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181. The Best of Branigan
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182. Harry Nilsson - Greatest Hits
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183. It's Too Late to Stop Now
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184. Tragic Kingdom
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185. Anthology 3
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186. Forever Blue
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187. Feelin' Alright: The Very Best
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188. Ultimate Kylie
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189. The Best of Sweet [Capitol]
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190. Changes in Latitudes Changes in
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191. On the Threshold of a Dream
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192. Past Masters, Vol. 2
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193. The Best: Loggins and Messina
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194. Chicago - Greatest Hits: 1982-1989
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195. Retrospective
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196. Irish Heartbeat
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197. The Best of Blondie [Chrysalis]
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198. Belinda Carlisle - Her Greatest
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199. No Jacket Required
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200. Live! At the Desert Inn

181. The Best of Branigan
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Asin: B000002J4M
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7197
Average Customer Review: 4.29 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars You never forget a great singer!
I will always think of Laura Branigan as one of my favorite singers from the 80s! Recently I pulled out all my Laura Branigan albums and gave them a good listen! THE BEST OF BRANIGAN offers some of her strongest songs including the heart-breaking "How Can I Help You Say Goodbye?" which has been sung by other artists, but is best covered by this singer! This is the song to listen to when you have lost someone (whether emotionally or physically) you dearly love and you need to let out your pain...

Two qualities of Laura Branigan's voice, sincerity and passion, have rarely been captured by other singers. Her ballads are her true masterpieces, though "Self-Control" is a haunting example of a more upbeat, poppy song that really isn't happy at all. And its ambiguity is addictive.("Self-Control" could be about anything: insomnia, eating issues, a knack for finding the wrong relationship. Pick your poison; it's there!)

"Gloria" evokes a lot of pleasant memories for many people. The summer of 1982 instantly comes to mind! "Gloria" doesn't have as much depth as her other songs, but it is a classic pop hit and is one of those songs you instantly recognize and relive all over again within the first seconds of hearing its beginning.

Though this collection is very satisfying, there are so many other great songs she recorded that should have been included. There's the beautiful "Your Love" from the 1988 SALSA soundtrack. There's the entire HOLD ME album (I listened to it so many times the cassette broke) and of course her very first album, BRANIGAN, offers "If You Loved Me" and "I Wish We Could Be Alone." "A Million Years" (from 1990's LAURA BRANIGAN) is an unofficial anthem to unrequited love.

Since music is such a touchstone for emotions, particularly when it comes to pain and passion, love and loneliness, you may find yourself looking for the most suitable album(s) for your mood. Whether you want to remember the summer of 1982 ("Gloria" or "Lucky One") or the emotional equivalent of downing your sorrows ("Over You" or "Solitaire"), you can't go wrong with THE BEST OF BRANIGAN--or any of her albums for that matter.

5-0 out of 5 stars Laura's Absolute Best On One Album!
With a voice that demands to be noticed, Laura Branigan's "Best of Branigan" collects sampling of her works spanning her entire career. Whether it's the 80's anthem "Gloria", the infectious "Self Control" or her heart felt version of "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You", this album delivers the absolute best of her works. One will also find some less familiar songs in this collection. For example, the song "Power Of Love" (Later recorded by Celine Dion)a powerful ballad that will warm even the coldest of hearts and the huntingly sad "Is There Anybody Here But Me" are just two of the forgotten or overlooked gems that are found on this album. And finally, this album contains two new tracks only available on this album, "Show Me Heaven" a beautiful song about new love and "Dim All The Lights" a fun new remake of the classic Donna Summer tune that will get your foot tapping. "The Best Of Branigan" Is a must for any collection.

3-0 out of 5 stars This Is Your Laura Branigan Tour
A few things have been constant in Laura Branigan's career: 1. Lots of albums with completely unimaginative titles (witness "Branigan", "Branigan 2", and -- of course -- "Laura Branigan"). 2. Lots of albums with horrific covers. She looks absolutely dour in every shot on every album. On the cover of "Self Control", she appears to be wearing a black smock one might wear to paint a house, or do decoupage. On the cover of "Hold Me", she looks like an adult who was sexually abused as a child and now cannot grow up. Even on this, her greatest hits album, the photography is horrible and you'll see the picture of her inside the booklet where she looks like a butch lesbian with long hair, but then in the next picture, she appears to be a semi-attractive soccer mom. Finally #3... she has made a lot of songs that were not big for her, but were big for someone else ("How Am I Supposed To Live Without You" is now Michael Bolton's calling card and "The Power Of Love" put Celine Dion, not Laura Branigan, on the map).

While she's always pleasant to listen to, Laura Branigan is a touch bland. With her best work ("Self Control", "Gloria", "Spanish Eddie", or most anything she's done that is uptempo) she is a white Donna Summer for the 80s, with energy to spare with her songs that sound at home beneath a big ol' disco ball. With her worst work (the originals of the songs that were big for other people, or anything off of her "Over My Heart" album) she is a wispy balladeer without a powerful voice to back it up.

The new songs on this album, including "Show Me Heaven" and "Turn Off The Lights" -- both cover songs, are moderately decent, at best. Tina Arena did a kick-ass version of "Show Me Heaven" the year after this album came out and it just made Laura's seem... well, like a karaoke performance. "Turn Off The Lights", a cover of a Donna Summer song, is pretty decent but the producer truly sucked and the song itself has very little to offer. It just isn't ear-catching, which is why it failed as a single. Atlantic Records really has never seemed all that interested in making Laura Branigan into something interesting and she has always seemed like a singer destined to be left with everyone else's leftovers (witness the sadly cheesy video for "Gloria", her biggest hit... it made it to be a topic of discussion on VH-1's I Love 1982 show. The video looks like it was recorded in a closet somewhere with a disco ball over her head. One would have thought that a huge hit single might have garnered some kind of budget at the dawn of the era of the music video... but, no). Poor Laura always looks like she's been shopping at the Kathy Ireland clearance rack of life. She's always had atrocious remixes of her hits, she's always had bad album art, she's never remembered except for when someone mentions "Gloria" and that was only one of her 3 top 5 hits.

At one point, I became interested in as to where she had gone, so I visited her "official site". Now, if you're into being a voyeuristic drama queen, this place was for you. It seemed that there were 2 sites competing for the title "Official Laura Branigan Web Site" and both of the sites' discussion boards were littered with constant bickering over true identities and even though I wasn't a huge Branigan fan, I found myself visiting the sites daily to see what the latest insult was. Neither site was visually appealing and looked like they had been pieced together with dollar store CD-roms. Neither site really offered much as far as information... so who knows what happened to her, though I do hear she is planning a comeback. But what 80s star isn't?

But, back to the CD... it's a decent CD and, in fact, does sum up her career. Does it include EVERY single she's released? No. Do we need to have them all? Mmm... that's questionable and would have caused Atlantic to release a double-CD package that would have been probably pressed on discs made of popcorn. But, it is a reasonable collection of work that is concise and includes all the major hotspots. It's like a Tour of the Homes of Hollywood Stars that drives you past Brad Pitt's house at 80 miles an hour, but luckily doesn't take you past Bob Denver's house at all.

4-0 out of 5 stars She Shows You Heaven
I bought this as a Christmas present to my friend Juha. The opening track is great. It is catching, relaxing and all between those. The keyboards are very good, almost like Asia. "Show Me Heaven" is also great. It is quite peaceful and Laura sings very touchingly. "Ti Amo" and "Spanish Eddie" are very good rhythm tracks. "The Power of Love" is maybe the most beautiful ballad I've heard. It demonstrates how good singer Laura is. I liked also the fast tracks "Gloria" and "The Lucky One", very good keyboards!!!! "Self Control" is also a classic pop song. There's two ballads which make this album a four-star-album: "How Can I Help..." and "Dim All the Lights" but that's not so hard. Also the album "Laura Branigan" has been left outside this collection.

4-0 out of 5 stars Graceful Vocal Queen of Yester years
Who wouldn't luv to hear Laura Branigan? She's got the Vocals and is blessed with the voice thats oh so powerful and obsolutly clear n cool. Her Power of Love has ever been a hit. Also I like the voice of Jennifer Rush when she sings the same number but Laura Branigan has her flasy style and grace. The Lucky one is a very originally sung song esp. when Laura sings ...The lucky one and the music rolls by. Self Control is all time hits and my fav. Laura Branigan's Gloria is another of my very fav song and I luv the way she sings Calling gloria....I guess thats the best part of her vocals that the music vibrates loud behind her bold n loud clear voice! A cool collection and a must buy pick - Laura Branigans can't be a miss out especially listening this Christmas when its Music Time, Prime Time. Good Pick. ... Read more

182. Harry Nilsson - Greatest Hits
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Asin: B0000631E5
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6060
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Album Details

21 Digitally Remastered Tracks from the Genious Troubadour. ... Read more

183. It's Too Late to Stop Now
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Sales Rank: 3247
Average Customer Review: 4.94 out of 5 stars
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Given his early roots in Irish show bands steeped in American R&B, Van Morrison's power as a live performer is as riveting in his "on" nights as it can be frustrating when he's not in the mood. But his sheer power as a singer, and his long tradition of crack bands, has translated to an awful lot of good nights--enough to spawn three compelling live albums, of which this is the first and best. Recorded during his San Franciscan residency of the early '70s, with his ambitious Caledonia Soul Orchestra, this double album documents Morrison at an early vocal peak and benefits from a set list culled from his early solo masterpieces, including Moondance and Astral Weeks. As such, It's Too Late to Stop Now clicks as both anthology and coherent concert document--a classic live album. --Sam Sutherland ... Read more

Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars SUPERB LIVE ALBUM
This album is so great because all Morrison's familiar classics gain something by these live performances. The band is tight, the audience appreciative and Van is firing on all cylinders. Old favorites like Into The Mystic and These Dreams Of You take on new rhythmic and vocal dimensions whilst I Believe To My Soul is a breathtaking R&B workout. I honestly prefer this magnificent version of Here Comes The Night with its flowing violins, although the original remains a classic too. Another stunning performance is Gloria, which I first heard in Patti Smith's version, but this one is amazingly gripping and powerful, as demonstrated by the enthusiastic reaction of the audience. I have very few live albums and as a rule I prefer studio sounds, but this grand album is infused with such spirit and warmth that it ranks amongst my favourite Van Morrison albums. It is also an ideal greatest hits album of his early career.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best live album ever recorded.
I would consider this album the best live album ever recorded. Van Morrison is an artist who has the ability to put on a great live performance. This is him at his best. There are classic performances of Caravan, Cypress Avenue, Domino, St. Dominic's Preview, and Into The Mystic as well as some classic blues covers. I challenge anyone come up with a better live album. If you could only own one Van Morrison album, this should be it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Into the Mystic with Van the Man
This two c/d set is from the great Van's concerts from the summer of 1973 recorded live in L.A. and London with his 11 emeber Caledonia Soul Orchestra (the string section is featured in the middle of Caravan). Maybe a little more blues in the song selections - two songs by Sonny Boy Williamson and one by Willie Dixon - than you might expect and how this album could completely shun 1972's Tupelo Honey album (at least he could have rocked the crowd with "Wild Night", correct?) is beyond me. The tempo for Sam Cooke's "Bring It on Home To Me" does seem to drag a little, but this was probably Van's unique interpretation on that night. These are, however, the only relatively mild criticisms I would offer for a wonderful album. "Domino" really rocks, "Saint Dominic's Preview" is wonderful as is "Listen to the Lion". This is a much better album than the Live at the Belfast Opera House in my opinion. The ending on Cyprus Avenue is a great climax. The band is flawless, Van's vocals were never better. If I had to take just one of Van's albums away on an extended vacation this would be it, second is not even close. Buy this album.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of ..THE best live record?
Yes, I dont care what anyone says..THIS IS THE BEST LIVE RECORD..EVER!
O.K. ABB at Fillmore East and....

