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101. Boats, Beaches, Bars & Ballads
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102. Flashdance: Original Soundtrack
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103. The Point! (Deluxe Packaging)
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104. Sly & the Family Stone - Greatest
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105. Brothers in Arms
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106. Innervisions
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107. Days of Future Passed
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108. Unchained Melody: Very Best Of
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109. The Bangles - Greatest Hits
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110. Everything You Want
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111. Astral Weeks
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112. Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
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113. Softly With These Songs: The Best
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114. Welcome Interstate Managers
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115. Beach Boys - Vol. 1-Greatest Hits
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116. Sam Cooke - Greatest Hits
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117. Tumbleweed Connection
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118. Mad Season
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119. Elton John - Greatest Hits
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120. The Very Best of Michael McDonald

101. Boats, Beaches, Bars & Ballads
list price: $59.98
our price: $53.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000002OL5
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1555
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

When Jimmy Buffett eventually becomes the subject of a college course--and given his enduring popularity as a singer-songwriter and author, you know he will someday--here's what'll be on the final exam. Boats, Beaches, Bars & Ballads is so named because the four-CD collection divides Buffett's collected works among those categories, giving each disc a theme. From early classics such as "Biloxi" and "Come Monday" to more recent fare known only by the Parrothead cognoscenti, this set is the perfect accompaniment to a cool drink and a hammock on a summer afternoon. What kind of cool drink? Well, that'll be on the final, too. --Daniel Durchholz ... Read more

Reviews (58)

5-0 out of 5 stars Buffett In A Box
Boats, Beaches, Bars & Ballads is a four cd box set that targets the four main themes that Jimmy Buffett features in his music. This is as good as a box set as any that has been released. By breaking the disks down into common themes, it makes for a great listening experience. Depending on your mood, you can throw on the boat disk and hit the seas, the beach disk and lounge the day away, the bar disk for your party and for a little romance throw on the ballad disk. For those who have already have all of Mr. Buffett's work, there are a couple of previously unreleased tracks per disk. Also, the accompanying booklet is essential reading for any Parrothead and it contains commentary from Mr. Buffett about the songs and great pictures.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Parrothead Anthology Set
Jimmy Buffett has an extensive catalog of great music. If all you've ever heard is the Parrothead National Anthem, more commonly known as "Margaritaville", you have no clue what you're missing.

"Boats, Beaches, Bars & Ballads" is the definitive collection of Jimmy's work on four CDs. Admittedly, if you are already a Parrothead and have every album he produced before this set, there's nothing here that you don't already own. As was noted by another reviewer, there are no re-worked songs or rare B-sides on this set. For that, you'll need "Meet Me in Margaritaville: The Ultimate Collection" (although in my mind, this is really the ultimate collection).

However, if you're just starting to build your Jimmy Buffett collection, this is the set you want as the foundation piece. Ignore the other greatest hits collections he's produced (aside for the aforementioned "Meet Me in Margaritaville"). It isn't that they are poorly produced, just that once you get a taste, you'll want more -- so save your money and start with more right from the very beginning.

And before you ask, no this is not four discs full of variations on "Margaritaville". Each song is unique, although they all have Jimmy's fingerprint and singnature Florida-Gulf-Carribean sound to them. Like the man said, these discs are the perfect companion piece to a beach sunset, a lounge chair and a margarita. Just pop them in the CD changer, press shuffle-play and walk away -- there's not a bad song in the set.

5-0 out of 5 stars The consumate collection for Parrotheads
What more could a Parrothead ask for? The best of Buffett and some interesting reading. This is the essential collection for my money. Have it handy whenever enjoying a Fosters with sailing mates.

5-0 out of 5 stars Even the diehard Parrotheads love this one.
As a self-described "Parrothead," hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio - the land where the term was coined, a veteran of over 20 Buffett shows, and a long-time collector of Jimmy's music, I must say that this set is THE definitive Buffett collection - way more so that "Songs You Know By Heart" and the recent "Margaritaville" 2 Disc set. If you want to know what Jimmy Buffett is about, if you want to understand why people dress up like Don-Ho on crack, wear inflatable alligators on their heads, and spend entire weeks enjoying Jimmy's concerts, this set is for you.
This 4-disc set offers the standard popular or "concert" fare songs that, even if you're not a Buffett fan, you've heard in the car, or at a barbeque, or drifting through the air on a hot summer day. Songs like "Volcano," "Margaritaville," "Changes in Attitudes," "Fins," "Boat Drinks," and others are all included on this set. But the real draw to this collection, especially for long-term Parrotheads, is the terrific sampling of older Buffett gems. Songs like "The Ballad of Spider John," "The Wino and I Know," "Stars on the Water," "They Don't Dance Like Carmen No More," the schmaltzy "Stars Fell on Alabama," and my personal favorite, "One Particular Harbor," demonstrate the range and breadth of Jimmy's song-crafting talent which is lost on many who simply lump him into the "beach music" or, god forbid, "country" genres.
My only complaints about the set are the GLARING ommisisons of two absolute classics - "We Are The People Our Parents Warned Us About" and "God's Own Drunk," the latter of which got Buffett banned from performing in several towns early in his career. Otherwise, this set is nearly perfect.

4-0 out of 5 stars Gotta give him his due
Whether you like the man or not you have to give him this much. He found a unique niche in the music world and made it his own. Very few artists have done that so well. He's no joke, his music can stand on its own. It's just that he was humble enough to realize his own limitations and not try to remake himself into what the BIZ wanted him to be. He has a good time with his art and he makes people happy. I remember seeing him at the coffee shop in the North Texas student union building in 1971 when he was just a solo act with a guitar and a mike. He was one of the best entertainers I've ever seen. This is great music to listen to while you cruise. Not all of them are gems, but I dare you not to start singing along when "Volcano" or "Cheeseburger in Paradise" comes on. This is a celebration of a good guy who did it right. ... Read more

102. Flashdance: Original Soundtrack From The Motion Picture
list price: $9.98
our price: $9.98
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Asin: B000009CMK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2641
Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Among the BEST Soundtracks of all time

1983 Academy Award Nominees
Best Original Song from a Motion Picture

Flashdance: Giorgio Moroder, Keith Forsey, Irene Cara [Song: Flashdance...What a Feeling]
Flashdance: Michael Sembello, Dennis Matkosky [Song: Maniac]
Tender Mercies: Austin Roberts, Bobby Hart [Song: Over You]
Yentl: Michel Legrand, Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman [Song: Papa, Can You Hear Me?]
Yentl: Michel Legrand, Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman [Song: The Way He Makes Me Feel]

. . .and the Oscar goes to:

"What a Feeling!" by Irene CARA!!!

It made the film FLASHDANCE a monster success, and also went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Too bad the song "Gloria" by Laura Brannigan is not on this soundtrack, because it was in the film.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Saturday Night Fever for the 80's
I have owned this soundtrack in first cassette, then vinyl, now on c.d. format. What I would have hoped for in the remastered version was the classic extended versions of some of these tracks radio stations use to play when Flashdance was hot ! Tracks like What A Feeling, Maniac, and a couple of others had some remarkable extended counterparts which are now completely difficult to find.Flashdance did not conform to the "breakdancing" period like other movies or soundtracks did. It was pop-rock at it's best before the Top Gun soundtrack.The only artist to still carry some weight after all these years is Donna Summer.Everyone else is just a faint memory. Where's Kim Carnes ? Michael Sembello? Laura Brannigan? and let's not forget the blue-eyed soulful voice of Joe "Bean" Esposito who was a soothing cross between Michael McDonald and a lightweight version of Barry White on Lady, Lady, Lady.

There is very little difference in the remastered version with regards to sonic quality. The sound level is a little bit higher with a little more bass and a little more treble. Otherwise, nothing that could be considered a revelation ...

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Excellent Stuff
I must say- this is some very excellent stuff. All the music in this thing sounds very great- especially the title track. The others are also just as good, even "Maniac". So- to sum things up- this is a great soundtrack!

5-0 out of 5 stars Soundtrack better than the film
I've owned this soundtrack in various mediums and it stands the test of time. Just a really good CD. Soulful, upbeat, different. NICELY done.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sweat like the girls in Flashdance, in your very own home!
All in all, this is a good soundtrack if you like this movie. Bummer that Joan Jett and a couple of the other really good songs aren't on here, but it is still great. Bottom line: IF YOU'RE A HARDCORE FLASHDANCE FAN, YOU NEED THIS. ... Read more

103. The Point! (Deluxe Packaging)
list price: $15.98
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Asin: B000077SX4
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1256
Average Customer Review: 4.93 out of 5 stars
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Must everything have a point? That's the question posed by Harry Nilsson's 1971 pop parable of a well-rounded young boy named Oblio, from the Land of Point, who's cast apart from the community by those who resent his pointlessness. Conceived when the gifted singer-songwriter was on an acid trip, The Point! is a product of its time, what with its central theme (the hollowness of conformity) and ornate Beatles-era pop. But the message--presented in song and narration--and music are delivered with a grace and gentleness that elevates The Point far above most socially conscious '60s art. Produced as a made-for-TV movie in 1971, this audio version of the modest masterpiece will appeal to adult fans of the late singer. More to the point, however, it'll capture the fancy of thoughtful youngsters who'll empathize with the little boy who finds points where he's told there are none, and concludes, "If everything has a point, well then I must have one, too." --Steven Stolder ... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Charming Pop Fable for Adults and Children
It's hard to understand today how an album like "The Point" was produced. The album is very experimental in that it is a narrated fable, with musical transitions from one portion of the story to another. Note that this story album predates "A Journey to the Center of the Earth" by Rick Wakeman and Jeff Wayne's "War of the Worlds" by a number of years.

The tale is of one Oblio and his faithful Arrow. The two live in the land of points (everyone had a pointy head). For a time the two do quite well, but after a jealous child, son of a count, complained that Oblio had no point, there was a game to see whether Oblio had the ability to compete. Oblio defeated the count's child 2 out of 3. The count was outraged and went to the king to complain that the law was that all things in the land of point must have a point. A tribunal reviewed the case and banished Oblio and Arrow to the pointless forest.

Once in the forest Oblio and Arrow discover that the forest had many points. While making this discovery, Oblio and Arrow have a number of adventures. Eventually the pair come across an egg, with no apparent point. The egg soon opens to reveal a bird with a pointed head. The bird flies off and the two soon fall asleep.

The next day the two find a rock that looks like a pointed hand with the word destination on it. They went in the direction the hand pointed and came to, the pointed land. The count was quite angry, but the people were happy to see them because no one had ever been to the pointless forest. Oblio described the forest, and explained that there were many points in the forest, and reasoned that if the pointless forest had a point, then he must too. Someone shouts out "He has a point there", and the story ends very satisfactorily.

It's easy to see this story being in the same vein as "Gulliver's Travels". Both were written to challenge and make fun of prejudices, as well as noting that underneath everyone is essentially the same. On another level, Oblio and Arrow undertook a journey of discovery, which is the same journey that we all take in life. The journey revealed truths, and the truths ultimately made everyone happier.

This album is a great fairy tale and will enchant adults and children. The music is blended well with the story, seamlessly. The song "Me and My Arrow" received a lot of air play in the early 70s, and became a hit. Other songs are pretty and may remind you of songs by The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and the Monkees. One of the best examples is "Are You Sleeping". The music is all pop, mellow, but perfect for the intent of the story and the audience.

The inspiration for "The Point" was chemical, but regardless of how Nilsson arrived, the result is wonderful and charming. 5 stars for a multitude of positives. Pop music with an easy to follow story for children and adults. Make that GOOD pop music. Excellent blending of story and song. Having one or morals to the story to create a fable. Buy this for your children so that you have an excuse to own it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nilsson high point...
One-of-a-kind offering from the true "Fifth Beatle" (with apologies to Klaus Voorman, Billy Preston and Eric Clapton) mixing narrative and music. Unlike subsequent concept "story" albums like Jeff Wayne's "War Of The Worlds" or Godley + Creme's "Consequences", you won't feel compelled to skip the spoken word parts (after one or two listens) to get to the music; the blend is perfectly symbiotic here. The story, concerning little round-headed Oglio trying to fit into his pointy-head-centric world has the same mixture of charm and winking subtext that made the late Shel Silverstein's clever fables so appealing to kids and adults alike. The music is quirky but beautifully crafted pop, similar to what Brian Wilson was creating during his "Smiley Smile" period (same source of er, "inspiration", from what I understand!). Most listeners will probably recognize the McCartney-esque "Me And My Arrow", which was one of Nilsson's first radio hits. The reissue is nicely packaged and well-mastered. Even the crankiest grown-ups should find this one a guaranteed mood elevator!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Point - Still the Best
I fell in love with this story and songs when I was a kid when my parents got it for me. I think I wore it out and probably drove them crazy listening to it constantly. I was driving at lunch and heard about the re-release on public radio. They played snippets from the album and 25 years later, I still know all the words. Needless to say, I came back to work and ordered it immediately, a copy for me and one for my 1 1/2 year old neice who I hope, when she is old enough will enjoy it as much as I still do. A tragic end for Nilssen but a brilliant record.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rediscovering "The Point!"
I remember this music from my childhood (thanks Mom!) and now more than 34 years later I ordered and received "The Point!" to share with my daughter. Her reaction to "Me and my arrow" was a big smile. Hearing it again put a smile on my face and that of my wife. I am looking forward to sharing more of this great story with my family.

