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161. City to City
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162. Little River Band - Greatest Hits
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163. Back in the High Life
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164. The Very Best of Robert Palmer
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165. Silk Degrees
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166. Making Movies
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167. Heart Shaped World
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168. The Monkees - Greatest Hits
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169. Paul Davis ~ Sweet Life - His
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170. Partridge Family Album
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171. Black & White Night
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172. Carole King - Her Greatest Hits:
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173. Gloria Estefan - Greatest Hits
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174. Seal IV
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175. Avalon Sunset
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176. Out of the Blue
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177. Recurring Dream: The Very Best
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178. 1973-97-Complete Hits Collection
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179. The Stranger
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180. Honky Chateau

161. City to City
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B000007O5H
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6460
Average Customer Review: 4.81 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (26)

4-0 out of 5 stars Classic 1978 Record That Makes Me Think of Summer :)
I think it's because of Gerry's deep, silky-smooth vocals and the uptempo music that makes me think of summer days when I was a kid. Of course, everybody who grew up through that time knows "Baker Street" (which was one of the few non-Bee Gee's songs to go #1 that year-- and it held that top spot for about 6 weeks!). Although it IS a 1978 classic, there are other reasons to own this great album on CD. There's the pretty (but not mushy) love song "Right Down The Line" and my favorite track, the wonderful "Home and Dry." What a great, inspiring, upbeat track that just makes you feel good all over!! Gerry Rafferty made me a fan for life with it. :) Overall, this is a VERY good CD which is well worth picking up and reliving "the good old days." :)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best albums of the 70's (maybe of all time?)
"City to City" is a great collection of Gerry Rafferty's most compelling songs. Everyone is familiar with the mega-hit "Baker Street", but this CD is so much more than that, "Stealin' Time" is a terrific ballad that really shows off Gerry's voice, and "The Ark", "Right Down the Line", and "Mattie's Rag" are great songs in their own right. I have this CD on my "Must have if stranded on a desert Island" list, and have had it there for at least twenty years. The songs on this CD don't get old, they age like fine wine. As you can no doubt tell, I highly recommend this CD to anyone who truly enjoys listening to great music.

5-0 out of 5 stars Top 20 '70s Album
Of all the immortal albums in rock 'n roll history, this one just HAD to be recorded in the 70s, the most confused decade in the genre's history. For an era that was pumping out acts like Alice Cooper and The Clash alongside a seemingly endless barrage of disco trash and some of the most mawkishly produced pop music ever to soil the ears of man, calling it "confused" is an act of extreme courtesy. Yet this seems precisely the thing that designates "City To City" a masterpiece. Despite the album's love affair with the flowery, post-psychedelia production that turned pop music into a pageant of circus cast-offs by 1978, the strength of Rafferty's songwriting stands firm. The album's most amazing moments come at times when Rafferty seems to have sent his producer out on another take-out run for the band. Good clean tracks like the stirringly intimate "Whatever's Written in Your Heart" and the flawlessly composed "Right Down The Line" attest to the power Rafferty can command when left to his own devices, while the hysterical onslaught of bells, cymbals and keyboards that usher in "Baker Street," Rafferty's most famous single, sound like the start of some 25-year-old Perillo Tours ad. Yet the songs themselves endure: Baker Street soon clears the clutter and slides effortlessly into a gorgeous ballad with that unmistakable sax riff cutting a backbone through the song, rivaled only by Rafferty's stinging guitar work. "The Ark," a beautifully understated ballad brought to fruition by a particularly moving vocal performance, is as successful an opening track as there has ever been. Only the title track and the album's last two songs seem incapable of overcoming the desperate production that threatens to derail the album throughout but, thankfully, never manages to do so. It is this tension between indulgence and tact that makes for one incredible listening experience. That Rafferty essentially abandoned his talents soon after is just as tragic as "City To City" is miraculous.

5-0 out of 5 stars Forget the "classic oldie" label, this is just plain classic
Like a lot of the reviewers, I first heard this album when it came out and of course, the magical, mythic megahit, "Baker Street," was what prompted me to buy the album.

After opening with "The Ark," followed by "Baker Street" and "Right Down the Line," the rest of the song lineup -- which has the tunes placed in perfect sequence, by the way -- is great all the way through.

Everyone who loves the album has their own memories and mine began with the anthemic sax intro of "Baker Street" as I drove through southern Idaho on my way to Colorado on a blistering hot day in 1978. The Idaho AM radio stations must've played that song every hour as I drove along I-80N as it was known then.

The lyrics resonated with me then and still do to this day. I always like to play it when I'm driving on remote, lonely roads in the West -- I always get that old vibe time after time. In fact, I never get tired of hearing "Baker Street," or the rest of the tunes on the album -- which is a pretty rare thing, considering that I've listened to consistently for 26 years!

Why Gerry Rafferty didn't become a superstar is kind of a mystery to me, but this album will always stand out as one of the very best rock albums recorded. A desert island disc for sure.

Five stars plus.

5-0 out of 5 stars An absolute classic
I remember splashing around in the pool as a kid in the summer with the sun beating down and hearing "Baker Street" over the radio. There aren't many memories better than that. This record always gets played on the first sunny, warm, deep-blue-sky day of the year. ... Read more

162. Little River Band - Greatest Hits
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Asin: B000040OJ6
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3427
Average Customer Review: 3.78 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific Australian "import"...
A great album from an underrated and relatively obscure 80's band. Unlike many groups that advertise an album as a Greatest Hits compilation, this one is the real deal. Practically every major LRB song is part of this CD. It's was nice to see the catchy "Face in the Crowd" included as well as the terrific "It's a Long Way There" with it's sharp guitar work.

I bought the first "Greatest Hits" album from LRB back in the early 90's and was not disappointed. This "new" GH album is a great addition to any collection. The extra cuts have really made this a super album!

Of course, well-known favorites such as "Lonesome Loser", "Reminiscing", and "Happy Anniversary" are prominently displayed. But, from a personal standpoint, put me down for "The Night Owls" and "The Other Guy" as my favorites.

Regardless of which LRB cut is your favorite, OR if this is your first contact with this Australian group, you will not be disappointed! Highly recommended and, might I say, it's about time that a full CD of LRB's greatest hits is available.

1-0 out of 5 stars Idiots running the music business
This is a great example of what the music business has become, and the losers that make stupid decisions like cutting short the wonderful guitar solos in "It's a Long Way There". I will be pursuing getting my money back. What I want to know is WHO IS THE LOSER THAT MADE THAT CALL ??

5-0 out of 5 stars Belongs In Your Collection
If you've ever heard and liked a song by the Little River Band, then this really is a must-have cd. I originally owned the previous version of the GH, but it was swiped by a friend. There are at least 10 songs on this album that are worth owning. The disc sounds great and is a fantastic bargain at this price. Buy it...listen to won't regret it.

1-0 out of 5 stars Steer clear
If you thought the original 'Little River Band' album was a strong opener from a new rock band and marked a stand against the oncoming drone of disco in the 70's, steer clear of this album. I lost track of this band after their first couple of albums. This compilation demonstrates that some bands will alter their music to stay commercial whatever the cost. Following their legitimate hit of 'It's a Long Way There' and facing the disco onslaught, LRB molded their songs into generally forgettable middle of road odes to love and even bordered on being termed a disco band. And don't buy it for a remastered 'It's a Long Way There'; the version on the CD is some truncated short version.

1-0 out of 5 stars What happened to the original cut?
I started listening to the Little River Band in the 70's when I was a kid. My oldest brother loved them and he had several 8 tracks. Then my oldest brother moved out and my middle brother started listening to them in the early 80's and I liked them even more. I bought this greatest hits back in 1994 and I really loved it, but then I lost that version and I bought this new version of the greatest hits. I AM VERY DISSAPOINTED IN IT!!!!! THEY HAVE CHANGED THE SOUND OF THE BAND ON SONGS LIKE "MAN ON YOUR MIND", "LADY" JUST TO NAME A FEW. Well this is not okay with me, and I don't even want this cd anymore. Can anyone tell me how to get a copy of the old greatest hits. You know, the ones that haven't been touched. Please tell me there is such a version out there........In the meantime, don't waste your money on this album if you like how the band sounded years ago.

David ... Read more

163. Back in the High Life
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Asin: B000001FKA
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5783
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the most impressive albums of the 1980s
Steve Winwood was indeed enjoying the high life after the release of this album in 1986. Back in the High Life is one of the best albums of that musically rich decade, providing Winwood with four huge hit singles. Winwood almost became too popular as a result of these songs; the radio played Higher Love, The Finer Things, Freedom Overspill, and Back in the High Life Again so often that even I eventually began to grow tired of them. As a result, I can say that I enjoy this album even more today than I did at the time of its initial release. Winwood's distinctive, laid-back music never goes out of style, and it soothes the soul while touching the heart with some quite emotional, really meaningful lyrics. I'm afraid I can't really describe the music; all I can say is that it combines drums, guitars, and horns in a way that is all its own.

While the album is remembered primarily for commercial successes such as Higher Love (featuring memorable backup vocals by Chaka Kahn) and Back in the High Life Again (featuring harmony vocals by James Taylor), it features eight songs of incredible quality. I might note that each track exceeds five minutes in length, so this album is not as short as it may appear. Take It As It Comes had real hit potential in my opinion. Wake Me Up on Judgment Day doesn't seem that memorable yet plays itself over and over in your mind after you hear it. Split Decision features some great guitar riffs, proving that Winwood can get down and rock a little when he wants to. The final track, My Love's Leavin', may well be the best song on the album, communicating both loss and hope in a way few artists can equal. You would be hard pressed to find a more impressive album from top to bottom than Steve Winwood's Back in the High Life.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good album, massive hit
Steve Winwood's solo career peaked commericially with "Back in the High Life," which for a time made him one of the biggest pop stars in the world. "Higher Love" was a huge danceable hit and was followed by "Finer Things," "Back in the High Life Again" and "Wake Me Up on Judgement Day," on the hit singles charts. These songs are all excellent, as is the pretty ballad "My Love's Leaving" that closes the record. The rest of the material is spottier, but none of the songs are truly bad. Overall, this is a good album for Winwood fans.

4-0 out of 5 stars This album got him "Back In The High Life Again".
There's only 8 tracks on this album, but half of it is some of his biggest hits ever. Included is "The Finer Things", "Freedom Overspill", "Back In The High Life Again", and the huge song "Higher Love". Plus the other tracks are good too. Overall a good listen, but what he needs to do, is release a best of his solo years, including the hits here, the hits from "Roll With It", and then some. Then he could call that collection "The Finer Things". I'd buy it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Back In The High Life
Back In The High Life has to be one of the best songs I have ever heard and I have been following folk and rock and roll since the 50's.

Its just too bad he hasn't kept with this style of song more often.
To me it sounds like Phil Collins, Cat Stevens and John Denver in a song by 0ne Artist Steve Winwood.

Great song but this style should have been done more often.
Listening to some of his other songs, you can't notice the same style.

He doesn't seem to capitalize on the true and great talent that he has.

5-0 out of 5 stars Am I going soft? Nah.
Don't be a poseur. Steve Winwood rocks in a non-rocking way, and that's cool.

every track on this album is perfect for just chillin out to, and the title track has got to be one of the best things to come out of the 80s easy rock, period. It flows nicely, very nicely.

Plus, the insert is hilarious. It has Steve with some woman and every scene show Winwood getting plastered in a scene reminiscent of an old Bruce Willis "Seagram's" ad. So slick, yet so chintzy.

But it's a plus. ... Read more

164. The Very Best of Robert Palmer
list price: $17.98
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Asin: B000002UJV
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4982
Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars
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He could be the most low-key superstar in the entire pop arena. While almost anyone can name two or three Robert Palmer songs off the top of their head, it's startling to see all his monster hits packaged together and to realize just how many there were. Was Robert Palmer really this big and important? Actually, yes. With nineteen songs in this collection, ten are perennial FM staples--a higher number overall than anyone this side of ZZ Top. 1980's Clues is the critics' choice. But Palmer's commercial high point was 1985's Riptide and the Power Station album of the same year. All are well represented. For even more Palmer, try the two-part Addictions series. --Gavin McNett ... Read more

Reviews (20)

4-0 out of 5 stars While some may like it hot, I just care for real cool rock!
This cool collection of primarily-'80s rock material from British solo performer Robert Palmer is very hip and stylish, I feel. There's really only one major flaw, that being the 1997 remake of one of his biggest hits "Addicted To Love", it's just not up to par with the original. Most likely, the movie buffs out there can remember what was going on during the time the original version was played back in 1988's "Cocktail", a movie I hated, but which had a great soundtrack, but of course, that's another story. Now back to this album. The songs I like are "Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)", "Simply Irresistible" (now being played in a show that performed on late-night TV recently, you know, it's the one with the woman in the yellow dress), then one of my real favorites, the Power Station performed "Get It On (Bang A Gong)", the funky "I Didn't Mean To Turn You On", the also funky "Looking For Clues", yet another Power Station hit "Some Like It Hot", the dreamy slow-paced "Know By Now", which I'm listening to right now, actually, it's a refreshing change from Palmer's usual style, I had previously thought he was just fast-paced rock. I also like Robert's remake of the Marvin Gaye classic "Mercy Mercy Me (I Want You), and finally, of course, the original "Addicted to Love", one of the great rock hits of the '80's. As for the other inclusions, there are only two I don't I like at all, and the remainders are of fairly average quality, I'd listen to them again if I had to. Also, what could have made this collection better is if it had included the 1990 single "You're Amazing" from "Don't Explain". All in all, this sure is cool music material, get it for yourself today!

