enjoyable if just a little slight. What Earle has done is make a great pop-rock album. Not Top 40 pop, but edgy and driving pop songs. The album has it's weak tracks, like the way-too-weird "The Boy Who Never Cried". This song is so devoid of feeling or hooks or melody that it seems completely out of place, and the duet with his sister is nothing compared to his past duets with Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris, or Iris Dement. Still, it's hard to complain about such solid music from a man who has put out the most remarkable series of albums from one artist through the last 5 or 6 years. If anyone in rock radio had any guts than this album could be the biggest hit of the year. It's songs were made for rock radio. I guess that's just wishful thinking.

5-0 out of 5 stars "...with a dark cloud hangin' down low."
I grew up listening to this guy and four years ago he dropped THIS on us. I'd bought this as a present for my dad (who introduced me to Steve Earle) and I ended up keeping it for myself and wearing out that copy. Three copies later, it still remains one of my faves and I still believe this to be Steve's best recording. It doesn't matter how rock you are, how country you are, or how hip you are. EVERYONE will find something to love here. I just re-bought it last weekend on a road-trip to a Metallica concert so take that for what it's worth.

Transcendental Blues may be the album of Steve's career. As much as I love "El Corazon", "Jerusalum", "I Feel Alright", and "The Hard Way" (Billy Austin never loses it's impact), this is still my favorite of his. If America had any taste in music whatsoever, this would have gotten a Grammy. That's all I have to say about that.

5-0 out of 5 stars big fan
i have found transendental blues really great as
all steve's other just cannot pass
up a steve earle recording he is the best.
i give him 5 stars

5-0 out of 5 stars Changed my listening habits forever
I used to listen to 80% commercial music - the better parts of commercial, mind you- but commercial just the same. I watched a Steve Earle concert on CMT one night and I was enthralled... I'd heard a couple of his tunes on rock radio years back, but hadn't ever cared to listen to more. That concert got me to pick up Transcendental Blues. Lo and behold, I had found a new thang. I was washed of my sins and reborn into a fan of real music and never looked back. TB is probably not Steve's best... but it's in his top 5... and that's better than 80% of what's out there. Praise Steve. (BTW, I'm not in agreement with most of his politics, but at least he backs up his assertions with intelligence and heart... it's all about the art, anyway) ... Read more

176. A Home at the End of the World
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Asin: B0002IQC4S
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3075
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Adapted from the novel/screenplay of Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cunningham (The Hours), Colin Farrell gives an inspired performance as a tragedy-stricken youth whose search for identity and happiness forms the core of its unconventional friendship and romance. Its warm, admirably eclectic song-based soundtrack echoes thefilm's two decade arc with selections that span both era and emotion, from the innocence of Dusty Springfield's "Wishin' and Hopin'" and Yaz' infectious "Only You" to the angst-ridden classic rock-era bookends of "Somebody to Love" by the Jefferson Airplane and Patty Smith's epochal "Because the Night." The score's classical selections continue that thread with excerpts from Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte and contemporary minimalist Steve Reich's vibrant Music for Eighteen Musicians. But it’s the half-dozen warm, introspective new tracks from Duncan Sheik that form the soundtrack's evocative emotional core, with melancholic, production-rich standouts like "Something Somewhere" infusing it with asmart, contemporary atmosphere in the bargain.--Jerry McCulley ... Read more

177. World Gone Wrong
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Asin: B0000029E8
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3784
Average Customer Review: 4.18 out of 5 stars
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With his songwriting muse on pause, Bob Dylan spent the mid-'90s recording old folk and blues standards with just himself, a harmonica, and an acoustic guitar. Good As I Been to You was the first effort. For the follow-up, World Gone Wrong, he went even further into the dark night of the soul. His voice aged by road-weary experience and informed by lifelong insight delivers just the right pathos to these tales of lost love and existential blight. Tom Paley, one of the original New Lost City Ramblers, popularized "Love Henry," a symbolic tale of a businessman who loses his soul traveling through the halls of corruption. Dylan delivers it as a funeral march and surrounds it with songs of similar sentiment. A modern acoustic blues classic. --Rob O'Connor ... Read more

Reviews (33)

