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Dr. Joseph Lee (Toronto, Canada)
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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition (Bilingual) [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + UltraViolet]
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition (Bilingual) [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + UltraViolet]
DVD ~ Richard Armitage
Price: CDN$ 29.49
5 used & new from CDN$ 29.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hobbit Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition (blu-ray, not movie review): Wonderful video, dynamic immersive audio; 3D preferred!, Jan. 6 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
PACKAGING:

The 3D version of The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition comes with a sturdy, attractive slipcover lightly textured to simulate leather and a lenticular image of Smaug. The five BD-50 discs are housed inside a black, eco-elite keepcase with a middle panel that holds two discs on either side. The 3D version occupies two separate discs, while the 2D version is on one disc. There are two blu-ray discs for Special Features: The Appendices Part 9 and Part 10.

VIDEO (2D):

The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug arrives on blu-ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 2.40:1 encode. It was filmed entirely on a Red Epic Camera System, using the high frame rate of 48fps and thankfully, it translates well to the traditional frame rate of 24fps on blu-ray. The overall presentation is consistently detailed and razor sharp, exposing the tiniest flaw and imperfection in the clothing, armor, buildings and various weapons seen throughout. Individual hairs are distinct, and the textures of the fabric in the costumes are very well-defined and lifelike. Facial complexions are highly revealing as well, showing every wrinkle and pore in the faces of the cast. (4.5/5)

VIDEO (3D):

The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug 3D arrives on blu-ray with MPEG-4 MVC 1080p 2.40:1 encode. All the positive attributes in the 2D version are present. The picture is stunning and dazzling. Background activity and information pushes deep into the screen, which pull viewers into this adventure with superb dimensionality and separation, creating a wonderfully immersive viewing experience. Aside from a few minor gimmick shots, the 3D picture is all about a sense of realism. This is a reference 3D presentation. (5/5)

AUDIO:

The DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio track is reference quality. Dynamic range is astoundingly extensive and broad, exhibiting the smallest detail with superb, crystal-clear clarity. Every pop and sizzle of Smaug's fiery breadth is distinct and accurate with incredible realism, as it spreads across the entire front soundstage and moves into the back of the room. Dialogue is lucid and well-prioritized in the center. Howard Shore's thrilling musical score gives us a complete immersive experience. (5/5)

EXTENDED EDITION:

It should be noted that decision was made shortly before release of Expected Journey to make the journey into a trilogy. As the result, most of the materials destined for the extended version of the Expected Journey were used in the Desolation of Smaug. Therefore, the extended edition of Expected Journey did not add more to the movie, but it just made the journey even longer. In the case of Desolation of Smaug, the 25 extra minutes did make the film more entertaining.

TRIVIA:

The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug has a respectable worldwide gross of $958 million, with 70% from overseas. Currently, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is at $724 million so far.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

As my practice in the past, I would wait until the Extended Edition before purchasing the set for the Lord of the Rings series and the Hobbit series. The price of this 3D extended version did not lower for weeks. Finally, suddenly after Christmas, the price dropped to $33.99 from $38.99. (I am still waiting for the price to drop in The Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Volume 3). Patience is indeed a virtue. If you have a 3D set, the 3D version is preferred.

The Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector's Edition [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
The Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector's Edition [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Various
Price: CDN$ 59.99
8 used & new from CDN$ 59.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dark Knight Trilogy Ultimate Edition box set: all 3 movies (no new master), 6 discs; 1 new special feature; lots of goodies., Jan. 6 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
GOODIES:

This standard size 11.5 x 8 x 3 inch cardboard box set (similar size to other sets like Singing in The Rain, Sound of Music, etc) opens from the top. This set is part of limited edition (total 141,500).

1 A message from Christopher Nolan.
2 There are five 11.5 x 8 inch Mondo art prints by artist Jock, featuring his unique renditions of the trilogy’s villains: Scarecrow, Ra’s al Ghul, Two-Face, Joker, and Bane. Very well done. Be careful not to put your fingerprints on them. The Joker miniposter is my favourite.
3 There is a 48-page hardcover book “The Art and Making of The Dark Knight Trilogy,” containing behind-the-scenes with production stills and behind the scenes images from all three movies. But it was pared down from its 300-or-so pages coffee table edition. Nevertheless, it was very well done.
4 There are 6 blu-ray discs, housed in a large hardcover book which features art from all three movies and it is very well put together.
(1) Disc 1: Batman Begins (movie and special features)
(2) Disc 2: The Dark Knight (movie)
(3) Disc 3: The Dark Knight (special features)
(4) Disc 4: The Dark Knight Rises (movie)
(5) Disc 5: The Dark Knight Rises (special features)
(6) Disc 6: The Dark Knight Trilogy (special features)*new

Please note that the above movies are NOT newly-remastered versions, simply reboot from before. Very disappointing for such an elegant box. Warner Bros., you could have done better.

The star and the most exciting aspect belongs to all new Special Features on disc 6 for the Dark Knight Trilogy. This 76 minute documentary is the “main event” and includes interviews with Christopher Nolan, Guillermo Del Toro, Damon Lindelof, Michael Mann, Richard Roeper, Zack Snyder and many other Warner Bros. executives and producers. It’s split up into several chapters and there’s tons of behind-the-scenes footage. For the first time ever, the IMAX scenes from The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises are available in their original 4:3 aspect ratio. It is quite a different experience from that in the movie when the picture was cropped to fill the screen.
5 Three Mattel Hot Wheel Vehicles: Batmobile, the Batpod and the Tumbler. The Batmobile even comes with a little stand so you can display it to look like its hovering in the air. Very cute and quite fragile. A little too small for my liking. Definitely not as elegant as the larger size Batpod that came with the Dark Knight Rises box set. And also, why is the Batpod coloured gold? Nevertheless, they will all be displayed on top of my various equipments in the Lee’s Theatre. Of course, they are all made in China.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Although I already have the three movies in this trilogy, I still bought this box set. I waited until the price dropped down to $29.99 on a One-Day Special. This nice looking box set will be proudly displayed next to my many other similar sized box sets outside my theatre. The Special Features for the Dark Knight Trilogy has new materials and very well done. If you don’t own the above movies, this set is an ideal way to introduce you to the Dark Knight. To get the best price on Amazon, you have to scan the price regularly, especially looking for “Specials.” Good luck!