3-0 out of 5 stars The Very Best Of Robert Palmer Highlights The Singles Hits
This albums is a 17 song collection of radio hits, mostly from the US, and offers little evidence of Robert Palmer's ability to sucessfully tackle vastly different styles of music. This set ignores the R&B funk material of the singer's early solo career along with his many African, Latin, and Carribean influenced compositions. None of Palmer's forays into jazz and romantic standards are included either. Essentially this is the best of his Top 40 radio oriented material. There are several notable hit singles. "Addicted To Love", "Simply Irresistible", "I Didn't Mean To Turn You On", "Bad Case Of Loving You", "Every Kinda People", and "Mercy Mercy Me/I Want You" were all Top 10 or Top 20 hits in the US while "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight", "Some Guys Have All The Luck" and "She Makes My Day" enjoyed similair success overseas. Palmer's big hits with The Power Station ("Some Like it Hot" and "Get It On (Bang A Gong)") are also included. This is the best collection available focussing on the singer's "big hits" and casual fans or 80's rock fans will enjoy. Minor US hits like "Looking For Clues" and "You Are In My System" round out this set alongside the brillaintly crafted melodic ballad "Know By Now", a 1994 UK hit.

2-0 out of 5 stars Remixed and tampered with hits? Oh my! And no Sally??!
The late Robert Palmer got his start back in the early 70s with Elkie Brooks singing co-lead in the British blue eyed soul band Vinegar Joe. Then he hung out with the Meters and Little Feat in the deep South and recorded his best album, Sneakin' Sally Thru The Alley, which of course features the legendary medley of the title tune with Hey Hey Julia and Sailin' Shoes. Why that 9-minute funky classic is not included on this set-despite the fact that it would fit perfectly on this set which putters out at 70 minutes- is a mystery. But maybe it is because he could not tamper with the master tapes as he does on most of the other tracks.

That's right, a lot of these songs have been re-mixed, re-vocaled, re-instrumented, or all of the above. This is really an unnecessary, cheesy thing, a cheap attempt to make the music sound "modern" and "hip". The funny thing is, it has the exact opposite effect, making this collection feel like one of those bargain cds in the cut-out bin with the disclaimer that "these songs have been re-recorded with at least one of the orignal members"! The original mixes got popular for a reason- because they were the original mixes! Mr Palmer was always known to be a slave to trends- kind of a poor man's Bryan Ferry-stylishly coiffed and clad, striking a handsome figure, hanging out at all the right parties. But as opposed to the trend-setting Ferry, somehow with Palmer it rang hollow and cynical. In other words, chasing the buck.

Palmer moved from his earlier funky soulful style of the mid-70s to attempts at a rockier sound ("Bad Case") and the Caribbean flavored Every Kind of People in the late 70s...then on to more New Wavy synth flavored stuff like System, Johnny, Some Guys, and Clues around the early 80s. These four tracks are mildly interesting but suffer from the same thing that his vocals often suffered from- too monotone, too removed-sounding, and too soulless.

With his mid-Eighties renaissance, Palmer would use this robotic monotony to his advantage, scoring monster hits from Riptide and the Power Station. He became an MTV darling,acheiving icon status thanks to his sharp look and of course the Robotic Model backing band he used in videos for Addicted, Simply Irrestible and Didn't Mean to Turn You On.

In the Joe Cocker/Rod Stewart mode in that he was more often an interpreter than a songwriter/musician, Palmer's songs are pleasant if often lacking the true soul Cocker and Stewart had. He was certainly a better partier than entertainer.

Get the original mixes!

4-0 out of 5 stars We'll Never Forget You, Robert
Robert Palmer was a fabulous singer, with a super-cool, super soulful voice (and, lest we forget, he was also a very snappy dresser). His untimely passing earlier this year from a heart attack was a major shock. While it's unfortunate that it took Palmer's death to get this compilation CD, "The Very Best Of Robert Palmer," re-issued after being out-of-print for some time, it is indeed very good to have it available to the masses once again. A very generous 17 tracks long, this CD contains EVERY single hit song Palmer ever had, whether solo or with his side band, The Power Station. They're ALL here: "Addicted To Love" (both the classic original & the 1997 re-recording), "Bad Case Of Loving You," "Some Like It Hot," "Simply Irresistible," "Looking For Clues," "Every Kinda People," and a whole lot more, showcasing Palmer's powerful pipes and his great flair for catchy pop-rock. The only reason I'm not giving this collection 5 stars is because my favorite Robert Palmer song of all-time, "You Are In My System," is included here with a re-recorded vocal from Palmer. Reportedly, Palmer wasn't happy with his original vocal on the song (originally from his album, "Pride"), thinking that his performance was too rushed, so he re-recorded it several years later. While I respect Palmer's decision, and his second go at the song is fine, his original performance on "You Are In My System" was perfect, and didn't need to be re-done. Oh well, at least I have the "Pride" album on LP if I want to hear how Robert originally sang it....*Other* than that one personal gripe, "The Very Best Of Robert Palmer" is a superb collection and tribute to this great singer. Farewell Robert, we will never forget you.

4-0 out of 5 stars Greatest hits but not his best at all
Although it does contain most of his greatest hits, I wouldn't call this album the VERY best of Robert Palmer. In my opinion, his very best definitely includes Best Of Both Worlds from 1978, his lovely version of Lou Reed's Pale Blue Eyes in The Power Station plus songs like Happiness and Housework from his Don't Explain album.

This collection starts out with up-tempo rockers like Addicted To Love, Bad Case Of Loving You and Simply Irresistible rolling by before his version of T. Rex's Get It On finally brought a smile to my lips. Palmer's version has less of a smooth flow and more of the guitars bursts, but his soulful voice is great.

Hits like Some Guys Have All The Luck, I Didn't Mean To Turn You On and Looking For Clues are typical of his later work: catchy tunes and clever lyrics to appeal to the mainstream, but a bit shallow. Songs like You Are In My System & Some Like It Hot, despite nice instrumental flourishes, sounds like pretty standard 1980s pop-rock.

Interesting that Palmer's really unique music should be hidden on album tracks that never made the playlists. At least there are some gems amongst all the bland pop here: the contemplative Every Kinda People with its lilting reggae beat and his gripping interpretation of Mercy Mercy Me/I Want You make this album worthwhile and earn it four stars. ... Read more

165. Silk Degrees
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B000002564
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2548
Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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Lanky Texan neo-soul crooner and underrated guitar warrior Boz Scaggs was a Steve Miller Band alumnus who jumped ship to probe silky R&B instead of gritty blues, the Miller Band's original milieu, and each of his early '70s solo albums polished the mix toward this triumphant zenith. Hindsight too often devalues Silk Degrees for its snug fit with the disco aesthetic that prevailed upon its mid-'70s release, and the style's rhythmic signatures do bubble up significantly, particularly on the best-known track, "Lowdown," which can't help but risk museum-piece status if only for its ubiquity on the radio. Yet Scaggs's lyric intelligence and the skintight playing of a studio band built around what would soon become Toto (!) makes this a modern classic, as noteworthy for its ballads ("We're All Alone," "Harbor Lights") as for its workouts ("Georgia," "Lido Shuffle"), and a typically smart cover choice in a great version of Allen Toussaint's "What Do You Want The Girl to Do." --Sam Sutherland ... Read more

Reviews (31)

4-0 out of 5 stars Best album from Boz
Hard to believe, but Boz Scaggs's "Silk Degrees" once ruled the American airwaves with such songs as "Lido Shuffle" and Lowdown," not to mention the superb love song "We're All Alone." This is by far Scagg's most accessible and listenable album, and contains no bad songs. In fact, it is more consistant than his greatest hits album. The music vaguely recalls latter period Steve Winwood in its jazz-influenced softer rock. Fans of 70s rock should give it a spin.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Power of the Groove!!!
Quite often, when someone says they like a particular song, it's because of the tune's groove. You see little kids respond to grooves they like by dancing and moving around. That said, "Silk Degrees" is an album that has held up for almost 30 years now, cuz it's a nonstop groove festival! The late, great Jeff Porcaro shows us all (at the tender age of 22) that he understood what made a song great - "It's got a good beat and you can dance to it." Whether it's a ballad, reggae tune, or my all time favorite drum groove ("Lowdown") Jeff keeps the party going. Why do you think they used "Georgia" on an episode of "Ally McBeal?" It gets you up and moving. Actually, I heard "Lowdown" in the grocery store the other day and many people were tapping along on their carts, probably unaware of it, because music is that powerful. When you couple Jeff's drumming with Boz's great voice, and great songs (for years I thought "Lido Shuffle" was "eeo, oh oh oh oh!"), you have the definition of a classic, something that hasn't aged a day and still demands regular rotation. "A thing of beauty is a joy forever" was never more true than for this CD.

5-0 out of 5 stars so sophisticated & sweet
This blues influenced vocalist is defined as a BIG AOR SINGEER in Japan.Moreover this album is a milestone of adult oriented rock BOOM in Japan.You can hear the bitter-sweet ,elegantly polished urban poppish soul.The arrangement was done by TOTO,that's why this album was so contemporary sound at that time.This BOZ's sound taste and production led his new step in the right direction.This album and recent SMOOTH JAZZ ALBUMS have something in common.

5-0 out of 5 stars Total classic
I remember when "What can I say" and "Lido Shuffle" were released as a 7" inch double-A sided single in 1976. Boz is the buz" were the words across all his posters.

Back then all the album tracks received airplay which helped shape this as the classic album it is today. From the feel good "Lowdown" to the catchy "It's Over" and "Georgia" this album is full of songs to get you up and dancing! Add some gorgeous ballads to balance it out ie. "We're All Alone".

Follow up albums didn't fare as well but contained glimpses of Silk Degrees ie. the singles "Hollywood" and "Breakdown Dead Ahead".

For anyone considering purchasing this album, you will not be disappointed.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Secret weapn behind this wonderful album...
..."Love Me Tomorrow". There are so many addicting grooves on this record but, man, I don't think I've ever heard blue-eyed soul reggae like "Love Me Tomorrow". ... Read more

166. Making Movies
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B00004Y6NX
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3444
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Making Movies is Dire Straits's third album and includes several epic numbers that remain among Mark Knopfler's finest work."Tunnel of Love, " "Romeo And Juliet" (covered by the Indigo Girls), and "Solid Rock" all work with the same distinctive galloping rhythm underneath Knopfler's country-blues staccato guitar. The addition of Springsteen's E Street Band pianist Roy Bittan hardly seems less a coincidence considering the Springsteen-esque tone of the material. --Rob O'Connor ... Read more

Reviews (54)

5-0 out of 5 stars 7 brilliant tracks, a really rock album...
I like this CD, the whole album, good thrilling rocksongs once again, thanks too this great group. Normaly guys who creates perfect music instrumental, and the storys in their lyrics. M.K and c.o are not dumb, or big "divas" , noway, they don't act or live like maniacs,or criminals, like many other groups are doing. no Dire straits is a very good ideal to rockmusic. The album has a nice funny look, like a videotape, i like that too, only 2 colors on it,on the pocket,and record." Tunnel Of Love" , and "Romeo and juliet", are the best tracks here, brilliant i must say, the other songs here are good too like always, like"skateaway",this song has a cool video, and "Expresso Love", are intensive too. very good songs. if you not buy this one, somethings wrong at you. /J.L

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential Dire Straits
Once one gets past the collections and Brothers in Arms, and becomes interested in being a real fan, one comes to Making Movies.

The bit from High Fidelity- Top Five Side One, Track Ones- how could he have missed Tunnel of Love? And just as one comes off the impact of that song, to get hit with Romeo and Juliet- this is what got me through High School.

It is perhaps a less consistent album than Brothers in Arms. Some songs are a little sketchy, sound like maybe they should have done a few more takes. The second half is maybe a tiny bit below Dire Straits standards. But for the payoff of the high points, I'd pay ten times the selling price. Some of those songs I can listen to six times in a row.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dire Straits' Best Album
MAKING MOVIES is the best album that Dire Straits ever made. Here they take their roots in Dylan, Springsteen, J.J. Cale, the Allman Brothers Band, and the Band, and blend them into their own unique style of jamming pub-rock. There are several significant epics here, including "Tunnel Of Love", as well as some hot rockers like "Solid Rock." I had the cassette, and now I'm going for the CD, which should tell you how important this album was to rock music. If one Dire Straits album is all you have space for, let it be this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dire Straits' Best Disk
Dire Straits certainly has/had a number of good and great songs ("Brothers In Arms", "Telegraph Road", etc), but as an overall album (yes, I originally owned this on vinyl), this is by far the their best.

There are no bad songs and certainly no US radio hits ("Skateaway" being the closest) included. There are only 7 songs - so already, most exceed the standard 3:30 single. There is no reason to list the good songs, b/c it's all seven. Mark Knopfler is a master songwriter and guitarist. Jimmy Iovine's production is wonderful - and possibly his best ever.

I did convert my album to CD, but this was before the 'original recording remaster' version. I cannot speak to the quality of that version. The original CD version is ok, but I'm guessing the newer has a better quality transfer.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not All Throwback is Throwaway
I would be one of the last to endorse throwback music based on pure nostalgia, but I find myself reaching for this CD when I least expect to and find I am unexpectedly surprised.

The strength of this work is really based on two songs..."Romeo and Juliet," and "Skateaway." Neither of which were bonafide top 40 hits to my knowledge. I have listened to "Romeo and Juliet" for my fourth time tonight and it is a song that is not to be tired of. "and all I do is miss your and the way we used to be / all I do is keep the beat and bad company / all I do is kiss you through the bars of a rhyme / Julie I'd do the stars with you any time." The song strikes the right balance of mood...blues, country, jazz, and poetry. It's an all-time wonderful tune, to be sure.

