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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My music writing - both published and unpublished.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 - 1980

The following albums were released in 1964 and have been reviewed thanks to the following legal music sites:

 

America - Silent Letter - 8

Only Game in Town/ All Around/ Tall Treasures/ 1960/ And Forever/ Foolin/ All Night/ No Fortune/ All My Life/ One Morning/ High in the City

This is one of my favourite America albums. Returning to it after many years I suddenly realised how these songs fit like old friends. Dan Peek may have left the band but this is undeniably an America album. There are some beautiful tracks here - no more so than All My Life - a thoroughly tender ballad. Then there are singalongs like All Around. And I just love 1960 and the reminiscences of a maybe gentler era. This is a lovely album - the last one to be produced for the band by George Martin. This is a kind of cosy, pipe and slippers album. If you want to know what I mean just listen to the lyrics of Tall Treasures which has a unique pastoral feel to it. The harmonies are a s good as ever and the instrumentation excellent throughout.

 

Abba - Super Trouper - 7.5

Abba in the groove - same formula, similar songs but everything still sounds as fresh as ever and the hits and memorable songs keep rolling off the production line without anything sounding hackneyed. Yes it's all as fresh as ever  and choc full of outstanding songs like "Super Trouper" with the immortal lines "I was sad and tired of everything, when I called you last night from Glasgow" and the brilliant break-up song "The Winner Takes it All." Elsewhere "Our Last Summer" and "Happy New Year" are evidence of spot on songwriting. There is an inherent sadness about this album with strong lyrics a million miles away from those of five years previous. Abba had come of age. This is grown up pop/rock for middle aged angst ridden people. This album is full of lost opportunity and proved once again that within slightly sugary tunes, biting poetry could be intertwined.

 

Double Fantasy (with Yoko Ono)  1980 - 6

There is obviously a great deal of love and feeling poured into this record and there is only one thing preventing it from being an excellent album - Yoko Ono. Sadly Ono has little musical talent and a supremely dreadful voice that turns virtually all her tracks into a serious whine. Lennon, on the other hand, was at his songwriting best here with excellent songs such as "Just Like Starting Over", "Watching the Wheels," and "Woman". If only this had been a solo album with just Lennon's material. If only. At times this album is quite frightening in its intensity