Get The Party Started
Get The Party Started
Price: CDN$ 20.94
30 used & new from CDN$ 8.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dame Shirley Bassey Get The Party Started: 13 tracks containing new remixes; rare gems; great sound!, Jan. 4 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Get The Party Started (Audio CD)
HISTORY:

Released in June 2007, the album features newly remixed tracks by contemporary producers. The remixes feature recorded vocal tracks previously issued in the 1980s and '90s. It entered the UK Albums Chart at #6, her highest chart position for a studio album since 1970 and since 1978 overall. This album project was spearheaded by Bassey and saw her working with songwriting partners Catherine Feeney and Nikki Lamborn, who co-wrote the song, "The Living Tree".

CONTENT:

This album, released under Lock Stock And Barrel Records in 2007, contains 13 tracks. I have included a more detailed track listing (containing singles label & number, chart position, plus personal comments):

01 GET THE PARTY STARTED (LSBRCD006)(UK 47/2007; US DANCE 3/2007)*cover of Pink’s hit; fronted the 2006 Marks & Spencer Christmas advertising campaign; used again in 2010 for the opening credits of the spy-spoof movie "Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore”.
02 BIG SPLENDOR (Lock Stock & Barrel)(uncharted a-side, 2007)* (North by Northwest remix)(Vocal recorded in 1984 for I Am What I Am) Bassey performed "Big Spender" with Elton John at his annual White Tie and Tiara Ball to raise money for The Elton John AIDS Foundation; in 2007, Bassey performed in Fashion Rocks in aid of The Prince's Trust at the Royal Albert Hall.
03 I (WHO HAD NOTHING)*(North by Northwest remix)(Vocal recorded in 1984 for I Am What I Am)
04 THIS IS MY LIFE*(Cagedbaby remix)(Vocal recorded in 1984 for I Am What I Am)
05 SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM*(The Glimmers remix)
06 CAN I TOUCH YOU THERE?* (Knut Saevik and Paul 'Strangefruit' Nyhus)
07 WHAT NOW MY LOVE*(Bugz in the Attic remix)(Vocal recorded in 1984 for I Am What I Am)
08 KISS ME HONEY HONEY*(Restless Soul remix)(Vocal recorded in 1984 for I Am What I Am)
09 HELLO*(Dobie Remix)
10 YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE*(Mark de Clive-Lowe remix)(Vocal recorded in 1987 for The Bond Collection)
11 THE LIVING TREE (LSBRCD003)(UK 37/2007)* marking Bassey's 50th anniversary in the UK Singles Chart – and the record for the longest span of Top 40 hits in UK chart history, sharing Sir Cliff Richard’s previous record of having a top 40 song in the previous 6 decades (50s-00s); a little trivia here.
12 WHERE IS THE LOVE (Bruno E. remix)
13 I WILL SURVIVE (North by Northwest remix)(Previously unreleased vocal performance from 1996)

POSITIVE POINTS:

1 I normally prefer the original version, like original sauce, original taste. In this case, I do make an exception. Shirley Bassey’s voice is as strong as ever, with most of the vocal tracks originally recorded in the 80s and 1996.
2 With the current technology of fresh remixes, the sound is simply vibrant, clean with great differentiation of the different instruments and great bass. Of course, Bassey’s powerful vocal stands out in the middle.
3 There is a 20-page booklet, with lyrics and details about each song. Shirley Bassey, together with Catherine Feeney and Nikki Lamborn of Never The Bride, has created magic in both Get The Party Started and The Living Tree. The special hand-written notation on the lyric sheet on both songs by Shirley Bassey is really special, and reflects the fun and dedication she has for this project.
4 The price is reasonable.

NEGATIVE POINT:

None.

COMPLETE SINGLES DISCOGRAPHY:

Shirley Bassey has 31 charted singles on the British chart from 1957 to 1999. She does have a long illustrious singing career. I have just finished a Complete Singles Discography, and, to my amazement, she has 104 singles (charted and uncharted) from 1956 to 2007, but only 193 songs (not 208 songs because 14 were repeated releases and 1 b-side belonged to Yello). The labels involved include: (1) Philips (1956 to 1960), (2) Columbia (1960 – 1966), (3) United Artists (1966 – 1979), (4) Applause (1982), (5) Polydor (1983 – 1985), (6) Towerbell (1984 – 1986), (7) Mercury (1987 – 1988), (8) FreeStyle (1990), (9) Polygram (1996), (10) EastWest (1996), (11) Wall Of Sound (1997), (12) Bluenote (1999), (13) Universal (1999), (14) Zonophone (1999), (15) Liberty (2000), (16) Whoop Records (2002), (17) Roc-A-Fella Records (2005), (18) ZYX Recods (2005), (19) Lock Stock & Barrel (2007). His single release of The Living Tree reached UK 37 in 2007. Amazing record breaking recording career in the UK Top 40 by a female artist!!! If you are trying to complete her singles discography, the three singles released in 2007 can only be found in this set.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Dame Shirley Bassey is an amazing singer with a powerful and captivating voice. The entire set is very enjoyable with great remastered sound. The remixes are refreshing and blended well with her voice. This set is highly recommended to all you Shirley Bassey fans.

