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Reviews Written by
Stephen Bieth (Mississauga/ Canada)
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Eddie And The Cruisers / Eddie And The Cruisers II: Eddie Lives! [Blu-ray]
Eddie And The Cruisers / Eddie And The Cruisers II: Eddie Lives! [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Joe Pantoliano
Price: CDN$ 24.99
16 used & new from CDN$ 19.54

4.0 out of 5 stars First Film Rocks, Second Film is Horrible, May 5 2015
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The original "Eddie And The Cruisers" was a high school favorite for my friends and I the fear I had was would it still hold up? Well it did and it didn't. There are a couple of painful scenes due to the script and sometimes the acting is a little over the top but I have to admit I still feel the film holds up.
The story is basically people trying to put together what happened to Eddie. Did he die or did he fake his death and where are the missing master tapes of his last record (this is not a spoiler. All of this is talked about in the first ten minutes of the film). The story is a play on a couple of real life musicians that being Jim Morrison and Bruce Springsteen. Morrison due to his death and his fascination with poet Arthur Rambo and Springsteen for the music and the New Jursey tie in. Over all I still find the movie a lot of fun.
As for "Eddie And The Cruisers 2" it's pretty bad. I saw it when it came out in the theatre and hated it then. I tried watching it now but could not finish it.
But the original film is worth the price. Just an FYI the soundtrack is only stereo and there are no bonus features. But if you like lite hearted summer movies this one is good and you will be singing "On The Dark Side" for days!

Palladium Circles
Palladium Circles
Price: CDN$ 36.99
28 used & new from CDN$ 10.53

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Smoking' Show, So So Sounding CD., May 4 2015
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This review is from: Palladium Circles (Audio CD)
As usual the Band is on fire during this show from their last tour with the original line up. Downside is the audio is not great. The audio changes a lot from song to song like someone was adjusting the sound throughout the concert. By the fifth track they seem to finally have it down but still make the odd adjustments thru the rest of the CD. If you want a CD with higher sound quality from this tour then pick up "Arter Barron Amphitheater Washington Dc from July 17th 1976" it's the same tour. If you are new to the Band and want to check out this powerhouse live pick up "Rock Of Ages" which has the great Alan Toussaint horn arrangments on it or better yet the Box set (or book set) "Live at the Academy of Music 1971 Deluxe Edition" which contains most of the shows that Rock Of ages came from.
If you are a band die hard pick this up. The sound is not horrible and the band, as mentioned" really are on fire!

Straight No Chaser (Vinyl)
Straight No Chaser (Vinyl)
Price: CDN$ 103.21
10 used & new from CDN$ 71.14

5.0 out of 5 stars Thelonious At His Best!!, April 23 2015
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This, in my opinion, is Monk at his best. This double LP is a Jazz masterpiece and worth anyone's investment. This version (2 LP) has the full unedited version of the songs. The single LP has the songs edited down to fit on one LP and was the original way it was released. However after hearing the two LP set you will be shocked that they would have ever cut the tracks down. To be fair this is my favorite Monk LP so I am a little biased but anyone that loves be bop I would think would find this interesting. Monk stands shoulder to shoulder with Davis, Mingus and Coltrane to name just a few. There is a hard to find documentary that shares this albums name and while Monk performs in it he always would make little verbal sounds while playing. Side four you can hear them on the take which is pretty cool. Thelonious was an original and wrote some great Jazz standards and this is his crowning achievement! Nuff said!

Live on the Sunset Strip
Live on the Sunset Strip
Price: CDN$ 10.58
25 used & new from CDN$ 9.32

5.0 out of 5 stars Nobody Does It Like Otis!, April 22 2015
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Otis at the top of his game three complete sets taken from two nights of his run at the Whiskey A Go Go this the first time any full sets have been released. The original live album from this set of shows pulled tracks from the complete engagement and then compiled into a one show presentation. This set is the shows how they were. The sound is excellent ! Great liner notes and best of all 4 star performances. This set is for the Otis die hards or people new to the party. Only thing I want to point out is songs do repeat so if you want just a straight typical live set pick up "At The Whiskey A Go Go" or "Live in Europe" they are a lot shoter but are presented as 30 to 40 minute shows (as mentioned tho the Whiskey show is compiled).

VARIOUS 1967: STAX/VOLT REVUE: LIVE IN
VARIOUS 1967: STAX/VOLT REVUE: LIVE IN
DVD ~ Various
Price: CDN$ 18.99
21 used & new from CDN$ 11.27

5.0 out of 5 stars This is what Stax was all about !, April 22 2015
This is one of the great gems of the Soul world. The fact that this exists is a miracle in it's self. This TV special of the Stax Volt review from the European tour in '66 is like having the lost arc of soul. This review is what influenced a young Peter Gabriel and Bryan Ferry, who saw the tour in England, to become singers to begin with. It kind of sucks that it is so short, with each artist only doing a few songs but any Otis Redding film is worth it's weight in diamonds. The picture (in black and white) is nice and sharp ( for the time) and the audio is excellent (again for 1966). Of course you don't just get Otis. You get Booker T and the MG's, Sam and Dave plus more to boot. It's a blast seeing a young Steve Crooper, Booker T, Duck Dunn and Al Jackson Jr. powering the Stax funk behind these legendary singers. Any serious music collected needs to add this to their library. I promise you you will watch it more then once. Maybe even on the first night. They just don't make music like Stax made anymore but at least we got this!

