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Music Review Section

Music Index

The starting point for an index of all my musical sections.


Historic Album Reviews

I am gradually building up my reviews of historic albums from America to U2


The Music Years

Albums reviewed by years from 1963 until the present day.


The Gig List

A list of concerts and gigs I have attended over the years with reviews when I can remember what they were like.


Music Writing

My music writing - both published and unpublished.


Here and Now

Details of Eastern Evening News Here and Now columns I was involved in.


2009 Album Reviews

Major 2009 albums reviewed and rated.


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My Amazon Reviews
Free music - Best of 2009


Free music - Best of 2010

My favourite tracks from 2010 compiled as a playlist.






The Music Years - 1967

The following albums were released in 1967 and have been reviewed thanks to the following legal music sites:


Piper at the Gates of Dawn - 6

Astronomy Domine/Lucifer Sam/Matilda Mother/Flaming/Pow R. Toc H/Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk/Interstellar Overdrive/The Gnome/Chapter 24/Scarecrow/Bike.

One of the earliest and truest psychedelic records and the only Floyd album to feature Syd Barrett throughout which is probably enough reason to own it anyway. It's a weird trip from an embryonic band with all the rough corners that you might expect from a psychedelic first time out. To start with the title comes from the children's book The Wind in the Willows. Barrett's influences are everywhere. The songs deal with space, scarecrows, gnomes, bikes and any number of other strange things. Barrett either wrote or co-wrote every track apart from "Take Up the Stethoscope and Walk" which is a Roger Water's composition. Tracks like Flaming are quite difficult to understand over 40 years later. They sound as if they could have been written by an eight year old which might explain some of Barrett's subsequent problems. I have never subscribed to the Syd Barrett is a genius ideal, but what he has done with "Piper" is set out the stall of a band that would grow and mature from this rather strange and disorganised start with the music including all kinds of noises and weirdness that trap it firmly in a time warp. Back in 1967 it's the kind of album that would illicit a smile and a "I wonder where this band is going." The fact that Floyd moved from childish ramblings (albeit very interesting ones) into one of the most musically complex bands ever was a credit to all concerned. Sadly Barrett would soon jump ship - which may or may not have been a good thing - we will never know.


Bedsitter Images - Al Stewart 6

Bed-Sitter Images/ Swiss Cottage Manoeuvres/ The Carmichaels/ Scandinavian Girl/ Pretty Golden Hair/ Denise at 16/ Samuel, Oh How You've Changed/ Cleave to Me/ A Long Way Down From Stephanie/ Ivich/ Beleeka Doodle Day

If there was one man who stood up for the vagaries of Bedsitter Land it was Al Stewart and on his first album he ran through scenarios that were so recognisable. For a first album there was plenty of variety. The opener at times has a Spanish feel to it and Swiss Cottage  Manoeuvres even incorporates a brass section and Scandanavian Girl has an altogether unusual feel about it. Likewise Pretty Golden Hair has a background of swirling strings. This was a considerable variation in styles for 1967 and perhaps overall the album suffers a little through a lack of direction which doesn't mean it's a bad album by any stretch of the imagination even if the melody of Samuel Oh How You've Changed is very reminiscent of Streets of London, although the Stewart song appeared a good two years before McTell released Streets. "Cleave to Me" has a definite classical feel about it. In many ways this is a difficult first album to listen to as it takes considerable concentration.


To Review

All Summer Long - The Beach Boys

The Animals - The Animals

Another Side of - Bob Dylan

The Five Faces Of - Manfred Mann

The Manfred Mann Album - Manfred Mann

The Kinks - The Kinks

The Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones

The Times They Are a Changin' - Bob Dylan

12x5 - Rolling Stones