5-0 out of 5 stars OMG- The memories - I LOVE IT!!!
I first got this album when it came out ... I was 10. We also watched the cartoon/movie. It was so great. I still have the album and the story and it is amazing how many people don't know about this great story and music. If you have children .... buy it!! I love his music and the story was well, too cool. What is sad though is that our 70s/80s radio station didn't even know who Harry Nilsson is. Sad. LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT. ... Read more

104. Sly & the Family Stone - Greatest Hits [Epic]
list price: $11.98
our price: $8.99
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Asin: B0000024WQ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2347
Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
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As the title would lead to you to believe, these are the greatest hits from a group that had a fair share of hits in the late '60s and early '70s.Too pop savvy to be merely a funk band, and too damn funky to be just a rock band, Sly and his multicultural crew made intelligent party music that crossed boundaries and became AM radio staples. Included in this collection are smashes like "Dance to the Music", "M'lady", "Sing A Simple Song", "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again)" and "Everybody is a Star".--Amy Linden ... Read more

Reviews (22)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great CD! Makes you move and groove
This CD was on for 6.99, so I thought, "What the heck. It's the band who did Dance to the music." (I thought that's the only hit song they had). Then I put the CD in and the first thing I heard was "I want to Take you Higher." And I thought, "Sly and the Family Stone did this? Wow". It just got better with "Everyday People", "Hot Fun in the Summertime," "Thank you (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" and "You can Make it if you Try." There's nice funk and groove musac (aka music, when it's funk you call it Musac). Has some slow songs too like "Everybody is a Star". Awesome CD. If you have no idea who Sly and the Family Stone is, get this CD, if you do know who Sly and the Family Stone, get this CD. DANCE TO THE MUSAC!

5-0 out of 5 stars The band that made pop funky, and FUN...HOT FUN..
Anybody who was under, say 25 in 1969..and had a pulse, 'got' this, and really, really dug it. Every single track is a testament to how GOOD this band was. Hendrix and Sly (and of course Ritchie Havens...whose life and world all begin with a dream'; and advertiser's dream, that is) were the only "black cross-over" acts at Woodstock, and Sly, I think, outdid Hendrix. Back then that really counted. This CD will bring back the "hot fun in the summertime" - and as Cynthia says..."all the squares, "GO HOME!!"

5-0 out of 5 stars Psychedelic funk at its best!
There was, and is, only one band like "Sly & the Family Stone". A group that put the "H" in high produced a slew of hits during the 70's. There was some major ones to follow the tracks gathered, but this "greatest" package, for the buck, is a "must-buy". The album version of "I Want to Take You Higher", presented here in all its glory,is a brilliant tour de force, combining R & B, pop, and funk with the masterful of Sly and company.

5-0 out of 5 stars One word : FUNKEY!!!
You gotta love Sly. If you can put on this cd loud enough, and remain quiet, check your pulse! The grooves are so powerful, they define funk, and they make you wanna move! The first song just grabs you, and it doesn't let go until the last. Great grooves, great vocals. Now, I think we need to clarify. A reviewer said that Freddie invented slap bass lines. I think not. It was Larry Graham, even before getting into S&tFS. One of the first (if not the first) recording of slapped electric bass is "Thank You", a track included here. Now, get your afro wig, your plattform shoes, and dance to the music!

5-0 out of 5 stars Everyday Star
Greatest Hits concluded the first phase of Sly and the Family Stone's career, neatly summing up their boisterous, politic-pop era. But the darkness was creeping in, as heard on the sarcastic "Thank You (Fallenme Be Mice Elf Agin)" and the resigned "Everybody is a Star." Sly's next move would be the mercurial There's a Riot Goin' On, and then his subsequent slippage. Greatest Hits is one of the few "best-of" packages which serves as a complete statement rather than the typical career supplement of most such collections. This stunning set covers a mere two years of recording and argues favorably for the group place alongside The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. ... Read more

105. Brothers in Arms
list price: $11.98
our price: $7.99
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Asin: B00004Y6NP
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1860
Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

Digitally remastered edition of their 1985 multi-platinum album, their biggest ever. Nine tracks, featuring the #1 smash 'Money For Nothing', plus the top 10 'Walk Of Life' & the top 20 hit 'So Far Away'. 1996 Mercury Records release. ... Read more

Reviews (93)

5-0 out of 5 stars Dire Straits' best album - a must have!
I was about 4 years old when I remember hearing Dire Straits' "Love Over Gold" play, in 1983. I grew up listening to classic rock...and in terms of shear musical talent, Dire Straits has always been unparalleled in their genre. Browsing some of these reviews, a few criticize the band for being too mellow. But, children, music wasn't always Korn, Limp Bizkit, and other mindless bands of today. One of the things that was/still is appealing about Brothers In Arms (and all Dire Straits music) is the song writing of Mark Knopfler. From long, jazzy journeys to hard pop hits, the man was a genuine craftsman. I may be biased since I was listening to them from a young age, but if you sit down and just listen to the instrumentation, the'll see that each song has something to say. And to me, many of the songs are easily accessible ... catchy with a hook. If you're from the boyband generation, well this might test your limited attention span. But if you're 21+, and you enjoy classic rock and music from the 80s, ...well this might just be up your alley. After all, the band sold millions of copies of Brothers in Arms and it's predecessor, "Love Over Gold".

5-0 out of 5 stars More great music from a great, great band.
Dire Straits' most commercially successful album. A lot of times, "commercially successful" can have a negative connotation to it. Sometimes to be "commercially successful," bands have to sell out and compromise their musical integrity. That isn't the case here. Knopfler and company managed to release an album containing some excellent songwriting--songs that fans of theirs from the early days of Dire Straits could like as much as the old stuff--and they still got airplay on radio as well as MTV (who could forget the ultra cool "Money for Nothing" video). Currently I own the original compact disc version of this album (not the remaster), but I plan on buying the remastered version soon. In all honesty, I think something's weird with my copy. It's not very "loud." I have to turn the volume on my stereo up way past where I do for other CDs to get it at the volume I like. Strange. But anyway. Another reviewer was mentioning how he uses this as his reference CD when he tries out a new piece of audio equipment, and I can see why. This album is very sonically pleasing and sounds GREAT cranked up. "Brothers in Arms" opens with "So Far Away," one of the singles off of this CD. I like it because the lyrics are so simple but say so much. Cool clean guitar tone as well. Then comes "Money for Nothing," and don't have to say anything about that song...Everyone and their mother knows that song. That one and "Walk of Life." "Your Latest Trick" is an good song but has never really been one of my favorites. Then comes "Why Worry," which is one of my favorites for it's lyrics. It's songs like that that make Knopfler one of my favorite songwriters. The next three songs are good but have never really done much of anything for me. Then comes the last song, the epic, the title track..."Brothers In Arms." The guy I mentioned before, the one that uses this album to test out new stereo equipment when he buys it? THIS is probably the song he uses. The guitar tone is to die for, and the synthesizer in the background gives it a nice atmospheric feeling. Plus in true Knopfler fashion, the lyrics are great...meaningful, and sad really...a song about war. Definitely in my top three favorite Straits albums. It's a must have for anyone's collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars pure gold!
From the fun Money for Nothing (socio-commentary on their on business) and Walk of Life to the mournful, heart-hurting Brothers in Arms, this album is perfect. It shows the range of this group. Brothers in Arms has been was used in 1985 for Miami Vice episode "Out Where the Buses Don't Run" - on of the best Vice episodes and then then turnaround and you find it used again in 2002 for West Wing for the post funeral segments of Mrs Landingham's funeral, showing it's timeless appeal.

No one Dire Straits and this album just could not get any better.

5-0 out of 5 stars A True Work of Art
I began listening to Dire Straits through my mother 4 years ago when I was 10, the first album being Brothers in Arms. The first four songs were indeed trademarks of Dire Straits (and very good ones too), but the ones which most influenced me were 'Ride Across the River' and 'Man's too Strong'. Listening to Mark Knopfler's husky and deep voice sing the melancholy and intense songs is something to enjoy. I think my favourites are the two above, because of the beautiful lyrics, and the intensity in which Mark Knopfler sings them, especially 'Man's too Strong'. I know it isn't a particular favourite of most people, but I enjoy the old, even ancient theme of 'Man's too Strong' and the rebellious, powerful tone of 'Ride Across the River'. The story of the 'war criminal' in 'Man's too Strong' is really terrific, especially the way 'the sun rose in the courtyard' at his hearing. The fast-paced strum of the guitar accentuates Dire Straits' skill with music and I think they truly achieved something. They don't sing empty words for singing's sake, but sing of real stories or even poetic pieces of writing, the vocals are true and the music does not simply flaunt loud noise or screaming wails, but they parade the joy of music in both melancholic, 'worth-it' tones like 'Brothers In Arms' another favourite of mine, and cheerful boisterous tunes like 'Walk of Life'.
All in all, I admire Dire Straits' fantastic music, and "Brothers in Arms" is another celebration of their beautiful music, one of the albums I most enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Album
First off I'd like to say that this is a brilliant album. This is not why i decided to write a review though. There are already many positive and helpful reviews here. There is one however that tends to bother me. This mropinion guy seems to enjoy buying great albums then trashing them on this site. I guess he doesn't have very good tastes in music (or a life for that matter). I'm a fan of other bands such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath, all bands he has reviewed. This guy obviously has the attention span of a rodent. This "ghetto" talk he uses in his reviews also suggests that he should stop dishonoring great albums such as "Brothers in Arms" by even touching them to buy them. He should start listening to rap albums (the crap that he is worthy to listen to). Rap will fade along with this loser.

Thank You and Good Night! ... Read more

106. Innervisions
list price: $13.98
our price: $12.99
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Asin: B00004S363
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2579
Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (53)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the great recordings of the century.
In his prime (c.1971-1982), Stevie Wonder produced a body of music that ranks among the most original, innovative and consistent ever created. As a composer, lyricist, drummer, keyboardist, harmonica virtuoso, producer and arranger, Stevie was the very epitome of the independent creative artist, and almost entirely self-sufficient at that. "Innervisions," along with 1972's magnificent "Talking Book," is arguably his finest hour. Nine extraordinary songs, with Stevie's finest set of lyrics to accompany his rich, intricate music and arrangements, display a true musical genius at his most intensely creative. "Innervisions" has been universally acclaimed as a landmark recording since it was released and it is easy to see why: there is nothing here short of excellent, and most of it is among Stevie's very best. And not only is the material virtually peerless, but Stevie's production was also unique--in addition to playing almost every instrument on the album, he was busy using synthesizers in ways no one else had ever imagined they could be used. If you buy only one Stevie Wonder record, let this be it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Arguably Stevie's Best
A friend first got me into Stevie, and now I own what you might term the five essential albums - Music of my Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness, and Songs in the Key of Life. After that, let's be honest, he turned into a pile of poop, but boy were the 70s a good decade. Each album is a fantastic record, and Innervisions is perhaps the best. Personally I favour SITKOL, as it is more varied and simply bombards you with musical genius on all sides.

Yet Innervisions is the greatest of the albums Stevie produced when he was doing pretty much all the stuff himself. He plays virtually everything on this record - listen to Living For the City, and you'll be amazed that he's playing every instrument. Whereas SITKOL has a proper 'big band' feel, because he brought in lots of other musicians and created a real wall of sound studio feel, Innervisions remains intimate and personal. That's what gives it its charm.

Unquestionably, these are 9 great songs. Plain and simple. Golden Lady is one of my favourites, a gorgeous song. But Too High is a great opener, All Is Fair in Love is a suitably over the top love ballad, Don't You Worry is a brilliant funky number, and Misstra Know It All (spelt like that because he just wanted to, and about his accountant, apparently) is fantastic, especially the growling finale. Stevie is also the master of the outro, and some can last for several minutes. Don't You Worry and Misstra are ones to look out for here is you are a fan of the over indulgent fade out (as I am). But SITKOL really has the monopoly on outros, and if you're a real connosieur, that's the album for you - look out for As and Another Star in particular, though Isn't She Lovely, Black Man and Summer Soft also clock in impressive repeated choruses.

