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R. Gorham "RCG2"

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Kiss, Best Of Vol 2
Kiss, Best Of Vol 2
Price: CDN$ 9.03
26 used & new from CDN$ 2.72

4.0 out of 5 stars A good snapshot of KISS in the 1980's, July 8 2004
This review is from: Kiss, Best Of Vol 2 (Audio CD)
Sure KISS has way to many compilations (8?), countless tribute albums, and 4 live albums (and a 'best of' live album)... but this "Millennium Collection Vol. 2" is different and worth having if you lost interest in the band in the 1980's like I did. I was heavily into KISS in the 1970's and owned all their releases from their debut through "Dynasty". In the 1980's they started out incredibly strong (and heavy) with "Creatures Of The Night". However, after "Creatures", KISS jumped off the deep end and their hits became far and few between. Not to mention several personnel changes, the overall quality of songs, and cheap album cover designs. I suddenly found myself losing interest in the 80's KISS and did not buy most of their 80's material (with the exception of "Creatures"). That aside, this "Millennium Collection Vol. 2" is essential to KISS fans like me. Their best 80's songs are here, "Tears Are Falling", "Heaven's On Fire", "Hide Your Heart", "Lick It Up", "Creatures Of The Night", "Crazy Crazy Nights", and the ballad "Forever". The only knock on this "Vol. 2" is the terrible inclusion of "Uh! All Night" and the remastered sound on the first two tracks ("Creatures Of The Night" and "I Love It Loud") - it sounds like these 2 songs were recorded in the Lincoln Tunnel. This release gives you most of KISS' best tunes from the 80's without having to buy all their mediocre 80's albums. Inexpensive purchase and overall decent remastered sound to boot. Worth it to me.

We Are Not Alone
We Are Not Alone
Price: CDN$ 17.51
29 used & new from CDN$ 4.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Benjamin Is Far From Busted, July 7 2004
This review is from: We Are Not Alone (Audio CD)
I firmly believe that Breaking Benjamin will rise above the cluster of other great rock bands of the new millenium (i.e. - Stereomud, Earshot, Seether, Three Days Grace, Ra, Saliva, etc). Not quite sure what it is, but the sound the band emits is uniquely their own. The guitars are hard. The vocals are crisp and audible. The drumming is steady and the bass is the backbone... sometimes just thumping along, other times thunderous. Ben (the 'broken' one) Burnley has his hand in writing all the songs along with the help of his bandmates, Markus James (bass), Jeremy Hummel (drums) and Aaron Fink (lead guitar). "So Cold" is their first hit of 2004. Other hits should follow. CD liner notes include the lyrics. My picks for other groovy tunes are "Simple Design", "Firefly" and "Break My Fall". I like this 2nd release of Ben's much more than last year's raw "Saturate". It's a bit more mature (dare I say 'commercial') and much more polished. This disc was supervised and mastered by the master himself, George Marino. Also - if you can , search for the 'limited edition' package containing 4 bonus 'live' songs not found on this album. Great buy at the low-low price. Pick up "We Are Not Alone" and be the first to spread the rumor to your hard rocking friends. Absolutely no filler to be found - every track is good. No rap, hip-hop, unabated screaming, death metal growling, or Linkon Park nu-metal wanna-be's.... this is ROCK in it's purest (not including the last track - mellow & acoustic), most simplistic form. Excellent disc and one of my favorites in 2004.

Let's Dance
Let's Dance
Price: CDN$ 5.00
41 used & new from CDN$ 5.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Let's Swing!, July 7 2004
This review is from: Let's Dance (Audio CD)
Bowie never ceases to amaze me - exploring so many vast and different styles of music. Pop, rock, space, punk, alternative, electronica, and in the 80's Bowie sprang out on the dance floor. "Let's Dance" (1983) is yet another chapter in Bowie's huge catalog. I admire his risk taking, and art of reaching out and daring to try something new. "Let's Dance" features 3 huge dance club hits in "China Girl", "Modern Love" and the booming title track. There are two other stand out tracks in "Without You" (Bowie slows it down on this one) and "Cat People (Putting Out The Fire)". The remaining 3 tracks are decent filler. Several of the songs (including the 3 hits) have big Robert Palmer-like drum and bass beats (remember "Addicted To Love") that make you want to get up and move. I've found this album is great on long trips in the car... it's definitely up-beat. The remastered sound is crisp and the liner notes are chock full of pictures. I can't put "Let's Dance" in the same classic catagory as "Ziggy Stardust", "Aladdin Sane" or "Diamond Dogs", but in my book this is still great Bowie.