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the 3 "must have" Van albums...
In my opinion, this is one of the three MUST HAVE albums by Van Morrison. Get this, Saint Dominic's Preview and Astral Weeks and enjoy. Some great soul, R&B and just plain rock here. ... Read more

184. Tragic Kingdom
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Asin: B000001Y79
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4044
Average Customer Review: 4.49 out of 5 stars
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No Doubt's 1995 release, Tragic Kingdom, brought Southern California's ska scene to a national stage while elevating the band to star status. An irresistible mix of reggae, punk, and power pop, Tragic Kingdom scored several hits, among them "Spiderwebs," "Just a Girl," and "Don't Speak." Singer Gwen Stefani's looks made the group MTV shoo-ins, but her soaring voice is the real star, as evidenced by such songs as "Happy Now?"--a classic you'll-regret-you-dumped-me anthem that recalls Blondie--and the bouncy "Sunday Morning." Despite recurring themes of pain and regret, Tragic Kingdom manages to somehow feel sunny throughout. --Courtney Kemp ... Read more

Reviews (238)

5-0 out of 5 stars At the top of the Kingdom!!!
This is a killer CD from No Doubt- topping Return of Saturn, in my opinion- and I've yet to listen to all of Rock Steady, so, currently, this is my favorite No Doubt CD.
The songs on here are pure ska, funk, reggae, pop, dance mixes that are outstandingly No Doubt. When speaking of No Doubt, I would give someone the CD and then say, "Here. Listen. Learn."
The guys are excellent musicians, and Gwen is a truly talented singer. The guys admire her looks, we girls admire her voice. It's a win-win situation with her.
Some of the best tracks on the album include "Just a Girl" which is oustandingly Female. It's quite the song- as is "Spiderwebs", a really good tune to listen to. However, the best song (in my opinion) has to be "Don't Speak", a tragic breakup story. You can see the lyricist agonizing over what to pen next...up late at night with their head in their hands, thinking over and over again: "Don't Speak/I know what you're thinking......don't tell me cuz it hurts....."
All in all, a truly great effort from No Doubt- really really good!

4-0 out of 5 stars The album that put No Doubt on the map
Released all the way back in 1995, this album went on to sell over 20 million copies worldwide (over 15 million in the US alone). This CD includes the hits Just a Girl, Spiderwebs, Don't Speak, Excuse Me Mr., and Sunday Morning.

The album opens with 1. Spiderwebs (5/5) This song is pretty much instantly catchy, and if your a person who likes to bang your head around, the chorus is perfect for that. 2. Excuse Me Mr. (4/5) This song is a pretty hardcore, in-your-face kinda song. It's probably the worst of their single releases from this album, but it's still really good. 3. Just a Girl (5/5) Now this is THE song that put No Doubt on the map. It's a girl anthem, but unlike alot of them, it isn't a man hating one! It opens with that famous, catchy guitar riff, and the song just goes from there. 4. Happy Now (4/5) I think it's pretty obvious that this song is about Gwen and Tony's break-up, but, it's not a bad song. It's pretty catchy to. 5. Different People (3/5). Another catchy song, about people being, well... different... It seems like a bit of a filler, but it's still an okay song. 6. Hey You (4/5) Lol, the chorus is kinda weird ("Your just like my Ken and Barbie doll"), but weird in a good way. The song is catchy, and I love the way they use the Sitar. 7. The Climb (4/5) Definitely the longest song on the album, topping the 6 minute mark. The only thing that keeps this song from reaching 5 stars, is the fact it seems to drag. Other than that, it's a great song.

8. Sixteen (5/5) One of my favorite songs not to be released from this album. It's really catchy, and has a great chorus. Great song. 9. Sunday Morning (5/5) I think this is one of No Doubt's most underrated songs. The big long drum roll at the beginning is great. Everything about this song is great. And, it's so damn catchy. 10. Don't Speak (5/5) My favorite song off of this album, and maybe my favorite No Doubt song ever. I mean, who hasn't heard this song. It's one of the most beautiful break-up ballads of all time. This song shot straight to #1, and became No Doubt's biggest single ever. Gwen sounds so heartbroken in this song, it gives me chills. Believe me, if you listen to this song when your sad, you might just cry. 11. You Can Do It (3/5) Another song that seems like a filler, and is probably the worst song off of the album. It's not a terrible song mind you, and is pretty catchy. 12. World Go 'Round (5/5) This is my other favorite song not to be released off of this album. Everything sounds great on this song, and it's so catchy. 14. End It on This (4/5) This is pretty good song. Another song that is most likely about Gwen and Tony's break-up. It seems to drag a bit at the end though. And finally, 15. Tragic Kingdom (4/5) I think this song is the perfect way to end the album. It's a good song, but it can be kind of confusing. It drags a bit at the end to.

All in all, this album is great. I recommend if you're looking to become a fan of No Doubt's music, you start with this album. But, if you only like a few of their songs, I'd recommend buying The Singles 1992-2003.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not So Tragic
Before No Doubt released Tragic Kingdom they weren't well known. They actually just released this so they could get their songs out, then they would go on with their lives. Luckily their first single "Just A Girl" hit well and they didn't have to do that. Tragic Kingdom in my eyes is No Doubt's best work, filled with all good songs. I don't there are many cd's where I happen to enjoy all hits, but this is definitely one of them.

The cd starts of with "Spider Webs" which is an ingenious song. One of my favorite songs in No Doubt history is "Excuse Me Mr." which is just an awesome song. Next is "Just A Girl" which was their first single and possibly the "star" of the cd. Another one of my favorite songs from no doubt is "Different People" which is just so awesome. Then later comes their other hit from the cd, "Don't Speak" which is still getting radio play today. "You Can Do it" is also a fun song, though it kinda sounds like something the Spice Girls would sing. Then comes my favorite song on the whole cd..."Tragic Kingdom". It's so fun, heavy, deep, imaginative, and basically has a nice flow.

The whole cd is just loads of fun and I would suggest it to anyone who has only heard their new stuff.

5-0 out of 5 stars I LOVE THEM! NO DOUBT ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5 STAR STUFF~! *****

3-0 out of 5 stars This Is Pretty Good, But Tracks At the End Drag It Down
I like this album, even thoguh it's really old (almost 10 years)

1. Spiderwebs- Really good way to start the album, really energetic. 9/10
2. Excuse Me Mr. Not as good as previous song, but still pretty good. 8/10
3. Just A Girl- First single, and I can understand why! It's so good! 10/10
4. Happy Now- Not too good, but stil ok! 7/10
5. Different People- Favorite song! It's not even as fast as the others, it's jsut really good. 10/10
6.Hey You- Um, this song is very interesting. 8/10
7. The Climb- I think this was too long but it's stilkl a decent song. 6/10
8.Sixteen-The guitar is so cool! 10/10
9.Sunday Morning- It starts out really weird but it's still a great song! 8/10
10.Don't Speak- The verses are good, the chorus is awful. 5/10
11.You Can Do It- This song is ridiculous, sorry No Doubt. 3/10
12.World Go Round-This album's second half is proving to be bad. 3/10
13.End It On This- Way better then the 3 songs before. 7/10
14. Tragic Kingdom- YAY! Perfect! 10/10 ... Read more

185. Anthology 3
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Asin: B000002TZ2
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2631
Average Customer Review: 4.18 out of 5 stars
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From the White Album to the end, the last days of the Beatles weren't smooth, which made the fact that they still produced some astonishing music all the more remarkable. In abbreviated form, "What's the New Mary Jane" is finally issued here, and proves underwhelming. For the rest of the set, it's largely down to outtakes and demos, but this time there isn't the same insight of the previous two volumes. Anthology 3 comes dangerously close to the sound of barrels being scraped. That said, it's the Beatles, and in whatever form, the music still shines brilliantly. --Chris Nickson ... Read more

Reviews (87)

4-0 out of 5 stars Scraping the bottom of the barrel? Hardly.
In actuality, the third anthology release is an essential artifact for Beatles fans, housing as it does one cd of outtakes from The White Album--which produced more (and more interesting) alternate versions of songs than any other Beatle release--plus the original "Get Back" versions of the songs that were eventually refashioned by Phil Spector into "Let It Be". The first disc is simply a delight; the acoustic demos have a
gentle, soft-focus quality to them largely missing from the final album, while the alternate takes of "Obla-Di, Obla-Da" (taken at a much faster pace) and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (a clearer, simpler take) prove superior to the released versions. Unreleased tracks like "Not Guilty" and "What's The News Maryjane" are fascinating--the former being a delicious hard rocker with great closing guitar work, while the latter is an inspired piece of psychedelic Lennon lunacy that might have been a better replacement for "Revolution 9". Rough takes of other tracks like "Goodnight" and "Rocky Raccoon" are simply charming. The only complaint I can see here is that other possible moments remain locked in the vaults (such as the ten-minute take of "Revolution 1", more alternate takes of "Helter Skelter", "Yer Blues" jams, "Dear Prudence", etc.).

The second disc isn't quite as enjoyable as the first although it is still historic. The "Get Back" material found the group
plodding lazily through barely-rehearsed songs in somewhat sour spirits, although Billy Preston's presence livens things up on a rock'n'roll medley and the live rooftop version of "Get Back". Most imporantly, one gets to hear the quiet, unorchestrated "Long And Winding Road" which does prove superior to the Spectorized version. There could be more "Abbey Road" material (indeed, many years ago the fan club gave out an LP of superb outtakes of which only a few are included here), although
Lennon's early take of "Come Together" and light run-through of "Ain't She Sweet" make the grade, as do three gorgeous Harrison demos taped in February of '69. The opportunity to hear "Something" and "All Things Must Pass" in unplugged form is
not to be missed.

In all, if you are a Beatle fan this is quite simply not to be
passed up. This is hardly scraping the bottom of the barrel,
since many of the versions here are enjoyable and a few are even superior to the released versions.

Anthology Three shows the Beatles at the end of their career together and increases the awe at the quality of their music, even at a period when they were falling apart. Again, we get alternative versions of songs mixed with outtakes and experimentation. Most endearing, is the final performance of Get Back from the Apple rooftop, which, while rather disjointed (owing to the presence of police) shows the band at a brief moment of togetherness and unity.

Ever wondered what some of the tracks on Let It Be sounded like before Phil Spector performed surgery on them? If you have, you will no doubt have been most curious about The Long and Winding Road which was undeniably over produced on the album. Here, we finally get to hear it on disc without the overdubs and the result is a beautiful ballad which is more moving in its sparse rendition than it was laden with epic strings and choirs. The same goes for I Me Mine.

Witness Glass Onion without the George Martin string arrangement, but with interesting sound effects put there by John Lennon. Hear a Paul McCartney solo song, Teddy Boy, with John Lennon making comical remarks and noises in the background, much to the amusement of Paul.

This album is a must have, again!! It will provide years of amusement and interest.


4-0 out of 5 stars Another excellent collection
In 1995 and 1996, The Beatles Anthology collection was released. This was a six compact disc set (three sets of two discs each), featuring a plethora of rare, unreleased tracks. And in 1996, the last of the three sets finally got released. Read on for my review of Anthology 3.

-This compilation features a number of tracks that never saw the light of day until the release of this compilation (except on bootlegs.) Among these are Beginning and Not Guilty.
-You get early demo versions of songs from the band's latter years, including acoustic demos of George Harrison's classics While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Something.
-The compilation features two discs of nothing but rare material, making it ideal to any big time Beatles fan.
-There are even early rare demos of songs the band members would perform in their solo careers, such as Paul McCartney's Junk and Teddy Boy, and George Harrison's All Things Must Pass.
-The original Beatles demo of Come and Get It, the song that Paul McCartney wrote for classic rockers Badfinger, can be found in this set.

-Stores tend to jack up the prices of Beatles recordings, as well as the prices of two-disc recordings, and since this is both of those things, expect to pay quite a bit for it.
-Because of the price, I can only recommend this set to big fans of the band - this is NOT a good starting place if you're new to the band.