5-0 out of 5 stars Blues Gone Right
Aside from the astonishing cover art and photography adorning the liner notes, the power of Dylan's performance here cannot be overstated. Wholly deserving of the 1993 Grammy Award it garnered for Best Traditional Folk Album, the album's austere minimalism makes for as vulnerable an album as Dylan has allowed since Blood on the Tracks (listen for the tapping of Bob's shoe on track 3, for instance). Some critics pan "World Gone Wrong" as yet another morbid example of Dylan's inability to catch up with the times. Yet an attempt at updating his sound is exactly what nearly destroyed his career as he released one unfocused album after another throughout the late '70s and '80s. He's damned if he tries and damned if he doesn't. It seems that Dylan's enormous reputation and many musical masks have polarized his audience, groups of which subscribe to specific and stultifying expectations of what kind of sound Dylan ought to deliver. Yet "World Gone Wrong" further illustrates that the best Dylan records are the ones he records for himself. It is a lonely, paranoid, occasionally brooding and sincere recording, fraught with masterful finger-picking (Ragged & Dirty, Broke Down Engine), some rollicking harmonica (Stackalee) and an absolutely heart-wrenching interpretation of the traditional classic, "Two Soldiers," a rendition that has accompanied me during some of my loneliest hours for years now. In fact, the solitude articulated with these gritty performances is so real and honest that it actually keeps you company. And that, I think, is what good art does: it makes you feel less lonely, less misunderstood. Dylan does that with this release. I can think of no higher praise.

5-0 out of 5 stars A somber and reflective album of folk songs
World Gone Wrong was Bob Dylan's follow-up to the equally folk/blues-oriented album Good As I Been To You. Like its predecessor, World Gone Wrong consists exclusively of cover songs. While the lack of Dylan originals is always a little disappointing, rest assured that these 10 songs have all been pretty thoroughly Dylan-ized. The words may not be his own, but he brings each song to life with subtly passionate and natural vocals, the raspy overtones of which seem to reflect and magnify the feelings behind the lyrics. These songs are noticeably darker in tone that those found on Good As I Been To You, making it a similar yet very different album, more quiet and reflective. At times, particularly in the haunting final track Lone Pilgrim, Dylan's voice softens to little more than a whisper. It's hard to speak about individual songs, though, because to me World Gone Wrong is to be judged and appreciated as a whole.

There is more than a hint of nostalgia in these songs; in fact, in their own quiet way they seem to represent a rebellion again modern society; this falls far short of becoming the sort of protest music Dylan produced in his early years, but nostalgia for a world that can never be regained is unmistakably present. Fame and fortune are given a thorough analysis herein and are declared wanting; as Dylan says in the very interesting if sometimes cryptic liner notes, when opining upon the meaning of the song Stack A Lee, "no man gains immortality thru public acclaim." I don't think Dylan really even cares how many people appreciate this album; as always, he records the music that speaks to him, not what he thinks audiences want to hear. Sometimes the short-term results of an album such as this are criticism and less than stellar sales, but eventually, the music is recognized for the greatness that lies within it. It is quite possible that many Dylan enthusiasts will listen to World Gone Wrong, then put it away and forget about it for years, but that's okay. I did that, but now that I have given these ten somber folk songs a second chance to impress me, I am pleasantly surprised at the power this unassuming little album possesses.

1-0 out of 5 stars Sheeez!
I love Bob, but this album is like listening to him sing in the shower while the water is running, the dog is barking, someone's knocking at the door, and a dozen little kids are running around the house yelling and screaming while you also endure the sound of the siren from a police car that is parked outside your neighbor's home (crackheads).

It's just not good, and the problem isn't necessarily Dylan's performance, but the technical quality of the recording. It sounds like he used the cheapest possible tape - a cassette probably purchased at the corner drug store - and an equally cheap tape player acquired at the same place. Hell, Dylan's performance can't even be properly assessed under these conditions. Obviously, some people like this record, but to me, this is for the Dylan equivalent of the Elvis fan whose devotion is so extreme that he'll waste good money on a bottle of what is alleged to be the King's perspiration.

Dylan is a great artist, but that doesn't mean that everything he does is great art. Some of what he's done isn't good on any level, and, in my humble but honest opinion, "World Gone Wrong" is exhibit A.

4-0 out of 5 stars Like Dylan? You'll like this
Don't start your Dylan collection here. No worries though 'cause you'll eventually end up here. Dylan turns these old dark folk and blues tunes into his own. A must have.

5-0 out of 5 stars Again Mr. D Makes the Old Songs Fresh
This is the second album in a row that Mr. D has record of old songs in the public domain. I was only fifteen when this one came out and like with the last album "Good As I Been to You," I was completely taken by surprise. This time Dylan and his amazing guitar work attack not only old folk songs, but blues songs as well. I could sit and listen to this album for hours. I have and each and every time I hear it, it's as fresh as when I tore off the shrink wrap back in 1985. If you like Bob Dylan, like folks songs, like the blues, than this is the CD for you. Five stars.