Stevie is an idiosyncratic musician. Listen to the six second pause on Visions, where he says 'everything must have an ending' before coming back with the next line - geddit?! That's what makes him appeal to me. He has more talent in his sunglasses than most popstars have in the combined body mass of them and their hundred-strong entourage. This is a great album, with immaculate instrumentalism, superb lyrics, that fantastic voice which can do seemingly anything, and funky, groovy, melodic tunes. You should buy this, and then move onto other Stevie terrority, according to taste.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thank You Stevie
"Innervisions" quenches my musical thirst. At thirty years old, it is beyond categorization and is a stellar album on so many levels. It is a marvel of studio production. The music is outstanding and (with the exception of a few instruments) is all played by Stevie. It has so much depth, but is so well put together. I frequently pick up on little nuances I hadn't noticed before. The vocals are unbelievable. Stevie Wonder has a beautiful voice with an amazing range and great control. On "Innervisions" he shows that he knows just how to use it and how not to. It's something that you just don't hear from today's popular singers and that is a shame. What I think makes this album so phenomenal and separates it from so many others is the songwriting. So often great music lacks lyrical substance or vice versa. Such is not the case here. The content is insightful, spiritual, socially relevant and presented in a creative and coherent way. It all comes together in nine songs at around 45 minutes. Of all the great albums I have ever listened to this one is my absolute favorite. I would like to thank Stevie Wonder for giving the world this timeless musical treasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stevie's Best
This is easily Stevie Wonder's best CD. Though his previous "breakout album" Talking Book did have some innovative tunes, to me it was hindered by a few overly sappy love songs. "Key of Life" is a great album, but isn't as concise. There is only one traditional love song on Innervisions ("All is Fair in Love" is a sad reflection on relationships, but certainly not a romantic ballad). Here's a track by track analysis

1) Too High: Jazzy cautionary tale about drug abuse and its consequences, but subtle enough not to be overtly preachy. It captures the feeling of an addict who exists only to "touch the sky" but never gets there. Outstanding drumming by Stevie (yes, he plays the DRUMS too!!).

2) Visions: Utterly stunning in its beauty. The acoustic guitar work is second to none.

3) Living for the City: The "epic" of the CD describes the tribulations of a man raised in poverty in the South only to find more poverty upon his migration to the city. Yeah, the interlude section is a little cheesy, but still effective and with great vocals as always.

4) Golden Lady: I love how this song keeps going up a key in the end, which signifies the yearning of the singer for his lady. What a great love song.

5) Higher Ground: Once again, outstanding drums and a very funky beat. Like most in my generation, I heard the RHCP cover first (which is a decent interpretation), but it didn't take long to me to realize that this is the definitive verision.

6) Jesus Children of America: Stevie boldly confronts religious fundamentalists, junkies, and even the listener, challenging all to "come clean," all while being backed by insistent gospel harmonies.

7) All is Fair in Love: Laced with agony and pain, Stevie teaches us all about the difficulties of a romantic relationship.

8) Don't You Worry Bout a Thing: A great song about being there to support a friend who is going through a transitional period. Very comforting.

9) Mista Know-It-All: Some think this song is a bash on President Nixon; others interpret it as a stern message against arrogant street hustlers who are looking to corrupt inner-city youth. However you interpret it, it is certainly an effective kiss-off and a creative way to end the album (as opposed to ending it with a sappy love song).

People who have only ever heard "Part Time Lover" may have a hard time accepting Stevie Wonder as a genuine artist, but trust me and the other reviewers, this CD is different. You will not regret buying it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Visions of a Prime Stevie
Stevie Wonder was established as a major talent by 1973, with his previous two albums 'Music Of My Mind' and 'Talking Book' he had abandoned the shackles of Motowns pop-soul hit machine shackles to craft inventive funky and soulful albums in his own unique & distinctive style.

The 3rd album in this vein was 'Innervisions', which has to be one of the mans crowning achievements. 'Livin' For The City' still sounds titanic, an awesome number, as is 'Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing' and the opening 'Too High'. Not only was the mans music incredibly funky but he was now covering issues such as social ills and politics. The closing 'He's Mr Know-It-All' is an enjoyable piano-led groove, and with so many classic cuts on one album this in itself could run like a Best Of record. Theres a nice vibe that runs through this album and the production is real high quality.

This is his 3rd essential in a row, and you have to admire the work of Stevie Wonder what an incredible back catalogue this guy was able to create in the 70s. ... Read more

107. Days of Future Passed
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Catlog: Music
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The Moody Blues' second album was also their first of what would be a succession of "concept" albums. Inspired by the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper and utilizing the London Festival Orchestra primarily for epic instrumental interludes between songs, Days of Future Passed moved the Birmingham band away from its early R&B roots (as displayed on its debut album with soon-departed future Wings member Denny Laine) into uncharted rock territory, making them the early pioneers of both classical and progressive rock. The concept of the 1968 release was very simple, tracing a day in the life from dawn to night, from awakening to sleep. The seven tracks spawned two hit singles--"Tuesday Afternoon" and "Nights in White Satin" (which hit No. 2 four years after the LP's original release) and a prog-rock cottage industry. --Bill Holdship ... Read more

108. Unchained Melody: Very Best Of The Righteous Brothers
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Sales Rank: 1798
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the very few rich soulful voices left
Bill Medley with the baritone DEEP soulful , choir voice and Bobby singing tenor showed proof that when it comes to soul, you either got it, or you don't. Some of there less played songs are fabulous and would make ray charles proud. One is called "B side blues" which is a very deep , bluesy song by the righteous brothers and check out Bill Medley getting it on in the song "my darling clementine" yeah, you go Medley. I prefer bari voices over tenor so I favor Medley more. Saw the righteous brothers in concert 3 years ago, and they still sound great. The songs on here are the "best of" and proved it. Sounds alot better on cd than on those old scratchy 45s :)

4-0 out of 5 stars Beware the mix.
Ok. If you like the Righteous Brothers, this is a very good collection of their works, but beware! The makers of this CD did not spend much money on making the sound work for modern stereo systems. The recordings have not been mixed to enhance their quality. There is hiss, and rather washed out bass and trebel. NO PUNCH! I know that these are old, analog recordings, but they can be cleaner. Also, I remember a more intense version of Unchained Melody, than the one that appears on this disc. Buy it for the songs, but not the quality.

5-0 out of 5 stars They haven't lost the feelin' yet!
Born almost one month apart and in two different states, Bill Medley and the late Bobby Hatfield nevertheless blended their voices so well that they might as well have been brothers. Whether covering material by other songwriters and the once-brilliant (and now tragic figure Phil Spector) or performing their own songs, the Righteous Brothers harmonized so well that for a while in the early 1960s they were among the hottest acts in the pop music world, earning the nickname of "the Blue-Eyed Soul Duo."

While tame in comparison to today's musical scene (ranging from Eminem's angry hip-hop to Britney Spears' descent into Madonna-smooching, quickie-marriage-then-annulment irrelevancy), the Righteous Brothers were very popular, and some of their songs broke into the coveted 1,000,000-single selling stratosphere, starting with their 1963 hit "Little Latin Lupe Lu," with its pulsing backbeat and catchy hooks and alliterative lyrics. Even after the British Invasion of the 1960s and the splintering of pop/rock into a kaleidoscope of styles (disco, punk, heavy metal, rap, and electronic), Medley and Hatfield's songs and bluesy harmonizations remained popular enough that at least two songs on this "Best of..." collection were featured in such popular films as Top Gun and Ghost.

"Unchained Melody" and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' " are the songs this reviewer is most familiar with for the simple reason that Hollywood directors and music supervisors chose them as part of those two films' scores. It's hard to imagine Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore at that pottery wheel without the first song's unforgettable melody, or to shake off memories of Tom Cruise as the cocky F-14 pilot wooing Kelly McGillis to the strains of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'." Nevertheless, the other eight songs are worth a listen, including the Medley-Hatfield-written "My Babe" and the duo's warm and reflective cover of Hoagy Carmichael's "Georgia On My Mind."

"Unchained Melody: The Best of Righteous Brothers" is a very pleasant album, even though its running time is not much over a half-hour. It is a musical time capsule to a seemingly more innocent musical (and historical) era -- check out that cover photo, featuring Bill and Bobby when they looked like members of a college glee club stopping by for a cup of coffee and a friendly chat. Nevertheless, many a young couple listened to these songs while making out...and making memories that this compilation might trigger off.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great collection of their biggest hits in stereo
It is true that these recordings do not sound the best but that is because of the way they were recorded and the CD does come from the stereo master tapes which are noisy. Those notes aside this contains their biggest hits for Philles and Verve, a few of their top 40 hits which didn't chart as high as the songs you hear the most on the radio, and the original version of "Little Latin Lupe Lu" which was a huge hit for Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels. You do get the original versions on this 12 song disc with no liner notes obviously, there are no re-recordings on this disc at all, unlike the CDs on Curb which the bulk of the recordings on those discs are re-recordings. For Rock and Roll Heaven on a budget CD, try and find the now out of print CD "Rock and Roll Heaven" on CEMA Special Products, and for their earliest material, get the out of print CD entitled "The Moonglow Years," but for the songs that made Bill Medley and the late, great Bobby Hatfield in the superstars they became as a duo, this is the disc to get.

5-0 out of 5 stars I need help!!
Hello, I'm a big fan of the righteous brothers. and I am trying to find a fanmail address of them, so I could write to them. Or at least the one that is left. Anyway, if someone knows of a website that has their fanmail address, please get back to me. thank you ... Read more

109. The Bangles - Greatest Hits
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Asin: B00000273M
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3128
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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The Bangles' transformation from Merseybeat and garage-smart guitar band to near-definitive example of buffed-and-polished corporate popsters is one of the great rock mysteries of the '80s. What was up with that video for "Walk Like an Egyptian," anyway? Greatest Hits puts it all in perspective, tracing the curve from the post-Beatles group sneer of "Hero Takes a Fall" to the deadly earnest Susanna Hoffs showcase of "Eternal Flame." Shortly after that ballad hit No. 1, the group split. Now unfairly remembered as little more than space fillers on turn-of-the-decade airwaves, the Bangles here make a good case for their spirit, their own songwriting gifts, and, of course, those voices. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (54)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the 80's Greats
The Bangles are definitely a classic 80's group. They exploded in 1986 and were huge all the way up until their break-up in 1989. Inthat short time period they managed a handful of great pop singles that are still well known and recognized today thanks a lot to Susanna Hoffs distinguishable vocals and the girls' awesome harmonies. "Manic Monday" was the song that made them music superstars going to #2 in the US and becoming a pop classic. The hits kept coming with their huge #1 "Walk Like An Egyptian" and the #2 hit "Hazy Shade of Winter" *both included here of course.* They also had a top 5 hit with "In My Room" and had another massive #1 with my personal favorite, the beautiful ballad "Eternal Flame." "To Be With You," "Walking Down Your Street," and "I'll Set You Free" were also moderate hits all making the top 40. It's a shame that they broke up at the heighth of their popularity. I'm sure they could've been huge even into the 90's.

This "Greatest Hits" is an awesome collection of what made The Bangles so great. Sure, "Walk Like An Egyptian" may have 80's cheese written all over it, but it's so enjoyable, who really cares. Buy it and enjoy. Other 80's girl groups you might wanna check out are "The Go Go's" and "Expose."

The Bangles, set the hits that the Go-Go's couldn't deal with. Is no lie that the Go-Go's were pioneers in girl bands, but, the Bangles took the crown for chart success, all their singles from their first LP(excluding their first EP) and on became top 40's. Their styles infuse a taste of good time all through the 80's that will stand in time as a great rock-pop icon. It was extremely delightful to see all four members sharing vocals, and still sounded with the same great Bangles beat that made them stars. The well written lyrics, the amazing orchestrated instruments, reflected that this ladies weren't a stroke of luck, no wonder they are back together, give it up for The Bangles. Highlights in this collection are "Manic Monday"(those lyrics), "Walk Like An Egyptian"(stuck in your head), "In Your Room"(rock anthem), "Eternal Flame"(elevator music classic) and "Hazy Shade Of Winter"(great instrumentation).

4-0 out of 5 stars Fine Collection
What can you say about the Bangles that hasn't been said a thousand times? I dunno. I do know that they certainly outdid themselves in the 80's. They say "They won't feel bad at all/When the hero takes a fall", and they're "Going down to Liverpool to do nothing all the days of their lives" which I don't think makes a whole lot of sense. I like "Manic Monday". It's a good song. "If She Knew What She Wants" is certainly nice. Both are rather mellow tunes.

Garage rock they may be, but that doesn't neccessarily mean hard rock. Not all their songs rock hard, thank God, because I'm not into hard rock.

Now from what I understand, "Eternal Flame" ruined the Bangles. I don't think the song's all that bad. It's just one of those rare torch songs (which hit #1), it's rather sad and it just makes you stop to think once in a while. Hearing "Eternal Flame" makes me want a girlfriend. I can't hear the song without it sticking in my head, in fact I can't hear most Bangles songs without them sticking in my head. "Manic Monday", "If She Knew What She Wants", they stick in my head for a long while. Even "Walk Like An Egyptian" is difficult to get out of my head.

I never heard of the Bangles until 2002, less than 3 weeks before Christmas. I saw the look Susanna Hoffs gave on "Walk Like An Egyptian". I was completely freaked out. I couldn't believe what I was seeing!

In October 2003, I ended up buying their "Greatest Hits" collection. I just couldn't take it anymore, it was eating me up inside. I wanted to hear what those girls could do. And it's excellent. I just didn't think their songs would be so hard to get out of my head, but they were. Still could be. I haven't listened to them in a long while. Listening to my favorite singers (James Taylor, Paul Simon) didn't do any good. I still had Bangles tunes stuck in my head.