Overall this is another good Anthology set, but as I previously stated, if you're new to the band, start elsewhere (Please Please Me or Past Masters Volume One are the ideal starting points for new fans (don't bother with hits compilations - The Beatles are NOT a greatest hits band!)) To put it simply - recommended to big fans, but not casual fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars A sad affair...
Well, though you don't know (or don't even care) to find out how the Beatles split, just a thorough listening to Anthology 3 and you'll feel the melancholy and the bitterness. There are many upbeat songs though, and even those silly ones (like "Maxwell's Silver Hammer", made even sillier on the outtake), and weird "experimentals" ("What's The New Mary Jane"), and some great moments (such as the first take on "Come Together" and the edgy rocker "I've Got A Feeling" which they discontinued playing because John Lennon complained something like it was too loud!). Still, the slower, more melancholy and leisurely numbers prevail and characterize the overall mood of this album, and these songs are the best, in my opinion. The early recordings of "Something", "All Things Must Pass" and especially the painfully lovely "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (all by George Harrison) are sparse (duh!) and in effect more soulful and more beautiful. Paul McCartney's "Junk" (though I've never heard his own version yet) is wistful and lovely, as well as "Two Of Us", and John's early take on "Julia" is almost perfect if not for his guitar slip-up in mid-song. "Because" is sung "a cappella", with lots of layered vocal tracks which sound so amazing you'll feel like you're in outer space.

Some of the album's tracks taken from the band's impromptu (and final) show at the Apple HQ's rooftop, meanwhile, are quite a treat, with the band members (plus Billy Preston) seemed to enjoy performing.

All in all, the album presents a lot of different sounds and different styles, you want to imagine they're playing in another band. Which was one of the reasons why the Beatles quite unamicably broke up (musical differences, in other words). But even when they were in bitter professional and personal clashes with each other, still they managed to make really brilliant music that would make an indelible, lasting impression on and continue to inspire many music fans for generations after them and many more generations to come. It was a sad affair, but it was all for the best, and I sometimes think it is a good thing that they split while they were still very much at the peak of their artistic greatness. Anthology 3 is a gorgeous album that touches me profoundly, probably my most favorite among the three "Anthologies".

3-0 out of 5 stars White Album + Up
I picked this up at the local library and as soon as i finished hearing it, i had to go out and buy some cd-rs.

I don't know what the first track's all about, John's acoustic "Happiness Is A Warm Gun," that one's great, but it only has two of the three main parts. He also drops the s-bomb when he screws up at the beginning.

"Helter Skelter" is a take-2. It's practically an underproduced version of the album version, with worse vocals.

The first "Glass Onion" take is acoustic; its ok, though he keeps screwing up on vocals and talking gibberish. The second "Glass Onion" on this compilation is, in my opinion, better than the White album version, yet it lacks the weird string arrangement at the end though! I love that song; it ties a lot of the famous Beatles songs.

The version of "Ob-La-Di" is just horrible compared to the White album.

"Good Night"'s demo was interesting though, great piano, yet terrible vocals.

"Blackbird"'s demo was very similar to the White album's version though it lacked the (annoying) bird samples. Vocals weren't as good as the White album's though.

"Sexy Sadie" was great, better than the album version, in my opinion.

"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" take is acoustic, vocals are as always an issue with these demos.

Forget about "Hey Jude"'s version, they practically ruined one of their best songs, no offense to them.

"What's the New Mary Jane" is Avant-Garde, with weird samples. It reminded me like an upbeat "Revolution #9" actually. Definatly weed influenced.

"The Long and Winding Road" take on disc 2 was great, I prefer it over the album version.

"Get Back"'s demo was horrid, and I've always hated the song.

I liked "Old Brown Shoe"'s take, while the take of "Octopus's Garden" was stupid and elementary. Literally.

"Maxwell's Silver Hammer" is a kid's song and a horrible one too. Then there's that annoying voice where they pull a Korn and come up with gibberish words.

"Something"'s take was exceptional; excellent.

"Come Together" sounded similar to the Abby version, yet with less-perfect lyrics, and the "shoots" were unreverbed.

"Because" is skip-able; just vocals. It's a good song though, worth a listen.

"Let It Be"'s take was stupid unlike the released version (and im not talking about that horrible Let It Be Naked). However, I can't help but think of Sesame Street everytime I hear it.

"I Me Mine"'s take was ok.

and the compilation concluded with "The End"; really heavy and a great closure.

3 and a half stars. ... Read more

186. Forever Blue
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With his singular retro-rock vision, Chris Isaak had already graduated from cult figure to music-video heartthrob when he delivered this 1995 album. But if all the surface elements are intact, he has assimilated his chief vocal influences, Orbison and Elvis, even further, and Isaak's songs dig even deeper into his favorite subject, heartbreak, to shorten the distance between writer and singer. "Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing," the set's opener, employs the same growling rock-speak as George Thorogood's notorious "Bad to the Bone," but without a trace of irony--Isaak lashes the listener with the torment of a betrayed lover, telegraphing fear, desire, and anguish as he wheels from rumbling accusations to keening falsetto cries. Elsewhere, he withdraws to the more lyrical croon of his previous work, his band wreathed with the throbbing tremolo and ghostly reverb that are their natural elements. There's a folk-rock jangle to the lovely, forlorn "Somebody's Crying," a disarming directness to the simple but aching title song, and another burst of fevered agony, "Go Walking Down There,"which gallops over a perfect mid-'60s guitar arrangement. For all its letter-perfect allusiveness, though, Forever Blue feels authentically heartbroken, not just cleverly crafted. --Sam Sutherland ... Read more

Reviews (67)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Gem of Isaak's Career
Over the years, I have come to realize that Forever Blue is Chris Isaak's true claim to fame. Where "Heart Shaped World" delivered sporadic flickers of brilliance, this album offers a consistent thrust of great music, ranging from the heart wrenching rockabilly of "Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing," "Go Walking Down There" and the rollicking "Goin' Nowhere" to the eerie whisper of ballads (an NOBODY does ballads like Isaak) like "Graduation Day," Shadows In A Mirror" and "Don't Leave Me On My own." This album is unique in that it is the perfect compliment to rainy days, but also a great soundtrack to a few long, sunny hours at the beach. Isaak dug up the prism of emotions within him and explored every color on this record. It is simply one hell of an album, and Isaak will have a nightmare of a time if he thinks that he can top it. At this point in his career, he can only explore and perfect different musical directions.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best albums you'll ever buy
Chris Isaak is one of the most underrated artists of our time, and Forever Blue one of the finest releases of the last decade. While touring in support of this album, Isaak told audiences that he composed these songs after a painful breakup. The result is a collection of profoundly emotional lyrics set to thirteen well polished, haunting arrangements.

The tone is set with the raucous song of betrayal, "Baby Did A Bad, Bad Thing," (since used in Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut"). From there it only gets better with every track. Those who know Isaak as the "Wicked Game guy" will be surprised buy his hard rocking abilities on such numbers as "Go Walking Down There" and the playful "Goin' Nowhere" ("like the stance, like the style, like the way you shake it; you're the kind of girl who looks better naked"). Two ballads of heartbreak, Changed Your Mind and Shadows In A Mirror, showcase Isaak's ample vocal abilities.

It is hard to find fault with Forever Blue. This is one of those rare albums that improves with time and grows on the listener with every playing. If you buy only one Chris Isaak album, this is the one, but be forewarned; others are sure to follow.

5-0 out of 5 stars Forever Blue is THE Chris Isaak album to own!
I've been a Chris Isaak fan for over a decade or so, and I'd say that "Forever Blue" is undoubtedly his best album. "Baja Sessions," "Heart Shaped World" and "San Francisco Days" are amazing (and his other albums are really quality too), but "Forever Blue" stands head and shoulders above them all. Every song on it is top notch, the songs on the album fit very well together thematically, and there's a great range of material on it.

"Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing" opens the record with a gritty guitar line. Up next is "Somebody's Crying" which is a sweet sounding pop tune, but one that actually relays a tale of heartbreak. "Go Walking Down There" is probably the most aggressive song Isaac's ever written and finds him railing against someone that broke his heart and the song has a hypnotic, driving beat. The title track "Forever Blue" is a quiet ditty with guitar and the lightest percussion. It is the ultimate mopey breakup song. This is the song I would always put on repeat when I'd split up with somebody and it helped get me through some tough times. "Goin' Nowhere" is a sarcastic tune that finds him over his grief and is actually funny because he's just ripping on this girl.

The album incorporates driving rock, quiet ditties, country-esque steel guitar and a host of other great things. This is the ultimate breakup record. It will lift you up when things have gone splitsville. More importantly, its Chris Isaak at his musical finest.

5-0 out of 5 stars Blue with a capital "B"
Although "Wicked Games" may still be my favorite Chris Isaak song, "Forever Blue" is definitely my favorite Chris Isaak album. Beautiful melodies and touching lyrics abound "Forever Blue". The album chronicles Chris' breakup with his then girlfriend/fiancée. Chris masterfully takes us through the classic stages of a breakup: denial, anger, sadness, hopefulness, and acknowledgement. Chris is able to convey his inner most thoughts in simple and beautiful lyrics. A couple of examples include:

1. "I don't need no counseling/I was happy with you" from "There She Goes"
2. "No reason left for living/Still there's a lot to do/New tears to cry/Old songs to sing/And feel forever blue" from "Forever Blue"

I like almost every song on this album for one reason or another. Anyone who has gone through a tough breakup will relate to this album through-and-through.

Last but not least, Chris' letter to his girlfriend in the in sleeve of the album is classic Chris Isaak: humor fraught with melancholy and a struggle to move on.

4-0 out of 5 stars Blue, through and through.
I've enjoyed a few "Chris Isaak" albums, from his debut, to "Heart Shaped World", but this is his best front to back. It's very consistent, from the mood, to the quality of the songs. Some of the better tracks here are "Somebody's Crying", "Graduation Day", "Things Go Wrong", and "Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing", which became popular years later. "I Believe" is a good one too, as well as the great closer "The End Of Everything". It's hard not to make comparisons to "Orbison" and "The King", I mean, he does sound like "Roy", and looks and style wise, he is the modern day "Elvis". Just without the popularity. Maybe he'll release a "Greatest Hits" soon. Until then it's "Forever Blue". ... Read more

187. Feelin' Alright: The Very Best of Traffic
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Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars Feelin' Alright? Actually, I am feeling good myself
Of the bands Steve Winwood's associated with, there's Traffic, formed after his departure from the Spencer Davis Group, in which he temporarily departed during his sojourns with Blind Faith and Ginger Baker's Airforce. He reformed the group, which stayed together till 1975. This is also the group associated with Dave Mason, who left and rejoined several times before embarking on a mostly unsuccessful solo career and a brief stint with Fleetwood Mac in the 90's. Traffic itself contributed to the British psychedelic scene, replete with organs, flute, saxophones, sitars, and harpsichords, as well as other instruments, showing how they embraced Indian sounds, the neo-Bachian music by Procol Harum, and the like, and they're all here on this greatest hits compilation.

Some live performance clips of Traffic made their way to MTV's closet classics. Three of those were from John Barleycorn Must Die, the album where Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, and Chris Wood reformed after Winwood's temporary split. "Freedom Rider" featuring a moody sax and fluttering flute along with Winwood's usual psychedelic organ, showed that a two year absence hadn't done the group any harm. The near-seven minute instrumental jam "Glad" was my favourite, demonstrating Chris Wood melding saxophones, flute, and percussion together, with Winwood's piano, wavering from left-hand keys to right, with the slow walking rhythm of the piano towards the end. The sobering guitar and flute title track to John Barleycorn was a tale of the struggle against alcohol as personified by the title, with the growing of barley as an analogy to John growing up. Beer, ale, whisky... we get that from barley, yeah?

From their debut Mr. Fantasy, the dreamy title track with heavy guitars merged with psychedelic organs, a plea to the title character to cheer them up with a tune, is one of their signature tunes and the way Winwood wanted the band to go. The first two singles from that album are the UK Top 5 "Paper Sun," a bright psychedelic piece that mirrors the sound Floyd had with their debut, Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. A sitar introduces and later continues on their UK #2 hit, "Hole In My Shoe" lyrically "I walked through a field that just wasn't real with 100 tin soldiers" and musically like "Strawberry Fields." Oh, and Neil of the Young Ones covered this on his Heavy Concept Album.

