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Reviews Written by
David Kenner (Fort Worth, Texas United States)

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That's All Folks Cartoon..
That's All Folks Cartoon..
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Price: CDN$ 62.55
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not just the music, but the lyrics too!, Feb. 29 2004
Unlike the "Carl Stalling Project" CDs, the tracks on this collection focus on songs that were sung in Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies cartoons. Some of it is really funny, of course, and some of it seems to be included more for straight nostalgic reasons. The songs performed by vocal groups of 6 to 8 decades ago are nice to hear, bring back memories of the cartoons, and give a real good impression of popular music styles of the time, with the highlight being Fred Waring's Glee Club performing "Dear Teacher" from KATNIP KOLLEGE. But it's the funny stuff that really shines here. Mel Blanc as Bugs Bunny doing the hilarious "Square Dancin'" calls from HILLBILLY HARE, Arthur Q. Bryan as Elmer Fudd singing "Oh Susanna" in THE WACKY WABBIT, and Sara Berner as a flea singing "Food Around The Corner" in AN ITCH IN TIME will make anyone laugh. I don't think it's possible not to laugh at some of this stuff. Of the complete soundtracks included, the highlight is BACK ALLEY OPROAR. I think it's so funny when Sylvester starts singing Brahm's "Lullaby" to Elmer Fudd and Elmer yells "Stop it!"
I really appreciate the book that's included because it tells you the history of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, gives great information about the animation business in general during Hollywood's golden age, and introduces you to the producers, animators, musicians, singers and voice actors who made it all happen. My only complaint with the book is that where each song is listed in the back, the vocal is credited to the character rather than the performer. For instance, it says "Five O'Clock Whistle" is performed by Little Red Riding Hood. So one has to scan the pages of the essay about the voice actors and singers to find out that the role of Little Red Riding Hood is voiced by Bea Benaderet. But that's really a small complaint. By the way, it's Benaderet in LITTLE RED RIDING RABBIT who has the funniest line of this whole collection when she says "It's a little bunny rabbit I'm takin' to my have, see!"
My only complaint with the recording itself is that in the montage sections, sometimes a favorite sequence is cut too short for my liking. When Bugs Bunny makes his first delivery stop in EASTER YEGGS, I was hoping to hear the kid who says "...I want an Easter egg, I want an Easter egg, I want an Easter egg..." but it's not there.
It also should go without saying that it's great to have WHAT'S OPERA, DOC? complete and that fans of Stan Freberg and Shorty Rogers will revel in the inclusion of THREE LITTLE BOPS.
There are some complaints in other reviews here about the sound quality. Some tracks on the "Carl Stalling Project" discs sound a little cleaner, but they were able to go back to the original tapes in a lot of cases because they were just remastering the music. Here, you're getting the music and the voices. Overall, I think the sound quality is rather good for recordings of this age.
This is highly recommended to all fans of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies.

Greatest Rock: All-Time Classics 2
Greatest Rock: All-Time Classics 2

3.0 out of 5 stars A fairly solid collection of rock classics at a good price., Feb. 29 2004
I think this is a good compilation of AOR radio hits from the 70s and 80s.
Album rock fans take notice however: the songs by Blue Oyster Cult, Head East, Loverboy, and Aldo Nova appear here in their abbreviated single edit forms. (The Head East edit is TERRIBLE!) The Peter Frampton tune is also an edit, clocking in at just over 7 minutes.
It's nice to see some not so frequently compiled artists among the selections here though, such as Red Rider, The Michael Stanley Band, and Mott The Hoople.

Very Best of
Very Best of
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Price: CDN$ 42.69
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5.0 out of 5 stars All original recordings., Feb. 22 2004
This review is from: Very Best of (Audio CD)
The music fan from Venetia, PA who reviewed this CD on 9/4/03 and titled his review "The Unoriginal Glen" must be talking about a different CD. Perhaps his review was posted on this page by Amazon mistakenly. The 15 tracks on this disc are the original hit recordings Glen made between 1967 and 1977. There are compilations available now that were mastered more recently and that have more selections, but this is still a powerhouse collection of some of Campbell's Very Best.