Reviewed by Stephanie Sane ... Read more

178. Highway 61 Revisited (Reis)
list price: $11.98
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Asin: B00026WU82
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7263
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179. Daybreaker
list price: $18.98
our price: $14.99
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Asin: B000069HH2
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 11661
Average Customer Review: 3.98 out of 5 stars
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Like Beth Orton's previous offerings, her third album makes a slight first impression. Sure, the jangly acoustic guitars, drifting melodies, and robust voice are pleasant enough, but it is only after a while that the true potency of the songs becomes apparent. "Nobody can keep you from the one you know you are," she sings quietly on "Mount Washington." Fueled by her mother's early passing, each of Orton's songs is accordingly anchored by a deep sense of sadness and loss. Despite the occasional electronic flourishes at the hands of collaborators such as the Chemical Brothers and Everything but the Girl's Ben Watt, and the beaming West Coast harmonies she shares with pal Ryan Adams, Daybreaker is a supremely personal record. "There's a concrete sky falling from the trees again and I don't know why," she muses on "Concrete Sky." And like Tim Buckley and Nick Drake--the hopeless folk icons that came before her--there seems to be a sublime urgency in her work that suggests a seemingly innocent song like "Thinking About Tomorrow" is not so much about optimism as fate.--Aidin Vaziri ... Read more

Reviews (62)

5-0 out of 5 stars Daybreaker ~ Beth Orton
While the first two albums from Beth took some time to sink in, the songs from Daybreaker immediatly caught my attention.

-Paris Train opens the album on a incredible high level, this is one of her best songs ever!! The lyrics are stunning, the string section is quite beautiful and Beth's voice sounds almost Bjorkish! 5/5

-Concrete Sky is the first single and is very catchy. Ryan Adams contributes his vocals to this song. 4/5

-Song number three is Mount Washington. Wow! talking about good songs, this one also blows you away! The lyrics are great and the building to the climax at the end is just fabulous. 5/5

-Anywhere is another top notch song from Beth with a brass section and very original written. 5/5

-The titletrack Daybreaker is written with the Chemical Brothers. Very trippy and bouncing. 4/5

-Carmella is a acoustic song, it sounds alot like most of the songs from Trailer Park. The lyrics are very funny. 4/5

-God Song brings another collaboration with Ryan Adams and Emmylou Harris, who contributes her haunting background vocals. The lyrics are so so in my opinion, but the song is beautiful, esspecially the ending. 4/5

-This One's Gonna Bruise is written by Ryan Adams especially for Beth. This song is a little depressing, but Beth makes it very special. 4/5

-Ted's Waltz took a lot of time to appreciate, but now I think that it's a very good song with a dark atmosphere. 4/5

-Thinking About Tomorrow ends the album like it should. The song is actually quite simple, but incredible stunning! The lyrics are fabulous and Beth's emotional voice will sure give you a lump in your throat. 6/5

So, not all the songs are top notch, but this album flows perfectly together. The songs Paris Train, Mount Washington, Anywhere and Thinking About Tomorrow are some of her best songs so far in her career. Central Reservation is still my favourite album from Beth, but Daybreaker is a worthy follow-up and another peak in her recording career.

This one's recommended highly!!

3-0 out of 5 stars Beuatifully crafted but missing memorable hooks 3.5 stars.
Beth Orton is a rare talent, with great songwriting skills and an unusual smokey, evocative voice. Here she delivers a long awaited, and beuatifully crafted follow up to the hit disc "Central Reservation", that althogh full of great songwriting is hampered by a lack real melody or memorable hooks in the songs.

Another way of putting this is amidst all the musical craftsmenship the songs ceased to be catchy, or memorable, if you will.

Orton lined up an A-1 cast of helpers such as Ben Watt (late of Everything But the Girl) who, as before is in charge of the beat, blips and trip hop side of things, Johnny Marr the guitar player from the Smiths and others. As a result it all sounds wonderful and the instrumentation is superb, but it lacks something.

Its an odd experience listening to the record, since each track starts off well enough, but the problem is in the chorus, the anticipated beautiful hook, or chord change, that distinguished her other discs, never quite comes except in a couple of tracks. This applies across the board to all styles present on the record, styles that are more diverse than before, the songs just lack a "crunch" that gives you a tingle.

The disc also fails to sparkle in mood and fall somewhat flat, as if Beht Orton is trying to hard to be meaningful in the lyrics. Another slight problem, the pace of the record gets steadily less, and the songs more stripped down as you proceed, and the last five songs are all extremely slow ballad type songs.

This record may well shine better on several listens and might work best at 1am with a bottle of scotch when you are truly in a reflective mood. For all it complexity and craft, it just can't match the shine and sparkle of "Central Reservation." Needless to say Orton's voice is as beautiful and evocative as ever.