Dave Mason's contributions from the second album include "You Can All Join In" with its skippy rhythm and bluesy guitar. He also did what I consider to be another signature tune, the well-paced rockin' jam "Feelin' Alright." Winwood steps towards blues in the upbeat "Pearly Queen," also from the same album.

By the time "Rock and Roll Stew" and the Low Spark of The High Heeled Boys came out, Traffic had added Rick Grech (ex-Blind Faith) on bass and Jim Gordon (ex-Derek and the Dominos") and they were more accessible on FM radio. The near 12-minute title track was an intricate composition hinting more towards jazz/rock as evidenced by the extended piano and sax bits.

Nothing from their last three albums, Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory, On The Road, and Where The Eagle Flies are here, but what is here is the best during their formative years, mostly with the original four members.

3-0 out of 5 stars I appreciate their talent, but this stuff is old
The songs of "Feelin' Alright: The Very Best of Traffic" were recorded in 1967, 1968, 1970, and 1971. The musicians on these recordings have done lots of other songs, and Steve Winwood won Grammy Awards in 1986 for a solo album, "Back in the High Life." Steve Winwood was also in Blind Faith with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker, soon after those two were in Cream, with bassist Rick Grech, who shows up in Traffic for the last two songs on this CD. Also joining Traffic for those tracks is drummer Jim Gordon from Derek and the Dominos. Grech and Gordon get credit for writing track 14, "Rock 'N' Stew" with basic on the road again lyrics like, "I don't care where I'm from, cause I'm gone, gone, gone." That was the life captured in this music.

Track 10, "Glad" by Steve Winwood, is totally instrumental, much of it by Chris Wood. The people in Traffic play so well that I wonder why the singing seems to tend toward tuneless rumination that might even be trying to be Chinese on track 9, "Shanghai Noodle Factory." The CD notes calls this "psychedelic imagery."

Track 2, "Hole in My Shoe," by Dave Mason, is actually a cute song, number 2 in UK rankings in September 1967, but the rest of the group didn't like it, so Dave Mason was the first of the group to leave Traffic. Tracks 5 and 6, "You Can All Join In" and "Feelin' Alright?" are also Dave Mason songs, and are also pretty good for Traffic.

Chris Wood plays flute and Saxophone especially well on track 11, "Freedom Rider," and he has been with the group for this entire CD, so he deserves some appreciation when they finally let him stand out. When Traffic toured as a three piece band, I'm sure he did a lot of this and that, organ, percussion, and vocals for sure.

I first heard track 4, "Mr. Fantasy" and track 13, "John Barleycorn" a long time ago. "Mr. Fantasy" is typical of the Traffic sound, and "John Barleycorn" is done so traditionally that I haven't decided how Traffic got involved (for over six minutes) in telling a straight-forward story that made sense in a way that the rest of these songs don't.

Track 15, "The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys," at over eleven minutes is a long romp, but it gets going with a tune early and keeps driving. With six musicians by September, 1971, they play and play, and they all knew they were pretty good.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Collection Of Traffic
FEELIN' ALRIGHT is a great collection of Traffic's early material, tracing their evolution from a psychedelic folk-rock outfit to a combo steeped in jazz and soul. The emphasis is on the early singles and the first two albums, though six songs from the 1970-71 period also make the cut. This is a great compilation that makes you want to get the original albums.

5-0 out of 5 stars One band which always sounded excellent
Traffic was a golden band. The deep and advanced musical ideas were far beyond the standard sound in that age. Since the first time you listen them , you feel that existed a huge rapport about the meaning point in his music : their originality.
All the songs released were always one step hehind the rest ; consider for instance , the emblematic Heaven is in your mind , this song literally signed the psychodelia age. Togeteher with Fire (Artur Brown), The white room(Cream), Born to be wild (Steppenwolf) and Lucy in the sky with diamonds (Beatles), these songs quartet inspired to a whole generation and became status themes , this music literally shocked the world.
Feelin' alright is a visionary theme where the inner rhytms were inspiration motives for Santana , and late Eric Burdon & War (Spill the wine) , there's a obvious latin taste in that piece.
And consider Empty pages , the most widely known theme from them. This piece has the immortality trade mark. It sounds fresh , even today ; try to make it listen to a teenager, for instance (I did it with my nephew, and now he's a Traffic's hard fan ).
Dear Mr. Fantasy is so great, outrageous beat , so filled with challenging musical ideas, that it becomes one of the treasures of this band.
And finally we arrive to The low spark of high heeled boys. I think without any shadow of doubt ; that this song is one of the top ten pieces ever recorded in any time.
It's a timeless piece ; in a certain way, these musician were in a mood state literally dyonisicac , this rapture state you may find for instance when Miles Davis made A kind of blue , or when The Doors played Light my fire , Smoke on the water from Deep purple or July morning from Uriah Heep. These are special moments.
Do you need another argument for acquiring this album from a cult band?

4-0 out of 5 stars Almost all the Traffic for a casual fan!
If you are a casual fan, then this is about all the Traffic you would need. It hits almost all the high spots and is affordable. It may tempt you to dig deeper into their catalog, but for most casual fans that's not necessary. ... Read more

188. Ultimate Kylie
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189. The Best of Sweet [Capitol]
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Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sweet from Sweetwood
One of my favorite groups when I was a kid--I ordered Desolation Blvd. from my brother's Music Club--I find this collection essential to all true rock fans. The posturing by Sweet is good-hearted and fun, as they refuse to take themselves so seriously--unlike the bands who try to knock-off their style (i.e. Def Leppard). They did it right for the right time. Wig Wam, Blockbuster, Little Willy, and Teenage Rampage stand out for those who think all they did was record Ballroom Blitz and Fox On The Run. A great CD to be sure, even though "The Sixteens" may make you cringe, but "you just gotta be strong."

There are ceaseless import "greatest hits" packages out there for this group, but remember that some do not contain original cuts. This CD does and the good folks at Capitol capture the sound of the early Sweet through the Level-Headed years with a great deal of care in the selection of the material. This one has the fun of the band shining through.

If you purchase this one, may I suggest the Best of Badfinger CD as well, as I find myself increasingly interested in playing these CD's together. I am not altogether sure why, but add the Reservoir Dogs Soundtrack (Little Green Bag cut and Stuck In The Middle With You) and I feel like I have been transported to about thirty years ago. ... Enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Pure Pop Pleasure
Call it glam, bubblegum pop or top 40, Sweet knows how to make a 3 minute song stick with you for a long time. Sweet in my opinion was never taken seriously (could it have been the feathers and the makeup?) but if you like good clean pop music, here it is. The Best Of Sweet is full of classics you don't get a chance to hear anymore. I would have purchased this just for Love Is Like Oxygen, but included is Fox On The Run, The Ballroom Blitz and Little Willy. Some of these songs sound dated, but if you're a true fan of 70's pop/rock, this is a must have for your collection. Relive those great moments from the past with Sweet being the soundtrack-band! Call it a guilty pleasure ... it's just great music.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent compilation
Sweet were a classic hard rock band from the seventies, for those of you who don't know. These guys were often called "the bad boys of pop rock", and they shelled out a number of excellent songs during their days as a band. Like most bands, there is more than one hits compilation for these guys out there. How does Capitol's The Best Of Sweet measure up? Read on to find out.

-If you're a casual fan of this band or you're just seeking an introduction to them, this compilation is the way to go. All of the big hits, including Ballroom Blitz and Action, are here for your listening pleasure.
-In addition to the big hits, you get a number of underrated masterpieces.
-The compilation is readily available in a number of stores.
-The price is quite low.

-The compilation doesn't fill the CD to the eighty minute time limit. WHEN YOU MAKE A HITS COMPILATION, FILL ALL OF THE SPACE YOU CAN!
-The liner notes make some HUGE mistakes. Roger Glover and Ian Gillan didn't form Deep Purple! In fact, they didn't even join until the band's fourth album! Likewise, Def Leppard's cover of Action is not on their Adrenalize album, it's on their revamped rarities compilation Retro Active. If you ask me, NO information is better than inaccurate information.

-If you're a casual fan of this band, then I strongly recommend purchasing this compilation. It's a good value, and it almost certainly won't disappoint if you're into this type of music. Sure, it's not a perfect compilation, but if you're just a casual fan or a new listener, it will be perfect for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best rock collections ever made!
This is great from start to stop. You can't lose here ... especially with great songs like Little Willy, Love is Like Oxygen & Ballroom Blitz! Just awesome!

If you are a fan of rock period, you should love this.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best reflection of reputation.
This cd combines the best of British pop and hard rock. This and Desolation BLVD. Later CDs go in odd directions at times and detracts from what they were good at.

Little Willy, Wig Wam Bam, Blockbuster, Ballroom Blitz, Teenage Rampage, Action, - good hard rockin' tunes.

Fox on the Run, Lies in your eyes, Lost Angels, Fever of Love, Stairway to the Stars, and Sixties Man, good bassy dance beats with some hard rock rythym guitar.

6 Teens, California Nights, Love is like Oxygen, Mother Earth gets into the story telling of the 1970s.

An essential CD for what ever your mood. One of their best. ... Read more

190. Changes in Latitudes Changes in Attitudes
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Average Customer Review: 4.66 out of 5 stars
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Buffett sold his promise as a real-world singer-songwriter God knows how many boats ago, but 1977's Changes remains one of his last stands before plunging into a sea of parrotheads, "Fins," and personal empire building. "Margaritaville" was the deceptively lighthearted hit, but Steve Goodman's "Banana Republics" and the title tune also raised an eyebrow at the worlds Buffett encountered in his 100-proof-fueled travels. Yet soon the empire would overtake the wit and ego would subsume his creative reach. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars Jimmy's best Cd!
This album is great with the original Margaritaville, Changes in attitudes, Changes in latitudes, but it is Bananna Republics that makes it worth the buy. This is the only album with this song and it is outstanding! Should be on his greatest hits and the boxed set, but it wasn't written by him. Still it is super song you can't forget!!!! If you love Jimmy give Brent Burn's new Cd "Livin' The Life Jimmy Buffet Only wrote About" a try. A super album loaded with great new original songs like Jimmy did in the 70's and 80's. I loved it! He won't replace Jimmy, but it's great to have another great beach bum puttin' out feel good music! Here's a frosty margarita to all you wonderful fellow parrotheads!..

5-0 out of 5 stars Can I rate it higher than 5?
This album, along with "Son of a Son of a Sailor", are what secure Jimmy Buffett's place in my personal Hall of Fame for music. It's hard to decide which is best to me, but the songs on "Changes in Latitudes" make you feel like you're on a personal guided tour of the Caribbean with Buffett himself. Though I've liked many of his albums before ("A1A" comes to mind) and after ("Fruitcakes") these two back to back masterpieces really illustrate Buffett when he was in a groove that few writers have ever been in. It's almost unfair to him to compare subsequent recordings to "Changes in Latitudes", because no writer can be expected to fabricate his own magic twice in a lifetime. IT JUST HAPPENS! Same thing happened for Springsteen, Elton John, Billy Joel, Brian Wilson, etc. If you are a novice to Buffett, please buy this album, and listen to the words. If you are a member of a Parrot Head Club, and haven't listened to this album in a while, please buy it and listen to the words! This album, along with "Sailor" are what inspired me to write songs myself..... Jerry Diaz, Key West-the band

3-0 out of 5 stars it's good but...
I think all of the good stuff on this one is available elsewhere. I don't like several of these songs and rarely listen to this particular album because of it. miss you so badly is a treasure but it's turned up elsewhere and you can't find a single Buffett "collection" without margaritaville. and while everyone says biloxi is so great a song I personally don't like it.