I like that rather downbeat song, "Following". It's my favorite Bangles song not lead by Susanna Hoffs. The song is just mostly Michael Steele (bassist) throughout the whole song. She just picks up a guitar and plays the song. That song has to be the mother of all downbeat songs. It is REALLY downbeat. Most Bangles tunes tend to be rather upbeat, but "Following" is very downbeat. "Why do you call me?/Why do you look for me?/Why do your eyes follow me the way they do?" Michael sings. In the song, it sounds like she's accusing her boyfriend of being obsessed. He follows her around all the time and he just can't concentrate on anything else.

Just like I said, it's a rather downbeat song. Probably the most downbeat song recorded in the history of music, even today it still is. Michael Steele really outdid herself with "Following". And yes, that too, is hard to get out of my head. Most Bangles tunes are.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not enough hit records to justify a "Greatest Hits" package
It is true that the Bangles produced a couple of the best and brightest pop singles of the 1980's. In all they had a total of 7 or 8 songs that made Billboard's Hot 100. But to me it is a bit of a stretch to justify a "Greatest Hits" package for this group. There is simply too much filler on this disc for me to get excited about it. The bottom line in that I would never listen to the entire disc from start to finish. "Manic Monday" was clearly one of the great hit singles of the eighties. Aside from that there are only three other tunes on the disc I really liked. "Eternal Flame", "If She Knew What She Wants" and the remake of Simon and Garfunkel's "Hazy Shade of Winter" are all very enjoyable pop tunes. But I never quite understood why "Walk Like An Egyptian" became the groups biggest hit. I cannot put my finger on it but the song does absolutely nothing for me. Beyond that I find the balance of the tracks on this compilation, whether they hit the charts or not, to be very ordinary. Now I have been a collector for just about 40 years now. I try to acquire the best available collection of each artist. In addition to my vast collection of CD's and vinyl albums I also maintain a very large collection of 45's. With some exceptions the 45's are usually by those artists who did not have enough hit records to justify a "Best of" or Greatest Hits" compilation or in some cases like this one have a collection available I am not particularly interested in owning.
In the case of the Bangles I think I'm gonna stick with my 45's.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great "Greatest Hits"
Obviously, the girls didn't have anough hits to fill a Greatest Hits compilation. Maybe this CD should be called "Greatest Moments." However, even if you don't know all of the songs, they are worth listening to.

The songs are varied which makes this disc nice to listen to. It doesn't drag on like many other artists' discs that have songs that sound the same all the way through.

These gals are quite talented. I would recommend this disc to anyone who has enjoyed their songs in the past. ... Read more

110. Everything You Want
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Asin: B00000J6BR
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2772
Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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If R.E.M. hadn't already blazed the trail years ago, Vertical Horizon's Everything You Want would be a seminal album, with its earnest harmonies, fluid melodies, and jangly guitars. And while Vertical Horizon may not have taken many forks off the road to Athens, they have whipped up an excellent pop-rock meld out of the purloined elements. Beginning with the ardent and anthemic "We Are," the pop band who began life on Georgetown's central campus nearly a decade before this major-label debut was released unleashes a personal diary of loss, love, and angst. The band, led by school chums Matthew Scannell and Keith Kane, find they just can't leave their pedagogical leanings behind. Only this time their investigations are into the mysteries of the human heart rather than Zeno's famous paradoxes. But the real paradox here is how a band so derivative can have made such a credible album. This time familiarity doesn't breed contempt. "You're a God," an edgy lament about putting someone on a pedestal, could have been lifted right out of the Alanis songbook, but it still manages to shimmer on its own merit, as do most of the 11 songs. --Jaan Uhelszki ... Read more

Reviews (390)

5-0 out of 5 stars If you don't like this, then you just don't like music!
I am extremely impressed by the album "Everything You Want" by Vertical Horizon. It certainly lives up to it's title, and then some. Every single song begins with an infectious hook that makes you stay glued to your CD player to hear. And the infectious hooks stay through the entire song to make them all incredibly catchy songs that will stay in your head all night. There are slow songs on the album, such as my personal favorite, "Give You Back", a melancholy song about being mixed up in love, and "Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning)" which could easily become a classic with it's sad guitar hooks. Matt Scannell, the lead singer, has a voice very reminiscent of Peter Gabriel, which I think is a very good thing. This group writes all of their songs, and it's obvious that they do that very well. Some of the catchy tunes on the album are single-destined "You're A God", "Finding Me", and of course the hit "Everything You Want". This is pop music with a lot of rock thrown in. It's the first CD I have heard in a long time that does not try to incorporate rap or R&B into it. This group just tries to be themselves, and after being around for 9 years, I'm glad they got the break they deserved. If you don't have it yet, go out and buy "Everything You Want". I promise, it's worth every cent!

5-0 out of 5 stars Alternative Rock at it's best,
This CD reminds me why I like Modern Rock and Alt. Rock. If you like Lifehouse and\or Live you'll love this one.
On 'Everything You Want' the first full band CD by Vertical Horizon, the band changed their folk acoustic mellow sound to a more rocky modern feel and alternative genere.
Still being sophisticaed in the lyrics, The title track gave them the hit, while the other hooks 'We Are', 'You're A God' make the listener relate to the band even more, The Incubus-type-beginning song with the sing alone chours 'Send Me Up' lifts the spirit between the slower 'Miracle' and 'Give You Back', who generate the emotion. Other tracks included are the Cathcy 'All Of You' and 'Finding Me' that fit properly as the more upbeat tracks, while the mellower 'Best I Ever Had' and 'You Say' fill the listener of the CD with thoughts, the 10 songs mentioned are sung lead by the great Matt Scannel, while the setting ends with 'Shackeld' that showcases the unique voice of Keith Kane, the tune also includes great electric guitar parts.
Ed Tuth does great drum work and so as Sean Hurly on the Bass.
This CD is really 'Everything You Want' from an Alt. Rock album to be, so go check it out!

4-0 out of 5 stars Everything you want....... and More
This is a nice rock album with a great pop feel to it, and a whole lot of heart. Most songs are very melodic with nice hooks to them. Matthew Scannell did a great job with the songs. Pleasant, very pleasant.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best records of all time
Brought to you by one of the greatest bands to ever live, there is not a bad song on this CD. It's so much better than all that mindless crap out there that makes no sense.
I cannot even begin to explain the magnitude of this band.

5-0 out of 5 stars Call it what it is - their big breakthrough.
If "selling out" and "abandoning the grassroots" is how highly talented, immensely listenable bands like Vertical Horzion hit the big time, well, I just wish it'd happen more often. This is, quite simply, beautiful music. There's been so much baggage hung on the whole alternative music, it's refreshing to see a return to the basics of harmonious composition and great singing. There isn't a bad moment anywhere, not one bit of sappiness, annoyance, boredom, insufferability, or any other of the failings that have doomed countless promising albums. In a nutshell, if you love music, this album quite literally has everything you want. ... Read more

111. Astral Weeks
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Asin: B000002KAT
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2435
Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

Never mind that Van Morrison is one of the most indelible songwriters of the 20th century--take each album on its own terms. On 1968's seminal Astral Weeks, a twentysomething Van Morrison can be found belting his gospelly, bluesy vocals in just as fine a form as he would be 20 years hence. In the sociopolitical context of the times, the album cried out about such ubiquitous '60s themes as cultural oppression and social upheaval. But it is Morrison's vocal dexterity and passion that maintains such timeless appeal. Take tracks like "Madame George" or "Cyprus Avenue" and you'll find such beautiful mourning, it'll be clear why modern songwriter Sinéad O'Connor once publicly exclaimed: "Van Morrison should be friggin' canonized." --Nick Heil ... Read more

Reviews (175)

5-0 out of 5 stars Look at the reviews:
If popular sentiment means anything to you, 62+ people have written reviews for this CD. They tout it as the greatest, sweetest, best album of all time. My opinion echoes this. I love this album and everything about it. I love the sloppy offbeat harpsichord. I love the fact that "Madame George" is 12 minutes of the same three chords. I love Van's garbled rants of love and life. The album sways from folk to jazz in a seamless Van Morrison style. I have come across people who haven't liked this album or Van Morrison in general. Their reasons are that most of the songs don't have a beat and they can't understand what Van is saying. It's true most songs don't even have percussion and "Beside You" barely holds to any tempo at all. And how many times did you have to listen to Madame George to understand the lyrics? But, the album isn't really about having a great dance beat or easily accessible lyrics. I take this album as a more personal statement. For the most part, it isn't radio friendly. But if your only criteria for a good ablum are dancable beats and catchy generalizations as lyrics, them I wouldn't recommend this album anyway. "Astral Weeks" is timeless. It has a pureness to it that a lot of people have identified with. It is probably one of the most perfect albums ever written because of its rough edges. And to think that it was done in a week...

5-0 out of 5 stars Childlike Visions Leaping Into View
This is probably my favorite album of all time. I've listened to it countless times, and it never gets old. Those other reviewers who don't "get it" make a few valid points:

1) It isn't perfectly played.
2) The songs aren't polished.
3) It isn't Van's strongest collection of songs.

First of all, it isn't necessary for great music to be note-perfect. ASTRAL WEEKS is about the magic of improvisation-- the suspended thrill of playing (and listening) on the cusp of discovery. In that way, the album is a perfect marriage of music and lyrics, as Van bends and twists the language in an effort to TRANSCEND the earthly significance of his words, to conjure a piece of heaven out of the frustration and pain that wracks his existence. Like Ray Charles did 15 years prior, Van fuses gospel and blues, the sacred and the profane.

For those of you hear only hippy-dippy (...), you're obviously missing the unbearable heartache that haunts these songs. Cypress Avenue deals with unrequited, perhaps forbidden love. Madame George captures the mixture of joy and sadness that comes with lost innocence, getting on "the train" that takes one away from a place of safety and comfort. Ballerina is a burst of effusive passion, but the object of the singer's affection is separate from him, a spectral fantasy that he can only gaze on with paralyzed amazement. Thank god these rough gems weren't polished for radio consumption-- their unique, spontaneous quality would have been ruined.

I concede that this isn't Van's strongest collection of songs, but it's hard to think of these tracks as "songs" in the conventional sense-- impressionistic sketches, maybe, but they hardly lose any artistic merit because of that. ASTRAL WEEKS is not a jazz album, but it certainly brandishes a jazz mentality-- the triumph of feel over form, emotional release over craftsmanship. If that's not your cup of tea, then proceed directly to MOONDANCE. But if you're searching for a true musical journey-- in the truest sense of the word-- then ASTRAL WEEKS is the apogee.

5-0 out of 5 stars Eternal
I have only recently got into Van Morrison, I have to say, so this review is coming from a 23 year old from Belfast, who is only beginning to realise the impact Van's music has had. I must also admit that I had a strange bias against Van, for only a few years ago when playing his (and my) hometown he turned his back to the audience for his entire performance... While I was not there, that arrogance and ignorance really put me off the man, and unfortunately, that little portion of his music that I had heard...

So now, having given this album a chance; my friend recommended it as one of his favourites of all time; I have to admit that, no matter what stories I have heard of this artist, his music is something absolutely eternal and mesmerising.

From the stunning opening chords to the title track, through the absolutely seminal "Cyprus Avenue", "Madame George", "Ballerina" and "Sweet Thing", I have found an album with such undeniable heart and warmth that I know it will stay with me forever as one of the very few albums to have changed my perception of music.

Perhaps it is the unbelievable vocal talents of the man, the jazzy and superb musicianship or just maybe the fact that I can (100%) identify with the visions this man is painting through his lyrics... It is not something I have experienced before whereby a lyric such as "Down on Cyprus Avenue" or "Sandy Row" can conjur such vivid and mesmerising images to my mind... I live just 5 minutes from the lovely Cyprus Avenue and I know it well. Thankfully I do not know Sandy Row too well; a scummy, horrible area of Belfast these days, I am proud never to have ventured deep into it. I do also know the house where Van grew up however, my father having taken me and my friends many times passed the house (which is now adorned with a brass plaque with his name) in east Belfast, just around the corner from my own house. It is maybe these insider views of the area I know that Van grew up in that help the pictures become clearler and more poignant... But his voice and passion can never be denied... It is truly something to behold, whether it be the vast epic of "Madame George" or the fiery jazz bombast of "The Way Young Lovers Do", you can never deny this man doesn't hold perhaps the most original, impressive voice in music... ever.

This album, it must be said, seems (to me at least) to be his absolute masterpiece... Moondance is an album I have always heard since I was growing up... I never listened to it specifically, but it was always on in the kitchen when I was a kid...and, while I have yet to hear much of his later work, it is a journey I am going to fully enjoy and cherish. A man, a genius and an absolute legend. Beautiful album.

4-0 out of 5 stars Van gets lengthy and ambitious
All of Van's stuff from this era is brilliant. Astral Weeks is considered to be his masterpiece. It is very good. But, do we really want to hear Van break into one of ethereal chants for five minutes? The songs are great but they suffer from this kind of self indulgence that the other albums don't have. Van' really at his best when he's to the point. He can still manage the whole zen thing if he wants to, just tone it down. "Warm love" is perfect on this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best Van album, so good it's spiritual
I must admit that I haven't heard every single Van album (I missed hearing alot of his earlier albums), but this is the best I heard--better than Moondance, Wavelength, and all his newer stuff--by far. A few years ago I picked up Astral and Moon at the same time and Moon hardly gets spun.