And then there is the fun of "Skateaway." Skateaway was the closest to a hit catching MTV early day play time. The song is less mood-inducing than "Romeo and Juliet," and more poppy, but not in a bad way. It rolls along with the fun lyrics, "she tortures taxi drivers just for fun / she like to read their lips / says toro toro taxi see ya tomorrow my son / I swear she let a big truck grease her hips."

This was before the overplayed Dire Straits days of "Money for Nothing," and the only Dire Straits CD that holds my interest. Mark Knopfler's guitar playing is impressive and catchy and holds a candle up to its influence...Nashville Blues. He has played with the likes of Chet Atkins. Not bad for a Brit when Brits usually pay homage to blues and not Nashville. The rest of the album is pretty solid with "Expresso Love," and "Hand in Hand," being standouts on their own rights. I disagree with other reviewers that the last song "Les Boys," doesn't belong or is offensive. To me, it gives some added interest, a little color, and lightness, played in vaudeville style. A fun balance to the soul roller coaster of "Making Movies." ... Read more

167. Heart Shaped World
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Asin: B000002LGI
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1940
Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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Chris Isaak managed to turn his videogenic visage and brooding masculinity to his advantage in a big way, becoming a sort of MTV-era cross between James Dean and Elvis. Heady stuff, but don't hate him because he's beautiful. In fact, Isaak had been plying his trademark latter-day rockabilly sound for some years before the inclusion of "Wicked Game" in the David Lynch film Wild at Heart jolted sales of Heart Shaped World. (But the stylish Herb Ritts video certainly didn't hurt, either.) Still, the album is a moody gem, featuring the pensive title track, the smoldering "Blue Spanish Sky," and, of course, "Wicked Game." If you still doubt Isaak's good intentions, though, check out the album's rockin' finale, a fine version of Bo Diddley's "Diddley Daddy." --Daniel Durchholz ... Read more

Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars Isaak's best and richest CD
About the other Chris Isaak CD's, I have written that one CD is nearly indistinquishable from the next. They all have some brooding numbers, some rockabilly numbers, some country influenced numbers and some rockers. I also wrote that the self-titled CD "Chris Isaak" may be the best one and that "Speak of the Devil" was the most musically complex CD. Then I relistened to "Heart Shaped World", after not playing it for a year.

"Heart Shaped World" still sounds like a typical Isaak CD, but it stands out from the rest. It is the richest, most musically complex CD. Each song tends to grab you and stay with you. This is opposed to the other CD's where most of the songs are good but forgettable. Plus it has three monster tracks (including Wicked Game) while the other CD's only have one or two.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wicked Heart
Heart Shaped World was the album that made Chris Isaak a star, thanks to a song being included in David Lynch film. Mr. Isaak had released two critically acclaimed albums that sold poorly. Upon it's release in 1989, Heart Shaped World seemed destined to the same fate. But David Lynch used the dark and brooding song "Wicked Game" in his 1990 film Wild At Heart. The movie was heavily promoted and radio stations started playing the song. It really broke loose for the photogenic Mr. Isaak when MTV started playing the sexy black & white video for the song in late 1990 and over a year after the album's release, he finally had a much deserved top song and album. "Wicked Game" is a classic, but the album is full of equally great songs. The title track has a stinging guitar riff and an eerie reverb-filled vocal, "Blue Spanish Sky" has a slow, languid rhythm punctuated by a Latin jazz horn fill at the end, "In The Heart Of The Jungle" is a lengthy number with screeching feedback and fuzz guitars and a wild vocal, "Diddly Daddy" is a rockabilly rave up and "Wrong To Love You" may be the best song on the album and has a perfect vocal from Mr. Isaak. Heart Shaped World has so far turned out to be his only top ten album, but its success has helped keep an unique talent from sinking into obscurity and have a moderate degree of success despite making music that is far from the mainstream.

4-0 out of 5 stars 15 years and counting!
It's hard to believe this album came out 15 years ago. It sounds just as good now as it did then. I was in 7th or 8th grade when it came out, but thankfully my older brother was listening to Chris Isaak and let me hear him. At the time, I was almost exclusively listening to heavy metal, but this album was one of the ones that began opening up my musical world.

I'm not really sure how anybody could say all the songs sound alike except for "Wicked Game." "Kings of the Highway," "Blue Spanish Sky" and "In the Heat of the Jungle" are all different from one another, yet equally great songs. This album has a little bit of everything: sultriness, mystery, romance, rocking out and is basically a really good time. Chris Isaak is certainly one of the underappreciated musical voices of our time. He has other albums that I prefer to this one (like "Forever Blue" and "San Francisco Days"), but you certainly couldn't go wrong if this is where you started with his it has his all time biggest hit on it. This is some of the only music my wife and I can readily agree on!

1-0 out of 5 stars Boring, except for Wicked Game
All the songs sound alike and/or are boring, except for Wicked Game, which is lovely. Too bad. Chris has such a lovely voice.

5-0 out of 5 stars Soul Quenching
When I first heard "Wicked Game" on the radio - it just grabbed me. I couldn't get enough of the song, nor get the song out of my head. To satisfy my musical desire to hear this song over and over again, I bought "Heart Shaped World" and listened to it for weeks. Here was a collection of music that set its own soft slow seductive mood (even the rockers do this), with each song as strong and vibrant as the one before and the one to follow, and delivered flawlessly by the soul quenching voice of Chris Isaak.

A timeless piece of work and true gift to the music world! ... Read more

168. The Monkees - Greatest Hits
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Asin: B0000033O3
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2468
Average Customer Review: 4.29 out of 5 stars
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Unless you're a snob, a good Monkees collection belongs on your shelves, not too far from discs by the Turtles, the Lovin' Spoonful, and other avatars of clean, occasionally rocking '60s Top 40 pop. Greatest Hits is a more than generous stack, bringing together not only the obvious megahits ("I'm a Believer," "Pleasant Valley Sunday," the incredibly propulsive "Valleri") but also a number of tunes that had the bad luck to fall on the wrong side of the act's swift rise and fall. Foremost among these is "Porpoise Song," a lyrically incomprehensible Goffin/King stab at psychedelia that's at once a crass cash-in and one of the loveliest, most fragile sounds to emerge from the American hippie dream. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (56)

4-0 out of 5 stars solid, yet Rhino could be accused of greed with this CD
After Rhino reissued all the Monkees 9 original (pre-reunion) albums, they then delivered this Greatest Hits. On one hand, they don't consider this to be one of the "9 Great Reissues", however, it's hard to deny the feeling Rhino made a blatant attempt to sucker all the fans who bought the 9 albums into buying this as well due to the fact that several of the tracks here aren't on any of those other CDs.

There's simply a load of non-LP tracks (A-sides & B-sides) here that could have easily been included as bonus tracks on the CDs including "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You", "The Girl I Knew Somewhere", "D.W. Washburn", "It's Nice To Be With You", & "Goin' Down". The individual albums feature some of the non-LP tracks in alternate versions. For example, the "Headquarters" CD includes a different version of "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" with Mike on vocals as a bonus track, yet not the official version with Micky singing found here, even though there was plenty of room on that particular CD (enough, for that matter, to fit over a half hour more of material).

Another attempt to get big fans to buy this is the handful of "single versions" featured. On one hand, it's cool to have these versions available at all, considering the mono versions of "Steppin' Stone" & "Words", & the longer version of the gorgeous "Porpoise Song" are key tracks & essential for those who truly care, however, again, these could have easily been included as bonus tracks on the respective albums. Quite frankly, if Rhino had been so inclined, they could have included the mono versions of the entire albums on their respective CDs, & still been able to fit the bonus tracks they DID include...

Ripoff or not, this CD is critically important to serious Monkee fans. However, as a compilation, there are a handful of omissions that leave one scratching their head: "Take A Giant Step", "For Pete's Sake", as well as "She", "You Just May Be The One", & "What Am I Doin' Hangin' 'Round". Those 5 tracks were all included on Arista's 25-track "Then & Now" CD compilation, which is the disc this one basically replaces. Those tracks all could have fit on this CD which clocks in at roughly 1 hour.

OK--clearly a lot can said about this CD. To be nice, it DOES fills in holes for the Monkees fan who wants a thorough collection, & for less intensive fans, it brings together all of the smash hit A-sides.

4-0 out of 5 stars Hey Hey, not bad.
No matter how much musical "credibility" the Monkees have now, you can't deny that they sang some of the most fun and catchy songs to come out of 1960's pop (and if cedibility is a problem to you, then don't look too hard at some of the "artists" today then, either). Most of their hits are here, and it's not a bad place to start looking at Davey Jones and co.

Instantly recognizable hits like "(Theme From) The Monkees", "I'm a Believer", "Daydream Believer", "(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone)", "Pleasant Valley Sunday", and "Last Train to Clarksville" are all here. Other real standouts are the lesser known "Porpoise Song", "The Girl That I Knew Somewhere", That Was Then, This is Now", "Words", and "Listen to the Band". Overall it's a load of great music at a very reasonable price, and you definitely get your money's worth on this compilation.

Also of note, is that this collection contains a lot of B-sides and alternative versions of songs that are unavailable on their other discs (I know, I know, possibly a scheme by Rhino), and it is essential to complete any Monkees collection. Even though it's a great set of music, I'm giving it 4 stars because I really don't think it's quite up to snuff as a replacement for the Arista label release "Then and Now... The Best of the Monkees", which is currently out of print (definitely pick it up on Ebay or a used CD store if you can find it). Still, it's a lot of fun to listen to, and a great glimpse into one of the most misunderstood bands in rock/pop history.

2-0 out of 5 stars OK...But there are better Monkees "Best Ofs"
This is an odd collection to call "Greatest Hits". It doesn't contain a complete collection of singles... Its debatable whether an album-only track like 'I Wanna Be Free' deserves inclusion over say, 'For Pete's Sake', or 'Cuddly Toy'. Likewise, 'D.W. Washburn' - which was assuredly never a hit - stands out from the rest of the tracks like a pothole in the road.

If you're a completist, you may want to buy this if only because it's the only single disc that contains 'Washburn' and 'Its Nice To Be With You'.

If you're looking for a single-disc collection of the best Monkees songs, go for "Best of The Monkees" which has 25 songs on one disc, and a much more balanced selection of songs that represented The Monkees's best work from their original run.

4-0 out of 5 stars A great collection!
Had to put in my two cents worth having been a Monkees fan since 1966 and set the record of the reviews calls this collection "the worst of the worst" and says that not having even Hendrix or Jim Morrison in the lineup could have saved them...that's about as far away from the point of these guys as you could get! The Monkees were about entertaining people and having fun...Morrison or Hendrix would have been about as out of place here as mustard on be fair, Jimi and the boys understood each other and even toured (however briefly) together. Mike and Peter and company would get into disguise and go into the audience during his set to catch a look at him onstage. Furthermore, these were hardly what you could consider the worst of the worst when the chart success on a lot of the songs speaks for itself. Carole King, Neil Diamond, Tommy Boyce, Bobby Hart, Harry Nilsson, and countless other fantastic songwriters all played a part in bringing this music to millions of fans and the reunion tours in the 80s and 90s showed they weren't wrong. Sure the CD works out to about an hour but there are 20 tracks here, and perhaps best of all, you get the sadly overlooked gem "Heart & Soul" from 1987 (thanks MTV for the sour grapes). The Monkees made a lot of fans happy, and people still enjoy the music to this day, never mind that the series is out on beautifully remastered DVDs. To the guy who said "worst of the worst", don't disrespect what you just don't understand!

1-0 out of 5 stars Not Even
First off these guys have about as much credibility as the Archies. Nesmith was the only musician of the bunch.For those of us in our late teens who had heard the likes of the Yardbirds,Stones,Zombies and such,this group with its catchy made for TV tunes was the worst of the worst.This Hollywood creation would even make Donnie and Marie look HEP!These guys were so conformist that not even Jim Morrison Or Hendrix in the lineup could have saved them.They must have been the inspiration for Hollywood Squares! ... Read more

169. Paul Davis ~ Sweet Life - His Greatest Hit Singles
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Asin: B00001NTR1
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7470
Average Customer Review: 4.74 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars A long time comin'
I've been waiting for a while to get my hands on any CD with "Cool Nights" in the song listings. It was not on Paul's "Best Of" CD. This CD is worth the wait. Its got "Cool Nights" and "65 Love Affair". Those are 2 of his best songs. I highly recommend this CD to all Paul Davis fans and then some. If you like artists such as ".38 special" or any kind of Pop-Country, you'll love this CD.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable
This fellow Mississippian had some fine pop hits in the late 1970's before moving successfully to country, and he handles both formats well. The huge pop hits are here, including "Cool Night," the bouncy "'65 Love Affair," "Sweet Life" and his signature "I Go Crazy." Less impressive is the dated and somewhat silly "Superstar," but "Ride 'Em Cowboy" is acoustic and powerful. "Little Bit of Soap" was also covered by Elton John drummer Nigel Ollson in the late 1970's, and Davis does a fine job with it, as he also does with his remake of "Love or Let Me Be Lonely." The switch to country was more of a segue, since Davis sounds at home...the duet with Marie Osmond is especially well done. Overall, although some songs are better than others, a very nice compilation of a very versatile and overlooked writer and musician.

5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT!!!!!!!
I haven't heard these songs since I bought the Cool Nights album back in college. Words cannot adequately express the pure beauty and joy in the music, the voice, the lyrics, the whole package.

