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Reviews Written by
Stephen Bieth (Mississauga/ Canada)

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Lotus (Vinyl)
Lotus (Vinyl)
Price: CDN$ 66.78
18 used & new from CDN$ 66.78

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$ 13.22
37 used & new from CDN$ 5.46

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$ 33.37
23 used & new from CDN$ 22.93

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$ 18.98
15 used & new from CDN$ 15.23

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)
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Price: CDN$ 31.27
25 used & new from CDN$ 19.99

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.


5.0 out of 5 stars Great Turntable For The Price!!, March 31 2015
Excellent turntable for the price (I paid $550 at Bay Bloor Radio). The carbon arm weighs almost nothing and whoever came up with the hanging counter weight for the tone arm was a genuse. Very easy set up (depending on your amp you might have to buy a phono preamp for the turntable to work).
I have read about people having humming problems with this model but mine worked great right out of the box. The only downsides I have found so far is it gets a static build up while playing. Mine is grounded correctly and the records play perfect (but I will make this clear it does not effect the sound at all) but I do get a static shock when I pick up the toner arm after a record is finished. Do not let that stop you from buying the unit. We are talking about a shock like you get in a dry apartment you know a static shock.
If you have a half decent stereo this is the model to get!

I don't know why the price is so expensive here but if you hunt around or go to Bay Bllor audio you will find much better deals.

Once Upon a Time Live in South America
Once Upon a Time Live in South America
Price: CDN$ 49.51
20 used & new from CDN$ 34.37

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ELP On Fire In The 90's (4 CD set), March 31 2015
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Excellent set of shows from the 90's. The whole band is on fire. Over all the sound is good, much better then the last release in the archive series. Because it is complete shows the set lists share a lot of the same songs but there is still lots of variety. There are songs from just about every album they put out (sorry no Love Beach) and Greg's voice and everyone's playing is a the top of their game.
The mastering is good. Not overly compressed and the mix is beautiful.
If they have this kind of stuff hanging around, with this sound quality, I can't wait for the next release.
The packaging is not great. No CD holders just cardboard sleeves and it's all folded cardboard. But if this is what they need to do to keep the price down I can live with it. It also comes with about five pages of liner notes.
Over all I am very happy with these purchase and, like I said, can't wait for more releases in the Archive seires. If you are a major ELP fan you have to pick this up. Or if your a prog. head trust me you will be glad this in your collection.

Maggot Brain (Vinyl)
Maggot Brain (Vinyl)
Price: CDN$ 30.81
6 used & new from CDN$ 30.81

4.0 out of 5 stars Great Pressing Of An Excellent Album, March 23 2015
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This review is from: Maggot Brain (Vinyl) (LP Record)
This is a excellent album. A little Different to their other records I've heard or own but great non the less. It's a little less funky but a whole lot trippyer. This reminds me of Hawkwind more then Funkadelic. Which in my opinion is a good thing. Being a fan of both bands. If you are looking for a good pressing you found it. 4 Men With Beards is the label that put out the version I bought and the vinyl is super clean and beautifully mastered.
On a separate note I just bought a new turn table and I had not bought vinyl for years. My question is this. Is it always so hard to find good pressings of vinyl? I have picked up about half a dozen LP's so far and a few sound great but the other few seem to have a lot of destortion especially the Led Zeppelin remasters. I see in reviews people ordering copies from Germany just to get a different pressing. Is vinyl always such a crapshoot ? For the price they charge you would think the quality control would be better.
Complaints about the music business aside this is an excellent record and if you like funk or space rock you should be happy with your purchase.

Hand.Cannot.Erase [Blu-ray] [2015]
Hand.Cannot.Erase [Blu-ray] [2015]
DVD ~ Steven Wilson
Offered by Deal Beat
Price: CDN$ 34.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album But Drops The Ball., March 22 2015
This is an excellent album. Great concept, music and lyrics! If you liked his last CD "The Raven that refused..." I would think you would love this. By far Wilson best subject matter to date and his writing gets better with each outing. The production is great but not to the standard set by the last album, engineered by Alan Parsons, but by no means is this a poorly engineered record. The best way to hear this is in 5.1 and that's where dropped the ball. Why did not carry the Blu ray? Even now you can only get it from sellers on .ca. I ended up getting mine from the UK. I have noticed of late that .ca is missing a lot of listings (currently the listing for the new Jethro Tull reissue is missing). really needs to improve their Canadian web site!
If you are not familure with any of Mr. Wilson's work but you like Alan Parsons Project, some King Crimson or even some Eno then check this out.

Defenders of the Faith (30th Anniversary Edition) [Remastered]
Defenders of the Faith (30th Anniversary Edition) [Remastered]
Price: CDN$ 21.99
40 used & new from CDN$ 19.10

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3 CD set review, March 19 2015
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This was the second tour I saw Priest on back in high school and they were great. Ever since then I have been hoping for a live CD from the early-mid eighties so I was pretty pumped when I heard this was coming out. Priest are at the top of their game on the double live CD and the concert has a great set list. Now for the bad. This was a radio broadcast and that is what the sorce tape is from. I don't know if it was the way it was recorded or if this suffers from the loudness wars but the live discs are very compressed. Like I said this could be from the way it was recorded but either way it does take away from the ambiance of the CD's. However, in my opinion, this is still a great live album and is worthy of it's release. With a running time of over 100 minutes I am pretty sure this is the full show ( Whenever I have seen Priest they play 90 minutes to 2 hours ). But again on the downside there was a show filmed from this tour as I use to have a VHS copy from when it aired on Much Music (yes there was a time when Much Music was a music station and catered to all types of music. On Fridays they use to have their Big Ticket Concert with different bands every week. It could be Duran Duran, Culture Club or Judas Priest, Deep Purple that's what made it cool) so why was it not released either in this set or on it's own?.
The remastered Defenders is very compressed as well but this album always was. I did an A B test between the new CD and my Vinyl from high school and the compression is about the same. A little more noticble on the CD but not a huge difference. But compared to the last version on CD it's pretty well the same so if you don't want the live CD's you could probably stick with the one you already have. But if you like metal the live CD's are a must.

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