The Essential Heart
The Essential Heart
Price: CDN$ 12.88
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4.0 out of 5 stars It's nice, but could have been better., Nov. 15 2003
This review is from: The Essential Heart (Audio CD)
With two discs full of this band's most popular material, this will be all the Heart a lot of people will ever need. It doesn't satisfy an old school Heart fan like myself though. To be honest, I won't play disc two all that much. They did a good job of hitting all the high points from their Capitol albums though. The first disc is what's disappointing. The following tracks are NOT essential: Kick It Out, Silver Wheels, Unchained Melody, Allies, and the reprise of Dreamboat Annie. The following tracks ARE essential: Magazine, Mistral Wind, Bebe Le Strange, Raised On You, Sweet Darlin', City's Burning, and Perfect Stranger. Six of these seven essential songs have not been remastered since studio engineers finally figured out how to do it right.

Metal Machine Music
Metal Machine Music
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Price: CDN$ 18.83
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ow, quit it., Nov. 9 2003
This review is from: Metal Machine Music (Audio CD)
Ow, quit it. Ow, quit it. Ow, quit it. Ow, quit it. Ow, quit it. Ow, quit it. Ow, quit it. Ow, quit it. Ow, quit it. Ow, quit it.

The Best of INXS
The Best of INXS
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Price: CDN$ 20.94
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4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent single disc collection of hits., Oct. 24 2003
This review is from: The Best of INXS (Audio CD)
This is a fine single disc overview of the career of INXS and has great sound and nice liner notes. Most of the band's high points are here and I highly recommend this disc to anyone who's looking for a collection of the band's most popular material. I have a problem with the two previously unreleased songs though ("Salvation Jane" and "Tight"). When a band's best songs can't all fit on one disc, why take up valuable space with tracks that were originally considered inferior? That's obviously the reason that these songs were not included on the albums for which they were recorded. Instead of those two songs (which I will always skip when playing this CD) the compilers could have included any two from the following list of INXS classics: "I Send A Message", "Dancing On The Jetty", "The Swing", "Good Times", "Heaven Sent" or "Elegantly Wasted". Nevertheless, this is a solid collection of hits from this innovative band.

2nd To None
2nd To None
Price: CDN$ 13.26
14 used & new from CDN$ 3.92

5.0 out of 5 stars Right on the money!, Oct. 10 2003
This review is from: 2nd To None (Audio CD)
This disc is exactly what it needs to be! 28 classic recordings (plus 2 bonus tracks) from our man in Memphis. All that matters is that it's a great selection of songs, there are no alternate takes used, the remastering is fantastic, and "I Feel So Bad" (still the greatest sax break in rock history), "Mean Woman Blues", "A Mess Of Blues", "Little Sister", "Rock-A-Hula Baby", "Bossa Nova Baby" (dig that acoustic guitar!), "If I Can Dream", "Memories", "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" and "Moody Blue" have never sounded better. The "Rubberneckin'" remix is great (you already knew that!) but "I'm A Roustabout" is a throw away. It's not a great song and the sound quality isn't all that good but it's here to entice be it. A really, really great Elvis release!

Christmas Album
Christmas Album
Price: CDN$ 16.75
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whoa! What's with all the negative vibes?, Oct. 9 2003
This review is from: Christmas Album (Audio CD)
My first reaction to a Neil Diamond Christmas album was "huh?" but this album won me over. I can't believe all these negative reviews! You can feel how much fun he had recording these songs. "Jingle Bell Rock" rocks! "You Make It Feel Like Christmas" is one of the very best Christmas tunes of the past two decades. And his incredible reading of "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" is reverent and inspiring. The choral accompaniment on this track is so beautiful! I love this album and every holiday season I'm so glad he recorded it.