4-0 out of 5 stars An underrated legend of soft rock
Most people I have ever talked to have never heard of Paul Davis. From what I hear he never performed and avoids publicity, but his raw talent still took him into the top 10 of pop twice with the classic "I Go Crazy" at #7 in 1978 (with an astonishing 25 weeks in the Top 40) and "65 Love Affair" at #6 in 1982. I grew up on Paul Davis and my very first favorite song was his Top 20 Classic "Cool Night" which peaked at #11 in 1982. For years, I only owned this song on 45 and finally forked out for a Japanese import of this album back in the mid 1990's. Though the sound quality was great, it certainly did not complete my collection. I was pleased to see the release of this collection as it features all of his most famous hits. Paul Davis was truly a free spirit in terms of music-not tied to trends and fads and proved that he could make it work when he took the Gospel flavored "Do Right" to #23 Pop. However, when regarding his music, I am disappointed to see that no album features all of his charted hits as was shown in the few English liner notes on the import CD I bought. What would best celebrate the work of this underappreciated performer is an anthology that features all 22 of his singles-including those that didn't chart in the Hot 100. Even though this CD has all the songs he made famous, it omits some of his most enjoyed sleeper hits such as "Cry Just A Little" (#78 Pop; also charted country for Marie Osmond). Hopefully, this would also include his other two songs featured in the Karate Kid "It Takes Two To Tango" and About Last Night "If We Can Get Through The Night" and his excellent version of "[I Don't Want To Be] Just Another Love" made famous by Tanya Tucker (whom he wrote several major hits for as well as for Marie Osmond and Dan Seals). As an artist and a producer, this CD is an excellent collection that is definitely worth it while it is still available, but a more complete collection is still needed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Still No.1 On My List
Paul Davis's "Cool Night" was the his first song I heard on the radio more than 12 yrs ago. The instrumental arrangement is simple and yet, very very beautiful. I wish I can find a better adjective.

After all these years my life has changed a great deal. Paul's music still pulls the sentimental string in my heart every time I listen to his songs. His compositions and performances are timeless. I really wish he can produce more music albums for all of us. ... Read more

170. Partridge Family Album
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Asin: B00004VW4Q
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 8956
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Partridge Family's first...and still their best
"The Partridge Family Album" (their first, released in 1970) was the popular television group's best album, only slightly superior to "Sound Magazine." Its hallmarks are its freshness, quality of the songwriting, musicianship, David Cassidy's voice, and the background vocals. For those of us hovering around forty years of age, the television show 'exploded' at exactly the right time; which is why, years later, there is a fondness and nostalgic component for the show and the music. "I Think I Love You" is, of course, the quintessential Partridge Family song; however, I don't think it has aged well and leaves the impression that the music was all 'teenybop.' "Brand New Me," "Point Me in the Direction of Albuquerque," "Bandala," and "Somebody Wants To Love You" are among the group's best material and show a strong songwriting maturity. "On The Road" is my personal favorite with its soaring vocals; it's one of those songs that you wish was longer than three minutes! All in all, the music is innocent and, suprisingly, holds up well. The music is, and was, much more sophisticated than the group of individuals behind the Partridge Family are given credit for. Have a listen! I guarantee you'll be singing along!!

3-0 out of 5 stars A album for the devoted fans of Keith, er, David Cassidy
Yes, America, we now live in a world where the Partridge Family has had all of their original albums remastered. Not since the Monkees was a television "band" as heavily promoted in the real-world music business as the Partridge Family. But the Patridges had no artistic pretensions whatsoever and the only two cast members to sing on the records were David Cassidy (Keith) and Shirley Jones (Shirley). Like the television show, which finished its first season in 1970-71 tied for 25th in the Nielsen Ratings with "The Carol Burnett Show" and the "NBC Monday Movie," the record albums also achieved some impressive short-term success (certainly much more so than the real-life recording family, the Cowsills, who were obviously the inspiration for the Partridges). This first album offers up the group's first hit, "I Think I Love You" (which is the song that gets the family their recording contract on the show) and two other songs that end up on their greatest hits collection: "Point Me In The Direction of Albuquerque" (which was very big with the West Mesa High School Speech Team when it was late at night and the bus was finally headed home) and "I Can Feel Your Heartbeat" (one of my favorite Partridge Family songs period). But none of the rest of these songs are anything special. Actually, it is really easy to make up your mind about "The Partridge Family Album": If you had all of their albums (or at least all of their early albums) as a kid, then walk on down the road of nostalgia and get this one and the rest of them. Relive your childhood and let the memories role. But if you like the Partridge Family without decorating your wall with pictures of David Cassidy, then go with their greatest hits collection (Oh, oh: I think I just told everybody who was a teenage girl circa 1970-74 to get this album and everybody who was a teenage boy at that same time to take a pass.)

The collection of songs on this track list is a bonafied trip in time. The near perfect vocal harmonies of the Partridge group consist of seasoned studio/session vocalists. The vocals remind us of those glory days in BUBLEGUM MUSIC (The ARCHIES, The J5, The OSMONDS and The CARPENTERS).
In the early 1970s, teens all over North America became glued weekly to the 8:30pm PARTRIDGE FAMILY telecast on ABC-TV.
Every song on this CD was inserted to the storyline as a focal point, thus making these melodies instantly familiar to fans. All of the songs on this CD appear larger radio hits than actually were. Actually, "I THINK I LOVE YOU" is the only title from this collection to chart on BILLBOARD and/or CASHBOX. The song peaked at #1 on top 100 and earned this fictional group a GRAMMY nomination for best new artist/act of 1970. If you lived part of your childhood during the 1970s, you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of this CD. Relieve those lost days of polyester and the pet rock. The PARTRIDGE FAMILY songs available on this compilation are suprisingly still fresh. This CD is musically a moment in time that seems like yesterday !

4-0 out of 5 stars Partridge FAMILY, not David Cassidy solo album
A lot of comments made about the ommission of David Cassidy on every track, but it seems history is ignored. Using him on vocals in the first place almost didn't happen, so the music production was already underway before the producers realised Cassidy could sing. Either way, the whole PF concept was supposed to be the band/family as music artists and not a David Cassidy solo gig. His popularity after the series started changed all that, but you can't fault this album for that.

I have always found this to be the most balanced PF LP. The songs are better written and better produced than on any of the follow-up albums. After The Partridge Family Album, too many of the songs became lackluster and overly slick, with minimal emotion, opting out for corny sentiment. Obviously the general public agreed, since none of the other records came close to the popularity enjoyed here.

The good news is that even the non-hits here pack a punch. "Bandala" is chock full of hooks and even features some clever string arrangements, a rarity in later releases. "I Can Feel Your Heartbeat" even dares to rock out, replete with a chunky wah guitar riff. The #1 debut single, "I Think I Love You", while overplayed today, is still a brilliant piece of magic.

When I listen to this LP, the whole album feels good and one senses that each song meant something to those making the record. That automatically makes it the best set from the Partridge clan.

3-0 out of 5 stars Why Not Feature David Cassidy on Every Track?
I think that by now we all have heard "I Think I Love You" just way too many times! The very first album by the manufactured sound known as "The Partridge Family" all started with this 1970 self-titled album. "I Think I Love You" became a number one hit and 1970's Song of the Year and if Bell Records and Screen Gems had paid a very young David Cassidy all his royalties, it would have made him a very rich young man! Over the years, the Partridge Family "sound" evolved into the "breathy" David Cassidy vocals and some background singers but this album has a completely different "Southwestern" kind of sound that can only be explained by songs like "Bandala" and "Point Me in The Direction of Albuquerque." My biggest gripe with this album is the lack of David Cassidy's lead vocals on several songs: "I'm On The Road," "I Really Want to Know You," and he's very sketchy on "To Be Lovers." This album is definitely a trip down memory lane, but honestly, I have had this LP for 30+ years and I had not played it in over 10 yeas, but I still routinely played Crossword Puzzle, Sound Magazine and all of the Cassidy solo contributions. On the positive side, there are a few really excellently-produced tracks that still can make me dream nostalgically of the 20 year old, shaggy-haired David Cassidy wearing his pooka beads: "Brand New Me," "Bandala," and "I Can Hear Your Heartbeat." If you're truly a Cassidy fan (and what female hasn't swooned over him?), you will realize that David's voice was double-tracked and raised an octave higher to make him sound younger in order to target a very young audience of pre-teens and the lovely young ladies of San Pueblo High School, where Keith Partridge (a 20 year old) was allegedly in the 10th grade! This remastered CD which features Lisa Sutton's awesome liner notes (which are chock-full of PF and DC gossip that even a "diehard" fan might find new and interesting) alone is worth the price of the CD. If you're not a true collector and do not require all eight of the Partridge Family studio albums, then you might choose Up To Date or the critically-acclaimed Sound Magazine for a taste of the PF's "early" sound. If you need a little synthesizer and tamborine "fix," then go right ahead and purchase it. Just be aware that on some racks, you are being literally "cheated" out of the gorgeous croonings and melodic phrasing of Mr David Cassidy in favor of studio musicians and back-up singers! ... Read more

171. Black & White Night
list price: $12.98
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Asin: B00003TL18
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 450
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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All-star tribute events can take on a patronizing air as in-the-spotlight performers with shaky staying power prop up legends past their prime, displaying equal parts noble largesse and unseemly smugness. With Black and White Night, however, one gets the sense that the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, k.d. lang, and Bonnie Raitt are in total awe of the man of the night, and for good reason. Orbison's vocal range circa 1987 is nearly a match for his 1960s prime, when he was rock's greatest balladeer. This 2000 remastered reissue adds only one track to the original 1989 concert LP ("Claudette"); the program leans almost entirely on Orbison's early hits, adding Costello's "The Comedians," a highlight from his then-new (and winning) comeback effort, Mystery Girl. Meanwhile, music director T Bone Burnett adorns a crack core group (built around Elvis Presley's old combo) with guest stars who know their roles--and are only too happy to enjoy their close proximity to a legendary performer in what would prove to be his twilight. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

Reviews (18)

2-0 out of 5 stars Get the studio versions instead
This CD is a reissue of the 1989 release A Black and White Night Live, with an extra song tacked on the end.

I usually prefer the power and energy of live music of studio music. On the surface, this should be an explosive album with Roy Orbison singing live, backed by some sensational stars, such as Bruce Springsting and Bonnie Raitt.

Unfortunately, Orbison's voice is weak, with none of the power you would hear on his old recordings. He sings flatter, with none of the emotion and range he used to show. He died shortly after this CD was recorded (it was released after his death).

None of the guest musicians really add anything to this CD. It could have been any studio band backing him up. In some cases, it probably would have been better, because a studio or touring band would have been better rehearsed.

I just saw an old black and white Ed Sullivan clip with Roy Orbison singing Pretty Woman. It was amazing. Orbison's voice was so powerful and the band was the prefect back up for the song and his voice. This CD doesn't come anywhere close. If you want to remember Roy Orbison at his best, get his old studio recordings.

When Elvis Presley stated that Roy Orbison is "The world's greatest singer", he wasn't kidding. This CD is a testament to that. I have heard this performance countless times, and I just cannot hear it enough. On "A Black And White Night", Roy Orbison is in top form, backed by an all-star group of musicians, including members of Elvis' back-up group, and also the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Marshall Crenshaw, T-Bone Burnett, Bonnie Raitt, and countless others. My favorite tracks here are "The Comedians", "Ooby Dooby", "Down The Line", "Uptown", "It's Over", and "All I Can Do Is Dream You". Anyone who loves the music of Roy Orbison should not be without this CD. Also worth getting is the video of this concert. You will not be disappointed. In fact, one listen and you will want to hear more and more.

5-0 out of 5 stars Black & White Night
His songs sends me into dreams. I love his whole group, they are so up-to-date and the whole DVD is just the greatest!

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful celebration of the man and his music
This remarkable recording from September 1987, the only commercially released live album of Roy Orbison's career, is a source of great joy as well as comfort to this Roy Orbison fan. None of us knew that this recording which ushered in the second coming of rock music's most remarkable voice would soon also stand as a powerful tribute to a man who was to be taken from us far too soon. With the success of this remarkable live album and the posthumously released Mystery Girl, Roy Orbison went out on top, restored to the level of popularity and immense musical respect he deserved but had not enjoyed during the preceding couple of decades. Looking back on it now, the last sixteen months of Roy's life could hardly have been scripted any more fittingly.

Roy was not alone on the stage for these incredible Coconut Grove sessions. Around him were a number of superstars in their own right, each of them more than happy to play even a small part in what truly is a great tribute to one of music's undeniable legends. These included Bruce Springsteen (who once said he wished he could write like Bob Dylan and sing like Roy Orbison), T Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Jackson Browne, K.D. Lang, and Bonnie Raitt. As for Roy, he was in stellar form. His voice may not have reflected the power of its youth, but every word from his throat came out mellifluously, and he proved he could still nail the high notes in songs such as Crying and Running Scared. His voice, to my ears, was incredible and simply ageless; he had not sounded so good in many, many years. As for the songs, they run the entire gamut of his career, from Move On Down the Line, the first song he ever wrote, to The Comedians and (All I Can Do Is) Dream You, two incredible tracks from the studio album that would turn out to be his last, Mystery Girl. Many of his classics are here. No one touched the human heart the way Roy did with classic ballads such as Only the Lonely, In Dreams, Leah, Crying, and Running Scared. Of course, one can also never forget such rocking classics as Dream Baby, Ooby Dooby, Mean Woman Blues, and Oh Pretty Woman. Then there is It's Over, perhaps the most moving song of Roy's career and easily my favorite.

A Black and White Night Live is the ultimate tribute album to a legendary performer, and the fact that this is the only legitimate live recording of Orbison's career makes this album special beyond words. I still can't listen to this album without thinking about Roy's passing, but I am comforted at the same time with the knowledge that A Black and White Night Live is really and truly a glorious celebration of this legendary singer's life and career.