There are some quality issues with the recording where some sonic distortion appears, but I never really noticed it after the first listen. I actually kind of like it, it's so unlike today's over-produced stuff. Van went into the studio, laid down the album in 2-3 days, and it was done...and the magic comes through. ... Read more

112. Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
list price: $9.98
our price: $9.98
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Asin: B0000639A3
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2503
Average Customer Review: 4.73 out of 5 stars
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Despite not even charting in the band's native England, this album became a platinum-selling American hit on the basis of three enduring FM radio staples--the expansive, jazzy impressionism of the near-12 minute title track, and the more straightforward funk of the R&B charmers "Light Up or Leave Me Alone" and "Rock & Roll Stew." Those disparate tracks perfectly underscore Traffic's rich musical appeal and its restless, sometimes problematic creative and interpersonal relationships. With now thrice-departed Dave Mason out of the mix and percussionists Jim Gordon and Reebop Kwaku Baah participating in the studio for the first time, the band's innate musicality truly takes wing. Winwood's familiar vocal phrasings nearly take a backseat to his fluid, dramatic guitar work on "Rock & Roll Stew Roll" and "Many a Mile to Freedom," while the Tull-ish, folk-madrigal sensibilities of "Hidden Treasure" and "Rainmaker" are further punctuated by Chris Wood's deft flute and woodwind flourishes. Compared with the more organic John Barleycorn album, the contrast is all the more remarkable. While many contemporary bands were experimenting with various attempts at fusion, few achieved this collection's rock-jazz-folk-R&B range or level of often subtle sophistication. Digitally remastered, this edition also contains the six-minute-plus U.S. single version of "Rock & Roll Stew, Parts 1 & 2" as a bonus track. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Heavy Traffic
1971's "The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys" is one of Traffic's all-time greatest. Singer/guitarist/keyboardist Steve Winwood, drummer Jim Capaldi & flautist Chris Wood are joined on this one by bassist Rich Grech, drummer Jim Gordon & percussionist Reebop Kwaku Baah, and the resulting album is a phenomenal blend of Traffic's great flare for rock, jazz, funk & folk all rolled into one. "Hidden Treasure" is a beautiful acoustic number. The 11-minute-plus title song is one of the band's signature pieces, with outstanding mood & musicianship as Winwood & company build it up & build it up into an amazing prog-jazz fusion jam. It is truly thrilling stuff. "Light Up Or Leave Me Alone" is a fun rocker, and Traffic get the funk out with the awesome "Rock 'N' Roll Stew." "Many A Mile To Freedom" is wistful & brimming with fine melody, and "Rainmaker" is masterfully steady, with the band riding into the sunset with style & some killer jamming at the end. This is without a doubt one of the best albums that Steve Winwood & company have ever done. "The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys" is heavy Traffic all the way.

4-0 out of 5 stars From hole in my shoe to high heeled boys....
From the period when rock music was a really exciting musical form comes Traffic's most accomplished work.Although I feel all their discs have something special about them ,this one is where it all came together perfectly.
The band had been reduced to a three piece by the departure of founder member Dave Mason( who wrote their early hit "hole in my shoe") and then split up when Winwood joined Eric Clapton in Blind Faith before reforming during sessions for a Steve Winwood solo album to be called "Mad Shadows"( Mott the Hoople borrowed the title for their next album),which of course became the Traffic album "John Barleycorn".From there bassist Ric Grech( also in Blind Faith)and percussionist Reebop Kwaku Baah( Ginger Baker's Airforce)and Jim Gordon on drums were enroled and the band set to with gusto.
Steve Winwood( keyboards ,guitar ,vocals)Chris Wood(flute,sax,keyboards) and Jim Capaldi(vocals,percussion)were all at their peak during this period( as Capaldi's fist solo outing "oh how we danced" illustrates).

The heart of the disc is the title track,surely one of Winwoods best ever tunes(and that's saying something)the Jazzy smoky bass and piano riff driven by and alternatly driving the percussion while Winwood relays his tale of woe of life in the music biz."Hidden Treasure","Rainmaker" and "Light up or leave me alone" are all first rate tunes ( some would say classics)and only Ric Grech's weak "Rock n roll stew" lets the side down.
It was along way from "Hole in my shoe" but once again the rigours of the road would prove too much and after only two more studio albums Traffic would collapse once more.

5-0 out of 5 stars bears repeated listening
During 1972 and 1973 I worked in a 'hippy coffee house' in Chicago, which, for reasons that now elude me, played "Low Spark..", (as well Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue"), over and OVER during the hours when we were open but no customers were around. As insane as this made me at the time, I stil have good memories of those jams.

5-0 out of 5 stars The pinnacle of 70s progressive rock
If you're over 30, you may remember the term "progressive rock". It was the term preferred by cool FM stations in the early days of FM radio as way of stating they were NOT interested in mainstream Top 40 songs. Radio stations that take chances, of course, are harder to find these days as radio becomes more corporate. This album, perhaps as much as any other, typifies the old FM progressive rock playlist, and always takes me back to that simpler time. The 12-minute title track of "Low Spark" may be a fairly standard tune heard now on classic rock stations, but was truly a progressive classic back then. Steve Winwood, of course, is about as talanted a musician as they come, and his keyboards on this album and particularly on the title track are astounding. Add the sax and flute of Chris Wood and Jim Capaldi's percussion, and there you go. It's a quiet album; won't wreck your speakers, but very listenable. And if you're tired of people being on your case all the time, "Light Up or Leave Me Alone" is your track on this album. Worth every penny.

5-0 out of 5 stars high heeled boys
I missed hearing that tune and when I bought the cd I thought of only that song but the whole cd just isn't long enough. I wanted more it's great. ... Read more

113. Softly With These Songs: The Best of Roberta Flack
list price: $13.98
our price: $8.99
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Asin: B000002IVU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2021
Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

1986 collection, deleted domestically, 11 tracks showcases her biggest ballads. Atlantic/WEA Int. ... Read more

Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent (But Missing Jesse and You Are My Love)
Dang, I love Roberta Flack. That husky, soulful chocolate flavored voice, that wonderful piano playing... she is an American treasure, and unfortunately, she doesn't get the respect of today's radio programmers. That's why a Roberta's Greatest hits is an essential element in a CD collection.
This Cd has many classics, all sung in that husahed, warm voice with quiet, subtle instrumentation that made you stand up and pay attention the first time you heard Roberta's voice. "Killing Me Softly" and "The first Time Ever..." still sound as fresh as when they first appeared 30 years ago. The great Donny Hathaway, Roberta's best duet partner, makes "Back Together Again" a gem, and "Where Is The Love" is a perfect vehicle for their voices. This CD covers later Roberta work as well, when she went beyond her traidtional approach to adult-oriented reggae ("Set The night To Music", with Maxi Priest), and her misguided, but still beautiful sounding venture into disco ("Look Out Here It Comes). They are good songs, but I'm kind of stunned that the programmers of this disc chose those tracks over two of Roberta's classics, "Jesse" and "You Are My Love" "Jesse" in particular, was long a staple of Roberta's live shows, and is as elegant a recording as she ever laid down. And "You Are My Love" (again with D. Hathaway) was probably the best of their duets.
I've long wondered why Roberta, who is still a vital artist, hasn't earned the respect of the "diva-goddesses" (Chaka, Aretha, Gladys and Patti) from the neo-soul movement. With the love of live instrumentation and the recognition of the value of quiet over bombast, it seems Roberta was the true pioneer for artists like Jill Scott, Angie Stone, et al. Her music still sounds beautiful and haunting, and is waiting for a new generation to discover.

3-0 out of 5 stars I Still Got Love For Roberta, But...
...I'm just not feeling the entire CD. I got the CD because my *favorite* songs were on there (1-6 and 9). Seeing that this is Roberta Flack and all, I thought the rest of the CD would be just as wonderful as it was in the beginning, but it wasn't. The songs toward the end of the CD sound like she was just chillin' at home, jamming on a keyboard in her bathrobe. I never really liked the song "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love" with Peabo Bryson; it's too corny and mushy for my liking. Roberta is actually before my time, so I may not have a profound appreciation for her like older people do. She has a nice voice and style, but the CD is only worth getting if you're a die-hard fan. But if you really think it's worth having because of the first six songs then I guess it would be worth it too.

5-0 out of 5 stars Roberta - the finest voice...
I had the wonderful opportunity to see Roberta Flack live last night in NY at BB Kings. What a show, what a voice. Later, I thought about all of the songs that she did not sing, including "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," perhaps the most soft and chilling song ever recorded. I got home and listened to this CD and then this morning, I listened to her masterpiece "Killing Me Softly," at only 8 songs, some may think it's not worth buying, but it is. This happens to be her most intimate album ever and should be the first on your list. Buy this remastered hits CD after you listen to the Killing Me Softly CD (which is a better introduction to this exceptional artist). Where else can you get the beautiful "Jesse?"

5-0 out of 5 stars Start here....For your 'Roberta Flack' Collection!!!!
Probably best known for her "Killing me Softly" song (later covered by 'The Fugees'), but on closer inspection, Roberta has a presence and delicate singing tone, that shone beyond her contemporaries. "Where is the Love?" duet with Ralph McDonald is a exceptional torchbearer of a song, poignant, silky smooth vocals & hushed instruments reveal a truly sensitive side to Roberta. "The first Time Ever I saw your face" has been covered so many times before, that it's surprising that Roberta's version still remains the definitive version of this magnificent track. "Back together again" is the probably the most dance friendly track on here, with a Soul-Disco fusion being splendidly focused into a 5 minute classic. But as truly amazing as Roberta's duets were, it's the heart warming ballads that leave the lasting impression with Roberta's beautifully soothing voice, being as remarkable as any female vocalist in the last 20 years.

5-0 out of 5 stars KILLING US ALL WITH THIS WORDS...
Something that is missing today, are classical songs, with words that would take you to a different world. Today is all about the music video or the beats. But when you discover people like Roberta Flack, you will realize there is more. Robert'as finest Greatest Hits is filled with classical, inspirational songs. Her voice is so tender and sweet in a jazzy way. This album is totally worth it, and perfect to chill out night, highlights in this album are "The FIrst Time Ever I Saw Your Face", "Killing Me Softly With His Song", "The Closer I Get To You", Roberta Flack is one of the finest vocalist of the 21st century. ... Read more

114. Welcome Interstate Managers
list price: $17.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B00009QGF2
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1144
Average Customer Review: 4.24 out of 5 stars
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After a four-year hiatus notable for some film and television soundtrack work, a lapsed contract, and a relaxed songwriting schedule Fountains of Wayne return with their third and best CD to date. The New York-based power-pop quartet delivers a diverse feast of infectious melodies and endlessly clever lyrics. Songwriters Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood still slide on a sweet scale between the Beatles and the Monkees, but they've branched out from '60s sounds to include bona fide alt rock ("Little Red Light," "Bought for a Song"), orchestrated pop ("Halley's Waitress"), a country lark worthy of Dwight Yoakam ("Hung Up On You"), and hints of psychedelia ("Supercollider"). The Cars-flavored "Bright Future in Sales" and "Stacy's Mom" warrant heavy-rotation airplay. Following their acclaimed eponymous debut and the vastly underrated Utopia Parkway, Welcome Interstate Managers leaves no doubt that Fountains of Wayne are gaining strength. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

Reviews (196)

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Songwriting; Superb Arrangements
The first two CD's by Fountains of Wayne were masterpieces of power pop and humor (think Zappa-McCartney compositions performed by Cheap Trick). On their third CD, Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger have done an Elvis Costello move (I've rocked your socks off and shown you my wit -- now I'll amaze you with my versatility).

As previous reviewers have noted, the first three songs pack a dynamite 1-2-3 punch. Song number 3, "Stacy's Mom," is vintage FoW - power chords, instant sing-a-long lyrics, and a slightly subversive topic -- a "My Sharona" for the new millenium. Play it loud once and it will run through your head forever.

In addition to the great power pop, Chris and Adam deliver quieter and more poignant pieces, pulling their songwriting tounges out of their cheeks and delivering emotional content that sounds less from the head and more from the heart than their earlier work.

"Hackensack" is a beautiful but futile love song. A laborer working in his dad's business, scraping paint off hardwood floors, directs his thoughts to the now-famous actress who once sat next to him during first period, Fridays at 8:15. "Yours and Mine," the album-ender, is a short, almost-unifished, two verse song which captures the togetherness of a loving couple in their simple, daily routines. "Peace and Love" brims with the happy vibe of someone who has determined to enjoy life without denying the problems around him -- a blend of the Beatles' "All you need is love" with the catchy pop singing of Call and Response.

FoW is at its best when it comes to capturing a paricular moment or mood -- when they write and sing about teenagers left alone during their parents' vacation on "Fire Island" or the blissful peace felt by a quarterback who finds himself with "All Kinds of Time," Chris and Adam OWN those topics. It is hard to imagine anyone even bothering to write another song about those subjects after hearing FoW's definitive take on them.

This band deserves to be huge. Let's hope that the third CD is the charm for them.