Al Bowlly Collection 1927-40
Al Bowlly Collection 1927-40
Price: CDN$ 29.19
25 used & new from CDN$ 20.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Al Bowlly: Collection (4CDs): 100 songs covering his career (27-40); many hit singles & rare gems; good sound; great booklet!, Jan. 3 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
INTRODUCTION:

Al Bowlly was born Albert Allick Bowlly on January 8, 1898 in Mozambique. He was one of the first British artists who could seriously be called a pop idol - he was a crooner in the heyday of the dance band era of the `30s, whose effortless romantic vocals made him a true superstar of his era. He was killed in a London air raid on April 17, 1941 (age 43).

COMPLETE SINGLES DISCOGRAPHY:

During his brief 15 year of recordings, Al Bowlly has made over 1000 recordings, under different labels & orchestra. Surprisingly, he only charted three times on his own: (1) If I Had You (12/1929), (2) Blue Moon (5/1935) and My Melancholy Baby (20/1935). He was featured vocalist for many bands, mainly consisting of (1) Geraldo & His Orchestra (1931), (2) Ray Fox & His Band (1931 - 1932), (3) Ray Noble & His Orchestra (1932 - 1937) and (4) Lew Stone & His Band (1933 - 1938). To construct a Complete Singles Discography is a difficult and challenging task, a true labour of love, because of the large number of recordings made. I patiently used the label & number, plus year of release as reference, and constructed a 610 singles discography (charted and uncharted, a- and b-sides, but only 1200 songs, not 1220 songs, because 3 were repeated releases and 17 sides belonged to other artists). His main labels are: (1) DG (Deutsche Grammophon), Hom (Homochord), EBW (Edison Bell Winner)(1927-1928), (2) Columbia (1929), (3) Piccadilly, Sterno, Dominion, Metropole & Regal (1929), (4) HMV (1930), (5) Victory (1930), (6) EBR (Edison Bell Radio)(1930), (7) Broadcast (1930 - 1931), (8) Decca (1931 - 1932), (9) Durium (1932), (10) Victor (1932), (11) HMV (1932), (12) Decca (1932 - 1935), (13) Victor (1935 - 1937), (14) HMV (1938), (15) Decca (1938), and (16) HMV (1938 - 1941). I still cannot find the names of a few b-sides. Therefore, this Complete Singles Discography is still work in progress.

CONTENT:

This 4 CD set, released by Acrobat Music, a reputable reissue label from UK, contain 100 songs from 1927 to 1941. Since the song listing is available on Amazon website, it will not be repeated here.

POSITIVE POINTS:

1 This is one of the best collection of songs by Al Bowlly. This terrific 100-track 4 CD anthology brings not only some of his biggest hits but also some of his lesser-known material that has not been over-represented on other collection. It represents an entertaining overview of his matchless style and talent, covering his recording career, from his first recordings in 1927 to one made a couple of weeks before his death in 1941.
2 The 16-page booklet is simply first class, with an informative essay. The gem is the inclusion of label & number and year of release, plus names of orchestra. This is an enormous help in my creating his Singles Discography. Thank you, Acrobat Music. Good job!!
3 Considering the age of the recordings, the sound is wonderfully remastered. Al's soothing voice is clearly displayed, while the backing instruments in the orchestra are well differentiated. All the songs have become my new reference standards.
4 The songs are arranged more or less chronologically. The effort is there. In the future, the ideal anthology should be a- followed by b-sides arranged chronologically. I know I am asking too much.

NEGATIVE POINT:

1 When you buy this set, make sure you do not throw away the original package. I notice that for some reasons, discs 1 and 4 do not play in my Krell CD player. I wisely made a copy, and the copy did work. It will save me a lot of heartaches sending the set back to get a new set. Check the discs out as soon as you receive them. (I threw away the original package already)

FINAL THOUGHTS:

In trying to complete my Singles Discography, there are quite a few other CDs that I have also purchased. This also enriches my library on Ray Noble & His Orchestra. It is probably fair to say that not only Al Bowlly one of the first truly international popular singing stars meriting the term "Pop Star", but he was also probably the first "crooner" in that he developed a highly individual and expressive technique of singing to match the introduction of the microphone in 1931, which was an essential part of his unique appeal. He also broke the mold of the singers playing second fiddle to the bandleaders, who up until the `30s were the stars of the show, with the vocalist relegated to performing the "vocal refrain" noted on the 78 rpm record. Even in the late `30s and early `40s, when Ella Fitzgerald was with Chick Webb and Frank Sinatra with Tommy Dorsey, it was often not until a minute and a half into the record had passed before the vocal came in. Al Bowlly had already began to change all that. In my book, he is truly a "Superstar", and this set is one of the best compilation released so far. This set is very highly recommended.

1919: "Jazzin' Around and Paintin' the Town" by Various Artists [Music CD]
1919: "Jazzin' Around and Paintin' the Town" by Various Artists [Music CD]

5.0 out of 5 stars Phonographic Yearbook 1919: wonderful collection, 25 songs; all 13 No. 1 songs included; first class booklet; good sound!, Jan. 1 2015
INTRODUCTION:

Archeophone Records, a very reputable label from US for reissue of recordings of 1900s to 1920s, released a Phonographic Yearbook series containing the biggest hits of the year. For collectors of music of that era, this is simply a welcome addition and must-own.