While the CD is OK, you CANNOT appreciate this performance on this media. GET THE VHS OR DVD AND FIND OUT WHAT THIS THING IS REALLY ALL ABOUT !!!!!!!!!!!! ... Read more

172. Carole King - Her Greatest Hits: Songs Of Long Ago
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B00000J2PI
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2131
Average Customer Review: 4.77 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
If you want all of Carole's greatest hits on one album, buy this. Her songs are timeless and so profound. She is really a prolific songwriter. All the hits are here including "It's Too Late", "So Far Away", "I Feel The Earth Move" and of course "Jazzman". There are also other great songs here. This is a great album to buy if you like or are just discovering the talented Carole King. Another good album to buy is Carole's "Tapestry" album.

4-0 out of 5 stars Carole King
I bought this CD five years ago after seeing her featured on the VH1 special about the 100 greatest artists of Rock and Roll. Although I don't listen to it as much as some of my other music, when I do her songs connect emotionally on a personal level. Her songwriting is very intimate.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Material
Carole King is truly of the Greatest songwriters ever."it's to Late" alone is a song that I can listen to everyday.she has such a cool Force with words&Music.the arrangements&vibe work so well&she is a deep composer.I also enjoy Her Vocals a great deal as well.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice Collection Of Carole's Greatest Hits!
This is a wonderful compilation album which capitulates all of Carole King's greatest hits. Carole King was one of those singer-songwriters who provided the musical backdrop for the exploration of alternative ways of looking at, exploring, and experiencing the world around us. Her many popular anthems described her feelings, existential angst, and sentimental deliberations about life, love and the battles between the sexes in very approachable and appealing ways. Both the melodies and the lyrics are topical, memorable, and quite up beat, although she is certainly capable of delivering some thought-provoking and plaintive songs, such as an existential wail over the problems with maintaining a long- distance relationship in songs like "So Far Away".

Yet Carole always keeps the tunes within the pop realm, and packages them in a seamless production with great vocals and impeccable musical arrangements, and what is included in this classic album is a treasure for the ages. From "Tapestry" to "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow", from "(You Make Me Feel) Like A Natural Woman" to ""You've Got A Friend", and from "Home Again" to "It's Too Late", the entire album resonates with her unique gift for terrific lyrics showcasing unforgettable melodies. It's all here, folks, a wonderful album that recapitulates all of the songs that this great pop star gave us as she emerges from the unbelievable sixties to prove the best just keep on singing! Enjoy

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT
This artist has always been one of my favorites. All of her songs and CDs are great. They are worth the money. I have a 11yr old daughter and she loves her songs i even catch singing them. Tapestry is also a great CD and a must buy. My daughters favorite song is Where you lead. If you need to buy a CD this is a great one to start with. Bye ... Read more

173. Gloria Estefan - Greatest Hits
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Asin: B0000028TU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3061
Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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"The rhythm is gonna get you" is the tag line of one of Gloria Estefan's biggest hits, but it could also serve as the mantra for the Cuban-born singer's road to the top of the charts. Estefan's forte is middle-of-the-road pop, but all of her upbeat hits are fueled by driving Latin percussion, the feature that set Estefan's music apart from the rest of the flyaway pop of the 1980s and early '90s. Greatest Hits intersperses those great dance hits--"Conga," "1,2,3," "Get on Your Feet," and, of course, "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You," with sweet ballads such as "Words Get in the Way," "Anything for You," and "Don't Wanna Lose You." This set also includes "Coming Out of the Dark," Estefan's triumphant comeback hit following her 1990 career-threatening tour-bus accident. --Daniel Durchholz ... Read more

Reviews (35)

3-0 out of 5 stars Gloria's Greatest Hits Finds Her Slowly "Diva-stated"
Gloria Estefan's "Greatest Hits" charts an unwelcome transformation from energetic lead singer of a clever, sharp pop band to that too common creature, "the pop diva."

Gloria, her husband Emilio, and their band Miami Sound Machine (remember them?) wrote, produced and recorded a string of sharp singles melding salsa and club rhythms with Motown/girl group vocals. The result was ear candy: "Conga," "Rhythm's Gonna Get You," (the omitted) "Bad Boy." Their ballads "Words Get In The Way," and the #1 "Anything For You" were more sensual, less mushy than most. For a time, Gloria Estefan may have been the sexiest pop singer in America.

Break point came with her first solo single, 1989's "Don't Wanna Lose You." It was a good song and charted high, but the die was cast. Melodramatics began: a tragic bus accident and valiant recovery, vanilla ballads dominating the spiky fast songs over the next few years, as would outside collaborators (Diane Warren on the sappy Christmas song, Larry Dermer on the campy, worthless movie song, "Go Away").

Now as Estefan's music weakened - in subsquent years by an oldies set and bombastic Olympics themed-album (and, to be fair, a fine Spanish-sung album)- its presentation became flashier with extravagant costumes and appearances with one-named pop goddesses (Cher, Tina, etc.). Miami Sound Machine, which once described a style as much as a band, now was marquee small print.

Here's hoping the Estefans heeded 1999's remarkable success of Ricky Martin and Carlos Santana. The energy of singles like "Smooth" and "Livin' La Vida Loca" recall how exciting Latin-based music can be, incorporating other styles without losing its identity. Now would be perfect for Miami Sound Machine to remind a new generation where at least some of that R&B/pop/salsa energy stemmed from. "Greatest Hits" is recommended for its first 10 songs; not its last four.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gloria's must-have collection...
This is the Gloria Estefan CD to buy for her mid 80's to early 90's radio mega-hits. Fans of that era in her music will love this CD, because all of the ballads like "Can't Stay Away From You," and "Here We Are" are on this compilation. Plus, all of the ground-breaking dance hits are here like "1-2-3," and "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You." This "1-2-3" is completely different from the Let It Loose version, and I think the version on Greatest Hits is the one most often played on the radio. There's also four new songs at the end, well they were "new" at the time. :-) Among them are "I See Your Smile," and "Always Tomorrow," which became very popular, and both are uplifting. That's part of the reason I love Gloria so much. She's fun, has good messages, and a wonderful sense of humor. She's one of the most innovative performers of this time. Oh yeah, and her music is awesome too! I would recommend this for anyone who's a true pop music fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good collection of hits from her most successful period
Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine enjoyed their commercial peak in the late 1980s/early 1990s with a string of hit albums and singles, beginning with "Conga" in late 1985. Estefan and crew proved themselves equally adept at Latin-inflected dance tunes such as "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You," "Get On Your Feet," and "1-2-3" and the ballads that helped them gain a strong foothold at AC radio, like "Words Get In The Way," "Can't Stay Away From You" and the #1 hit "Anything For You." (In fact, it's interesting to note that all of Estefan's three #1 hits were ballads, the other two being "Don't Wanna Lose You" and the inspirational "Coming Out Of The Dark.") Actually, the band's history goes all the way back to the 1970s, although they recorded only in Spanish for several years. This is a nice collection of Ms. Estefan's English-language output from her most successful period commercially, spanning 1985's PRIMITIVE LOVE through 1991's INTO THE LIGHT and including four new cuts. What is here is first-rate, of course, and even all the new cuts are keepers: the inspirational "Always Tomorrow" was a minor hit and came out around the time that Hurricane Andrew devastated Gloria's home base of south Florida, leading many to adopt it and the earlier "Coming Out Of The Dark" as anthems. "I See Your Smile" is a classic Gloria ballad that easily ranks with her earlier hits, although it didn't quite make the top 40. "Christmas Through Your Eyes" has become a holiday-season standard and is a moving song about wanting to go back to experiencing the joy of Christmas through the mindset of a child. And "Go Away" is a fun dance tune the likes of which only Gloria can do - a bit nonsensical, but still lots of fun. It was a hit in the U.K., and although it wasn't a single in the U.S. (I don't think), it still got some top 40 airplay in the Detroit area.
Not all of the hits are here. One top 10 charter ("Bad Boy") is missing, and "Live For Loving You" also should have been included here, given that it still gets a lot of radio play these days. There was also a "Miami Hit Mix" issued on the U.K. single to "Christmas Through Your Eyes," which should have been included on the U.S. release, as a bonus cut if nothing else. I personally also would have liked to see "Cuts Both Ways" and "Can't Forget You" included, as I consider those two of her best ballads, even though they both came up a few notches short of the top 40. "Can't Forget You" in particular is an underrated gem, and to this day the only place to find it is on the INTO THE LIGHT album. But if you're a Gloria fan, you should have no qualms about the quality of what is included here. Kudos to Gloria for opening up the American pop mainstream to Latino influences and for creating some of the catchiest, most fun pop music ever.

5-0 out of 5 stars Greatest Hits (1992)
Back in the early 80s, Gloria Estefan was known as the lead of the band Miami Sound Machine. Gloria joined the band in 1978, after she tied the knot with bandmate, Emilio Estefan. Nothing happened until 1984 when Miami Sound Machine released Eyes Of Innocence. The only hit from that album was Dr. Beat, which wasn't even a major hit, for they didn't get any recognition.

In 1985, Miami Sound Machine released Primitive Love, their second album, the album that got them their recognition. Then, in 1986, they changed the name to Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine because Gloria was the main focus. In 1987, Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine released their third album Let It Loose. In 1989, they released Cuts Both Ways. This was their last album together as a band. In 1990, Gloria was in a fatal bus accident, which could have left her paralyzed for life, but luckily, the doctors took care of that, for she has two metal rods in her back, preventing her from being paralyzed. In 1991, Miami Sound Machine became Gloria's back up band, while she became a solo act. In 1991, she released Into The Light, which reflected on her accident.

In 1992, she released her first greatest hits album. I know what you are all thinking, "How can she release a greatest hits album where she only released her first solo album the year before?" Well, she was basically Miami Sound Machine, the fans only focused on her. So the hits on this album are the Miami Sound Machine hits, being that she was the focus of the band. This is an amazing greatest hits. I should know because I grew up with Gloria when my mother was a huge fan of hers.

From Miami Sound Machine's album Primitive Love (1985). One of the best songs ever. This song was played in a lot of movies. I can only name one movie where this song was played and that movie is the hit comedy, The Birdcage, which starred Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman, Dianne Wiest, Christine Baranskie, Dan Futterman, Hank Azaria, and Ally McBeal's Collista Flockhart.

From Miami Sound Machine's album Primitive Love (1985). This was the song that made Gloria famous. It is one of the best romantic break-up songs ever and is a favorite of my mother's and mine.

From Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine's album Let It Loose (1987). Another amazing song. She talks about how they've broken up and it's bad for her to stay with her ex, but she loves him so much that she simply just 'Can't stay away from him'.

1-2-3 (Remix)
Original version from Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine's album Let It Loose (1987). The album version is much better than this.

From Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine's album Let It Loose (1987). This is a great song, with a great beat.

From Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine's album Let It Loose (1987). Not a favorite of mine.

From Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine's album Cuts Both Ways (1989). When I first heard this song, which was back in 1989 when I was at the age of four, I loved this song. I used have my mother play it at least five or six times a day just to keep me happy. During the years when my family and I would drive down to Florida, we would play a lot of Gloria's music. When my father wanted to take a break from driving, he would climb in the back and have a nap, while my mother took over the driving with me in the passenger seat. She would play the Cuts Both Ways album and when this song came on, I would sing the whole thing without a problem. I have a lot of great memories of this song.

From Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine's album Cuts Both Ways (1989). Another great song.

From Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine's album Cuts Both Ways (1989). Not a favorite of mine.

From the album Into The Light (1991). This was the only hit from the Into The Light (1991) album. This was the song that reflected the most on her bus accident. I wish she would have included Live For Loving You, which is also from the Into The Light (1991) album. My mother and I used to sing that one as well.

Previously unreleased. This was Gloria's first Christmas song and she had written it for her son, Nayib. In fact, this is the second song she recorded for her son, the first song is called, Nayib's Song (I Am Here For You), and it can be found on the Into The Light (1991) album. In 1993, a year after this album, Gloria recorded a Christmas album entitled, Christmas Through Your Eyes, where she added this song to it.

Previously unreleased. This is a beautiful song. I recommend that everyone listen to this song.

Previously unreleased. Okay.

Previously unreleased. Okay.

I've been a fan of Gloria's for years and she will always remain as one of the best female performers of the world today.

4-0 out of 5 stars The title says it all!
This collection features songs from PRIMITIVE LOVE,LET IT LOOSE,CUTS BOTH WAYS and INTO THE LIGHT. Gloria Estefan had other hits that do not appear on this collection. They are BAD BOY from PRIMITIVE LOVE and heard in the movie "Three Men And A Baby",the title track from CUTS BOTH WAYS,SEAL OUR FATE and some other from INTO THE LIGHT. New tracks are CHRISTMAS THROUGH YOUR EYES,heard every Christmas season since 1992 when this album was released,I SEE YOUR SMILE,which was another hit,another hit,ALWAYS TOMORROW,and GO AWAY heard during the opening credits of the Warner Bros. film,"Made In America". ... Read more

174. Seal IV
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0000AA489
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 687
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (180)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent - but (unfortunately) non-adventurous
I love Seal. From early on in the "Crazy"/"Bring It On" days, through the gorgeous "Kiss From A Rose", his music has been as sleek as a finely tailored suit. Deep rich vocals, gorgeous instrumentation and just-right production (primarily from Trevor Horn) are hallmarks of everything he's ever released.
This is as true as ever on Seal (IV). And while the disc represents a move toward more introspective and "I care about the world" type lyrics, most of these songs would have fit nicely on Seal 1, 2 or 3. That's mildly disappointing, because there has to be an untapped potential to his artistry.
Seal ups the ante when it comes to dance beats this time out, and the strongest songs are the ones that really move your feet. "Get It Together" is a monster, all Philly-style soul with excellent house beats and gorgeous strings. "Let ME Roll" is an even better use of horns, which meld perfectly with some outstanding electronica touches and an impassioned vocal. And "My Vision" is possibly the best blending of techno and ballad styled music to be released this year.
There are, as always, some gorgeous slow ballads on this disc - and fortunately, Seal has mostly stayed away from the audlt contemporary style that he seemed to enjoy on his follow ups to "Kiss From A Rose". Here 2 songs in particular, "Touch" and "Loneliest Star" show the guy is the equivalent of Sade when it comes to quiet-storm styled R&B set to both lull and seduce the listener. Seal's even open enough to give a reggae song a try, and while "Where There's Gold" is not a killer cut, it is nice to hear his great pipes trying their best to expand in range.
This is great material - I just wish that there was something really "new" here - supposedly, Seal was finishing a different album (titled Togetherland)that was more adventurous than anything previous, but he was unhappy with the results, and returned to London to work with Horn. Here's hoping that some of these tracks find their way to the public - it would be great to hear what other styles or rhythms he works in.