Wyatt Earp: Two-Disc Special Edition
Wyatt Earp: Two-Disc Special Edition
DVD ~ Kevin Costner
Price: CDN$ 18.70
27 used & new from CDN$ 1.31

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent western... but just to dang long, July 2 2004
OVERVIEW: Good story. Outstanding cast. Some good dialogue. A few good gun shooting and fight scenes. But, plain and simple - director Lawrence Kasdan's "Wyatt Earp" is just WAY TOO LONG (3+ hours). You shave 60-70 minutes off this movie to bring it down to the 2 hour mark and perhaps it's a better ride on your sofa.
THE CAST: Main stars are Kevin Costner as Wyatt Earp, and Dennis Quaid as Doc Holiday. The rest of the entire cast is secondary. Tho secondary - the rest of the cast is superb - featuring Gene Hackman, Mark Harmon, Isabella Rossellini, Catherine O'Hara, Tom Sizemore, Jobeth Williams, Tea Leoni, Michael Madsen, and James Caviezel. I thought it was an added bonus to see some of these actors trying their hand at a true western picture - like Rossellini (mostly drama or romantic type movies), Sizemore (mostly war pictures), O'Hara (mostly comedies), Williams ("Big Chill" & "Poltergeist" and that's about all I remember for her)... and not even remembering Caviezel in this picture until seeing him in "The Passion Of The Christ" and then having to go back to watch "Wyatt Earp" again.
DVD EXTRAS: This is a 2-disc set... where did the bonus features disappear to? I figure with most movies that Kevin Costner has something to do with, they're usually long, somewhat tedious, and lots of attention to detail... despite if the picture might make some critic's worst-ever movie list (i.e. "Waterworld", "The Postman", "The Bodyguard"). "Wyatt Earp" has 2 short 15-minute documentaries, some deleted ("lifted") scenes, and a trailer. No lie, that's it.
I wanted to like this movie more... as much say, as I thoroughly enjoyed it's sister flick from the year before, "Tombstone". Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer (in the role of his life) were awesome together in "Tombstone"; not to mention a nicely cast group of nasty boys featuring Powers Booth and Michael Biehn. "Wyatt Earp" succeeded with Costner and the supporting cast, but Quaid's "Doc" was missing some flare. Not that this was soley Quaid's fault. But, because Kilmer's redention was so good in "Tombstone" that anyone else portraying "Doc" in any movie afterward was destined to be somewhat of a let down. Another bonus in "Wyatt Earp" is the sweeping views of the land - some truly wonderful cinematography. "Wyatt Earp" is much more detailed than any of it's predecessors in following Wyatt's early days... from Wichita, to Dodge City, to the OK Corral in Tombstone, AZ. This was a good movie - just not the best on the subject of the Earps.

Very Best Of (W/1 Live Track)
Very Best Of (W/1 Live Track)
Price: CDN$ 8.00
41 used & new from CDN$ 1.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OK mix of KISS - but check out my proposed KISS compilation, July 1 2004
This is a decent schmattering of songs from a 30+ year career. 21 songs on 1 disc just isn't enough tho. On the flip side, the 5-disc box set is probably way too much for the average KISS fan. 17 of the songs here are from the 1970's alone - thus indicating the bands best work is well behind them. Too many compilations (8?) have been made for/by KISS for anyone to really care about which one is the best. Based on this "Very Best Of Kiss" single disc release and it's 21 songs, I will give you my "Ultimate KISS Collection" on 2 cd's (42 total songs). All are studio versions unless indicated by a live performance in parenthesis. This would close the book on KISS compilations as far as I'm concerned. Here's hoping somebody can produce it (and put a few more dollars into the hands of the incredible KISS money-making machine).
DISC 1:
1. Deuce
2. Strutter
3. Watchin' You
4. Let Me Go Rock & Roll
5. Rock Bottom
6. Room Service
7. Got To Choose (Alive!)
8. Cold Gin (Alive!)
9. Rock & Roll All Night (Alive!)
10. Detroit Rock City
11. Flaming Youth
12. Beth
13. I Want You
14. Mr. Speed
15. Take Me
16. Love Gun
17. I Stole Your Love
18. Got Love For Sale
19. Shock Me
20. Calling Dr. Love (Alive II)
21. God Of Thunder (Alive II)
DISC 2:
1. All American Man
2. I Was Made For Lovin' You
3. Creatures Of The Night
4. I Love It Loud
5. Lick It Up
6. Heaven's On Fire
7. Tears Are Falling
8. Rise To It
9. Forever
10. Lets Put The X in Sex
11. Unholy
12. Domino
13. Take It Off
14. I Still Love You (Alive III)
15. Comin' Home (Unplugged)
16. Goin' Blind (Unplugged)
17. Jungle
18. Hate
19. Psycho Circus
20. Within
21. Black Diamond (Alive IV - Symphony)
BONUS DISC - at no additonal charge (I can picture Gene having a fit right about now about the "free" thing):
1. New York Groove (Ace)
2. Rip It Out (Ace)
3. Move On (Paul)
4. It's Alright (Paul)
5. Goodbye (Paul)
6. Radioactive (Gene)
7. When You Wish Upon A Star (Gene) ...of course I'm kidding
8. I'm Gonna Love You (Peter)