Lotus (Vinyl)
Lotus (Vinyl)
Price: CDN$ 86.22
8 used & new from CDN$ 72.53

5.0 out of 5 stars Santana's best live album!, April 18 2015
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This review is from: Lotus (Vinyl) (LP Record)
This (in my opinion) is Santana's best live record. Heavily influenced by Miles Davis's Fusion period this record combines the trance quality of classic Santana with heavy fusion of albums like Dark Magus (Miles Davis). I don't know if this would be a great intro record for Santana. If you are new to them and want to check them out buy one of the first three studio records (if you buy the first album get the deluxe as it has almost the complete Woodstock set on it). This music isn't for everyone but if you love a funky grove with heavy guitar this might be what your looking for. If you like Santana just buy it.
The vinyl pressing of this album is excellent. One of the best mastered LP's I have ever heard. The current CD version is excellent as well.

Eddie & The Cruisers
Eddie & The Cruisers
Price: CDN$ 9.97
31 used & new from CDN$ 6.02

4.0 out of 5 stars Fully restored Soundtrack to 1983 Film., April 17 2015
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This review is from: Eddie & The Cruisers (Audio CD)
The current version of this soundtrack as of April 17th 2015 is the restored soundtrack. Tender Years, Wild Summer Nights and the full Season In Hell are all here.
This is a awesome soundtrack. Back in high school this was a staple at parties. Some great new songs ( Well new in 1983) and some classic rock n roll songs to boot. Yes the vocals sound like Springsteen but is that really a bad thing?

Shaft O.S.T. (2LP)
Shaft O.S.T. (2LP)
Price: CDN$ 34.52
17 used & new from CDN$ 24.81

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best soundtracks of the 70's, April 13 2015
This review is from: Shaft O.S.T. (2LP) (LP Record)
Just picked this up (came on purple vinyl) and what a great Soundtrack. It totally captures the feel of the early mid 70's. It has a few proper songs and the rest is instrumental but all tracks have that 70's funk. This will easily come in as my second favorite Isaac Hayes record ( Hot Buttered Soul being my fav.). The vinyl pressing is excellent. Smooth and clean without a crackle and an stunning mastering job to boot. If you are a fan of 70's funk or R and B I would think this album would be up your alley. If you are a vinyl fan this is the pressing to get.

From The Fire
From The Fire
Price: CDN$ 18.35
11 used & new from CDN$ 7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It was great when I was 10 but it's even better now!!, April 8 2015
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This review is from: From The Fire (Audio CD)
I was introduced to this album via a cousin's record collection. When I was in grade school my parents went away for two weeks and my brother, sister and I were minded buy my cousin who brought his home stereo and record collection with him (yea for two weeks. Hey no MP3's back in the 70's or even CD's for a matter of fact. Just crate after crate of vinyl). I was given my first big taste of the music of the times. I was introduced to The White Album, Hotel California, Rumors and this album to name a few. For some reason this album really stuck with me over the years and I was pumped to find it available on CD. Even tho I have it on vinyl (had it since I was ten so you can imagine the shape it's in) I had not listen to the album for years ( I was always afraid it would damage my needle) so I was hoping the album was going to be half as good as I remembered it. Well it held up perfectly! This record is as good now as it was when I was ten.
The Stampeders went thru a lot of different styles (to put them in contexts around this time my Mother took us to see the Osmands (hey my sister was in her early teens and Donny was huge at that time) and these guys were one of the opening acts over the years but this record is kind along the lines of The Guess Who . The track that has always been my fav. is "Child Of The Midnight Sun".
This is a five star record most people have not heard, especially outside of Canada. if you like '70's FM rock you should check this album out because they just don't make them like this anymore!

From The Beginning (5CD)
From The Beginning (5CD)
Price: CDN$ 44.29
4 used & new from CDN$ 44.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Box Set, Awesome Band, Amazing Price!, April 3 2015
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This is an excellent box set. Covering their entire career to the point of release. You get a four CD career overview including tracks from the Emerson, Lake and Powell album/tour. The mastering is excellent. Then you get the live fifth CD from January 4th 1972 (this was eventually put out on it's own in ELP's live encore series so you might have it. To be fair it came out here first) and it is a stunning show! The final disc is a DVD of "The Monticore TV special" anyone who has seen this knows it's a pretty rough looking DVD. Plus it comes in the PAL format. Historically it's a great peice of film (well video) but technical shortcomings will cut your viewing down.
The most impressive thing here is the price. I paid over $100 when it came out now it goes for under $40. Oh I should mention it also has 5 star liner notes.
If you are checking out ELP for the first time (because of it's low cost) this is a good place to start. If you like ELP and don't want to buy all their records you do get all the essential tracks here (be it a few of them live).
I own over 150 box sets and this one is easily in my top ten.

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