3-0 out of 5 stars Seal branches out w/ mixed results
Seal really tries on some different styles on this album - reggae, classic R&B - and for the most part succeeds. The best tracks are "Don't Make Me Wait", a beautiful Ray Charles-esque soul ballad whose arrangement is quite traditional (piano with string flourishes), and "Where There's Gold", a downtempo, somewhat ominous track with a reggae bassline and a great lyric.

Overall this does feel like a compromise record - keep in mind that Warner refused to release the "Wonderland" album because they couldn't market it(maybe someday it'll see the light of day), and certainly a lot of tracks here feel like they're intended for the pop charts. There's few weak tracks (the syrupy "Love's Divine" and the bland "Touch") but also few standouts - nothing that grabs you on the first listen like the tracks on his 2nd album.

I wish Seal would try a different producer - I've always felt that Seal's best tracks are the ones where his voice can stand out the most & the backing music is spartan ("Whirlpool" being the best example), and unfortunately Trevor Horn feels the need to bring the synth in at every point (I would have loved to see them keep the acoustic-y feel from the intro & break of "Get it Together" through the entire song rather than ladling on the disco synth-strings & horns).

Although this album does stand up to his previous work, overall I would say that this album is the least enjoyable of the four. Still, the man could sing the phone book and I'd listen, and so even a below-average effort from Seal is still worth buying.

5-0 out of 5 stars Seal Does It Again
It seems that anything Seal sings is destined to be good, and IV is no different. Like his three previous albums the music is top quality, dominated by Seal's powerful voice. The cuts vary from up-tempo R&B to soft ballads. This album is right in the middle of Seal's ability, and although he doesn't reach to try something radically new it is still a great listen.

From the opening notes of piano and Seal's voice on "Get It Together" it is easy to hear this album is worthwhile. Starting with the upbeat dance feel tune of vocal gymnastics, Seal rushes back to the scene. "My Vision" is classic Seal letting his voice carry the beginning of the tune, as the accompaniment is barely noticeable before they jump in with force. The music experiments with different levels of intensity all held together by Seal's voice. He gets back into more R&B sounds with "Let Me Roll." His slow stuff is good too, but how could it not be with a voice like his. "Don't Make Me Wait" is soft yet powerful, and "Love's Divine" follows suit.

Let's face it, we buy Seal albums for his voice. His is one of the best in the business, and even if he played the same music over and over and only changed how he sang, we'd buy it too. The music is the canvas on which he uses his voice to paint vivid pictures of soul and feeling. If you're a Seal fan, this album is definitely worth it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Feels a bit incomplete
Seal's 4th album "Seal IV" is his first since "Human Beeing" in 1998 but it's far from as good as previous albums. He and longtime collaborator Trevor Horn desperately try to make miracles of a album that never reaches above it's potential. Seal's somehow raspy voice is always pleasant to listen to but none of the songs here comes close to classics such as "Prayer For The Dying" "Kiss From a Rose" or "Crazy". They have also tried to make a new sound, a soulish motown sound, which doesn't suit the image of true Seal music. This album is far from bad, with many decent songs like the catchy disco influented "Get it Together" the ballad "Lover's Devine" and up-tempo "My Vision". The sound of many songs are great, but the lyrics fall plain. There aren't songs with magical hooks either. I would have like remixes on a few songs. The potential is there but it Feels a bit incomplete and messy. listen before buying.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing CD!!!!
I can highly recommend this CD to everyone. It is an amazing mix of ballads and more upbeat songs that plays wonderfully in the background at dinner time and at partys or just for you when you enjoy a relaxing evening at home. This is a CD that gets better and better, the more you listen to it. I have to confess that when I listend to it the very first time, I wasn't that impressed but the more I played the CD the better it got. But this is what makes great music, listening to pieces without getting tired of it. I love this CD and I am sure that you won't regret this purchase. WEll Done, Seal ;-))) I am a big fan ;-) ... Read more

175. Avalon Sunset
list price: $13.98
our price: $13.98
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Asin: B000001FQV
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4431
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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When R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe wrote "That's me in the spotlight / Losing my religion," he could have been singing about Van Morrison, the man who lost his three times within a decade. In the end, though, Van returned to Christ and foundhimself rewarded with his first British Top 20 hit. With its sparse piano hookand Cliff Richard's guest vocals, "Whenever God Shines His Light" is a misleading beginning for an album awash in the kind of sentimental orchestration that might hurt one's teeth were it not for its perpetrators' almost childlike wonder. Cynics, then, needn't concern themselves with love songs like "Have I Told You Lately" and "Orangefield"--both of which suggest that, despite his renewal of faith, Morrison's muse isn't purely metaphysical. Even better is the spoken-word reverie "Coney Island," in which a grown man can be heard extolling the virtues of potted herrings. Naturally, it's the best thing here. --Peter Paphides ... Read more

Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars Van is definitely not "Tired Joey Boy!"
His second of three straight masterpieces (Poetic Champions Compose" before and "Enlightenment" after), "Avalon Sunset" brought Van back into many people's lives with the success of "Have I Told You Lately." The Rod Stewart cover debacle aside, this song has stood the test of time very nicely. Of course, the thing for me that puts this song over the top is the piano solo by Neil Drinkwater. The warmth of this solo could melt icebergs, and he's a big reason why Van's three albums from this period are so masterful. Neil also shines on the other two releases, giving them a level of feeling that would make Bill Evans proud. Like many Van fans, I also love the wonderfully eccentric tracks "Coney Island" and "I'm Tired Joey Boy." Add these songs to other gems like "Whenever God Shines His Light" (love that piano), "Contacting My Angel" and Orangefield" and you have a masterpiece in the making.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Return of True Genius
"Avalon Sunset" in my opinion marks a return to Van Morrison of yesteryear. Songs such as "Whenever God Shines His Light" and "I'd Love To Write Another Song" sound as if they were fresh from his "Into The Music" era. "Contacting My Angel" hearkens back to "Astral Weeks" or "Veedon Fleece", and "Have I Told You Lately" stands on its own as a fine single. This follow-up to "Irish Heartbeat" truly matches in quality and these two albums mark a much improved Van Morrison.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Polished
This album is very polished. It includes "Whenever GOD Shines A Light on Me." and "Have I Told You Lately." The latter is one of the best love songs I have ever heard. My wife Debbie and I love to dance to that song. Van Morrison is more brilliant than he gets credit for.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not nearly as good as earlier work
This album has received tremendous praise from many of the Amazon customers but I have to disagree. The lyrics are not nearly as deep and personal as those found on Moondance and Astral Weeks. His voice has obviously aged as well. When examined critically, Van Morrison's voice is not why we enjoy his music (at least for me anyway). It is the spirit and the feelings that his music engenders. His voice is just good enough to not take away from these things. He is in the same league as a Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin in that regard. These guys would probably not sell many acapella albums but would win poetry contests or instrumental competitions for days. When Van Morrison's aged voice is coupled with lyrics written to say "I am a Christian" and not "I am Van Morrison (who happens to be a Christian)" you get only 2 - 2.5 stars.

4-0 out of 5 stars these are the days
van gets better with age it's too bad people know rod stewart's version of have i told you van wrote the damn song people give him his due these are the days when people wake up and listen to the most soulful man there ever was ... Read more

176. Out of the Blue
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Asin: B0000025DV
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3738
Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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ELO's fusion of Beatles-esque harmonies and melodic structure, coupled with their symphonic arrangements was just on the verge of wearing thin at the time they released Out of the Blue. To argue that the double album went platinum because of the band's live extravaganza to support it--the band performed inside a flying saucer--is a premise worthy of consideration. Song for song, Out of the Blue is not as strong as Face the Music, but it still has some of Jeff Lynne's finest compositions ever recorded. "Turn to Stone" and "Sweet Talkin' Woman" are almost downright giddy in their deliveries; the former opening with a string riff, the latter with a minor key violin line, before boasting a choral background accompaniment. "Mr. Blue Sky" and "The Whale" are almost too hokey, yet still managed to work. "Standin' in the Rain," "Big Wheels," and "Summer and Lightening" are more memorable. But in the end, power cello riffs can only take you so far. Stick with a "greatest hits" or "best of" collection in this case. --Steve Gdula ... Read more

Reviews (62)

4-0 out of 5 stars 3-1/2 stars really, but I'll round up
Ah, OUT OF THE BLUE.....where do I even start. This was one of the first LPs I ever bought back in the day. Let's face it, this was ear-candy at its finest. A few too many empty calories, but still very fulfilling none-the-less (that is if you like ear-candy).

The best stuff here is just as good as the best stuff on earlier (and more consistent) ELO records. "Turn to Stone" is immaculate, "Sweet Talkin' Woman" is fun, "Night in the City" captures its subject so well. The Concerto for a Rainy Day section is very nicely done, indeed (especially the melancholic "Big Wheels").

But, alas, there is a fair amount of filler. This probably could have been avoided had Jeff Lynne decided not to release this as a 2-record set. I've always found "Starlight" particularly annoying and songs like "Sweet is the Night" and "Across the Border" make it seem that Lynne was scraping the bottom of the barrel. Then there are instances where the production becomes intrusive. "Birmingham Blues" is actually one of the better songs on the album, but the performance is too stiff, too calculated.

Still, this CD has at least one good album's worth of material on it and it is easily worth 12 bucks....that is, if you're into really well-crafted pop music.

5-0 out of 5 stars TOP 3 album
This album was just recently bumped from 2 to NO. 3 on my altime favorite albums by Roxette 'Have a nice day' (STYX 'pieces of eight' being no.1)

I think one of the biggest mistakes ELO ever made was not releasing 'Jungle'. Every one I have ever talked to that has heard it, loves it, with its footstompin' beat and fantastic melody. Mr Bluesky (one of the songs responsible for me becoming an elo fan) wild west hero, sweet talkin woman,and turn to stone are all 4 star (A) night in the city, standin in the rain, summer & lightning, big wheels are good 3 1/2 (B+ - A-) and the rest are no worse then 3 (B)

NOTE to all ElO fans: if you don't have it, look for Tandy & Morgan 'Earthrise' (thats Richard Tandy formerly of ELO) this CD is moving up fast on my all time favorites, and I suspect it may surpass 'Out of the blue' into the No.3 spot. it is very rare and difficult to find but VERY WELL worth it. Material is simmular to 2095, Here is the news, 4 little diamonds, Danger Ahead,. 3 of their sogs are featured on ELO friends and relitives. If you have heard those songs, the rest are that good or better.

I didn't care for elo's first 3 albums, (which is a mystery to me why all of Jeff Lynnes Pre- ELO stuff is so great i.e. Move, Idle Race)then face the music I thought was good, after that, Lynne could do no wrong (except for 'Sorrow bout to fall'- BOP and 'Mandalay' - Afterglow) my oppinion of jeff lynne is he is right behind Freddie Mercury (Queen) of greatest Rock Geniuses ever. (Abba's Bjorn Ulvaeus is right there also.)

I don't know why some of these cridicts you see here, complain of elo changing from their early stuff. EXCUSE THEM FROM WANTING TO MAKE SOME MONEY AND GETTING SOME TOP 40 HITS!!! Which they were not going to to with songs like 'Mr Radio' and 'Look at me now' and 'Mr kingdom'

This album is simply a must, Weather you are an elo fan or not.!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars every song on here is a hit
no, i'm not just saying that every song on here is good enough to have been a hit, i'm saying every song on here _is_ a hit (most are small hits, but still hits!). i just got this album the other day, and i know _all_ of these songs (i must have heard em on the radio over the years).

the album starts out with "turn to stone", which is the biggest hit on here, and a great upbeat song, with a mindblowingly phenomenal bridge.

"it's over" is probably my least favorite song on the album, but it's still good..

i absolutely love "sweet talkin woman", with all the energized background singers in the chorus (and even the verses)! but my absolute favorite part of this song (and the album) is the wonderful pre-chorus.. "i don't know what i'm gonna do, i gotta get back to you!" you _have_ to sing along. i tried not singing along once; it didn't work

oh, and in "across the border", the best part is the "ooh"s; they're the only part of the song i sing along with (i don't quite know all the lyrics; but i totally got the ooh's down perfectly)

"night in the city".. driving you insane! man, these guys know how to write some fun songs. what do think about the crazy bridge? i don't think any band could have pulled that off except elo.

oh man, "starlight" is just perfect!

from the mellow "starlight" to the totally upbeat "jungle"! the humming is my favorite.

a lovely instrumental then leads to one of my favorite songs on the album, the beautiful "steppin out".

and then another great instrumental leading into the powerful "standing in the rain"

which leads right into "big wheels turning".. man, another great song. i absolutely love the chorus and all the orchestra

"summer and lightning", another wonderful song. i think i like the chorus in this one even better than the last one

"mr blue sky". "it's so beautiful today, hey hey hey!" come on, i don't have to say anything. everyone knows this song is the best

"sweet is the night". i can't take it; all these songs are too good. it's the verses that totally make this song great.. and all that awesome orchestra in the background

"the whale" isn't just some filler instrumental; it's just some music that was so perfect it didn't need any words. "fire on high" was the energetic masterpiece instrumental of elo, and this is the mellow masterpiece instrumental

alright, "birmingham blues". good stuff; what else can i say? and the handclaps are great (:

and it ends with one of the greatest songs on the album (yeah, i know they're all great, but this one is really something), "world wide hero". yep, all those great songs you just heard, and they still end up saving the best one for last.

please get this album.