5-0 out of 5 stars THE Jimmy Buffett album
Wonderful songs, lovely tunes and fabulous singing. There's the famous Buffett good-time party-at-the-beach feeling permeating the tracks, but the high energy comes from swaying, lyrical melodies, not noisy distortion. That's why everyone loves this album. There's "Margaritaville," which is a phenomenon unto itself, but that's just the start. Every track here draws you in with its sweet sounds, smooth rhythms and good times, all perfectly expressed in music. I have later albums by JB and I like them, but not nearly as much. This album is a standout not only for Buffett, but for all albums. It is unique and wonderful. It's music you can play over and over, and still smile and sing along each time you hear it. If you're a Jimmy Buffett fan I don't have to convince you -- you already own this disc. If you're new to JB, this is definitely the place to start.

2-0 out of 5 stars If you want beach music, The Beach Boys is a lot better
I just borrowed this album from a colleague and I seriously have a hard time figuring out what makes this album deserve five stars across the board, even after reading some of the other reviews. Granted that most likely it's only been reviewed by his fans and his opposers don't waste the time to drop a line criticizing his work in Amazon, I felt I had to step in, representing the latter group. As a whole, the album lacked substance in more than one way: lyrically it was weak, almost meant to not think about it (even if you try), which I guess is fine, if all you want is not to think... as in a beach setting. However musically, most songs sounded like a refry of Cat Stevens with harmonica. In my mind, if you want beach music that is really good, you tune to The Beach Boys, so no: I did not like the album, and I wouldn't recommend it. ... Read more

191. On the Threshold of a Dream
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Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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Released in 1969, just eight months after In Search of the Lost Chord, Threshold continues the Moody Blues's journey as cosmic seekers but in a less exotic manner. Here, Justin Hayward packs away the sitar and the band has swept most of the mystical and Eastern influences under the Kilim rug, replacing them with a science-fictional search for meaning and futuristic production methods. As on two earlier albums, Graeme Edge regales listeners with esoteric poetry, this time adding a whimsical, ironic edge to his ponderous verse. The songs have also undergone a similar overhaul, allowing the band's talent for melody to overcome the psychedelic whirls that embellished the earlier albums. John Lodge's assertive bass takes control of the bucolic "Lovely to See You," Roy Thomas's deceptively cheerful "Dear Diary," and the upbeat "Lazy Days," which also contains an unexpected lyrical sting. Indeed, the entire album is underpinned with a wistful melancholy as the grandiose rockers capture the bittersweet fleeting moments of the '60s. --Jaan Uhelszki ... Read more

Reviews (36)

5-0 out of 5 stars Have You Heard The Moodies?
With their third album, 1969's "On The Threshold Of A Dream," the Moody Blues shifted gears once more, going from the psychedelic sounds of "In Search Of The Lost Chord" to a more cosmic, spacey, otherworldy feel. The end result is another classic Moodies album, with everyone in the band contributing excellent tracks. Drummer Graeme Edge's strong spoken-word intro, "In The Beginning," along with it's spooky keyboard lead-in & clock sound effects, instantly sets the mood. Guitarist Justin Hayward's "Lovely To See You" is a classic melodic rocker (and the band have used it to open many of their concerts). Flautist Ray Thomas' slow-shuffler "Dear Diary" is a memorable gem, one of Ray's finest compositions. Bassist John Lodge hands in a fine pair with the country-flavored atmospheres of "Send Me No Wine" and the rockin' "To Share Our Love," and keyboardist Mike Pinder's seductive "So Deep Within You" is one of *his* best contributions to the Moodies, and a mighty powerful song. Hayward's "Never Comes The Day" is a gorgeous ballad, Thomas' "Lazy Day" has an endearing childlike quality to it, and Hayward's "Are You Sitting Comfortably" is another luscious, dreamy song. Finally, after Edge's fine poetry of "The Dream," comes Pinder's astonishing, classic mini-epic of "Have You Heard (Part One)/The Voyage/Have You Heard (Part Two)," an amazing, heavenly journey into cosmic rock. The band sound fantastic on this album, and there's not a dull track anywhere. With "On The Threshold Of A Dream," the Moody Blues deliver another progressive rock classic.

5-0 out of 5 stars Third Album's A Charm!
As with most Moody Blues albums, the listener is treated to a unique introduction ("In The Beginning"). In the late sixties, singles were a way to promote albums. Hayward's "Lovely To See You" (U.S.A.) and "Never Comes The Day" (U.K.) were not high markers on the charts, but a good indication of what this classic album had to offer.

Thomas provides the 'near' spoken word song, "Dear Diary" and Lodge gives us the pleasant, but tepid rocker "Send Me No Wine". The other songs on the album maintain the surrealistic mood with an almost hypnotic pace. Mike Pinder orchestrated the legendary sequence of "Have You Heard, Pt. 1 and Pt. 2" with "Voyage" in between; cementing the Moody Blues mellotron sound and securing the group it's psychedelic status.

This is considered to be one of the most popular albums produced by Tony Clarke; "On The Threshold Of A Dream" was the Moody Blues first #1 album. This positive collection ensured that the group was a self contained unit and not a flash in the pan. It is a beautiful piece of work.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Moodies' On A Threshold of A Dream
To correct another reviewer (Alan Caylow) this is The Moody Blues' FOURTH Album...NOT third.

Now onto the music. The album is chock full of airy tones that make for enjoyable and relaxing music.

Highlights for me include Lovely To See You Again, Never Comes A Day, the Jethro Tullish sounding So Deep Into You, and Send Me No Wine. The rest of it is very good as well -- offering up that music that only The Moody Blues can offer.

Sit back, relax and take a journey with The Moody Blues...On A Threshold Of A Dream!!


5-0 out of 5 stars very dreamy
I was first introduced to a few songs from this album when I purchased the Singles+ 2-disc set of the Moody Blues. Those songs were "Lovely to See You", "Dear Diary", and "Never Comes the Day". They also happened to be some of the only songs on that compilation not to be edited. Another song I'd heard before I bought the album was "Lazy Day", which I heard on the Musicchoice classic rock station on my Comcast digital cable. I will do a brief review of the songs that make this album worth purchasing rather than getting some compilation.
"In the Beginning"-once their album is opened up with a poem by Graeme Edge just as on the next album. As usual it's used as an intro to the next song or if you will the first song
"Lovely to see You" a rocker by Justin Hayward who normally rights romantic ballads. To be honest this song actually gets a little boring. I know it's included on at least three of there compilations and you can hear it live on A NIGT AT RED ROCKS, but there's other better songs on the album like
"Dear Diary" by Ray Thomas. It's a very relaxing song and it also features a flute solo. You can hear him saying something towards the end of the song, but you can't really understand what it is he's saying.
"Send Me No Wine" and "To Share Our Love" are two back-to-back songs by John Lodge. They are not really filler but they also don't really go anywhere except seques on to the next song. These two are also the only contributions by John. Kind of a regression since his big hit with "Ride my See Saw" on their previous LP "In Search of the Lost Chord", but he would do much better in the next album and the ones that followed.
"So Dee Within You" by Mike Pinder is a fun song to listen to. It happened to have been covered by the Four Tops along with another song penned by Pinder "A Simple Game" which was the B-Side to the aforementioned "Ride My See Saw" both produced by Tony Clarke.

Note: In the liner notes of the CD I think it's the first one to have a picture of each member with their name in a caption. I don't if DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED does because I only have it on vinyl. There is a photo of Clarke their producer with a caption to as he was considered to be the six member of the band at that time.
On to the second side of the album
It starts off with "Never Comes the Day" by Justin Hayward. It starts of slow and gets louder in the chorus. It's one of those songs of his like "Tuesday Afternoon" and "The Other Side of Life" that just repeat the same lyrics after the chorus. You can hear a live version of this song on CAUGHT LIVE +5 another CD I own. They still perform it to this day although you wont hear it on either of the last two live albums.
"Lazy Day" is another great song by Ray. It's a good song to listen to on a Sunday afternoon.
On both of the last two songs you can hear him playing the harmonica which is kind of rare.
"Are You Sitting Comfortably" was co-written by Justin and Ray. This is one of the best songs on the album. You can also hear it live on CAUGHT LIVE. It then segues onto a poem by Greame Edge titled "The Dream"- not much to say I'm not good at critiqing poetry but it's a pretty damn good.
Have You Heard pt.1/The Voyage/Have You Heard pt.2 is Pinder's masterpeice. It doesn't hold up very well in concert, but its an example of what you can do with the mellotron and since then keyboard and synthesizers have improved drastically.
The best songs here are by Ray Thomas and Mike Pinder.

5-0 out of 5 stars awesome
this album is great. the first few songs are pretty good: the upbeat "lovely to see you", followed by the lovely and wonderfully mellow "dear diary" and then the laid back "send me no wine". "to share our love" is rather irritating though.

but the album hasn't really even started yet. to me, the album _really_ begins right when "so deep within you" begins. wow! one of the greatest moody blues songs. you wouldn't think it'd get any better, until you hear "never comes the day", which is without a doubt the greatest most beautiful song on the album. these two songs are the power of this album, and right at the center.

and then there's another lovably mellow song "lazy day", and by far the mellowest, "are you sitting comfortably?" a few words, and then a nice ending with "have your heard" with the awesome instrumental in the middle

i love this album. almost as good as "in search of the lost chord".. ... Read more

192. Past Masters, Vol. 2
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What can you say, really? When you get right down to it, it's the greatest band in the history of pop music, the most influential, the best writers, and whatever other superlatives you can think of. Given their phenomenal output, and their huge chart success, it's no surprise that this second volume proves every bit as rich as the first. John, Paul, George, and Ringo had that rare chemistry that moved musical mountains, with more great songs than many people have had hot dinners, and they're still affecting the course of popular music. Thirty years later, all the paths they hinted at have yet to be explored, which is about as high a testament as can be given. --Chris Nickson ... Read more

Reviews (79)

4-0 out of 5 stars For completists only
At first glance, to the unaware buyer anyway, the two Past Masters CDs (Vol 1 & Vol 2) might appear to be some sort of half-baked Greatest Hits compilations. They are in fact a compilation of all the non-album singles, B-sides and alternative mixes of tracks not available on the original albums. When EMI transferred the Beatles LPs to CD in 1987 they were left with a batch of previosuly released songs that had not been included on the albums so they compiled these two CDs to. For that reason alone these CDs can only be seen as filling in the gaps and therefore can't really be regarded as true Beatles albums (or even Greatest Hits albums for that matter). Also, there's nothing new here - all the songs included on theses two CDs had been previously available on vinyl format in some form or other but obviously not on CD until these albums were compiled. Therefore I would only buy these CDs if you're a Beatles completist and already own the entire CD Beatles catalogue. Despite this CD's inclusion of a lot of the group's hits post-1965, if you're looking to start your Beatles collection with a compilation CD start with the Red and Blue CDs - "1962-1966" and "1967-1970" respectively.

4-0 out of 5 stars There's gold in them hills
For casual Beatles listeners the 'Red' and 'Blue' compilation albums are better value for money; however, those with a deeper interest in the group won't want to miss out on the gems hidden in this album and its sister volume. And hey, guess what - you'll also get back-up copies of all those Beatles songs which you already have in your CD collection! (Record companies get rich this way. Sigh.)

I've always thought 'Rain' is perhaps the most underrated song in the entire Beatles catalogue. Listen to the interplay of Ringo's drums and Paul McCartney's bass on this track - stunning stuff. 'The Inner Light' is probably George Harrison's most successful foray into Indian music (although he copped the lyrics from an Asian philosophical text.) 'You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)' demonstrates the Beatles' enduring love of parody and their fundamental inability to take themselves too seriously. John Lennon's ad-libs at the end still make me smile every time I listen to this song.

Aaaaaaah, go on. Record company executives need to eat too, you know.

5-0 out of 5 stars It will leave you smiling
The tracks on this album are incredibly hard to find. This is the Beatles as they really were, not after the polishing or adjusting for various markets. A classic is 'You Know My Name', I heard this played constantly when a bartender in a pub in Salisbury, it was a forgotten memory until today. It reminds you that the Beatles did not always take themselves seriously. Or take Rain, possibly the best ever single released by the Fab Four. You could go out and buy the Blue Album which has most of these tracks, however the packaging and selection is better on this, plus no self-respecting Beatles fan owns either the Blue or Red album.