All in all, buy this disc for its craft, its a bit like a lavish hand made wedding cake with not qutie enough sugar, or an expensive foriegn made, rare sports car, with not quite enough power, still meriting admiration and enjoyable, but......

5-0 out of 5 stars Orton at her best
'Daybreaker' is by far one of my favourite albums by a woman EVER. Orton has this special feel about her music that just keeps you attached. 'Paris Train' is the opening track and it draws you in to the very genius mind of Orton. Beth's style and vocals are very different from anyones I've heard which makes her one of the best artists I've heard in a long time. The best tracks are 'This One's Gonna Bruise', 'Paris Train', 'Concrete Sky' and 'Thinking About Tomorrow'. I highly recommend this album!

5-0 out of 5 stars Her best album, and most accessible
What a good fortune that Beth's best album is also the album I would recommend to someone who had never heard her before. Central Reservation put her on the edge of cult status, and Daybreaker has given her a small venue drawing power in college cities that is very respectable. The early songs are very pop-ish, well-crafted. the later tracks are more artistic and more authentically her, sounding almost as though she was trapped in a studio for weeks and these are her private diary entries. For example, "Ted's Waltz," my favorite from this album, is very intimate, much like "Blood Red river" from Central Reservation.

This vital artist will be around much longer, I hope; I've seen her on her opening concernt for this album, I hoep she has many more opening concerts for albums.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
After buying Central Reservations, I was captivated by Beth's vocal style which ranges from sweet, to sexy to innocent. I really enjoyed Daybreaker especially since, compared to CR, it is a bit more upbeat. Mount Washington, Anywhere and Thinking about Tomorrow are the standout tracks for me. They adhere thoroughly to the album's title "Daybreaker" and convey that feeling you get when you start out on a bright, warm sunny day.

An excellent road trip album!

However, do not be fooled into buying the remix album. The unreleased tracks are mediocre at best and the remixes sound like the efforts of teenagers with Acid Loops. Someone thought to try to capitalize on the success of Daybreaker, but the remix album may have been a bit too ambitious and slightly disappointing, especially to those who are endeared to the original Daybreaker release. ... Read more

180. The Columbia Studio Recordings 1964-1970
list price: $49.98
our price: $39.99
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Asin: B00005NKKU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3853
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Though the American folk movement of the early '60s wouldinfluence bands like the Byrds and Buffalo Springfieldand a score of oh-so-sensitive '70s singer-songwriters, its two mostlooming successes during the decade--Bob Dylan andSimon and Garfunkel--couldn't have seemed more disparate. While Dylanturned hard-left, outraging many a folk purist by zealously embracingrootsy blues-rock and its electrified cacophony, S&G veered toward thecenter, equally infuriating snooty pundits by embracing a Top 40 popsense whose ostensible shallowness often belied its rich musicaldiversity. In retrospect, Simon and Garfunkel's career as a duo wasremarkably brief (five albums in six years), if no less commerciallypotent (a slew of Top 40 singles, two Number One albums, and therequisite handful of Grammy Awards). This box set compiles digitallyremastered versions of the original S&G albums, each expanded toinclude bonus tracks (mostly previously unissued demos with a fewscattered outtakes, the quartet on Sounds of Silence thebest of the lot) and a booklet featuring new notes for each album andsong lyrics. It's a rewarding journey, wending from the almost slavishfolk devotion of Wednesday Morning 3 AMthrough the greeting-card iconoclasm of Sounds of Silence, themadrigal-pop of Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, andThyme to the increasingly impressionistic lyrical landscape ofBookends. Italso covers the rich musical tapestry of Bridge over TroubledWaters, which foreshadowed Simon's own diverse solo career byembracing everything from the Everlys and Jan & Dean toAndean folk and R&B. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars "...And What A Time It Was..."
Simon and Garfunkel's five studio albums spent a total of 470 weeks on the album charts--that's nine years! As a child of the Sixties, this music helped create the soundtrack of my youth. Yes, I already owned Collected Works and I bought the box set Old Firends, and now this is part of my collection, too. Is it essential to own all three? It pretty much makes Collected Works obsolete. Collected Works had no liner notes or photos (a glaring omission corrected on this new box set). And the anthology Old Friends at best becomes dispensible. Of the 15 previously unreleased tracks on that anthology, only the eight live tracks and the two Christmas songs are not included here. [It does make you wonder about the greed factor on COlumbia's part when there are 49 tracks shared between the two.]