CONTENT:

Normally, if you are buying any Phonographic Yearbook series, you really do not need to read the reviews because every issue has been excellent. Here, Amazon.ca did not provide a song listing. If you need help with your purchase decision, I have made a detailed song listing (with labels & numbers, chart positions, plus personal comments):

01 AFTER YOU’VE GONE – Marion Harris (Victor 18509)(US 1(3)/1919)
02 I’M FOREVER BLOWING BUBBLES – Selvin’s Novelty Orchestra (Victor 18603)(US 1(4)/1919)
03 TILL WE MEET AGAIN – Albert Campbell & Henry Burr (Columbia 2668)(US 1(9)/1919)
04 OUI, OUI, MARIE (WEE, WEE, MARIE) – Arthur Fields (Victor 18505)(US 2(1)/1918)*theoretically it should be included in 1918.
05 HOW ‘YA GONNA KEEP ‘EM DOWN ON THE FARM? – Nora Bayes (Columbia 2687)(US 2(3)/1919)
06 TELL ME – Al Jolson (Columbia 2821)(US 3/1919)*rare gem; CD debut.
07 BEAUTIFUL OHIO – Henry Burr (Columbia 2701)(US 1(9)/1919)*became the official state song of Ohio.
08 IT’S NOBODY’S BUSINESS BUT MY OWN – Bert Williams (Columbia 2750)(US 1(2)/1919)*from the Ziegfeld’s Midnight Frolics.
09 NOBODY KNOWS (AND NOBODY SEEMS TO CARE) – Irving and Jack Kaufman (Columbia 2795)(US 4/1920)*rare gem; CD debut.
10 MANDY – Van and Schenck (Columbia 2780)(US 2(2)/1919)*from Broadway’s Ziegfeld Follies of 1919.
11 A PRETTY GIRL IS LIKE A MELODY – John Steel (Victor 18588)(US 1(5)/1919)*also from Broadway’s Ziegfeld Follies of 1919.
12 THAT WONDERFUL MOTHER OF MINE – Henry Burr (Columbia 2711)(US 3/1919)
13 TILL WE MEET AGAIN – Charles Hart & Lewis James (Victor 18518)(US 1(1)/1919)
14 THE VAMP – Joseph C. Smith’s Orchestra (Victor 18594)(US 3/1919)*Billy Murray & Harry Macdonough, vocal.
15 A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND – Marion Harris (Victor 18535)(US 2(2)/1919)
16 THE ALCOHOLIC BLUES – Billy Murray (Victor 18522)(US 5/1919)
17 JA-DA (JA DA, JA DA, JING-JING!) – Arthur Fields (Victor 18522)(US 4/1919)*this is the flip=side of The Alcoholic Blues.
18 BEAUTIFUL OHIO – Waldorf-Astoria Dance Orchestra (Victor 18526)(US 1(1)/1919)
19 OH! WHAT A PAL WAS MARY – Henry Burr (Victor 18606)(US 1(6)/1919)
20 I’LL SAY SHE DOES – Al Jolson (Columbia 2746)(US 1(6)/1919)
21 I’M FOREVER BLOWING BUBBLES – Henry Burr & Albert Campbell (Columbia 2701)(US 1(2)/1919)
22 WHEN YOU LOOK IN THE HEART OF A ROSE – John McCormack (Victor 64817)(US 2(3)/1919)*rare gem; CD debut.
23 THE ROSE OF NO MAN’S LAND – Charles Hart & Elliott Shaw (Victor 18508)(US 6/1919)
24 O DEATH, WHERE IS THY STING? – Bert Williams (Columbia 2652)(US 1(2)/1919)
25 TILL WE MEET AGAIN – Nicholas Orlando’s Orchestra (Victor 18526)(US 1(2)/1919)*flip-side of Beautiful Ohio by Waldorf Astoria Dance Orchestra (track #18 above); vocals – Harry Macdonough & Charles Hart.

POSITIVE POINTS:

1 What a wonderful collection of songs from 1919. This is one of a kind. There are many rare gems here, many making their CD debut. All the thirteen No. 1 songs of 1919 are included.
2 Considering the age and source of these recordings, Archeophone Records has done an excellent job in remastering. Good job!
3 There is a wonderful 24-page booklet, with an essay about the historic events in 1919, plus detailed description about each song. It is simply a joy to read, giving me added insight to each song. There are also gorgeous pictures of artists and 78 singles labels. This is a first class production.

NEGATIVE POINT:

1 None.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Personally, I have created a similar series called Top Hits Of each year. Here I put all the Number 1 songs first, followed by No. 2, etc. In other words I list them by positions. I always remaster the songs further to cut down on hiss.

For all you fans of music from the bygone era, this set (1919) is very highly recommended and is a MUST-OWN.

For all of you Amazon.ca fans, I bought mine from Amazon.com. I checked the prices: buying from Amazon.com or directly from Archeophone Records is about the same. This set may not be available on Amazon.ca for a long while.

Eight Classic Albums
Eight Classic Albums
Offered by Mega Media CA
Price: CDN$ 19.91
20 used & new from CDN$ 11.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Dinah Washington: 8 Classic Albums (4CDs): 8 complete albums; 87 songs; great album tracks; many singles; good sound., Jan. 1 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Eight Classic Albums (Audio CD)
CONTENT:

Amazon is slowly getting better in that the names of the albums are now listed in the Classic Album Series, but still no song listing. In order for you to appreciate what are you are getting, I am including a detailed song listing (including album and singles label & number, chart position, plus personal comments)(R&B=Billboard Rhythm & Blues Chart; BB=Billboard Hot 100):

DISC 1:
LP DINAH JAMS (EmArcy 36000)(1954):
01 Lover Come Back To Me
02 Alone Together
03 Summertime
04 Come Rain Or Come Shine
05 No More
06 I’ve Got You Under My Skin
07 There Is No Greater Love
08 You Go To My Head
LP FOR THOSE IN LOVE (EmArcy 36011)(1955):
09 I Get A Kick Out Of You
10 Blue Gardenia
11 Easy Living
12 You Don’t Know What Love Is
13 This Can’t Be True
14 My Old Flame
15 I Could Write A Book
16 Make The Man Love Me