For the die hard Beatles fan these records are the heart and soul of the band. If you ever tire of hearing the hits, this will liven up your soul and leave you smiling, for a long time

5-0 out of 5 stars One Of An Essential Two-Volume Set
There are a number of things I like about this CD. First it includes some tracks that, even with the multitude of Beatles' material available, are not all that easy to find, with Rain leading the way. This flip of the 1966 # 1 Paperback Writer didn't fare too badly on its own, getting to # 23 that summer.

Then there's George Harrison's Inner Light, the other side of the 1968 # 4 Lady Madonna which, despite not doing nearly as well [# 96], was nevertheless a charter and, until now, found only on 45rpm and the 1980 album Rarities. Two others in the same veing - although they never charted - were the flip of Let It Be [# 1 in 1970], the oddly-titled You Know My Name (Look Up The Number), and Old Brown Shoe which backed The Ballad Of John And Yoko [# 8 in 1969].

Something else I enjoyed were Mark Lewisohn's six pages of liner notes, which include a fascinating track-by-track commentary [he also compiled the album], the photos of the Fab Four at various stages of their career, and the excellent sound quality.

Lewisohn's opening paragraph also nicely sums up their career: "Twenty-two singles, an EP with exclusive song material, 13 albums - one a double-set. By no means a bad haul for just seven years of recording activity. For apart from their unquestionable talent, the Beatles were mightily prodigious. So much, in fact, that to gather together a complete collection of their output is no easy task. While the material remains available - it still sells in such quantities that it has to be -the prospective purchaser has to gather up veritable armfuls of small and large sized vinyl, tape or shiny discs."

Some may balk at the price asked for 15 tracks, but then again you may wait awhile before seeing some of these cuts all together anywhere else.

5-0 out of 5 stars I'd forgotten how good this was!
It's hard to do a review about the Beatles, because everyones heard them, and there have been so many reviews for the Beatles already.

For me, the Beatles were all about having good, honest fun with rock n roll and recording. There's no audible ego when they are playing, there's no puffed up attitude. It never really sounds like they're playing for an audience, just for themselves. To me, they're the best little rock n roll band there is.

Past Masters II collects up all the remaining loose singles, B-sides and oddities that Past Masters Volume One didn't pick up.With all the official Beatles albums and the Past Masters, you will have everything they officially released in their heyday. Roughly, you get all the loose stuff from 1965-1970, a time of great change for the Beatles.

On Past Masters, you get some of the Beatles most well known songs: "Day Tripper", "We Can Work It Out", "Paperback Writer", "Lady Madonna", "Hey Jude", "Revolution", "The Ballad of John and Yoko", "Get Back" and "Let it Be". They'll all sound familiar.

The rarer stuff is a treat. You get "Rain", one of the Beatles earliest forays into backwards recording. You get rare George Harrison tracks, "Old Brown Shoe" and the Indian influenced "Inner Light". You get an alternate version of "Across the Universe" and "Don't Let Me Down", and of course you get the quirky, loungey skit "You Know My Name (Look Up the Number).

The Beatles nearly always delivered the goods, no matter what was going on in their lives, no matter what tensions were between them. Every track is quality, the B-sides just as good as the singles. That's very hard to find in a band.

I'd recommend this for fans of the Beatles (of course), fans of rock, pop and 1960s music. Great for newcomers (if you can possibly be a newcomer to the Beatles), as there is a good mix of the familiar, the not so familiar and the quirky. Lo-fi fans may also get a kick from this CD. The Beatles and George Martin are masters of the four track. (cutting edge at the time, but slightly lo-fi sounding these days, like most 1960s recordings). ... Read more

193. The Best: Loggins and Messina - Sittin' in Again
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4-0 out of 5 stars Missing Hits Makes This a Flawed Collection
It's been almost thirty years since their first greatest hits album THE BEST OF FRIENDS was released, and Columbia/Legacy still can't get it right!The earlier hits package (which I reviewed five years ago) had only ten tracks from arguably the most popular duo of the early Seventies.This new album solves that problem by expanding the collection to 18 tracks and includes the unedited version of "Angry Eyes." But of the duo's three Top 40 hits, only "Your Mama Don't Dance" is included. How could you leave off "My Music" (No. 16) and "Thinking of You" (No. 18) and still title this album THE BEST?

It's also worth noting that there are no songs from their final two albums:1975's oldies album SO FINE and 1976's NATIVE SONS. Fully two-thirds of this compilation are from their first two albums with six songs each from 1972's SITTIN' IN and the follow-up LOGGINS AND MESSINA. Four songs are taken from 1973's FULL SAIL and two from 1974's MOTHER LODE.

It's encouraging to see a resurgence of interest in the music of Loggins and Messina (and there is a 40-date reunion tour scheduled to start in late June), but's disappointing to see some of the gaping holes that this set has.It really needed to be a two-disc collection to do the job right. [Another option is to simply purchase the box set collection of their first three albums.] RECOMMENDED ... Read more

194. Chicago - Greatest Hits: 1982-1989
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Average Customer Review: 4.39 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (41)

4-0 out of 5 stars A good collection for the 2nd generation Chicago
Let me explain myself: Chicago 1st generation was from when they started till about 1981. From then on, they became Chicago: 2nd generation. The 1st gen was all about funky rock/jazz sound with great vocals and brass sections. This was their best time, in my opinion. In 1981, they started really heading into the power ballads like "You're The Inspiration", "Hard For Me To Say I'm Sorry", and "Will You Still Love Me?". Not bad, but different. Many people love their 80's work and not the earlier stuff, and vice versa. I like them both seperately, it's almost like two different bands though. Cetera proves that he's one helluva singer on this album, and Jason Scheff does his best to live up to Cetera's name with hits like "We Can Last Forever" (I love this song) and "If She Would've Been Faithful". Scheff succeeds on his own grounds (he cannot cover Cetera's songs worth a flip though, see Chicago 26), and proves himself a worthy addition to the band. There really are no bad tunes about this album, it's pretty solid, and I highly recommend it to fans of the 80's love's still a lot better than most of their newer stuff.

4-0 out of 5 stars #20 could have been better
This album contained more radio hits than any other album except number 9 "Greatest hits #1". "Hard to Say I'm Sorry", "You're the Inspiration", "Hard Habit to Break", "Along Comes A Woman", and "Stay the Night" were all the hits with Peter Cetera as lead vocal. When Peter Cetera left the band still remained hot with songs "Will You Still Love Me?", "Look Away", "I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love", and "What Kind of Man Would I be?" I would give this album 5 stars, but it wasn't complete because it didn't contain the top 10 hit "You're Not Alone". In my opinion this was the last successful album Chicago has ever did.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brings back memories.
I remember listening to these songs when I was really young. Listening to those songs right really brings back those memories. These are like my all time favs!
1. Hard to Say I'm Sorry/Get Away-I could still remember the lyrics and the beats "Hold me now, I really meant I'm sorry... And after all that we've been through...I will make it up to you...I promise you...And after all that's been said and done...."
2. Will You Still Love Me?- Oh God! I really love this song! "Will you still love me for the rest of my life...I got a little love and I won't let go...."
3. You're the Inspiration -"You're the reason in my're the give feeling to my life..."
4. I Am A Man- "I am a Man that will fight for your honor......We did it all for love". That's all I could remember.

5-0 out of 5 stars Can't Go Wrong With This One
Ahhh... you can't go wrong with a greatest hits compilation, especially if it's 80s-era Chicago. On this record, you will hear Chicago's hits from 1982-1989. Discography-wise, this covers hit material from Chicago 16, Chicago 17, Chicago 18, and (how did you guess?) Chicago 19. As you might imagine, 11 of these 12 hits are ballads, which raises an interesting question/criticism: why was Chicago 19's "You're Not Alone" not included on this compilation? Perhaps with the commercial failure of Chicago XIII, triskaidekaphobia overcame the band, prompting them to assemble only 12 tracks for this compilation. Chicago 18's "Niagara Falls" would have been a splendid addition as well, but I guess the only upbeat tune we get on this is "Along Comes a Woman."

It's really nice how they put the unedited LP versions on this (especially for "Will You Still Love Me?" and "Hard to Say I'm Sorry/Get Away"). Often times, that doesn't happen with greatest hits compilations. There is, however a remix of "What Kind of Man Would I Be?"---the version you probably heard on radio in 1989. The shimmering, polished, "big 80s" sound is ever-present here. You gotta love it.

Perhaps the only thing that could top off this stellar compilation (besides the aforementioned, absent 2 hits) would be, somehow, including the video for "Stay the Night," which has to be the greatest video of all time. (Who could forget that one?). On a serious note, there is no doubt that Chicago made the 80s a better decade for music.

4-0 out of 5 stars Comeback Days
There are just so many acts out there right now that really don't appreciate music and artists from the earlier eras. Whether it is from now or then, it always seems to be whatever is popular right now, has to be it for them. Not really the absolute answer. Theer are just so many acts out there hat bring the music as whole, over an image. Chicago was like that during their era in the 70's, and as well as their comeback era in the 1980's. During that time, they were dropped by Columbia, and signed on with Warner Brothers, but nearly losing a part of themselves by being asked to remove the brass section, the trademark symbol to the organic feel of Chicago. Thankfully, they didn't, but they did have drama enough, and that was felt right here.

Chicago Greatest Hits: 1982-1989, is a collection of 12 of their songs from their comeback era during the 1980's. The songs here are very few, but still with a whole lot of feeling to go around. The songs here are for the torn fans from Jason Scheff, and Peter Cetera. Largely, because the Cetera left Chicago during the mid 80's to start a solo career. All in all, the songs here are great and ful of life, including great songs like Stay The Night, Hard To Say I'm Sorry / Get Away, Will You Still Love Me?, If She Would Have Been Faithful, the debut of Chicago with Jason as a member of the band, and Look Away, their only #1 song with Jason as a part of the band. Although a huge of amount of material is here, many people might not want this record, instead buying the Only The Beginning 2002 collection, but the whole comeback era speaks here.

While Chicago hasn't had a big hit anywhere, they still continue to perform and craft their style of music to audiences everywhere. This record is truly a must have for fans of Chicago's comeback era, but not for mainstream fans of Chicago. I strongly suggest you get this, only if you haven't heard the horns blow their winds. ... Read more

195. Retrospective
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Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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5-0 out of 5 stars One of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard
"A Song For You" is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Collection from an Underappreciated Artist
Leon's work from 1970-1975 was some of the best piano work and songwriting of the period, Period. Just one listen to "A Song for You", "Lady Blue", "This Masqurade" (big hit for George Benson) or "Magic Mirror" will confirm that. And I didn't know he wrote "Roll Away the Stone"! I'd always loved Mott the Hoople doing that! And "Hummingbird", probably best known as a BB King track. And it's a shame none of it ever gets played on the radio anymore.

For my money, CARNEY is his masterpiece, but this collection allows me to admire the rest of Leon's catalog. Leon's takes on "The Ballad of Mad Dogs and Englishmen" rivals anything Randy Newman was doing at the time, without the controversey. "Out in the Woods" is a great swampy sounding fun track. "Back to the Island" is a fun track with the MG's (Steve Cropper, 'Duck' Dun and the late Al Jackson) laying down a soulful groove. "Closet Crystal Queen" is a cousin of "Roll Away.." and "Queen of the Roller Derby," a nice little rocker the Stones should have done to spice up one of their mid 70s albums.

Personally, I could have done without "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall", "Rollin' in My Sweet Baby's Arms", the LIVE take of "Queen of the Roller Derby" and Leon's take of "Delta Lady" which is just lame compared to Joe Cocker's version. But it's a good CD to introduce yourself to Leon or a nice portable version of Leon to carry in the car.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential Leon Russell
Leon Russell has practically disappeared from the music scene and it's a shame. He wrote some terrific songs but usually his songs were bigger hits for other artists, such as "This Masquarade" which was a hit for the Carpenters and for George Benson. "A Song for You" was another huge Carpenters hit.
On this album I particularly liked "Out in the Woods" and "Stranger in a Strange Land."