5-0 out of 5 stars Spectacular 70s Pop
I heard Mr. Blue Sky playing on a commercial for a new Jim Carrey movie, and I was immediately hooked by the stellar harmony and driving, upbeat tempo. To my pleasant surprise, the entire album is like that too! 70 minutes of precisely performed power pop, replete with heart melting harmonies, space age extravagance, soaring vocals and an overall symphonic effusion...mind blowing! The Beatles comparisons are deserved, but ELO is not your average, cheap impostor. Their hooks and harmonies may be derived from The Beatles, but coupled with their completely original use of the power-pop-space-rock-orchestra, Out Of The Blue stands out as a remarkably disparate and enjoyable album. For fans of authentic, heartfelt, blissful pop music, this is a must have.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Definitive E.L.O."
I would definately call this album the definitive E.L.O. Probably contains the most ever popular and/or charting singles released from the band. Had the 8Track cartridge, STILL have the double UA/Jet LPs! And since it wasn't so very long running time on the two LPs, nice that it's able to fit on a single CD. I kept wanting to start playing from "Concerto for a rainy day" (always played that vinyl side most actually..) but couldn't find it on cd, because eventually noticing there's a track/index marker missing here, that should be at end of "stepping out", so instead you get "stepping out" with a silence pause, and into "standing in the rain", making one long time total for stepping out, and throwing the number sequence off, the most obvious. I thought something was up when I advanced to get to "standing in the rain" but got "big wheels" instead. Was able to fix this and make my own new corrected disc. Has anyone else noticed this, or was it limited to certain pressing batches?

This CD is THE sound of E.L.O., also love the Time disc.. and of course you have to have "Greatest Hits"! ... Read more

177. Recurring Dream: The Very Best Of Crowded House
list price: $16.98
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Asin: B000002U5B
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4846
Average Customer Review: 4.74 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (58)

5-0 out of 5 stars Crowded With Hits
Australia's Crowded House is one of the most underrated bands of the late 80's and 90's. They experienced their biggest commercial success with their first, self-titled album. The album contained the superb single, the languid "Don't Dream It's Over" which peaked at number two in 1987. It was followed by the more upbeat, but equally superb "Something So Strong" which also hit the top ten peaking at number seven. The band would never again hit the top forty with a single. Their next album, The Temple Of Low Men, was a 180-degree turn from their first album. It was dark and somber with intensely personal songs that probably turned fans away. The excellent "Into Temptation" is the strongest track and "Better Be Home Soon" also rates highly. Leader Neil Finn starting writing songs with his brother, Tim Finn for a proposed Finn Brothers project. That idea was scraped, Tim joined the band and the songs were included on their third album, Woodface, which is their masterpiece. The strength of the album is the brother's flawless harmonies that a deep richness to the songs. "Weather With You" is the band's best song and was unjustly never the hit it deserved to be. During the Woodface tour, Tim, left the band and he would be replaced on the fourth album by American guitarist, Mark Hart. Together Alone added a heavier guitar sound as well as a Maori influence and features the excellent "Pineapple Head". The band broke up in 1996. Recurring Dreams is a fine overview of the band's music, amply filled out by nineteen tracks, three of which, "Not The Girl You Think You Are", "Instinct" & "Everything Is Good For You" are new. Highly recommended for hardcore fans, is a two-disk set with the second disk being a DVD which includes all the band's videos as well as an interview.

4-0 out of 5 stars "It's a treasure that I have gained"
That line appears in "Private Universe," one of the many gems Neil Finn wrote during his days in residence at Crowded House. The song that it is lifted from, "Private Universe," is one of a dazzling array of love songs that he wrote over the House's four album lifespan. Very few artists have that gift for infectious melody that Finn (or his brother Tim) have. And while they only really connected big on that one superb hit single, "Don't Dream It's Over," Crowded House were never short of the mark on any of their albums.

It makes "Recurring Dream" a treasure trove of McCartney-esque jewels of melody and harmony, the kind of dark songs that sneak up on you and stick to the roof of your brain later. They were capable of melodic rock ("Locked Out"), bittersweet ballads ("Four Seasons in One Day") and even a wicked sense of humor ("Everything is Good For You" and - even though it's not included here - "Chocolate Cake"). There are also precious few rock bands willing to write songs in three quarter time, as Crowded House did on "Not The Girl You Think You Are."

Crowded House was one of those bands that seemed to grow with each album, only to find their audience dwindling with each successive release. I'm happy to have been a lifelong fan, and as I stated for the review title, their albums are treasures in my library. If you've lost them over the years or just want a good collection of songcraft, "Recurring Dream" is a noteworthy addition to your collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you!
Wow! Thank you gwar_rock_god!!! Crowded House are, indeed, NOT Australian but pure and simple Kiwis like myself. What a relief not to have ANOTHER of our talents stolen by the Australians - it seems to have happened with a number of our citizens. At the moment they are trying to claim Keisha Castle-Hughes, the star of "Whale Rider" who was nominated for Best Actress at the Oscars this year. I can't believe the Aussies sometimes. They'd claim our rugby team if they could...

But anyways, Crowded House are one of our finest exports. Almost every New Zealander owns one of their albums and for good reason! Their music is catchy but soulful and so easy to listen to. My favourites include "Into Temptation" "Fall At Your Feet" and "Four Seasons In One Day." Absolutely brilliant. Highly recommend to anyone - even an Australian!!

5-0 out of 5 stars They are NOT australian!
First of all I wanna say this band is NOT Australian! They are from New Zealand which is as far away from Australia as London is from Moscow, Russia. They don't even sound Australian! go to there website, and you will find they're Kiwis. Why do you aussies try to claim bands that are not even australian? shortage of talent down there??? that you have to try to take another countries talent?? There is a huge diffrence between the kiwi and aussie accents so your not fooling anyone, and no im not a kiwi, im an american. Anyways on to the music. It's good crafted, well written 80's pop-rock. Neil Finn has really got some talent. Almost all of the songs on here are good! 5 stars.

4-0 out of 5 stars what a song!
"Better Be Home Soon" is one of the best (and most emotional) songs I've ever heard!
It really conjures up some true feelings... that's great songwriting :-) ... Read more

178. 1973-97-Complete Hits Collection
list price: $39.98
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Asin: B00005NNM8
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 984
Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (56)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview of a great body of work
Having grown up with an older brother and a cousin who are rabid Billy Joel fans, I grew up listening to his music on a daily basis. What has always amazed me about Joel is the ease with which he can jump styles. He can rock out ("Big Shot", "A Matter Of Trust"), be tender ("She's Always A Woman", "She's Got A Way"), even do a little gospel ("River Of Dreams"). True, I like some of his songs better than others, but overall you have to appreciate his solid musicianship, both in performing and writing. It's also amazing how he can span generations--both my 66-year-old father and my 11-year-old niece are fans (in fact, "The Stranger" was the only rock album Dad would let us play in the car on family trips!). In this age of sampling being called songwriting, it's great to hear an artist who can truly write great songs, truly sing, and truly play. This set literally covers Joel's career beginning to end, and the third disk, which is a combination of a talk he gave to college students and live tracks (including a great cover of "Back In The USSR" and, of course, the awesome singalong that is "Piano Man") gives a fascinating glimpse into how some of his greatest hits came into being. A must for any Joel fan, even if you're just a casual one, because this set has everything and more.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you only get one Billy Joel CD...
then by all means get this boxed set.

Let's get this out of the way: the fourth CD of this collection is probably a waste of good plastic. Not that there isn't some good stuff there, but most of it probably will only appeal to Joel purists (for whom the other three CDs will seem superfluous and thus pass this set by). This is what, I'm afraid, is causing some reviewers here to lower their ratings of this otherwise excellent collection.

But for someone who isn't interested in collecting all of B.J's albums this set is very nice indeed. The first two CDs are the remastered recordings of Billy Joel's Greatest hits volume 1 and 2 (that were sold as a boxed set around the same price as this 4 disk set), and the last is (duh) the remastered version of Greatest hits volume 3. So, together this collection gives you two sets for the price of one.

The sound is pristine (compared to my previous, non-remastered recording of The Stranger, these were much cleaner tracks) and represent most of what the man from Bedford Sty did well. If you are truly a Billy Joel fan you'll want all his CDs, but for those of us who enjoy him but are not fanatic this is probably all you need in your collection (his best album, "The Stranger", is almost included here in its entirety, particularly since he includes a live cover of "Vienna").

5-0 out of 5 stars What a great collection!
The thing I like most about Billy Joel is that he's consistent with making good-old-fashioned SONGS (Beatles fans understand what I mean). Lyrics are good, melodies are good, instrumentals are good, sing-a-long quality is good... it's just good stuff. This box set is the perfect showcase for Joel's great career.

It's a pretty amazing feat when you can release 42 of your greatest hits and not have a single clunker in the bunch. No skip button necessary here, folks. I wish I could name my favorites on here, but I like all of these songs, which means there's no real standout (that can either be a good thing or a bad thing; here, it's a good thing).

Discs 1-3 serve up the main course, but disc 4 is also a terrific treat. It features discussions from music seminars and a few live performances (the live version of "Piano Man" will become an instant favorite of yours). The music's great, of course, but hearing the man talk is also entertaining. He gives detailed answers to pretty simple questions and is, to my suprise, a very funny guy.

The box set is also packaged with a slipcase and an interesting booklet that features an essay on Billy Joel and the lyrics to the songs featured. It's only a few bucks extra than GHV1&2, so it goes without saying that I'd HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who appreciates great music.

Note: All of the songs are remastered, but disc one isn't enhanced with the music video (like the one on the remastered GHV1&2). Regardless, I'd go with this over other Billy Joel compilations.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is THE Billy Joel Collection to Own
If you are a Billy Joel fan and want to own all of his best music, this is the collection to own. The first 3 CD's span nearly all of his hits in chronological order. The listener is then given an added treat in the 4th CD of Billy Joel doing a live "music business seminar" where he delights his fans with witty dialogue and, of course, brilliant displays of his composing and performance artistry. The set is worth the purchase just to hear him perform "Scenes from an Italian Restaraunt" and his live rendition of the Beatles classic, "Hard Days Night". Additionally this set is brilliantly packaged with photographs and a written biography of Billy that explains how his background affected his music. Get this CD and bask in the musical wisdom and genius of the Piano Man. Truly one of the classic greatest hits collections!

5-0 out of 5 stars This is THE Billy Joel Collection to Own
If you are a Piano Man fan and want to own all of Billy Joel's best music, this is a must own collection. The first 3 CD's span virtually all of his greatest hits in chronological order. The listener is then given an added treat in the 4th CD of Billy Joel doing a live "music business seminar" where he delights his fans with witty dialogue and, of course, brilliant displays of his composing and performance artistry. The set is worth the purchase just to hear him perform "Scenes from an Italian Restaraunt" and his live rendition of the Beatles classic, "Hard Days Night". Additionally this set is attractively packaged with photographs and a written biography of Billy that explains how his personal experiences affected his music. Get this CD and bask in the musical wisdom and genius of the Piano Man. Truly one of the classic greatest hits collections! ... Read more

179. The Stranger
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Asin: B00000DCHC
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3901
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

This, pop superstar Joel's breakout LP, came years after he first hit the charts with the novelty-ish "Piano Man." In the meantime, the New York-based songwriter released two lackluster and stylistically confused platters that blunted interesting songs with a sound that was neither Elton mellow nor Elton attitude. Produced by Phil Ramone, The Stranger took those who had written Joel off as a one-hit wonder by surprise ("Just the Way You Are" was among the biggest hits of 1977) and it remains a solid introduction to Joel's restless muse at a crucial point in his career. It invited a few comparisons to Bruce Springsteen, with its prominent sax breaks, hard-edged rebel-rockers ("Only the Good Die Young"), and slice-of-life dramatics ("Scenes From an Italian Restaurant"), recounting life in a lower middle-class (Eastern Urban) setting; but Joel's chameleonic, formalist approach to pop wasn't to be so easily pigeonholed (Glass Houses, The Nylon Curtain, An Innocent Man...). --Don Harrison ... Read more

Reviews (59)

5-0 out of 5 stars By E-Riv....the album that made him famous...good deal
No kidding, this album definitely put Billy Joel thru the roof. With six songs that went on to become part of his greatest hits collection, including the chart-toppers "Scenes From An Italian Restaurant" and "Just the Way You Are", this album has a lot to offer. Surely a must buy, along with all of Billy's other cds. Go for it, in all seriousness, you won't regret it after you experience the marvel and talent of one of the greatest composers, performers, and thinkers around. Song by Song:

1.Movin Out (Anthony's Song)- A new rock classic that combines italian pride with plenty of movement. The steady eigth note beat backs up this minor beat.

2.The Stranger- A very creative song, with an intelligent use of the classic theme played at the beginning and end by piano/whistle sound. This, combination with an upbeat tempo rock song in the middle intensify the song, as to remind one of his later song, "Pressure".

3.Just the Way You Are- The classic slow love song that, with little accompaniment, provides a room full of sound and warmth, as well as using much of Billy's vocal range.