DISC 2:
LP IN THE LAND OF HI FI (EmArcy 36073)(1956):
01 Our Love Is Here To Stay
02 Let Me Love You
03 There’ll Be A Jubilee
04 My Ideal
05 I’ve Got A Crush On You
06 Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall In Love)
07 Nothing Ever Changes My Love For You
08 What’ll I Tell My Heart
09 On The Sunny Side Of The Street
10 Say It Isn’t So
11 Sometimes I’m Happy
12 If I Were A Bell
LP THE SWINGIN’ MISS D (EmArcy 36104)(1956):
13 They Didn’t Believe Me
14 You’re Crying
15 Makin’ Whoopee
16 Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye
17 But Not For Me
18 Caravan
19 Perdido
20 Never Let Me Go
21 Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby
22 I’ll Close My Eyes
23 Somebody Loves Me

DISC 3:
LP WHAT A DIFF’RENCE A DAY MAKES (Mercury 20479)(14/1960):
01 I Remember You
02 I Thought About You
03 That’s All There Is To That
04 I Won’t Cry Anymore
05 I’m Thru With Love
06 Cry Me A River
07 What A Diff’rence A Day Makes (Mercury 71435)(R&B 4/1959; BB 8/1959)
08 Nothing In The World (Mercury 71508)(b-side, 1959)
09 Manhattan
10 Time After Time
11 It’s Magic
12 A Sunday Kind Of Love
LP THE TWO OF US (with Brook Benton)(Mercury 20588)(1960):
13 There Goes My Heart
14 Call Me
15 Baby (You’ve Got What It Takes) (Mercury 71565)(R&B 1(10)/1960; BB 5/1960)
16 Love Walked In (Mercury 71696)(R&B 16/1960; BB 30/1960)
17 Not One Step Behind
18 A Rockin’ Good Way (To Mess Around And Fall In Love) (Mercury 71629)(R&B 1(4)/1960; BB 7/1960)
19 Someone To Believe In
20 This I Promise You
21 I Do (Mercury 71565)(b-side, 1960)
22 Because Of Everything
23 Again
24 I Believe (Mercury 71629)(b-side, 1960)

DISC 4:
LP I CONCENRATE ON YOU (Mercury 20604)(1960):
01 Crazy Love
02 Fool That I Am
03 I Concentrate On You (Mercury 70694)(R&B 11/1955)
04 Lord, You Made Us Human
05 The Song Is Ended (But The Melody Lingers On)
06 Forgotten
07 Good Morning Heartache
08 While We’re Young
09 Daybreak
10 I’ve Got It Bad, And That Ain’t Good
11 Show Me The Way
12 Misery
LP SEPTEMBER IN THE RAIN (Mercury 20638)(56/1961):
13 September In The Rain (R(Mercury 71876)(R&B 5/1961; BB 23/1961)
14 Without A Song
15 This Heart Of Mine
16 As Long As I’m In Your Arms
17 With A Song In My Heart
18 Softly
19 I Can’t Believe That You’re In Love With Me
20 I Was Telling Him About You
21 I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
22 I’ll Never Kiss You Goodbye
23 I’ll Come Back For More
24 Tell Love Hello

POSITIVE POINTS:

1 This is a great collection of 8 complete albums by Dinah Washington. There are many memorable album tracks, plus also many charted singles, as noted above.
2 The sound is very well remastered: clean with no hiss, especially reflective in album Dinah Jams – a fantastic live album of pure jazz. Dinah Washington’s voice is soulful, while different instruments are clearly displayed.
3 Don’t be misled by only 16 songs in disc 1. There are 79 minutes in it. Some jam sessions lasted over 10 minutes.

NEGATIVE POINTS:

1 Contrary to Real Gone Music when there is no booklet, here with Real Gone Jazz, we do have a 8 page booklet, with 6 pages devoted to advertisement. At least the names of the performers on each album were listed.
2 There is no label & number, and no chart positions.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Dinah Washington was born Ruth Lee Jones on August 29, 1924 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She is truly one of the all-time great jazz-blues singers. She unfortunately died of alcohol/pill overdose on December 14, 1963 (age 39). She left us at a time when she was reaching the peak of her charting career, with such charted R&B and Pop classics as What A Diff’rence A Day Makes and September in the Rain. To have one set containing 8 albums at reasonable price and great sound is simply fantastic. If you like Dinah Washington, this is a good way to collect her individual albums. Hopefully my listing of the songs will help you to appreciate the great value in the set, which is recommended.

100 Hits Legends
100 Hits Legends
Price: CDN$ 18.68
22 used & new from CDN$ 8.80

5.0 out of 5 stars Dinah Washington Legends 100 Hits (5CDs): 100 songs; good mix of album tracks & singles; good sound., Dec 30 2014
This review is from: 100 Hits Legends (Audio CD)
CONTENT:

This 5 CD set is released by Demon Music from UK, based on their Legends 100 Hits series, and naturally contains 100 songs. Although Amazon did provide a song listing, in order for you to appreciate the importance of the song selection, I have compiled a much more detailed song listing (including singles label & number, chart position, plus personal comments)(R&B=Billboard Rhythm & Blues Chart; BB=Billboard Hot 100):