5-0 out of 5 stars A rock n roll legend at his best.
Leon Russell's Retrospective cd is the finest single cd overview of his career available. His influence as a writer, studio musician and producer is legendary. All the goods are here to enjoy. The cd starts off with "A Song For You" and once your hooked you get to hear such gems as "Lady Blue", "tightrope", "delta Lady", "Roll Away The Stone" and a great take on Dylan's 'A Hard Rains Gonna Fall". If you could only own one Leon Russell cd this is the one for you. One final note! What's taking the "Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame" so long to recognize that Leon and Joe Cocker have been shamefully overlooked and should be inducted.

5-0 out of 5 stars Primo Leon
This is an excellent collection of some of Leon's greatest work. Every track is great. If you came of age in the early 70's, then you need this CD for your collection. I can't live without it. ... Read more

196. Irish Heartbeat
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Sales Rank: 1912
Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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It's not often mentioned as one of Van Morrison's signature performances, butthe highpoint of this 1988 collaboration--a heartbreaking rendition of the traditional tune"Carrickfergus"--ranks with anything the man has done. Morrison deliversthe deathbed lament with a mix of fervor and penitence that's utterly convincing as theChieftains enshroud him in a Gaelic tapestry of sound. The remainder of this reissue ofthe 1988 collaboration between Ireland's finest ain't too shabby, either. On more upbeatselections such as "The Star of the County Down," Morrison soundsuncharacteristically frisky, as if he's delighted to share the burden with the Chieftains.Listeners are likely to find the alliance equally satisfying. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

Reviews (33)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great introduction to The Chieftains
This CD was my introduction to the Chieftains and to Celtic music. I had enjoyed listening to Van Morrison since the '60's but had grown tired of his music. When a friend introduced me to Irish Heartbeat I was totally enthralled by the rich folky tunes. It became my favorite CD and stayed as such for more than a year. When my daughter was born in 1990, I often sang her my favorite songs from this exquisite collection, "Star of the County Down" or "Marie's Wedding". She just turned 9 years old and she still requests them from time to time. It is the best of all The Chieftain CD's I have heard (over 10 in all). if you like The Chieftains, Van Morrison, World Music or Celtic Music... or if you want to hear something a hundred times better than your "Riverdance" CD, there is no better place to start than "Irish Heartbeat".

3-0 out of 5 stars Very Good Morrison--lukewarm Chieftains
Van Morrison fans will probably be absolutely delighted with 'Irish Heartbeat', it's as sensitive, if lacking a bit of soul, as anything Van has done in the 80s. But Chieftain fans will, with few exceptions, be better off elsewhere. So this one's recommended for diehard Van fans only. Others should head directly to their browser and immediately buy a copy of Van's live 2-CD set entitled "It's Too Late to Stop Now" -- which is a spectacular treat. Older wannabe-Vanfans should get a copy of "Astral Weeks": this classic was recorded in 2 eight-hour sessions in 1969.

However, those who are eyeballing "Irish Heartbeat" because they're interested in the current Irish music revival should head over to some of the early Chieftains CD reissues for a much more authentic, much more musically satisfying Gaelic time.

Don't get me wrong, I play "Irish Heartbeat" at home on a regular basis, but it's a bumpy ride; neither the best of Morris! on nor the Chieftains' most sterling work.

5-0 out of 5 stars It's Ridiculous If You Don't Own This
As funny man Jack Black once said in "High Fidelity", "It's ridiculous if you don't own this album." ....and that goes double for those who are fans of Van Morrison or Celtic music. "Irish Heartbeat" was a landmark album because it was the first attempt by Celtic traditionalists, The Chieftains, to collaborate with well known popular music singers. Contrary to the complaints of a few "critics", (aye, me friends, they are likely to be agents of the Royal Ulster Constabulary), Paddy and his lads from Dublin do some of their most inspired playing behind Van's soulful crooning. It is a snapshot of Van Morrison riding the crest of his longest wave of artistic success. Arguably the five year period between 1985 and 1990 was the most sustained upward arc of the long and frequently mercurial career of Morrison. The line-up of the Chieftains is also their most musically accomplished grouping in their long 40 plus year history. The six man Chieftain unit on "Irish Heartbeat" played together longer than all other editions of the group combined.

When I first purchased "Irish Heartbeat" in 1988, I confess I did so with a great deal of trepidation. I've never been a fan of collaborative albums by "superstar" musicians. Frequently these albums bring out the worst performance impulses of the musicians. Too often these collaborations becomes a game of musical brinkmanship where musicians play against each other for dominance; or even worse, in an attempt to accommodate each other, musicians play from a banal template, rather than risk being branded a "solo hog" or a "glory hound". I had seen both the Chieftains and Van Morrison live and had nightmarish visions of Van dropping to the floor and lurching into one of his signature stream of consciousness "soul raps" with the clueless Chieftains trying to "get funky with the rhythm." Of course, it didn't work out that way because the collaboration between Van and the Chieftains turned out to be one of those rare matches improved the performance of all the musicians. As it turned out Morrison had considerable depth in his in his renderings of these Celtic standards, but the real surprise is how readily the Chieftains can push Van into some of the most impassioned vocals he's ever done.

Almost every song on "Irish Heartbeat" is a traditional Celtic songs but Morrison's unique treatment of them, make them sound as if he wrote them. Moloney and Morrison, as co-producers, made the right decision to showcase Van's vocals, but the Chieftains sound so comfortable with Morrison's idiosyncratic vocals, it's as if they had been backing him for years. The flute and pipes with the intertwining of stings are sparse enough to give adequate space for Morrison's voice to wander. Morrison is not a traditional "pure" Irish tenor, but he brings his considerable skill at interpreting American rhythm and blues to great effect. Though the music stays traditional, Morrison's unorthodox vocals breathes a fresh perspective into the familiar classics. High points include Van's wickedly hedonistic interpretation of "Marie's Wedding" over the irresistible pulse of Kevin Conneff's Bodhran drum. The "Star of County Down" a frequent set list song for the Chieftains never dazzled as much as on "Irish Heartbeat." The real revelation is the old Irish drinking song "Carrickfergus". This ballad of the tribulations of the drinking class is sung with such searing melancholy by Morrison that it will bring a tear to the eye and a lump to the throat. Morrison's plaintive yet passionate rendition of "Carrickfergus" is the high point of an album that is the benchmark by which great accomplishments in both pop and folk music should be measured.

5-0 out of 5 stars no blarney here!
this is one of the best collections of irish music I've ever heard! It's perfect for a rainy day. It's uplifting and dreamy at the same time. Van Morrison fans will appreciate this and so will irish music fans. It makes me think of mist covered rolling green hills. It will transport you too!

5-0 out of 5 stars Irish Heartbeat is the best CD I own !!!
Van Morrison's talent & intensity is quite evident throughout
this CD. I have followed his career since 1967 with the release
of "Brown Eyed Girl", but "Irish Heartbeat" is his finest work
since then,in my opinion. ... Read more

197. The Best of Blondie [Chrysalis]
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Sales Rank: 6579
Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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While Best Of may not be inclusive enough for the avid collector because it focuses more on Blondie's new wave dance hits than on their punk beginnings, songs like "Heart of Glass," "Dreaming," "The Tide Is High," and "Call Me" display the diverse musical styles this band embraced. It's a new wave album, a reggae album, a dance album, a punk album, and a rap album. Rock-solid songwriting and Debbie Harry's sultry vocals hold the CD together despite the stylistic reaches of the tracks. --Beth Bessmer ... Read more

Reviews (62)

4-0 out of 5 stars Solid collection of songs
I was never the biggest Blondie fan in the world, so I am glad to own "The Best of Blondie." It contains all of the band's top material on a single disc and is all most casual fans will ever need to hear. Blondie was first and formost a new wave pop band. Their best recorded efforts were all in their singles. And some great singles they did in fact record. The best on this collection are "Heart of Glass," "The Tide is High," "Sunday Girl," "One Way or Another" and "Call Me." All of these were staples of rock radio in the late 70s and early 80s and as well they should have been. Though their new wave sound is a bit dated today, this is still a fine collection singles.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good, not great... but I can't complain.
The "Best of Blondie" hits package is good, especially considering the status of the many of the actual albums. Since only "Parallel Lines" was reissued in a proper fashion, hits collections are the only domestic outlet for such early classics as "In the Flesh" and "(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence Dear". However, this means that other essential tracks from the lost albums will go unknown to a new audience. Sure, some are avaliable on other, lesser, hits compilations, and most of the albums are available on the import market, but this does nothing for the casual fan, and ultimatly, Blondie's legacy for the future. If any proof exists that they were more than simply a throwaway pop act from the eighties new wave scene, they are not readily available. The above mentioned songs are perfect examples of excellent ballads in Blondie's early style. The offerings from the first album ("In the Flesh" and Debbie at her catty best on "Rip Her to Shreds") are the only to feature the incredibly tasteful basslines of one time bassist Gary Valentine, who better compliments Clem Burke's drumming than any other in Blondie's history. The retro-rocker "X Offender" would have been a strong selection from this era, but is available on other disks, luckly. Another 'missing' track would be the superb "Fade Away and Radiate" with King Crimson guitar genius Robert Fripp. He adds stellar guitar to this song, which could be considered more of a departure from the pop-disco legacy Blondie has left. This omission could be excused if the incipid pop-reggae cover "The Tide is High" weren't on the album. Because of this song, Blondie's reggae influence is overexaggerated, but also appears on the equally horrible, and thankfully missing, "Die Young Stay Pretty". However, "Dreaming" is possibly one of the best songs Blondie ever recorded. This song, and the other "Eat to the Beat" offering "Atomic" make for an engaging listen, and represent that album well. Unfortunatly, the early period is underemphasised in favor of easily available "Parallel Lines" pop songs, like "Sunday Girl" and "Hanging on the Telephone", that are enjoyable, but leave a hazy legacy. All and all, a great and enjoyable album with practically no problems with what is included, and only slight problems with what is not included. Most widely released "Best of" compilations cannot even brag that.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great songs!!!!!
This is the definitive collection! They are not repetitive like so many artists' CDs. You WILL know most of the songs on this CD.

Here are the songs you may know: HEART OF GLASS, THE TIDE IS HIGH, RAPTURE, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, CALL ME, and RIP HER TO SHREDS. Love that last one!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Songs with No Filler!
I have had this cd for a long time and it's terrific. Every song on the CD is good. Sure, the Greatest Hits may have a few extra songs that this doesn't, but this CD has the BEST songs. You won't have to skip any "boring" songs. As for the sound quality, I've never had a problem with it on my decent, but kind of old stereo, or in my car that has a really good system. These songs were made a while ago anyway. They originally came out on vinyl, so I'm sure the CD is an improvement from that. Anyway, you can't go wrong with this collection.

3-0 out of 5 stars had it, sold it
This collection may be for the casual fan, but that said, who would want to be a casual fan of Blondie? Nearly all of their albums are worth getting. I bought this album thinking that I was getting their best stuff, but a lot of my favorite tracks are album cuts! Basically with this as my introduction to Blondie, I was left a bit unsatisfied. I would highly recommend starting with their self-titled debut album, or for those who really really just love "Heart of Glass", i suggest getting Parallel Lines. But seriously folks, these songs are great, but it's just not enough! Getting into Blondie could change your life! ... Read more

198. Belinda Carlisle - Her Greatest Hits
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B000002OL1
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4528
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (30)

Bittersweetly music by Belinda's such a guilty pleasure, all the songs had that rock and roll fast beat with a sour voice, with melancolic lyrics, this collection was rushed after the unfairly charted and judge 1991 album "Live Your Life Be Free", all charted songs are here, the hits, the non-hits, the bubbling under ones!, this collection is complete with all her releases and some great non-singles from her 4 albums, of course all the famous songs are great "Heaven is a place on earth", "Circle in The sand", "Mad About You", "I Get Weak", but my favorite one is "Leave A Light On" wow! drive with this on! what a classic, makes me sadly bittersweet and happy at the same time, the only song that I don't get is "Vision Of You" why? I don't know, I jusr don't like it, but I guess many of you will, the reason I didn't rate this album 5 stars, it's because of that song, and that they missed a biography or more photos, the album booklet it's only a folded page, simple. Besides that this album it's a total 80's must have!