How The West Was Won: Live (3CD)
How The West Was Won: Live (3CD)
Price: CDN$ 25.39
53 used & new from CDN$ 10.71

5.0 out of 5 stars Bootlegs aside - this is Led Zeppelin's best live recording, July 1 2004
No comparison. "How The West Was Won" released by Atlantic in 2002 puts "The Song Remains The Same" (1976) to shame. Page, Plant, Jones & Bonham are all in top form.
WHAT YOU GET: 17 songs on 3 discs - that probably could have fit on 2 discs - recorded in 1972 from shows at California's LA Forum and Long Beach Arena. OK - there are really 18 tracks listed, but I'm not including the 14 second waste of an opening track "LA Drone". 17 songs compared to "Ths Song Remains The Same" and it's 9 tracks. Better, tho not superior sound quality (remember this is 1972). Great song selection tho I must say that only one song ("Dazed & Confused") is featured from Led Zep's brilliant 1st album; 5 songs from Led Zep II; 4 songs from Led Zep III; 4 songs from Led Zep IV; and tho not released yet, 3 songs ("The Ocean", "Over The Hills & Far Away" and "Dancing Days") are featured from their soon to be released "Houses Of The Holy". Anyone else notice how quiet the audience was after these songs ended? You get 4 marathon songs with "Moby Dick", "Whole Lotta Love", "Bring It On Home" and "Dazed & Confused"... each containing some medleys within (assorted early rock covers, blues, and a small taste of "The Crunge").
WHAT YOU DON'T GET: No expansive liner notes (what they give you is the bare minimum here), no history or roots of the band, no booklet with cool pictures. The song selection is top notch, but for me personally I miss some of the stuff from Zep's debut (even the really short songs like "Good Times Bad Times", or "Communication Breakdown" would have been cool), as well as from Zep's second "Ramble On" or "Thank you". The ONLY song I miss from "The Song Remains The Same" is "Celebration Day" - this was probably my favorite song from this one.
Overall a great recording and a definite must-buy for even the slightest of Led Zeppelin fans and any rock & roll fan who grew up in the 1970's. Essential? Hell yes.

Asshole
Asshole
Price: CDN$ 16.27
6 used & new from CDN$ 12.78

1.0 out of 5 stars Gene is NO solo artist..., June 30 2004
This review is from: Asshole (Audio CD)
This release is further proof that after 30 years in the music industry, Gene Simmons does NOT have more solo material. I was a huge KISS fan in the 1970's and I own most of KISS's stuff on vinyl and CD. I even got heavily back into KISS in the 90's with "Revenge", "Carnival Of Souls", "Unplugged" and "Psycho Circus". However, this release by Simmons is down right putrid. There is not one song that stands out amongst the trash here. "If I Had A Gun" features ex-Chili Peppers and ex-Pyros guitarist Dave Navarro... all I can say is "Dave, what were you thinking?" At first, with all the glam and celebrity that goes with KISS, buying this album and listening to it might seem only natural to the loyal KISS fan. Instead, after a few listens, you'll realize Gene is still the foul, egotistical, odorous, sexed-up pig that he makes himself out to be interview after interview. Perhaps this album is also a testament to Paul Stanley's writing ability - and how so many of Paul's songs rose above the rest of the band's material. For Gene's two solo efforts (1978 and now 2004) I figure at this rate Gene's 3rd solo release will be in another 26 years - somewhere around the year 2030. By that time it won't matter what it sounds like because I'll probably be deaf. Here's hoping that it never happens. "Stink" is written all over this release - from the cover with Gene (front and center) on it, to the album title, to the sound production, to the songs themselves. Sorry Gene, I'm an old KISS fan, and everything about this album just plain sucks.

Incubus-Morning/Sessions
Incubus-Morning/Sessions
DVD ~ DVD
Price: CDN$ 19.99
20 used & new from CDN$ 1.14

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, Effortless, Intimate Show From Incubus, June 30 2004
This review is from: Incubus-Morning/Sessions (DVD)
Brandon Boyd & Co. really shine on "The Morning View Sessions". Don't let the name of this DVD fool you... it's not a "making of the album" feature. This is an actual 12-song set at a very small venue. The intimate setting is much more pleasing to the camera eye - as you feel you're practically on stage as Brandon sings, Mike Enziger plays guitar, and the rest of Incubus plays along effortlessly. Incubus makes it look so incredibly easy - these kids are California professionals in my book - masters at their craft. Picture quality is superb, camera angles are great and they change at just the right pace (those who have recently seen Kiss's Melbourne Symphony DVD know what I'm talking about in regards to the acute headaches and nausea encountered due to the high frame rate change every 2 seconds). This DVD features 12 songs - taken from their 3 previous releases (prior to 2002), "Morning View", "Make Yourself" and "S.C.I.E.N.C.E.". There are two acoustic songs featuring Brandon & Mike on stage along (performing the songs "Mexico" and "Drive") that are simply wonderful. There is some additional footage of some of the behind-the-scenes recording of "The Morning View" album from a Malibu mansion, as well as the video "Wish You Were Here" (and the making-of the video). This is a great way to kill an hour or so. Incubus is great to listen to as well as watch on your TV (not to mention being there in person). Excellent!