DISC 1:
01 Mad About The Boy (Mercury 5842)(uncharted a-side, 1952)
02 What A Diff’rence A Day Makes (Mercury 71435)(a-side)(R&B 4/1959; BB 8/1959)
03 Baby (You’ve Got What It Takes)(with Brook Benton)(Mercury 71565)(a-side)(R&B 1(10)/1960; BB 5/1960)
04 This Bitter Earth (Mercury 71635)(a-side)(R&B 1(1)/1960; BB 24/1960)
05 I’ve Got A Crush On You
06 All Of Me (Mercury 71377)(b-side, 1958)
07 Sometimes I’m Happy
08 Our Love Is Here To Stay (Mercury 71812)(a-side)(BB 89/1961)
09 Come On Home (Mercury 71435)(b-side, 1959)
10 A Sunday Kind of Love
11 My Ideal
12 Dream (Mercury 70439)(a-side)(R&B 9/1954)
13 There’ll Be Some Changes Made
14 Blue Gardenia
15 Black and Blue
16 Teach Me Tonight (Mercury 70497)(a-side)(R&B 4/1954)
17 Pennies From Heaven
18 Give Me Back My Tears
19 Darn That Dream
20 Blue Skies

DISC 2:
01 I Get A Kick Out Of You
02 Love For Sale
03 After You’ve Gone
04 More Than You Know
05 Birth of the Blues
06 What Is This Thing Called Love
07 Let’s Do It
08 I’ve Got A Feeling I’m Falling
09 Keepin’ Out Of Mischief Now
10 Again
11 Stairway To The Stars (Mercury 8035)(b-side, 1947)
12 Everybody Loves My Baby (Mercury 71220)(uncharted a-side, 1957)
13 Half As Much (Mercury 8294)(b-side, 1952)
14 My Devotion
15 If I Were A Bell
16 Caravan
17 Makin’ Whoopee
18 Cold Cold Heart (Mercury 5728)(R&B 3/1951)
19 It Could Happen To You (Mercury 71560)(a-side)(BB 53/1960)
20 Honeysuckle Rose

DISC 3:
01 A Rockin’ Good Way (with Brook Benton)(Mercury 71629)(a-side)(R&B 1(4)/1960; BB 7/1960)
02 Big Deal (Mercury 8187)(b-side, 1950)
03 Come Rain Or Come Shine
04 Someone’s Rockin’ My Dreamboat
05 There Is No Greater Love
06 I Concentrate On You (Mercury 70694)(R&B 11/1955)
07 On The Sunny Side Of The Street
08 If I Loved You (Mercury 8206)(b-side, 1951)
09 I Remember You
10 If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight
11 Perdido
12 I’m Through With Love
13 It’s Magic
14 Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby?
15 Send Me To The Electric Chair
16 Resolution Blues (Mercury 8082)(b-side)(R&B 15/1948)*double sided hit.
17 Big Long Slidin’ Thing (Mercury 70392)(uncharted a-side, 1954)
18 Long John Blues (Mercury 8148)(b-side)(R&B 3/1949)*double sided hit.
19 Short John (Mercury 70329)(uncharted a-side, 1954)
20 Backwater Blues

DISC 4:
01 September In The Rain (Mercury 71876)(a-side)(R&B 5/1961; BB 23/1961)
02 Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
03 I Cried For You (Mercury 70046)(b-side, 1952)
04 (Remember Me) I’m The One Who Loves You
05 I Thought About You
06 Stardust
07 I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart
08 Time After Time
09 Nothing In The World (Mercury 71508)(b-side, 1959)
10 Careless Love
11 Bye Bye Blues
12 So In Love
13 Stormy Weather (Mercury 5906)(uncharted a-side, 1952)
14 Easy Living
15 This Can’t Be Love
16 Tain’t Nobody’s Biz-ness If I Do (Mercury 8231)(uncharted a-side, 1951)
17 Christopher Columbus
18 You’re Crying
19 But Not For Me
20 Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye

DISC 5:
01 Manhattan
02 Unforgettable (Mercury 71508)(a-side)(R&B 15/1959; BB 17/1959)
03 Love Walked In (Mercury 71696)(a-side)(R&B 16/1960; BB 30/1960)
04 I’ve Got You Under My Skin
05 Squeeze Me
06 Willow Weep For Me
07 I Believe
08 A Cottage For Sale
09 Look To The Rainbow
10 Lover Come Back To Me
11 I Apologize (Mercury 8209)(b-side, 1951)
12 Just One More Chance (Mercury 5736)(uncharted a-side, 1952)
13 I Wanna Be Loved (Mercury 8181)(a-side)(R&B 5/1950; BB 22/1950)
14 Since I Fell For You (Mercury 8057)(uncharted a-side, 1947)
15 My Song (Mercury 8294)(uncharted a-side, 1952)
16 Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
17 Tell Me Why (Mercury 8267)(b-side)(R&B 7/1952)*double sided hit.
18 If I Had You
19 Soft Wind (Mercury 70906)(R&B 13/1956)
20 The Age of Miracles (Mercury 71560)(b-side, 1960)

POSITIVE POINTS:

1 This is a good collection of songs by Dinah Washington, a good mix of album tracks plus some singles.
2 The sound is generally good: clean with no hiss.
3 There is an 8-page booklet with an essay written by Phil Graham. Dates of recordings were included.
4 All the songs are original versions, not re-recorded versions.
5 The price is reasonable for a 5 CD set.

NEGATIVE POINTS:

1 There are no label & number, no chart positions.
2 The songs are not arranged chronologically.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Dinah Washington was born Ruth Lee Jones on August 29, 1924 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She is truly one of the all-time great jazz-blues singers. She unfortunately died of alcohol/pill overdose on December 14, 1963 (age 39). She left us at a time when she was reaching the peak of her charting career, with such charted R&B and Pop classics as What A Diff’rence A Day Makes and September in the Rain. This 5 CD set contains a good mixture of her later recordings from different albums and also some singles, and is a good way to introduce you to the wonderful soulful voice of Dinah Washington. It is recommended.