5-0 out of 5 stars GO-GO GIRL ROCKS!
This is a fabulous collection of cool, light-hearted rock songs by the Go-Go's lead singer Belinda Carlisle. She is one of my all-time favorite female artists. Her sexy vocal style is showcased in this collection of 13 songs from 1986 to '92. Hits "Circle In The Sand", "I Get Weak", "Mad About You", and the smash #1 hit from 1987 "Heaven Is A Place On Earth". Also a very under-rated song, "Leave A Light On" is included as well. This music brings back some great memories of the good ol' days back in the 80's when music was still great, as well as fun to listen to. If you're a fan of Belinda, or the Go-Go's, then you should already have this one. Two words: ROCK ON!

4-0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars - an excellent compilation
The Go-Gos were one of the finest girl bands of the eighties, and it was all thanks to the lead vocals of Belinda Carlisle. Unfortunately, the band members had a hard time getting along back in the day, so Belinda left to pursue a solo career. Although her solo career would have its share of successes, it would never match the level of success she had when she was part of her previous band. Nonetheless, her solo material rocks, and at long last a compilation of it has arrived! Read on for my review of Belinda Carlisle - Her Greatest Hits.

-The main reason you probably want a Belinda Carlisle solo hits compilation is for one song - her biggest solo hit, Heaven Is A Place On Earth. Needless to say, it's present here.
-You get other big solo hits by Belinda, including I Get Weak and Mad About You. These songs are masterpieces, no questions asked.
-The compilation also gives you a number of Belinda's underrated solo masterpieces. There was more to her solo career than just the popular stuff, you know.

-There really isn't a whole lot wrong with this compilation. Just remember it only covers Belinda's SOLO material.

If you're a casual fan of Belinda Carlisle, you can't go wrong with this compilation. Every song on here is nothing short of excellent. No collection of eighties pop music is complete without this compilation.

4-0 out of 5 stars Mad about Belinda.
It's your basic 13 track collection. It's not in chronological order, but at least the good stuff is mostly here. The hits "Mad About You", "Heaven is a Place on Earth", and "Leave a Light On" are all present. Plus numerous other singles. The non-single I miss most is "Love Never Dies". That is on "Heaven on Earth", which I would also recommend, and I believe is her most popular album. Of the songs I didn't know, I really like "Half the World" and "Summer Rain". In short, this is a fine collection of hers, and complements her recent pictorial in Playboy very well.

4-0 out of 5 stars Heavenly Magic
This compilation showcases Belinda Carlisle's solo success after her departure from being the lead singer of the record-breaking all-girl rock band, the Go-Go's. This collection includes her first top-five smash single "Mad About You", as well as four highlights from her sophomore album 'Heaven On Earth', including the worldwide #1 hit "Heaven Is A Place On Earth", the top-five ballad "I Get Weak", the summer hit "Circle In The Sand", and concert favorite "I Feel Free".

The collection also gives us three of the best from 'Runaway Horses': "Leave A Light On", "Summer Rain", and "Vision Of You", as well as danceable hits like "Live Your Life Be Free" and "Do You Feel Like I Feel?" from her 1991 UK smash 'Live Your Life Be Free'.
Overall this album is very good, but instead of including more hits from her 1989 'Runaway Horses' album, more songs from her 1986 'Belinda' album were included, but all & all it's very entertaining...and VERY catchy. ... Read more

199. No Jacket Required
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B000002IHQ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4214
Average Customer Review: 4.06 out of 5 stars
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By the time he released his third solo album, Phil Collins had become a near-ubiquitous presence on the radio, thanks to his increasingly mainstream work with Genesis, his own chart hits, and his indelible production stamp on other artists' albums. No Jacket Required did nothing to stem the tide of all-Phil-all-the-time playlists--which is fine, considering that overall, it's likely his best solo effort, ranging from the engaging rockers "I Don't Wanna Know," "Don't Lose My Number," and the silly Prince rewrite "Sussudio" to heartfelt ballads such as "One More Night" and "Long Long Way to Go," which features a vocal cameo by the (at the time) equally omnipresent Sting. --Daniel Durchholz ... Read more

Reviews (34)

4-0 out of 5 stars Classic eighties pop in best package
Phil Collins strikes back here after a bit cheesy first two albums with amazing pop album "No jacket required".yes,"Sussudio","One more night" or "Take me home" are classics.if you think that Phil is a funny hair-loose guy making shallow dance hits then you are wrong.the true is that many of his hits sound naive but is there anybody who won't apreciate the amazing duet with sting ("Long long way to go") or dark social commentry in "doesn't anybody stay together anymore?".in my opinion the album is amazing.
propably the most funny track here is "Don't you loose my numnber" - propably one of my Phil's favourite here we have all that we used to call cheesy in eighties.pathetic guiar solo,raw beat,some amusing synths and mysterious lyrics (who is billy and why he's running?)...great song.
well,"No jacket required" remains one of Phil's biggest succes and still it sounds joyfull and interesting.the pop songs with some more depth beneath.a great gift for any eighties fan or for you,who want to feel the taste of eighties without embarrasment.

5-0 out of 5 stars "No Jacket Required" is one of those must have albums.
In 1985-86, Phil Collins career was at it's mountain-top. Quite fittingly, his best album is also from that span, No Jacket Required. It spent nearly 2 months atop the charts. And it spun off a handful of mammoth singles: "Sussudio", "One more night", "Don't lose my number" and "Take me home". "Who said I would" also garnered a decent amount of time on the airwaves.

The liner notes are terrific. The all red back cover was a nice touch. There's no lyrics, but it gives thank-you's, credits, who-played what on each song and also gives info on where everything was recorded.

There's something for everyone here. "No Jacket Required" had a diverse set of songs, among them Up-Beat pop tracks, eloquent ballads, and prog-rock throwbacks. Daryl Sturmer played all the guitar tracks and his superb tone adds depth.

Here's my track-by-track analysis:

"Sussudio"-A number one hit, the keyboard line sounding Similar to "1999" by Prince, some have said TOO similar but personally that doesn't diminsh the song's quality one bit. The bass and horn section only boosts it's catchiness.

"Only you know and I know"-A semi-pop track with a great synth hook. The lyrical matter is more or less summed up in it's title.

"Long Long way to go"- A moody, atmospheric track. The decision to have Sting sing the background vocals was genius. It enhances the effect ten-fold.

"I don't wanna know"- Phil sings about a relationship ending, and having no interest in hearing that she regrets it. He was warned not to give his heart to her, cuz she wouldn't give it back. The prominent guitar here is a far-cry from the adult contemporary sound he'd soon delve into.

"One More Night"-Another Chart topper. Terrific ballad, truly heartfelt. It's about acknowledging one's human-ness "If I stumble, if I fall, just help me back/so I can make you see/Please give me one more night". The verse after the second chorus really drives the song home "Like a river to the see/I will always be with you/And if you sail away/I will follow you."

"Don't lose my number"-A TOP 5 SMASH, yet it was inexplicably left off his Greatest Hits album. That's barely forgivable. This song is one of all-time favorites. It kicks off with a nice drum beat. The hook for this song is sharp as a fisherman's. The lyrics are a message to a person, named Billy. I'm still not sure who Billy is. Lyrics: "He never meant to do anything wrong, it's gonna get worse if he waits too long/Billy, Billy don't you my number/ Cuz you're not anywhere that I can find you". This song was obviously written before Cell Phones. The video for this song was good, experts kept walking into Phil's office to suggest idea's, One being set in the old west, the other's being parodies of "Every breath you take" by the Police,

"Who said I would"-Starts off with a nice intro, it keeps a steady beat throughout. It has a full platter of Synths, Horns, and vocal effects.

"Doesn't anybody stay together anymore"-The instrumentation sounds like Peter Gabriel-era Genesis. The drums during the chorus are loud, with a driving bass line, quickly sedgewaying into quieter verses. The lyrics tell about things we all do, and tackles confusion in romance, which in actuality are really nothing new.

"Inside out"-Has fine drumming (Hey it's Phil Collins, you're guaranteed that). The slow-down sections are especially pleasant, with a saxophone playing.

Take me home" was recently sampled in a rap song by bone-thugs-n-harmony, it falls under the ballad category, though at the same time it's more cheerful and contains an incessant chorus. Phil's old Genesis buddy Peter Gabriel sings the background vocals.

"We said hello goodbye" is a slower, tear-jerking ballad, I used to dislike this song because it's a far cry from the many up-beat numbers here, but upon realization, it's the perfect closer.

"No Jacket Required" rightly won the Grammy award for 1985 album of the year. This is Phil Collins best solo offering - Bar None.

1-0 out of 5 stars Pop
Phil Collins might have made some infectious music on this album but it lacks real magic. This is pure pop and thats rarely a good thing. It certainly is not here.

5-0 out of 5 stars This album is so hummable and catchy!
Phil Collins' No Jacket Required is not only great, but very hummable! Loads of catchy pop songs all throughout! I can't tell you how many times I've hummed to Long, Long Way to Go. Probably more than the big hits of Sussudio, One More Night, Don't Lose My Number and others. I don't think that any album he's done afterwards has topped this, because the songmaking is so very strong on here as well as the writing and producing he did on it. "Long" sounds like the sister to In The Air Tonight, the way that the songs sound alike, with the exception of those bridges. From the songs, to the catchy choruses to the way it defined '80s music, this is Phil Collins' best solo album to me!

1-0 out of 5 stars SUBPAR
...emphasis on sub (low, way down dere). The last cut should have beeen the first: 'We said hello, goodbye (don't look back)'. WORD - take this apropos advice from them. To sum up this cd, it makes a wonderful choice when used for skeet shooting. Not recommended. ... Read more

200. Live! At the Desert Inn
list price: $17.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0007DBJTQ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 12726
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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On a cool February night in 1971, entertainer Bobby Darin gathered the friends, associates, and VIPs he'd flown in for the occasion to a sort of summit meeting in the Crystal Room of Las Vegas' Desert Inn. There and then, Darin again staked his claim as one of the most accomplished, versatile, and creatively unpredictable pop singers ever. Despite having traded his early teen idol incarnation for that of mature and ambitious saloon singer a decade earlier, Darin displays his uncanny knack for recasting contemporary rock and pop in his own image repeatedly here. The show may feature a loose, swinging rendition of "Mack the Knife" near the top of the set, and close with the spare, jazzy bonus version of "Beyond the Sea," but they bookend masterful takes on everything from James Taylor (a blues-charged "Fire and Rain") and BS&T's "Hi De Ho" to the Beatles (a medley of "Hey Jude"/"Eleanor Rigby"/"Blackbird"/"A Day in the Life" whose drama shames most contemporary pop covers) and a warm, elegant version of Dylan's "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight." His hit version of Tim Hardin's "If I Were A Carpenter" is shrewdly paired here with the poignant, Darin-penned anti-war anthem "Sing a Simple Song of Freedom" (which Hardin covered successfully), underscoring the willful genre-bending that made Darin so intriguing. -- Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW!
Sit back, pretend you were in Las Vegas during its glory days, and listen to a master vocalist and his orchestra in total sync. After hearing this album, you'll throw away all your "It's Vegas, Baby" compilations. This album is truly Bobby Darin and Sin City at its best.

5-0 out of 5 stars MustHave
This is it folks! According to the CD notes, his manager Steve Blauner, who attended this performance, considers it "to be Bobby's most brilliant work and perhaps one of the best performances of his career..." Darin is in absolute top form, the voice ranging from full throttle hard rock in the encore medley of Chain of Fools/Respect/Splish Splash/Johnny B. Goode to throaty tender in Hey Jude and I'll Be Your Baby Tonight to sexy swing in Mack the Knife and Beyond the Sea to plaintive clarity in the folk tunes. And the humor, and the heat! ... Read more

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