If you have not upgraded to CD with any of these three collections, the latest box wins hands down. Each of the five CDs comes in a miniature sleeve duplicating the original albums (both front and back). The 76-page booklet contains some terrific photos and new liner notes for each album by Bud Scoppa along with the original liner notes. Lyrics are also included--except for the bonus tracks. However, it would have been nice to have a running commentary from both Simon and Garfunkel on each of the songs or at least an extensive interview. Recording dates and session musicians would also have been a plus. But the main thing is the music--and it's never sounded better than it does here! Listen and enjoy. ESSENTIAL

2-0 out of 5 stars Columbia (Sony): always a step behind
Or maybe they're mocking at us? When I bought the first CDs of Columbia (S&G or Dylan's...) they did their best to put out the worst edition (bad photo covers, CD cases that didn't close well, lack of original liner notes and dreadful presentation on the surface of the compact discs -just look at Collected Works, you'll know what I mean). Now they they got better on that issue, but they still do the things wrong. I agree with the reviewers that critic the edition of this collection and Old Friends. Why do we have Old Friends (a good selection with rarities) and THEN the Collected Works with rarities? Why not release the Complete Works and THEN a Box Set with rarities (also they could put on Complete Works more rarities, I feel that any of the 5 CDs ended before I begun to listen to them). And now they're releasing a live 1967 concert. Good, good, keep it giving us their gems with a dropper, we'll get the music, but it's not the best way.
S&G are more than five stars, Columbia is -2.

5-0 out of 5 stars Touch the Sounds
A few years ago, I reviewed COLLECTED WORKS, which at the time was the only comprehensive collection of Simon and Garfunkel's work (on 3 CDs). This is better. Much better.

One complaint, though, just to get it out of the way. I love the fact that the discs have the original label design on them, but BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER was also released on the same label as the others in its first edition (I own two such vinyl copies). That aside, onward and upward.

The music is what is important here. And it is given the royal treatment, beginning with WEDNESDAY MORNING, 3AM, a very good, if somewhat unassuming effort of basic folk arrangements. There are some standout tracks, indeed. "Sparrow", "Sounds of Silence", and the title track are among my personal favorites, but the rest of the album will not disappoint.

With 1966's SOUNDS OF SILENCE, the duo opted for a more folk-rock approach, which has been impuned for its commercial value. Commercial does not mean bad. The Beatles were, after all, the most commercial music group of all time. No one seems to mind. Neither should they here. "Leaves That Are Green", "Blessed", "Somewhere They Can't Find Me", "A Most Peculiar Man", and "I Am a Rock" never cease to captivate me. They were well on their way with this one.

Also in 1966, the duo released PARSLEY, SAGE, ROSEMARY, AND THYME. Let the opening title track work it's melodic and contropunal magic on you--it is hauntingly beautiful. PATTERNS is also first rate. In fact, very little on this record is not.

BOOKENDS (1968) is, I must admit not my favorite of their collections--just a bit pretentious. Still has "Hazy Shade of Winter" and "Mrs. Robinson", though, so it is not to be missed.

Finally 1970's BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER carried us to the brink of Simon's impending solo career. But songs like "The Boxer", "Cecilia", and "Keep the Customer Satisfied" are strong indeed.

The way the albums are released and presented here, with that one exception of the label on BRIDGE.

Even if you own COLLECTED WORKS, get this. You will be satisfied.

If you want an interesting presentation and better sound quality from their recordings, look here. I promise.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great music, but 5 CDs?
This is undeniably wonderful music, among the best of its time -- and that's saying something since S&G's recorded history from 1964-70 exactly overlaps that of the Beatles. I could listen to it over and over and never grow tired of it. (Well, maybe the first CD is a bit tiresome, but that's a minor quibble.) And while I love the idea of reissuing the 5 CDs exactly as they were originally released, with the covers and labels and everything, I can't help feeling just a little cheated.

I noticed each CD has about 30-45 minutes of music, even with the bonus tracks. You could certainly fit it all onto 3 or maybe 4 CDs and save a bit of money. At full price, this isn't a bargain. But if you can find it on sale -- as I did, for half-price -- then it's a good deal. This is beautiful music. Own it, definitely. Just watch out for the price.

3-0 out of 5 stars More Hiss Than On "Collected Works"?
I do have "Collected Works", but could not resist the temptation of buying the recently released expanded versions of the original albums. I had to pay more and buy all five CDs individually, as I could not find the box set in this country. Naturally, I am quite pleased with the liner notes and bonus tracks, but I am rather disturbed by the hiss on these new discs. Digitally remastered from the original master tapes??? I thought that meant less hiss than the previous editions. ... Read more

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