Greatest Hits
Greatest Hits
Price: CDN$ 13.40
27 used & new from CDN$ 7.24

4.0 out of 5 stars Dinah Washington Greatest Hits 1946-1953 (2CDs): 47 songs; singles, charted & uncharted, plus rare b-sides; average sound., Dec 30 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
CONTENT:

This 2 CD set, released by Fabulous label, under Acrobat from UK, contains 47 songs from 1946 to 1953. Although Amazon did provide a song listing, to appreciate how important the songs are, I have compiled a more detailed song listing (with singles label & number, chart position with personal comments)(a-side in capital letters; BB=Billboard Hot 100; R&B=Billboard Rhythm & Blues Chart):

DISC 1:
01 SALTY PAPA BLUES (Keynote 606)(R&B 10/1944)
02 EVIL GAL BLUES (Keynote 605)(R&B 9/1944)
03 WALKING BLUES (Apollo 374)(uncharted a-side, 1946)
04 WHEN A WOMAN LOVES A MAN (Mercury 2053)(uncharted a-side, 1946)
05 A SLICK CHICK (ON THE MELLOW SIDE)(Mercury 8024)(uncharted a-side, 1946)
06 BLOW TOP BLUES (Decca 23792)(uncharted a-side, 1946)
07 Stairways To The Stars (Mercury 8035)(b-side, 1947)
08 Fool That I Am (Mercury 8050)(b-side, 1947)
09 SINCE I FELL FOR YOU (Mercury 8057)(uncharted a-side, 1947)
10 I LOVE YOU, YES I DO (Mercury 8065)(uncharted a-side, 1948)
11 AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' (Mercury 8072)(R&B 6/1948)
12 WEST SIDE BABY (Mercury 8079)(R&B 7/1948)
13 Walkin' And Talkin' (And Crying My Blues Away)(b-side)(Mercury 8079)(R&B 13/1948)*double sided hit.
14 I WANT TO CRY (Mercury 8082)(R&B 11/1948)
15 Resolution Blues (b-side)(Mercury 8082)(R&B 15/1948)*double sided hit.
16 IN THE RAIN (Mercury 8094)(uncharted a-side, 1948)
17 Tell Me So (Mercury 8094)(b-side, 1948)
18 AM I ASKING TOO MUCH (Mercury 8095)(R&B 1(1)/1948)
19 IT'S TOO SOON TO KNOW (Mercury 8107)(R&B 2/1948)
20 Laughing Boy (Mercury 8102)(b-side, 1949)
21 YOU SATISFY (Mercury 8102)(R&B 8/1949)
22 BABY GET LOST (Mercury 8148)(R&B 1(2)/1949)
23 Long John Blues (b-side)(Mercury 8148)(R&B 3/1949)*double sided hit.
24 I CHALLENGE YOUR KISS (Mercury 8150)(uncharted a-side, 1949)

DISC 2:
01 GOOD DADDY BLUES (Mercury 8154)(R&B 9/1949)
02 I ONLY KNOW (Mercruy 8163)(R&B 3/1950)
03 IT ISN'T FAIR (Mercury 8169)(R&B 5/1950)
04 Journey's End (Mercury 8169)(b-side, 1950)
05 I WANNA BE LOVED (Mercury 8181)(R&B 5/1950; BB 22/1950)*first Billboard charted hit.
06 I'LL NEVER BE FREE (Mercury 8187)(R&B 3/1950)
07 TIME OUT FOR TEARS (Mercury 5503)(R&B 8/1950)
08 HARBOR LIGHTS (Mercury 5488)(R&B 10/1951)
09 MY HEART CRIES FOR YOU (Mercury 8209)(R&B 7/1951)
10 I WON'T CRY ANYMORE (Mercury 8211)(R&B 6/1951)
11 BE FAIR TO ME (Mercury 8249)(uncharted a-side, 1951)
12 HEY GOOD LOOKIN' (Mercury 8257)(uncharted a-side, 1951)
13 Out In The Cold Again (Mercury 8257)(b-side, 1951)
14 COLD COLD HEART (Mercury 5728)(R&B 3/1951)
15 JUST ONE MORE CHANCE (Mercury 5736)(uncharted a-side, 1952)
16 WHEEL OF FORTUNE (Mercury 8267)(R&B 3/1952)
17 Tell Me Why (b-side)(Mercury 8267)(R&B 7/1952)*double sided hit.
18 TROUBLE IN MIND (Mercury 8269)(R&B 4/1952)
19 New Blowtop Blues (b-side)(Mercury 8269)(R&B 5/1952)*double sided hit.
20 DOUBLE DEALING DADDY (Mercury 8292)(uncharted a-side, 1952)
21 Pillow Blues (Mercury 8292)(b-side, 1952)
22 TV IS THE THING (THIS YEAR)(Mercury 70214)(R&B 3/1953)
23 Fat Daddy (b-side)(Mercury 70214)(R&B 10/1953)

POSITIVE POINTS:

1 This is a decent collection of Dinah Washington's early singles, but far from complete. As noted above, in this set, there are many charted a-sides, plus rare uncharted a- and b-sides.
2 There is a 10-page booklet with an informative essay by Dave Penny. The label & number, plus chart positions are included. This really helps in my compiling a Complete Singles Discography.
3 The listing is arranged more or less chronologically. The efforts are there, but could be better (like a-side before b-sides).
4 The price is relatively cheap for a 2 CD set.

NEGATIVE POINTS:

1 The sound is only average, with a thin layer of hiss. Clicking was occasionally noted. Considering that this set was released in 2011, with the availability of current remastering technology, the sound should have been much better. However, Dinah Washington's voice is excellent and soulful. The backing instruments are clearly differentiated.
2 Disc 1: 70 minutes; Disc 2: 67 minutes. With 13 minutes of empty spaces, surely, a few more songs could be included.