4-0 out of 5 stars You only need this cd if you love catchy, smart music
I got this cd based on the reviews I saw in Blender and Entertainment Weekly, and I loved it so much I bought their first 2 cd's within the following week. Welcome Interstate... is full of some of the catchiest, most fun music I've heard in ages. The songs are totally original and at the same time are clearly influenced in a very good way by the Beatles, the Cars, Simon & Garfunkel, and Squeeze. And as a major bonus, their lyrics are often hilarious. "Stacy's Mom" is already the best song of the summer and "Mexican Wine" is not far behind as an example of great power pop with a sense of humor. There is very little serious about this band, and that's a very good thing. The songs on Interstate will be rattling around in your head for months on end...they're that good. It's absolutely criminal that these guys aren't on the radio and selling a million cd's. I'm going to buy a copy for my best friend tomorrow. You should do the same!

5-0 out of 5 stars Now this is music!
This is one of the best albums I have ever heard. This was my first taste of this group. I want more!! Sometime after getting this album I got their first album which is fantastic too. Now on with the review.

1.Mexican Wine- Even though bad things happen, the sun still shines and everything will be alright. This seems to be a better version of Radiation Vibe, which is off their first album. It's a true power pop song that makes you want to sing along. 5/5
2.Bright Future In Sales- A night of drinking and partying takes a toll on a person. It's even worse when you have to go to work the next day! Another powerful, pop masterpiece. 5/5
3.Stacy's Mom- The reason I bought the album 5/5
4.Hackensack- A nice tune about the girl he loved making it big and becoming a celebrity. 4/5
5.No Better Place- Slower, but still very good. 4/5
6.Valley Winter Song- The true feeling of winter, and I love it 5/5
7.All Kinds of Time- A football player sees things in a new light. 4/5
8.Little Red Light- Now we are back to the rock stuff. Great song.5/5
9.Hey Julie- I really like this one. It has a nice story about a guy who can't wait to get off work so he can see his girl. 5/5
10.Halley's Waitress- Wonderful music. It's obvious that the song is about bad service. 5/5
11.Hung Up On You- Wow, I'm not really into country music but this song is just great. 5/5
12.Fire Island- It took me a little while to feel this one. It's about teenagers having a party without any adults. It's good but the cd may feel like it's too long and slow at this point. 4/5
13.Peace and Love- I like this one, it's catchy and fun. A hippie song really. 5/5
14.Bought For A Song- It's catchy and cool. 5/5
15.Supercollider- Wow, trippy. 5/5
16.Yours and Mine- A very short track. Closes the album on a light note. 5/5

This album seemed to drag at first. I don't think it does anymore. I have taking a liking to all of the songs and found they are all incredible and this is an album for a true music lover.

1-0 out of 5 stars NO MORE STACY'S MOM DAMNIT!
Ok, after being baraged by that song a million times a day for about a month I have a deep loathing and resentment towards Fountains of Wayne. When I first heard the song I knew imediently that these guys had "ONE HIT WONDER BAND!" writen all over them, and since Stacy's Mom we have heard no more of this annoying pop band (thankfully), but seriously, please don't buy this cd, this band and their songs are dissposable, crappy, and above all stupid.

5-0 out of 5 stars would put on repeat for the day
I love this album all the more after seeing these guys in concert last summer - you can tell they like what they do. Each song gives me a different feeling, all variations on 'good.' There are very few albums I put on repeat to just hear throughout day (Sgt. Pepper, Jimmy Buffett), but this I would because of the quality songwriting and musical deliciousness. I agree with another reviewer that these guys need a new marketing agent - they should be much bigger...But then, would I be able to see them again in a little bar in Portland for $5?? Let's keep them our little secret :) ... Read more

115. Beach Boys - Vol. 1-Greatest Hits
list price: $17.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B00001IVJY
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2028
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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The three-volume Good Vibrations series is designed with the hits-hungry fan in mind. Eschewing a strict chronological approach, the best-of sets are arranged according to charting position. Thus the initial collection is laden with the group's trademark tunes, ranging from the California boys' first top 10 charter, 1962's "Surfin' Safari," to their last, 1988's "Kokomo," a stray, post-Brian Wilson success. "Kokomo" is by far the newest selection included here; nothing else dates past 1966's No. 1 smash, "Good Vibrations." With the likes of "Fun, Fun, Fun," "I Get Around," "California Girls," and the incandescent "God Only Knows" rounding out the set, Greatest Hits Volume 1 is the ideal first pick for anyone looking for the Beach Boys at their commercial peak. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

Reviews (62)

4-0 out of 5 stars Greatest Hits - A good start
What can you say about the Beach Boys classic music that hasn't already been said? Brian is a genius . . . . Carl had a "heavenly" voice . . . etc. But for the casual music fan - a person that just wants to have CD's of the "best of" - this - and the other 2 volumes of this latest Capitol effort to sell a few more copies of "I get around" will suffice. Overall, the sound of this disc is very good. Mark Linett, who has been doing all of the re-issues for Capitol and the Beach Boys, did an outstanding job. Fans that want to hear some of Dennis' music will be disappointed - since none of his songs were deemed "commercial" enough for release on a greatest hits CD. All of the songs were hits - all in the "early" days of the Beach Boys - except for one . . . Kokomo. Capitol didn't know how big the market would be for a second installment - so they included "Kokomo" to try and boost sales. I'm not saying that it is a bad song - just a bit out of place with such classics as "I get around", "Surfer girl", God only knows" and "Good vibrations". If you are looking for stereo versions of the early tracks - you're looking in the wrong place. According to Linett, Brian himself wanted to use the mono versions. It would take Brian another few years before he would let Mr. Linett use the 3, 4 and 8 track stereo tapes for release. Overall - a good, solid buy. If you like the music on this disc - you will love "Greatest Hits 2" and "Greatest Hits 3".

5-0 out of 5 stars Official Soundtrack of Summer
I am a casual Beach Boys fan. I enjoy some of their songs, but mainly their hits. When I found this CD, I was thrilled because it's the perfect way to own all the songs I like. And, if there are any major hits not on this CD, I sure don't know what they are.

This CD, volume 1 of a three disc series, collects all their well known songs. At least the ones I'm familiar with. Right from the start, I get a smile on my face as I head out on a "Surfin' Safari." The group then sings their way through songs about cars ("Little Deuce Coupe," "409," "Fun, Fun, Fun"), school ("Be True to Your School," "Barbara Ann"), and, of course, the beach and surfing and stuff like that ("Catch a Wave," "Surfer Girl," "Surfin' USA," "California Girls"). I was especially happy to find "Kokomo" on here, since I didn't know it was one of their songs.

Listening to this CD brings pictures to my mind of carefree summer vacations and "Happy Days" era high school life. I plan to keep it on regular rotation this summer and summers to come.

Anybody looking for their best known songs need look no further then this great collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Hits and Great Fun
Everyone loves the Beach Boys, but not everyone can be a fanatic. For those of us who are casual fans and don't need to own every album, but love to tap our toes and sing along to their big hits, this CD is great!
Every song on this CD is easily recognizable, you don't have to wade through any filler to get to the classics you really love.
This album is perfect mood music for driving, working in the yard or the garage on a sunny day, or just having fun celebrating a good mood.
There's a perfect mix here of happy upbeat songs, and slow beautiful balads.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Collection...But You Have To Buy The Other 2 Volumes!
The Beach Boys 1960s biggest hits are included with the exception of "Kokomo" from 1988. Their well-known songs from appoximately 1962-1966 are included and sound great. Honestly, I was hoping for slightly longer versions of the songs since some of them are less than three minutes, but at least the songs are the radio versions you have heard.

There are plenty of positives in this collection: 1) It's a great place to start if you are not sure about buying any of their albums. 2) If you want to buy an actual studio album during this time period, then buy "Pet Sounds" (you'll enjoy it!). 3) It contains enjoyable liner notes, songs credits with chart postions, and colorful pictures that you may have not seen before. 4) Although there is still space in minutes to add more songs, twenty is perfect (not too short or too long) if you are just a casual fan and only want one Beach Boys' CD.

As my title indicates, if you like this CD, then you need the other two volumes to have a more complete portrait of this group. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Greatest White Band ever
These guys are Domestic and just purely better then the Beatles
they are so underrated Here is my Review for the Boys.
Still Priceliss summer music to just rewind to.
1.Surfin Safari-Great 10/10
2.409-Great 10/10
3.Surfin U.S.A.-One of there Best 10/10
4.Shut Down-Great 10/10
5.Surfer Girl-Love this one 10/10
6.Little Deuce Coupe-Yes Yes Yes 10/10
7.Catch a wave-Great 10/10
8.Be True to your school-no doubt from cool people not nerds
some of the Beatles 10/10
9.Fun Fun Fun-Why so much BB comercials no Beat thats right 10/10
10.I get Around-Great 10/10 1st #1 hit single
11.Dance Dance Dance-Just Dance 10/10
12.Do you wanna dance-Great 10/10
13.Help me Rhonda-Great 10/10
14.California Girls-Great 10/10
15.Barbera Ann-Great 10/10
16.Sloop John B.-Great 10/10
17.Wouldn't it be nice-Great 10/10
18.Only God Knows-Beautiful by a Genieus 10/10
19.Good Vibrations-just an absolute masterpiece 10/10
20.Will Kokomo be a 10/10 the answer is yes
This album gets a perfect score it rules ... Read more

116. Sam Cooke - Greatest Hits
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B000006389
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2461
Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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Now we have Greatest Hits, a 22-song collection of Cooke's pop hits in addition to the 13-song Best Of collection and the 28-song The Man and His Music. Only The Man comes close to presenting a complete portrait of the legendary soul singer: At least there are examples of Cooke's gospel and R&B material. (Any collection without "A Change is Gonna Come" is an automatic failure.) Cooke's melodious voice and deft songwriting touch are worthy of more than a single-disc compilation. If you want just the pop smashes, the sublime ballads, and infectious mellow grooves, this set will suffice. Otherwise, The Man offers a more comprehensive and well-rounded look at Cooke's legacy. --Marc Greilsamer ... Read more

Reviews (33)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Main Course of Cooke
There are only two Sam Cooke compilations which I would say are comprehensive.First is the 3-record set The One And Only Sam Cooke,a mail order album by Candlelight Music(with a blue RCA label) from 1974.The second was The Man And His Music his first CD-era compilation which included the full-lenghth version of A Change Is Gonna Come.Unfortunatly these two are out of print(if any one can give me information on how to get a copy of The One And Only...please Email me).This 1998 hits collection is an essential because the tracks are remastered,bringing out the clarity in the instrumentation(especially the strings and french horn on Cupid)and also the inclusion, for the first time in the digital era,Frankie & Johnny,Send Me Some Lovin'(a Little Richard cover),and That's It-I Quit-I'm Movin'On.Unfortunatly,the omission of Another Saturday Night,Ain't That Good News,When A Boy Falls In Love,Good Times and of course the transcending A Change Is Gonna Come, shows like other Cooke hits that a two disc set or a box set is the only way to truly represent this man's body of work.As long as you have the man's beautiful voice on any digitally encoded piece of aluminum,any Sam Cooke is essential.

4-0 out of 5 stars Cooke's Hit's Packages with only the main course.
There are only two Sam Cooke compilations which I would say are comprehensive.First is the 3-record set The One And Only Sam Cooke,a mail order album by Candlelight Music(with a blue RCA label) from 1974.The second was The Man And His Music his first CD-era compilation which included the full-lenghth version of A Change Is Gonna Come.Unfortunatly these two are out of print(if any one can give me information on how to get a copy of The One And Only...please Email me).This new hits collection is an essential because the tracks are remastered,bringing out the clarity in the instrumentation(especially the strings and french horn on Cupid)and also the inclusion, for the first time in the digital era,Frankie & Johnny,Send Me Some Lovin'(a Little Richard cover),and That's It-I Quit-I'm Movin'On.Unfortunatly,the omission of Another Saturday Night,Ain't That Good News,When A Boy Falls In Love,Good Times and of course the transcending A Change Is Gonna Come, shows like other Cooke hits that a two disc set or a box set is the only way to truly represent this man's body of work.As long as you have the man's beautiful voice on any digitally encoded piece of aluminum,any Sam Cooke is essential.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mellow, Melancholy, and Magnificent--That's Sam Cooke
There was something about Sam Cooke's music that made it both joyous and wistful simultaneously. Just listen to "Cupid" or "Wonderful World" or even the infectious "Having A Party," and you readily detect a melancholia in the chord progressions, melodies, and vocals. His songs were not complex, but then complex does not always equate with greatness. There is also a vast difference between "simple" and "simple-minded." Unlike the grossly overrated Elvis Presley, for example, the majority of whose songs were just plain simple-minded both musically and lyrically, Cooke wrote and sang simple but beautiful melodies with very nice lyrics. It is a shame that Cooke died so young. By most accounts, Cooke was not a man who was self-indulgent or self-destructive. All the more reason why his murder was so shocking. One apparent indiscretion resulted not only in his death but also in the tarnishing of his otherwise pristine character. But Cooke shouldn't be remembered for the allegedly imprudent behavior he exhibited during the final hours of his life. Rather, he should be remembered for his life and artistic contributions in totality. He had a nice voice and good musical taste. He appealed to all ages and races. In fact, whenever I think of Sam Cooke I often think of Bobby Darin as well: both very original, appealing, sophisticated, creative talents whose stars were extinguished long before their time.