Young Hearts: Complete Greatest Hits
Young Hearts: Complete Greatest Hits
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Price: CDN$ 106.34
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This disc is great for the casual fan..., Sept. 28 2003
The casual Steve Miller fan who wants a good quality solid compilation that includes the majority of his hits (and every hit that continues to enjoy airplay on classic rock stations) from "Living In The USA" through "Abracadabra", and all the hits from his mid-70s blockbuster LPs, need look no further than this generous 22 track platter. In addition to all of the rock radio staples, you'll also be getting some early Miller classics like "My Dark Hour" and "Space Cowboy", some moderate hits from his post-top 40 days like "I Wanna Make The World Turn Around" and "Wide River" and even a solid track from his forgotten 1984 "Italian X-Rays" album, "Who Do You Love".
For the major Miller fan, this disc comes up short in a number of ways. First, there are three songs here that fade out earlier than their LP versions: "Fly Like An Eagle", "Swingtown", and "The Stake". All three should definitely have been left uncut. They are most likely shortened due to time constraints because this disc pushes the 80 minute mark. But "Space Intro" or "Dance Dance Dance" could have been left off to make room for the full length versions of these songs and probably wouldn't have been missed. "Abracadabra" is also presented in it's single edit form but I don't find a problem with that, as I've always preferred the shorter version.
Another problem is that this disc is called "Complete Greatest Hits", a moniker that indicates it would include all of his top 40 hits. It doesn't. The excellent 1981 top 30 hit "Heart Like A Wheel" is conspicuously missing. In my opinion, "Heart Like A Wheel", "True Fine Love", and "Mercury Blues" would have been better choices than "Dance Dance Dance" or "Serenade". Some may disagree.
This disc boasts superior sound quality to previous Capitol issues but doesn't sound as good as it could (or should). In 1997, audiophile wizard Steve Hoffman remastered Miller's "Greatest Hits 1974-1978" for DCC's gold disc series (using full length album versions of the singles from the original session tapes) and came up with a considerably better sounding result than is offered here. I did an A-B test of the two discs and I think that the sound on the gold disc is fuller, richer and cleaner (and the playback level is louder) than it is on "Complete Greatest Hits" ("Rockin' Me" even sounds a little cloudy on "Complete GH"). Hoffman also remastered the "Fly Like An Eagle" and "Book Of Dreams" albums for DCC's gold discs and, although I haven't heard them, I can imagine that they sound just as good as his work on the "Greatest Hits 74-78" disc.
All in all, I was a little disappointed in this collection, but like I said, the casual fan looking for a collection of Miller's best known hits will find little or no fault with this disc.

25 All-Time Novelty Hits
25 All-Time Novelty Hits
Price: CDN$ 20.71
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3.0 out of 5 stars Let's hear it for the monkey., Sept. 14 2003
A whopping 25 hits on one disc usually will merit a 5 star review from me but there are some reasons that this disc is not quite up to par. First of all, it answers a question that I have been asking for years. Is there a master tape of Ray Stevens' 1969 single "Gitarzan" that doesn't have the laugh track overdubs on it? I guess the answer to that question is "no". This disc does include the original mono Monument undubbed single version of "Gitarzan" but, unfortunately, it sounds like it was mastered from an original single, and a well worn copy at that. But I'd rather have a sonically inferior undubbed version that a sonically superior version with that infernal laugh track so I won't say anymore about that. The sound quality throughout the disc is generally good although there are a few tracks here and there ("Mr. Custer", "Surfin' Bird", "Gimme Dat Ding") that sound better on Rhino collections that I own. I've heard better digital transfers of "The Mummy" as well. Then again, "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It's Flavor" sounds better on here than it does on the Rhino Dr. Demento CD. As for "The Flying Saucer", I prefer the sound quality of Rhino's Billboard 1956 disc because they took the time to remaster the song excerpts that were used, and the extraneous surface noise is only audible on the dialog portion of the record. On this disc, the surface noise is prominent throughout the whole track. One other complaint I have is that the version of "Junk Food Junkie" heard here is not the original 1976 hit version (available on one of Dr. Demento's anniversary compilations) but a re-recording. The liner notes don't tell you this though. It makes you wonder if the compilers even realized they were using the wrong version. It's rare to find this kind of error on a Cary Mansfield produced project. Overall, there's some good stuff here ("Got A Match?", "The Jolly Green Giant") and some bad stuff here ("Juanita Banana" and "Mr. Jaws"), but if you like the novelty hits of yester-year, you're gonna dig this disc.

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