4.Scenes From An Italian Restaurant- This rock opera song, divided into three main parts, has much genius contained within it. The first (and last) part includes marvelous saxophone solos with a light use of piano, but marvelous chord changes. The second part is a faster paced melody, with trombone and clarinet jazz accompaniment. The third part is a fast, light song that uses heavy piano as accompaniment. Actually, all of the parts of this song use piano as accompaniment. The balance of voice and instrument is brought together as strings and winds of all kinds are used in the fanciful array that is the song itself. With no doubt, one of his absolute best songs.

5.Vienna- This melancholy piece definitely brings out Billy's best delicate piano music, as the piano has a key part but is not overshadowing the vocals. Once again, very little instrumentation, but a whole lot of rhythm and charm to make this worthwhile.

6.Only the Good Die Young- This Americana moderately paced piece is full of energy and rhythm, as guitars, saxes, and most importantly, the tenor voice of Joel make music happen.

7.She's Always A Woman- Despite the numerous time signature changes throughout the piece, this manages to keep a steady beat, with piano and bass (that keep the beat) to create a peaceful, flowing work in a major key for most of the time.

8.Get It Right the First Time- This energetic song uses a variety of percussion as well as other various instruments, such as a flute (or something along those lines) to brighten the story.

9.Everybody Has a Dream- Probably the least significant song on the album, this gospel like song uses a variety of chords and is fairly slow paced.

5-0 out of 5 stars Piano Man's Best
Billy Joel had tasted some success before the release of The Stranger, with the hit single "Piano Man", but this is the album that made him a superstar. The album is a virtual greatest hits record with most of the 9 songs being instantly recognizable. The songs move from sentimental ballads like "Just The Way You Are" (which won the 1978 Record of the Year Grammy) and "She's Always A Woman" to rockers like "Only The Good Die Young" and "Anthony's Song". "The Stranger" is a strange combination of what seems like two different songs. It opens and closes with a jazzy piano riff while the middle of the song is a hard rocker. "Vienna" is one of the lesser known songs on the album, but is a personal favorite of mine with it's sing-a-long chorus and what sounds like an old squeeze box in the break. The centerpiece of the album is "Scenes From An Italian Restaurant" which tells the story of the rise and fall of Brenda & Eddie. Some of the songs may be a bit overplayed, but the reason is that they're great and timeless songs.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Everyman Experience from a very special artist!
This is indeed one of rare albums that is a must have for any serious collector of today's music! Joel's brilliance and talent shines throughout the entire CD. He has a very talented band, too! Not only are these great songs with entertaining lyrics and melodies, Joel uses these songs to portray common life experiences for people in today's world: Anger, disillusionment, the struggle to be truly vulnerable with a lover, despair, love for another, the temptation of drugs, raw sexuality and hope for the future. (In "Movin' Out," "The Stranger," "Scenes From An Italian Restaurant," "Just The Way You Are," "Scenes From An Italian Restaurant," "Only The Good Die Young," and "Everybody Has A Dream," respectively.) It is Joel's treatment of these natural human emotions and experiences coupled with great music and lyrics that makes this a stellar album.

Billy Joel gained much status as a result of this album-deservedly so! I recommend this for ANYBODY who wants an excellent instant classic addition to their collection! A BUY! GRIN

5-0 out of 5 stars Billy Joel's Best, I Think
Wow, this album blows you away. Those rare albums you can find where every song or every song except 1 or 2, is great are hard to find. This is one of them. Some people will argue that this was not when he was at his best. I'd like to hear how they can justify that, but anyway. It starts off with a classic, Movin Out (Anthony's Song), then, one of my favorites, a haunting melody, The Stranger. Joel proves his extreme talent in this album. Then it moves to beautiful songs like, "Just The Way You Are," and "Scenes From An Italian Restaraunt," many people's favorite song of all time. The next song, Vienna, is also beautiful. And with megahit, Song #6, Only The Good Die Young, he basically proves that his music can go many ways and still be great. That fast moving tune, has some of the best lyrics anywhere. This album is a must have for everyone who likes any form of Rock. Not just Billy Joel.

His next two songs, "She's Always A Woman" and "Get It Right The First Time" don't let you down. With Shes Always A Woman's powerful lyrics, and Get It Right The First Time's" fast moving beat, there were two more incredible songs on this album.

The only song that is not great is the next one, in my opinion, "Everybody Has A Dream." A decent song, that is not near the first 8, it is a good way to end the album.

This album here, contains 8 songs that would be in my Top 20 Billy Joel songs of all time. Not that his other works were not excellent, like "Piano Man," or "52nd Street," but "The Stranger" is superior. No question in my mind.

3-0 out of 5 stars Great songs with better to come
Released in 1977, an album that became familiar to me, through my brothers repetitive playing of it. Great album with a load of good tracks, but kind of gave it the three and a half star limit, as my life was going through some strange turns at the time of release.

The album starts off with the catchy sounds of "Moving out (Anthony's song), which was about making that sea-change from the city. "The stranger" comes across well with it's moderate paced light rock rhythms, but this albums main highlight was "Just the way you are", which was the main reason I bought this CD. "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" has a great lively middle section, but seems to be bogged down by some kind of sax interlude, which could of somewhat been omitted. "Vienna" gives a late night feel, with a light dusting of a french meladome, but now we come to the best part of the album, "Only the good die young". The piano hook, followed by that enthusiastically jumping percussion kicks this song right along. "She's always a woman to me" is o'kay. Originally an excellent track, but worn thin a bit through these damn "Hits and Memories" radio stations. "Get it right the first time" hits off with a great rhythm section, and carries through with the "la la la la" sentiment. The album finishes off with the warm ambience of "everybody has a dream", somewhat with the vague feel of Leonard Cohen's backing group.

If this album came out five years later, I may have given it the five star rating. ... Read more

180. Honky Chateau
list price: $11.98
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Asin: B000001EGE
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4484
Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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By 1972, Elton John was already a rising star in America, although most casual listeners still identified him as part of the singer/songwriter explosion, thanks to the success of "Your Song" and "Levon." Honky Château changed all that, beginning with the success of "Honky Cat," a rousing New Orleans-ish R&B powerhouse that kicks off this terrific collection of songs. This was the album that first revealed John as a pure-pop craftsman, and he's all over the musical map on this set, moving from country-ish rock to blues-based rockers. But the best things here still might be two gorgeous ballads: "Mona Lisas & Mad Hatters" (displaying the young vocalist at his best) and the hit single "Rocket Man" (which had many rock fans debating which was the better space odyssey of the day--this or Bowie's). And lyricist Bernie Taupin was revealing a new, slightly darker side here via tunes like "I Think I'm Gonna Kill Myself." --Bill Holdship ... Read more

Reviews (37)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good Honk
After the sprawling sounds of his first four albums, Honky Chateau finds Elton John moving in a more commercial direction. The songs are shorter and punchier. While this produced one his most enduring songs, "Rocket Man", it doesn't always work. "Rocket Man" is a certified pop classic and has become so identifiable with Mr. John that it has become an appellation of his. "Honky Cat" lives up to its name with its honky tonk keyboards. "Mona Lisa & Mad Hatters" is nice ballad and "Hercules" is a spry rocker that closes out the album. The rest of the album is spotty with songs like "I Think I'm Gonna Kill Myself", "Mellow" and "Susie (Dramas)" being misses. The change to a more commercial direction was a wise though as Honky Chateau became Elton John's first number one album and started an incredible streak of seven consecutive number one albums.

5-0 out of 5 stars Elton's Best Folk Rock Album
Without question, "Honky Chateau" has to be regarded as one of Elton John's finest albums, even if it's not as good as his masterpiece "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road". The first of several albums recorded in an old French chateau - hence the album's title - it is Elton John's and Bernie Taupin's last major foray into American folk rock. And it's an album where every tune still sounds as fresh and vibrant now; there's no obvious filler material here, though "Susie (Dramas)" and "Hercules" come close. Aside from the hits "Honky Chateau" and "Rocket Man", there are several great tunes which should be regarded as among the Elton's best, with great melodies and splendid lyrics from Bernie Taupin: "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters", "Mellow", "Think I'm Gonna Kill Myself" and "Slave". Jean Luc-Ponty's splendid electronic violin solo is heard in "Mellow", and is among the reasons why "Honky Chateau is an essential Elton John album. As an added bonus is an alternative version of "Slave", which valiantly tries to come across as Elton's rock and roll take on The Band's music. The album's original producer, Gus Dudgeon, and his team have done a fantastic job in remixing the album using the latest digital image bit technology.

5-0 out of 5 stars ELTON ROCKS !!
"Honky Chateau" has always been my favorite Elton John album, with "Don't Shoot Me ..." a close second. If these two had been released together as a double album, I think they would be even better than "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road". As great as they were, the three albums prior to "Honky Chateau" ("Elton John", "Tumbleweed Connection", and "Madman Across the Water") just hinted at what was to come. Although Elton had always used great musicians (Caleb Quaye, Roger Pope, etc.) this is the first album where Davey Johnstone, Dee Murray and Nigel Olsson play on the entire record. For whatever reason, this combo just clicked when it came to playing good old fashioned straight-ahead rock & roll. Add a few Frenchmen on horns and the great fusion jazz player, Jean-Luc Ponty, on electric violin and you wind up with one hell of a rockin' record. If you haven't already done so, check out "Susie" - one of my all-time favorite Elton songs - which just exudes funk. Ponty's electric violin solo on "Mellow" is also something you don't want to miss. Finally, "Honky Chateau" and "Don't Shoot Me" are the only two records I've had on vinyl, 8-track, cassette, and CD. What better recommendation could I give?

5-0 out of 5 stars Elton Has Fun
If you are looking to buy your first Elton John album, there are two ways to go about it: Play it safe and get his first Greatest Hits album, which has most of his classic singles from 1970-1974. Or be a little braver, and snag this, his most tuneful and enjoyable session workout, released in 1972. It's pop music ear candy that's good for the soul.

"Honky Château" has a lot of fans, and no wonder. It contains two of Elton's most enduring hits, the playful "Honky Cat" and the affectively yearning "Rocket Man," along with 8 other tracks that hardly sag by way of comparison. I revere this album because it represents Elton John at his poppy best, the way I came to love him on the radio when I was growing up in the 1970s. Other great songs like "Mellow," "Hercules," and "Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters" add to a rich blend of musical styles that make listening to the entire album a pleasant journey that never gets dull.

Listen to the way the piano kicks in on "Honky Cat," the opening track. Elton's keyboard passages bounce from one wall to another and back again in unpredictable but clever rhythmic patterns, while a banjo throws out odd notes to add to the mix. The aural dynamics continue with each of the songs that follow, never in a bombastic way, but a very accomplished and relaxed manner that testifies to Elton's zooming artistic growth.

Bernie Taupin's lyrics are funny and work either with or against the grain of the melody in each song in a way that adds to their signature diversity. "I Think I'm Going To Kill Myself" is a song that grabs attention for the wrong reason. It's actually about a self-dramatizing teen angry his parents won't let him use the car. His idea for suicide is laughable rather than horrific; he wants to hang around after he kills himself to see how everyone takes the bad news. If there's any lingering doubt about its seriousness, it's dispelled by the merry ragtime melody carrying it, complete with tap dancing. The song only works because the kid doesn't realize the gravity of what he's contemplating, because if he did he wouldn't be young and immature enough to think about doing it!

Elsewhere on the album are some of Taupin's most famous lines, about "trying to drink whiskey from a bottle of wine," "turn around and say good morning to the night," and most memorably, "Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids/In fact it's cold as hell." Man, did you think Taupin was writing that one about the street you were growing up on, too? Even when the lyrics are goofier, they still work, like his words to the nasty dreamwrecker "Amy": "You're far out, you're fab and insane/A woman of the world it's quite plain." Elton delivers that one with the right gravelly intonation, all sleazy and '70s glam, which along with the dire yet funky piano accompaniment makes "Amy" my call for Honky Chât's sleeper track.

The music is ultimately what makes the songs so good. Every song feels very unique, and none of it like filler. Filler is not a bad thing in and of itself; I define "filler" as being songs that either work or don't in the context of an album but not outside of it. But you can pull any one of these songs out on its own, and it won't wilt in isolation. "Slave" and "Salvation" may be my least favorite tracks, but both are solid tunes I can hum to myself days after last hearing them.

My favorite on this album has to be "Honky Cat," the sorta title track. I can listen to that forever. It really defines who Elton is on this album; carefree, amiable, willing to laugh at himself. I kind of picture him chained to a whorehouse piano playing that one, trying to make eye contact over his cokebottle glasses with all the wicked women because he wasn't out of the closet yet.

Other Elton albums may lay greater claim to being art, but this was Elton's best pop record, and his most enjoyable moment on wax. "Honky Château" is a gem worth having for your record collection.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great album
This album sees John heading in a more commercial and marketable direction that finally came to it's own on the next record, and paid off with Yellow Brick road. But a lot of this album is derived from the previous country/folk fusion from Madman across the water, minus the classical music parts. The lyrics are also more 'Everyday' and 'fun' rather than being so drenched in seriousness. My favourite would have to be the album closer, the laid back Hercules. That song is so cool! It's got great production. THis album ahs a more rootsy sound than the previous, too, it's more stripped down, there aren't any string arrangements. There is some excellent gospel/folk-rock in Slave and Salvation, though I'm not sure if the lyrics are cynical or seious for that last one. Honky Cat is just a lot of fun, as is Susie (Drama's), which I think is a really cool song. There is also some great saloon style piano on I think I'm gonna ..., Mellow and Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters, though I wonder about the lyrics, someitmes I think they are a cynical insult 'I thank the Lord there are people out there like you'. I find 'Amy' insincere. And then the hit 'Rocekt Man' is a typical product of it's time but who cares? it's a great song and has an interesting lyric. Overall, not my favourite but a great album that is hard to dislike. ... Read more

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