5-0 out of 5 stars sam cooke
fast service and a great product.

5-0 out of 5 stars Everything most fans will need
I'm not really sure how to grade this album.

I like Sam Cooke's music, but I'm not THAT big a fan, so for me this is really more of a four-star album. But as far as Sam Cooke-collections go, it is superb, spanning all his best and best-known "secular" songs (the gospel material isn't here). And considering that this is some of the best, most influential soul music ever recorded, I suppose "Greatest Hits" deserves a five star rating (although these studio recordings don't have the nerve of the live renditions on Cooke's magnificent "Live At The Harlem Square Club" album).

As I said, everything the casual fan needs is here. Soft, tender ballads...almost too sweet at times, but Cooke was a black man trying to make it in a world dominated by often-prejudiced white people, and sweaty R&B was not yet quite acceptable among white listeners.
And even though they may leave holes in your teeth, it's hard not to enjoy catchy, soulful little pop songs like "Win Your Love For Me", "Only Sixteen", "Love You Most Of All", "Sugar Dumpling" and "Cupid". And Cooke does rock for real on the classic R&B-workouts "Twistin' The Night Away" and "Having A Party".

Besides, you listen to "Everybody Loves To Cha Cha Cha" and tell me that's not about sex.

Everything on this greatest hits-package is good, most is great, and a few songs are even superb, such as Cooke's bluesy "Bring It On Home To Me" and the lovely little pop gem "Cupid".

Get it. You'll recognize many more songs than you think. ... Read more

117. Tumbleweed Connection
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B000001EG4
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1335
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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Tumbleweed Connection is part of the early catalog of Elton John's work that Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose reportedly once said he would love to own the publishing rights to as a work of art. Indeed, it does contain some of John's most expressive work as an artist, but with the showy stage presence and pop melodicism still under construction. Tumbleweed is characterized by John's balladeer approach, with John at his storyteller best on songs like "Burn Down the Mission." Even if the lyrics were generally written by Bernie Taupin, John's voice and inflection made every song seem deeply personal. The beautiful "Come Down in Time" displays the subtleties and sophistication of his talent, with the piano not yet serving as the instrumental focal point it would later become. The album also features the favorite "Ballad of a Well-Known Gun" and "Where to Now St. Peter?" --Steve Gdula ... Read more

Reviews (77)

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant concept album
Hard to believe there was no hit single from this album even though the album was certified gold for sales of over half a million. And of course since then it has probably gone at least double platinum. A concept album, based around the Old West, it was Elton's third album and helped to consolidate his position as a serious rock artist. The 24 page booklet has all the lyrics and sepia coloured photos of Elton, Bernie and band and also a 4 page essay. This remastered edition also has 2 bonus tracks "Into the Old Man's shoes" and the original version of "Madman across the Water" which is different to the album version on the "Madman across the Water" album. The only song that doesn't really fit the Old west concept is the ballad "Love Song" written by Lesley Duncan, but a good song nonetheless. Two of the songs were featured on "Two Rooms" the Elton and Bernie tribute album. Sting covered "Come down in time" and Phil Collins did "Burn down the mission". That album as well as this one is highly recommended for any fan of Elton.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gentle, Expressive Country-Folk Music - His Best Album
Everybody seems to love this album, so what do I have to add? Like many others, I believe that "Tumbleweed Connection" is Elton John's best album. Why? Because of the SOUND. This album sounds like nothing else Elton has ever done. It has a rich acoustic sound - acoustic guitars, acoustic piano - with a healthy dose of country and folk in the arrangements. It is this sound that makes me prefer this album in the same way that the rich acoustic sound of "Blood On The Tracks" makes that my favorite Bob Dylan album. And then there are the songs! What great songs! The album kicks off with 5 straight classics - "Ballad of a Well Known Gun", Come Down in Time", "Country Comfort", "Son of Your Father", and my favorite, "My Father's Gun", a wonderful Civil War tale written from the unique perspective of a young southern man rushing off to join the Confederate army following the death of his father at the hands of Union soldiers. Bernie Taupin at the top of his game! More great songs follow: "Love Song", "Amoreena", "Burn Down The Mission". After this album John moved away from the western sound and into more pop territory. He became a hit machine in the process, but I prefer this hit-free album.

5-0 out of 5 stars Elton John's Best Alblum
Great CD! The album didn't only meet my expectation but it exceeded it. I love the country feel mixed with the abstract and dark lyrics. It's a nice alternative to the cliché love songs. Amoreena and Burn Down the Mission are my favorite tracks on the album but the rest of the songs are great too. If you don't own this album you're really missing out, the reviews speak for themselves!

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Good
Includes: "Country Comfort" and "Love Song" two of the best tracks.

This is a very good CD. You will like it for sure. It's fun to listen to early EJ!!

5-0 out of 5 stars The BEST of classic Elton John
After being an Elton fan for over 30 years, I had forgotten how absolutely wonderful this albumn was. I just purchased this CD and have played it at least 15 times in the past day. "My Father's Gun" is on now, for the 10th time in a row, and what a wonderful tribute it is to all that Elton loved as a kid. He frequently talked about his love for American music especially blues and real early rock n'roll music. This CD takes me back to seeing him in concert in the early 70's when his music was really music and not just commercial successes. Empty Sky was his first entry heard on the rock stations but it wasn't until the hauntingly yet popular "Your Song" that we became familiar with the quality of Elton and Bernie Taupin's work.

But THIS albumn was when you could clearly hear the strength of Elton's voice and the incredible background musicians (what ever happened to Caleb Quaye?). Even the background vocalists are superb,including Dusty Springfield who could really belt it out (listen to her on "Pulp Fiction for those who think she is an old timer). If you are anything of an Elton John fan, then you MUST own this CD. This is the EJ that we know who later became such a commercial success. I just wish that I could go back to the 12 times I saw him in the 70's when he actually sang these songs(he does sing Burn down the mission on "11-17-70 live).

If you have teenagers or know anyone who is now "discovering" music of the 60's, have them listen to this. Really terrrific music, lyrics and I dare you to keep still while you are listening to some of these songs(yes, I have listened to "my father's gun again!!). Oh how I long for these music days! Enjoy! ... Read more

118. Mad Season
list price: $18.98
our price: $14.99
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Asin: B00004SVM8
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2361
Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
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Sell 10 million copies of your debut album and you might find yourself putting on a few airs. Evidence that it's happened to matchbox twenty can be found in the new, spelled-out format of their all-lowercased name and the pretentious insertion of that name into the title of this, their sophomore set. The level of popularity achieved by their 1996 debut, Yourself or Someone Like You, posed a more profound problem, though--should they follow in the footsteps of that smash effort, or strike out in a different direction? To their credit, the Orlando quintet puts their massive popularity on the line by opting mostly for the latter course: there are no obvious retreads here of earlier hits such as "Push," "3 a.m.," and "Real World"--or of "Smooth," the multiple-Grammy-winning Santana hit penned and sung by matchbox frontman Rob Thomas. Instead, the album sports a nice mix of material that is catchy, but may take a little longer to settle into your memory banks, such as the moody yet intense "Bent," the horn-driven rocker "Black & White People," and several songs examining various aspects of relationships, "If You're Gone," "Rest Stop," and "Bed of Lies." Whatever the members of matchbox twenty want to call themselves, these guys may yet be able to have it all--artistic growth as well as massive sales. They're not headed for Hootieville just yet. --Daniel Durchholz ... Read more

Reviews (500)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Pop Rock Standard
The sophomore album of Matchbox 20 was very difficult to create. Although Rob Thomas is an excellent lyricist, some of his songs didn't seem to have the catchiness that is a must when it comes to pop rock songs. Sure, people liked his songs when they first heard them on the radio, but this changed after about two weeks because after hearing it only a few times, they got old. This album features more of the same, but also some great inspired rock that makes it stand out. "Angry" is a great starter and a mere prelude to "Black & White People," which flat out rocks you with...horns? Yes, horns. I really like "Crutch" although the lyrics could be made slightly more intelligible during the verses. "Last Beautiful Girl" is a very catchy, midtempo song that I rate the second best on the album. "If You're Gone" is next, which has been way overplayed on the radio but fits nicely in its position on the album. "Mad Season" is simply the best. I think if they put this out as a single it would go straight to #1. It's typical MB20, but with excellent tempo and dynamic changes. Then the album slows down for a bit. "Rest Stop" shows that MB20 is progressing a little bit on their slower side, but "The Burn," which I rate the worst on the album, quickly changes your mind about that. This is followed by another great single, "Bent", followed by a slow one that never really caught me, "Bed of Lies." Then it's time for "Leave", which may sound boring in the first couple of minutes but when it gets slightly louder becomes an excellent piece. "Stop" shows a bit of MB20's hard rocking side. Then the album closes with "You Won't Be Mine," which is a frank waste of time. The song length is listed as 9:54 or so but three minutes of that is total silence towards the end trying to make fans think the album's over when it really isn't. They could have filled up that time with another great song.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just a brilliant CD!
"Mad Season" is perhaps the only CD I own on which I can't name one track as my definite favourite. The standard of music is incredible: right from the up tempo, catchy opener "Angry" to the final haunting "You Won't Be Mine". I bought this CD on impulse having only heard Mad Season and Bent and had to play it through several times before I fully appreciated how great it is. The songs on this album are just too good and I can't pick one outstanding one. Top contenders would be "Rest Stop" and "You won't be mine", closely followed by "Leave", "Bent" and "Bed of Lies" "Last Beautiful Girl". This is a CD that you can listen to straight through without having to skip any tracks. There is a perfect mix of faster, catchy songs such as "Crutch", "Angry" and "Stop" and ballads such as "Rest Stop" and "You won't be mine". Some songs worth mentioning are:

Mad Season - One of the most enjoyable songs on the album. Up tempo and irresistibly catchy.

Bent - This is an amazing song that it's impossible to get tired of. Great vocals and guitar sound on this track.

Last Beautiful Girl - The chorus is the highlight of this song. Another very catchy song with great lyrics.

Rest Stop - A slower song about the breakup of a relationship. I love the emotion the lead vocalist puts into this.

Bed of Lies - a deep, very emotional song with an almost dreamy quality to it.

Stop - I really like this song. It's very different to everything else on the album and has a harder rock sound.

You won't be mine - The haunting final track on this album is powerful, emotional song, filled with desperation and loneliness. "You won't be mine" is a totally unique, original track with fantastic vocals and an incredible orchestral sound.

"Mad Season" is without doubt one of the best albums in my collection, at present second only to The Goo Goo Dolls' "Dizzy up the Girl". I can't wait to get "Yourself or someone like you" so I can hear some of Matchbox 20's older material. I would highly recommend this CD to any music lover. Fans of Vertical Horizon, Nine Days, Third Eye Blind and the rest will love this amazing CD.


5-0 out of 5 stars WOW!
Okay, first let me tell you that matchbox twenty is a band unparralelled by any band of the past or present. seriously don't think any artist will match what they have done. Second, I don't think there will ever be a greatest hits collection because if there were it would have to be a three disc or more set featuring every song they have ever written. There is not a bad song in there library. If you don't have all of the CD's, buy them on amazon or at a store. You won't be let down. The CD starts off fast with the wonderful "Angry" which is only preparing you for what is to come. It is one of the weakest songs on the album, but it starts the album perfectly and. Then comes the incredible "Black and white people which completely destroys "Angry" This song should have been a single, and is one of the best songs on the album, or of the last fifty years. Following it up is "crutch", which is kind of like the sequel to "angry" to, and proves to be about the same in the goodness area. Then, just when you think the rest of the album might be like track's one and three, "Last beautiful girl" comes on and then you are truly hooked to the end of the album. This is another one of the best. Then comes one of the three songs on the album that everyone knows. "If your gone" is a fantastic and moving ballad. It was the third song off the album released as a single. It is really good, but nothing will prepare you for what comes next. "Mad season" the title track and the second song release as a single is possibly the best song on the album, and one of matchbox twenty's best. It is such a great upbeat masterpiece, that if you don't like it, you should get airlifted to the closest medical center because something its wrong with you. "Rest stop" is another one of the best on the album, and continues the albums on going streak. It's such an incredible piece of music you may think that matchbox twenty has alreay shown all of it's best songs, and the rest of the album won't be that great. You are wrong. You, believe it or not, have already seen the worst. Next up is the song that challenges "Mad season" as the best, "The burn" and it may even beat it. It is such a fantastic song that you could listen to it a million times and it wouldn't get old. This ALONE is worth the price of the album. Next comes the first song that was released as a single,"Bent" and blieve it or not, is one of the weakest songs on the album. I loved the first matchbox twenty CD, and after hearing this song, I thought that they had only managed one great album. I was wrong. Next comes "Bed of lies" a great song like all the rest. The lyrics are pretty amazing in this one, mad season, and "the burn". Then comes the amazing ballad that is "Leave" a song that gets better with every listen, and then the CD charges right in to "Stop" one of the harest tracks, and one of the best. I really cannot explain the sensation listening to this song gives me, and then fianlly, after the musical ride of a lifetime, comes the finaltrack "you won't be mine" which is the perfect song to close out the album.
In the end, mad season does exactly what it should. Improve one the original, and states that there is no such thing as a sophomore slump.

