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Product: Audio CD
Title: Every Picture Tells a Story
Label: Mercury / Universal
Artist: Rod Stewart
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Rod Stewart's Best Album


EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY is Rod Stewart's best album ever, displaying in full flower his roots in the Memphis-Chicago-Texas-St. Louis-Muscle Shoals- Detroit-New Orleans-Kansas City blues/rock & roll/R&B axis, country & western, and American and British Isles folk musics. The title track and "Maggie May" speak of young men experiencing life in ways they never believed they could; "Mandolin Wind" acutely describes the winters in Great Britain; "Tomorrow Is Such A Long Time" is a Dylan cover that tops the exceptional original, describing a search for inner peace that may mean giving up things once held close; "That's All Right" is a rockabilly song that's better than Elvis' version; and "Reason To Believe" points out why belief in what you're doing is sometimes the hardest thing of all. This album, taken as a whole, could be seen as questioning why people even try to hold on to their pasts. EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY is a great piece of work from an artist who would equal it wit the follow-up, and make some great records and some garbage later on, but never truly equalled the first four albums.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Substance
Label: Warner Brothers
Artist: New Order
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Fantastic


This is an absolutely beautiful compilation that will keep your mind body and soul moving through every drum beat and musical cord. Consisting mostly of their well-known hits, the first disc is truly an awesome listen. There isn't a bad song on it! The first tracks, Ceremony, Everything's Gone Green, and Temptation, are lesser known (at least they were to me), but they did not at all pale in comparison to Bizare Love Triangle in True Faith, my personal favorites songs by the group. My favorite by any group, actually. Oh, and if you think that the lyrics in this version of Ceremony are hard to understand, try listening to the original version, which was performed by Joy Division. The second disc consists mostly of B-sides and remixes. Though a lot of people didn't like the second disc too well, I still think its a great addition to the collection. Granted it's not as good as the first, but some of the instrumental remixes, such as that for Thieves Like Us and The Kiss of Death are just beautiful. And with a few awesome sounding B-sides, such as 1963 and Mesh, even the second disc proves to be a must have! An excellent compilation overall. I know I can only give 5 stars, but I really wish I could give ten! Because this one is really over the top!



Product: Audio CD
Title: Valley Of The Dolls: Music From The Motion Picture Soundtrack
Label: Philips
Artist: John Williams, Andre Previn, Dory Previn
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
Attack of the Killer Mascara


Barbara Parkins, Patty Duke, and Sharon Tate spent just a wee bit too long under the hairdryer for this big-budget flop adapted from the equally trashy but considerably more compelling Susann novel about three nice girls who go to pot--but hey! When you're faced with booze, pills, the occasional gay husband, and the hardship of fitting into this year's bikini, what else is a poor girl to do?
Parkins, Duke, and Tate spend so much time eye-batting, skirt-twitching, and soap opera-emoting that you'd SWEAR they're actually drag queens, while tough-gal types Susan Hayward and Lee Grant butch it up to a truly frightening degree. The occasional musical turns (would you believe Hayward as a Broadway musical star a la Merman?) are ridiculously written and atrociously performed, and the 1960s mindset simply adds to strangeness of it all. On the whole, its the sort of thing you might imagine would happen if Marilyn Monroe had up and starred in an Ed Woods movie, and the result is so embarassing that it becomes weirdly fun.
For best results when showing this film, I recommend cheap pink champagne in plastic glasses, a paper plate full of "mystery crab" canapes, and use the cocktail napkins left over from your last divorce. And invite every cosmetologist you know!



Product: Audio CD
Title: American Life [Remixes]
Label: Warner Brothers
Artist: Madonna
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
American Remix.


To be honest with you, "American Life" is one of my least favorite singles by Madonna. Ms. Ciccone is most convincing when she delivers straightforward dance tunes in the vein of "Express Yourself," "Deeper and Deeper," and "Music." But when she tries to get introspective and turns into "Message Madonna," the results come up a bit contrived. Still, you can usually depend on her for good remixes, and they can be found on this single. As it happens, the weakest of these versions is by Missy Elliot, who sets "American Life" to a generic, one-beat-fits-all hip hop groove. Felix da Housecat, the reigning king of electro, fares way better in his new wave re-working, as does Paul Oakenford. But the real treat comes from Peter Rauhofer, who breathes high energy disco into his "American Anthem Part 2." As a bonus, we get another electro remix, which comes in the form of Richard Vission's brash makeover of the 007 theme song "Die Another Day." Madonna has released better remixes, but these are good enough to satisy clubgoers, DJs, and diehard fans alike.