Love Actually (Widescreen)
Love Actually (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Hugh Grant
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Price: CDN$ 24.96
49 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Going On In This Movie To Really Enjoy It..., June 30 2004
This review is from: Love Actually (Widescreen) (DVD)
Director Richard Curtis has hands full with "Love Actually". In fact, I dare to say that too much is going on here. The story is forever changing as you are continually following the events of 5-6-7-8 different couples. Curtis has directed two of my favorite romantic comedies ("Notting Hill" and "Bridgett Jones's Diary") and I get the feeling he somehow needed to shoot for the 'Holy Grail' with this one picture. A superb cast (many of them Britain's best) featuring Liam Neeson, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Colin Firth, Billy Bob Thornton, Laura Linney - with none of them stealing the show per say. Hugh Grant might get a little more screen time than the others, but his high schoolish love tale is no more important than any of the others. "Love Actually" finds the story beginning and ending in an airport where hugs and kisses abound (saying hello and goodbye mostly to loved ones). The storyline follows a Prime Minister (Grant), a widower (Neeson) and his son, a couple dealing with fidelity issues (Thompson and Rickman), a writer (Firth) falling in love with his non-english speaking housekeeper, and a teacher (Linney) attracted to one of her co-horts. Billy Bob Thornton has a nice cameo as a love hungry U.S. President (huh, imagine that) meeting up with the Prime Minister's love interest. The stories are intriging, but with the scenes jumping and changing so frequently I never got attached to any of the characters or truly got "into" the movie. While some of the scenes were down right funny and some great dialogue was spoken, other aspects of this movie greatly disappointed (i.e. - anything having to do with the adult film stars). With any 'R' rated movie, I like to view it first before I let my teenagers watch it and sorry to say they will not be watching this one. I would strongly suggest you rent before you purchase.

Symptom Of The Universe: The Original Black Sabbath (1970-1978) (2CD)
Symptom Of The Universe: The Original Black Sabbath (1970-1978) (2CD)
Offered by @ ALLBRIGHT SALES @
Price: CDN$ 64.48
6 used & new from CDN$ 23.37

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Introduction to Black Sabbath, June 29 2004
Early Black Sabbath defined hard rock. For me, this is the single most comprehensive release of the band that started the movement of noise pollution we children of the 1970's called 'heavy metal'. In the days with Ozzy Osbourne, Iommi, Ward and Butler pushed the envelope of creativity and experimentation - conjuring up images of wizards, the macabre, and all that is black ('doom & gloom'). The remastered digitial sound is crisp and well done.
WHAT YOU GET: 2-disc set containing 29 songs. A 48-page booklet with tons of pictures and history of the band... complete with songs, minutes, and what songs came from which albums. Disc 1 contains 13 songs from the years 1970-1971. Disc 2 contains 16 songs from the years 1972-78. Sabbath released 8 albums in this time frame and they are all represented here on "Symptom Of The Universe".
ALBUMS:
Black Sabbath (1970: 4 songs represented)
Paranoid (1970: 4 songs + 1 British release only track)
Master Of Reality (1971: 5 songs)
Vol. 4 (1972: 5 songs)
Sabbath Bloddy Sabbath (1973: 3 songs)
Sabotage (1975: 3 songs, including title track for this 2-cd set)
Technical Ecstasy (1976: 2 songs)
Never Say Die (1978: 2 songs)

WHAT YOU DON'T GET: Black Sabbath was alive and well after Ozzy's departure. Other singers filling the void included Ronnie James Dio, Ian Gillam, Glenn Hughes and Tony Martin. Most were good, especially the Dio-Sabbath years... but none were as good as the original 4 featuring Ozzy. None of these post-Ozzy singers appear on this release - hence the name "Symptom Of The Universe: The Original Black Sabbath". A few songs are missing that would have been nice ("Hand Of Doom", "Wicked World", "Killing Yourself To Live", "Electric Funeral"). Overall though, I think the song choices Rhino made here are excellent. It is a worthy successor for my old "We Sold Our Souls..." compilation that featured only 14 total tracks (through 1975) and the original analog (sound) recordings. A definite upgrade and so many great songs all in one package - thank you Rhino in 2002.

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