5-0 out of 5 stars This gets thrown around a lot, but I mean it: a masterpiece
Being a huge fan of matchbox twenty after their first album, I of course was in the store on the day Mad Season came out. The first time I listened to it, I was immensely unimpressed. This was nothing like the sound Matchbox 20 had generated. Certainly, it was Thomas' voice, but it was a way different sound, and I didn't like it.
But I kept listening. Quickly I realized that some of the distracting blues horn or piano in many of the songs only added to the songwriting brilliance of the songs' lyrics. That whole summer I didn't need one other album, I could find so much in Mad Season. Day after day I found something new and great about the album. This also gets thrown around too much, but now I absolutely love every song on the album, and pop rock really isn't my thing. But this album is a MASTERPIECE.

1. Angry- Begins with an unfamiliar electric riff that totally violates all previous assumptions about the band. The song really sets the tone for the album, light-sounding, but, when analyzed closely, a really deep emotional expression for Thomas.

2. Black and White People- Brilliant lyrics. The horns at the start are sort of stupid, but they grow on you, and the lyrics, as aforementioned, are awesome. There are vague statements about racial unity, and everything else is an emotional scape of life in general.

3. Crutch- Gets a lot of respect and really deserves it for its rough and twangy sound. A good tune that will gradually start to annoy you.

4. Last Beautiful Girl- I would hate to be the woman who Thomas wrote this about, because the lyrics are vividly angry and condemning. Its really an uplifting song for someone going through a breakup.

5. If You're Gone- Really a good love song. Of course, when I say love song, this is Rob Thomas we are talking about, and he tends to not add the whole "Green Eyes" touch to his songs. He has a lot of frustration molded into the song.

6. Mad Season- An awesome title track. This is one of my favorite MB20 songs ever. Enough said. It's a spectacular blues song.

7. Rest Stop- Emotional and immensely depressing. I'm a Radiohead junkie, though, so if you're like me, the emotional pull you feel from this song is really powerful and awesome.

8. The Burn- Another song with a stupid start that makes you want to turn it off, but it turns out to be a good song in the end.

9. Bent- Best matchbox twenty song ever made. Deserved every bit of air time it received. If you hated this song, buy the album anyway. If you liked this song, buy the album anyway. In my opinion it's a classic (seriously).

10. Bed of Lies- Another soft one, with a pleading mood and the typical Thomas anger always right below the surface.

11. Leave- Really a sad song, and very, very good, after you get used to how terrible it makes you feel. Needless to say, it's really powerful.

12. Stop- It sort of sounds twangy and out of place near the end of the album, but I can't find anyone who doesn't like this song, including myself. Stop defies logic and makes you want to hear it again.

13. You Won't Be Mine- The slow blues piano has you at the beginning. An awesome song. The orchestration just makes you speechless with sadness for just an instant.

If you want a happy album, obviously this album isn't too good. It sounds like a mix between country and Raffi when you first turn it on, but then you hear the blues, and the jazz, and the rock, and you realize that this is a wonderful album. With this album, matchbox twenty demonstrated their ability to experiment with their music in a way that to date only U2 and Radiohead can match. One of the best rock albums in the nascent decade.

4-0 out of 5 stars Liked this album
I like this album a lot better than the first. Rob Thomas' songwriting and the band backing him up are so well done and executed. I still like "Bent" and I got to hear it again on the radio 3 weeks ago--still rocks a good 4 years later! It has that Friday night--meets Saturday morning hangover at a race track kind of arena rock sound! I always get excited every time I hear it. Their later album from 2002 has opened them much wider, but I like this second effort from them. The rest of this album is very well performed and I like "If You're Gone"'s smooth pace. They will be a band to continue to watch for in the years to come! ... Read more

119. Elton John - Greatest Hits
list price: $9.98
our price: $9.98
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Asin: B000001DVP
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1314
Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

Elton John has always fancied himself a big-theme album artist, but because even his finest albums are spotty, his best moments, with few exceptions, have been singles. Greatest Hits collects nine of them from '70 to '74, plus one of those exceptions, the stirring faux-gospel "Border Song." If you overlook the weightless "Crocodile Rock" and the contrived "Your Song," this album shows why John is a superstar, especially on the big ballads, where collaborator Bernie Taupin supplies some interesting lyrics for his impeccable melodic hooks. The ethereal "Rocket Man" is a marvel despite its goofy premise, and "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" remains the greatest pop moment of John's career. --David Cantwell ... Read more

Reviews (79)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Collection Ever
Elton John was to the 70's what The Beatles were to the 60's. He was the undisputed king of the 70's. This brilliant and timeless collection proves why. You get a huge chunk of Elton's first batch of hits from the early to mid 70's. You get the gorgeous ballads like "Your Song", "Daniel", "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", and the overlooked "Border Song". Then there's the uptempo rockers like "Crocodile Rock", "Bennie And The Jets", "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" and more. Elton showcases his brilliant genius of melodies and chords. Bernie Taupin, as Elton's lyric writer, is one of the best lyricists ever. Some people I've come across say "Crocodile Rock" is silly and weightless. Is that supposed to mean something?. Is that supposed to actually matter?. Of course not. It's catchy, bouncy, fun, and has fun lyrics. You don't need more than that. It's no surprise that this collection is one of the top 10 highest selling albums of all time. It should be. Greatest Hits 2 and 3 are also top choices to check out. Elton John is, and always will be, the true king of pop.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant Chronicle of Captain Fantastic, Circa 1970-1974
Elton John's first GREATEST HITS volume is one that a number of his fans have complained about ever since its release, and it is not hard to see why- John and songwriting partner Bernie Taupin have created a number of pleasing tunes during this era, and a number of them were never released as singles. But yet, all things considered, John's career- even the early 70s- has been mostly defined by his singles. And this GREATEST HITS volume, which takes John's nine biggest singles in the early 70s plus the album tracks "Candle in the Wind" and "Border Song," portrays this era very well.

Anybody who has listened to adult contemporary, classic rock and/or soft rock radio over the years has probably heard all nine singles here, but yet, it would not be wrong for those people to get this, simply because it is nice to hear "Your Song"; "Rocket Man"; "Honky Cat"; "Daniel"; "Crocodile Rock"; "Bennie and the Jets"; "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road"; "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting"; and "Don't Let the Sun Come Down on Me" on one single-disc collection. Yes, "Levon"; "Tiny Dancer"; and selections from TUMBLEWEED CONNECTION (widely considered to be his best album ever) could have been on this. But those aforementioned nine singles, along with the excellent album tracks, still make for the casual fan a wonderful, concise retrospecitve on Elton John's early years.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great CD- almost...
This is about as close to a great album as one can get. EJ puts together a collection of his greatest hits up until 1974. Songs like "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on me" and "Rocket Man" highlight all of Elton's potential as a singer/songwriter. "Saturday Nights All Right for Fighting" proves that Elton can rock out, in case you didn't think it was possible.

The only problem with this album, thats why this is 4 stars, is the filler. "Crocodile Rock" is crap, plain and simple. I cringe to think that this is an Elton John song, knowing how awesome he truly is. Elton himself has said he regretted making this song. It sounds like he is going backwards in time to Buddy Holly or something.

Other than Croc Rock, this is a great album that everyone will enjoy, and I truly mean that.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Start to a Elton Collection
This collection gives you all of Elton's HITS in the first 4 years of his career. However, many of Elton's cuts from the early albums put some of these songs to shame. For example, "Daniel" should have been replaced by "Funeral for a Friend". "Candle in the Wind" should have been replaced by "Take Me to the Pilot" or "Burn Down the Mission." Again, great songs but so many better ones left out. After getting this starter collection, I highly suggest buying "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" BEST Elton album ever recorded!!!! "Honky Chateau" and "Tumbleweed Connection" and "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy" are all phenomial albums!!!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Elton, You are one of the greatest
This is a good album. Has a great smapling of Elton's early tunes. He's a tremendous musician, singer, songwriter, talent. Long live Elton. ... Read more

120. The Very Best of Michael McDonald
list price: $11.98
our price: $7.99
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Asin: B00004YLIV
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 978
Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (19)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Very Best After The Doobie Brothers But Before "Motown"
Michael McDonald's distinctive voice and strong songwriting abilities helped turn the Doobie Brothers into a hit-making machine. Michael's outstanding vocals helped sustain his success after he left the Doobie Brothers. "I Keep Forgettin' (Every Time You're Near)," taken from his first solo album, made it all the way to #4 in 1982. However, Michael's songwriting seemed to suffer from a certain sameness, as evidenced by his songs "Matters Of The Heart," "By Heart" and "Take It To Heart" on this collection. Michael's solo career is also noteworthy for his duets, particularly with James Ingram on "Yah Mo B There" (#19 in 1984), and with Patti LaBelle on the smash hit "On My Own" (#1 in 1986). The superb song "Sweet Freedom," which peaked at #7 in 1986, outshines most of the other songs on this collection. Michael's version of the Stevie Wonder classic "Higher Ground," which was previously unreleased, is another highlight on this compilation. Michael McDonald would go on to even greater success covering other Stevie Wonder songs on his recent "Motown" album. Too bad this collection was released before that album came out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Plenty of the best
Michael McDonald is one of the most talented singers. He puts a lot of talent and amazing melodies in his songs. This CD is a good sampler of Michael McDonalds soslo material from 1982 through 1993. It doesn't have anything off the Blue Obsession CD unfortunately. But this CD is a great collection of Mr. McDonalds most successful hits. A thing that does add to this CD is that it contains a version of his atmospheric Our Love that is more 'fuller' and a bit more rock sounding than the lighter original veriosn on the No Looking Back LP.

This CD although it good it doesn't have No More Praying off Blink Of And Eye. That song is probably the best song he has ever made and would have been a better choice than the 4 star Matters Of The Heart. And the sensual Hey Girl would have made a better choice than the also 4 star Blink Of An Eye. Matters And Blink are both good songs but No More Praying and Hey Girl in my opinion rank much higher than either.

Although they might have have able to squeeze either Praying or Hey Girl at least this CD over 70 minutes and is enough to satisfy most of McDonals fanbase.

5-0 out of 5 stars Michael Mcdonald Is Simply The Best!!
A little twist of words,but this is a cd to be listen to over and over again!!Few people would be able to sing these songs with as much feeling! I enjoy just about anything that this artist sings.He sings from the soul,all you Michael Bolton fans open up your ears,Michael Mcdonald surpasses them all!!

4-0 out of 5 stars An Effective Pop Collection
Like Steve Winwood and Christine McVie, Michael McDonald is one of those soulful singers whose deep, impassioned voice is remarkable for its texture and expressiveness rather than technical virtuosity. The fact that he can write excellent songs and possesses a startlingly-percussive piano technique is even more remarkable. He alone is responsible for the continued success of the Doobie Brothers since 1976.

That said, McDonald's signature voice and lyric fixation on romance occasionally engenders tedium. His indivudal albums over the years have proven well-above-average though uneven, and they have sometimes sorely lacked the presence of another vocalist to give some much-needed variety to the material.

Therefore, McDonald is the kind of artist whose work shines best in the context of a greatest-hits collection. This group of songs is unwaveringly excellent. While most of the tracks are culled from his first two solo efforts, there is plenty of variety here in individual soundtrack projects and one-off vocal collaborations. Moreover, his later work is well-represented with no less than four songs. Outside of the Dobbie Brother's "Minute by Minute" album, this cd is the ideal place to start for those who want to get acquainted with Michael McDonald.

4-0 out of 5 stars I could hear this man sing all day long
What can I say? I am a huge Michael McDonald fan and this release (although it's not labeled as remastered) brings together some of his best songs and they sound more crisp than ever before.

Many Dobbie Brothers fans think that Michael somehow singlehandly destroyed the "integrity" the Doobies as he brought a whole new dimension to the band and some never got used to it. I am with those who think that he brought great value added to the band and took it to different levels. Although the Michael McDonald debate is not as polarizing as those who loved Genesis and grew to hate them when Phil Collins took over after Peter Gabriel went solo, the point is that Phil Collins and Michael McDonald share the same pop sensibilities and some dislike them both because of it. Of course Phil could never match Michael's voice, but that is another story.

As far as this release is concerned, I love every single song. Some were huge hits, while others like "Matters of the Heart" may not have been hits per se, but sound as good or better than those you know by heart. Some have complained about some songs that were overlooked and I too would have liked to see his duet with Aretha Franklin included; however I am overjoyed with the product as its expansive and includes what he considers his very best. It's not titled "greatest hits" but the "best of" (in fact the British version is titled "The Voice of Michael McDonald") and I like each and every one of them.

I am so glad that Michael is riding yet another wave of popularity with his "Motown" release and I hope that it allows him to continue recording new songs and not get stuck in a time warp because as much as I love Michael McDonald, he is never better than when singing original material. ... Read more

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