COMPLETE SINGLES DISCOGRAPHY:

In the Billboard R&B book, Dinah Washington had 47 charted singles from 1944 to 1961. I have painstakingly constructed a detailed Complete Singles Discography, and to my amazement, there are actually 105 singles (charted and uncharted, from 1944 to 1963), but only 204 songs, not 210 songs because 6 were repeated release. The labels are (1) Keynote (1944), (2) Apollo (1946), (3) Mercury (1946 - 1962), and (4) Roulette (1962 - 1963).

If you are a completest like myself, you would really like the 4 CD set, The Fabulous Miss D., by Hip-O, with 97 songs (1943 - 1953)(but quite expensive). The coverage from 1954 to 1963 (at reasonable price) is sorely lacking, or very expensive (like the Complete Mercury series: 7 box sets on Mercury), plus a few volumes on Roulette label. I wish one day Bear Family Records will release the Complete Dinah Washington, covering her entire career.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Dinah Washington was born Ruth Lee Jones on August 29, 1924 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She is truly one of the all-time jazz-blues singers. She unfortunately died of alcohol/pill overdose on December 14, 1963 (age 39). She left us at a time when she was reaching the peak of her charting career, with such charted R&B and Pop classics as What A Diff'rence A Day Makes and September in the Rain. Although the remastered sound is average, Dinah's soulful voice will mesmerize you. This set is a good introduction to her early career and is recommended.

III: Deluxe Edition
III: Deluxe Edition
Price: CDN$ 22.88
34 used & new from CDN$ 13.91

5.0 out of 5 stars Take That III (Deluxe): 7th studio album; 15 songs; These Days #1 UK single, packaged in elegant digibook form; great sound., Dec 29 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: III: Deluxe Edition (Audio CD)
INTRODUCTION:

III is the seventh studio album of Take That. It is the band's first studio album in four years and the first to feature the band as a trio, (Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen), following the departures of Jason Orange and Robbie Williams. Upon its release, III broke the record for the most pre-ordered album in Amazon UK's history. The album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart with first-week sales of 145,000 (the third highest of 2014), becoming Take That's sixth UK number-one studio album and seventh overall.

CONTENT:

There are 12 songs in the standard edition, with 3 more songs in the deluxe edition (Believe, Amazing and Do It All For Love).

The lead single, These Days, debut at Number 1 on the British Singles Chart on December 7, 2014, beating out Band Aid 30’s Do They Know It’s Christmas.

Get Ready for It is scheduled to be the second single to be released in early 2015, and will play during the credits of upcoming film Kingsman: The Secret Service, starring Colin Firth and Michael Caine.

PACKAGING:

The Deluxe Edition comes with an elegant hard-cover 20-page digibook, containing all the lyrics and colourful pictures. The front cover is very cleverly designed to tie in the title III with Take That being a trio now.

SOUND:

The sound is very well remastered: clean, sharp vocal, great choruses and vibrant instrumental backing tracks. Gary Barlow was the lead singer in all the songs except Lovelife, Into The Wild, Believe and Do It All For Love by Mark Owen and Give You My Love by Howard Donald.

FINAL THOUGHT:

This is a great album, with upbeat, anthemic, singalong pop with generically uplifting lyrics about the triumph of love, the power of friendship and the rewards of loyalty. Take That's future may no longer be Orange, but it's still bright. This album is highly recommended to all you Take That fans.

The Hundred-Foot Journey [Blu-ray + Digital Copy] (Bilingual)
The Hundred-Foot Journey [Blu-ray + Digital Copy] (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Helen Mirren
Price: CDN$ 29.93
27 used & new from CDN$ 19.50

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hundred-Foot Journey (blu-ray): nice little film with great warmth & fine acting; good video/audio; for the whole family!, Dec 28 2014
VIDEO:

The Hundred-Foot Journey arrives on blu-ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 2.39:1 encode. This movie was shot on 35 mm film, which gives the image a natural and filmic look. The colour palette was saturated with the colourful Indian spices and the lush country-fresh vegetables on display at the market. Contrasts are nicely balanced. The detail is fairly vivid and sharp, particularly in the close ups, which reveal individual hairs, wrinkles, and makeup work. Overall, this is such a natural and beautiful visual experience. (4.5/5)

AUDIO:

The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio soundtrack is quite enveloping, with a sweeping orchestral music score around the entire room. Special mention must be to A.R. Rahman’s score, which is brilliant. I was very impressed with his previous work on Slumdog Millionaire. Still remember that pop (also line dance) song Jai Ho? Dialogue is clear. This is another enjoyable soundtrack. (4.5/5)

MOVIE:

The title Hundred Foot depicts the distance between the two restaurants, the Michelin starred restaurant 'Le Saule Pleureur' (The Weeping Willow) run by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) and the Maison Mumbai on the other side. This is a nice little film, with no dinosaurs or CGI effects, depicting heartfelt drama between family members and their romances with new people, mixed with some comedy. You really grow a fondness for these characters, and allows you to easily relate to their successes and failures. A nice little movie. (5/5)

TRIVIA:

1 The Hundred-Foot Journey has an estimated budget of $22 million, but grossed a respectable $52 million
2 Did you know that the upscale restaurant in Paris is actually Georges at the top of the Pompidou Centre although renamed in the movie apparently as a fictional restaurant?
3 Hassan's hollandaise sauce was made incorrectly - with olive oil, not butter. (Using olive oil might produce aioli or mayonnaise, but never hollandaise.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

The Hundred-Foot Journey is a nice little film, filled with warmth and humanity, balanced with a little humour. The story, characters, funny moments, and drama are all done to perfection. And the food had my mouth watering. Both video and audio are top-notched. This film is recommended to the entire family.

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