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Product: Audio CD
Title: Discography: The Complete Singles Collection
Label: Capitol
Artist: Pet Shop Boys
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
"It's A Sin" not to have this collection.

I've enjoyed the "Pet Shop Boys" ever since I got my copy of "Please" on vinyl, and once this cd was released, I picked it up right away. Fanatics may miss tracks, but for the casual fan, this has everything and more. It includes the bigger hits "West End Girls", "Opportunities (lets make lots of money)", "It's A Sin", and "Domino Dancing". Plus the covers of "Always On My Mind" and "Where The Streets Have No Name (I cant take my eyes off of you)". Also, the songs I didn't know here are as good as the others. I like these guys because they give a warm and emotion, to a kind of music that is usually lacking it, "Suburbia" being a prime example. Overall it's an excellent collection, and will go great with your "New Order" and "Moby" cd's.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Glassworks
Label: Sony
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
Another Glass 'showcase'

This album is a collection of shorter pieces for Glass's ensemble of the period (early 1980s, in this case), and as such, it isn't exactly in the form of what Glass was doing at the time...which was his expansive operatic works, notably "Akhenaten" and "Satyagraha". But even with the atypical forms used here, this is a shining showcase, and perhaps one of the best introductions for new listeners to Glass's work, as well as to minimalism in general. The pieces range from the terse yet tranquil feel of "Facades", to the introspective feel of "Opening", to the swirling, trance-driven "Rubrik". For a similar album, check the rougher-hewn but just as essential "North Star", which is the work that got Glass in the door as far as mainstream labels are concerned (it was originally released, as was "Music in 12 Parts", on Virgin).

Product: Audio CD
Title: Keepin' It Real
Label: Blind Pig
Artist: Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
As In "Real Good" !

Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers are quite simply one of the greatest blues bands in the world. After several successful years on the Tone-Cool label--and some outstanding CDs--Rod and his band have "moved" to Blind Pig. The music is as super as ever.
There are some excellent harp players on the blues scene today, but none are better than Mr. Piazza--his range and technique are astonishing. Like a fine wine, he seems to just keep getting better with the passing years. At the same time, Rod's virtuosity is fully matched by his partner, Miss Honey Piazza, who--in this writer's humble opinion, based on their appearances at Ottawa's annual Bluesfest--is the best "boogie woogie" piano player in music--period. Rod and Miss Honey always seem to have top-notch musicians in their "Mighty Flyers" line-up--currently, there is Henry Carvajal on guitar, Bill Stuve on bass and Paul Vincent Fasulo on drums--all are solid and inventive.
I understand that the tracks on this CD were recorded in one take, to keep them as fresh and spontaneous as possible. As a result, even blues standards such as "Good Morning Little School Girl", "Baby Please Don't Go" and "Pretty Thing" come across with a renewed vigour. Several tracks were written by Rod himself--excellent numbers like "Moving in a West Coast Way" and "West Coast Midnight Blues" give away his California roots, by way of Chicago of course !
In 1991, Rod and the Flyers released a fine CD on Black Top ( Blues in the Dark ), which featured an amazing "boogie woogie" instrumental, "Buzzin'", to showcase Miss Honey's extraordinary talent. It has been a mainstay of the Flyers' concerts ever since--here in Ottawa, the only sound you could hear apart from Miss Honey's piano was thousands of jaws dropping ! On "Keepin' It Real", she updates "Buzzin'" into a more extended version, in keeping with her concert performances. I can tell you--it still blows me away !
Bottom line--one of the best blues CDs of 2004, from the band that never, ever disappoints. Highly recommended !

Product: Audio CD
Title: 2
Label: Festival Records
Artist: Olivia Newton-John
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
Missing track

Watch your orders ...
Other reviewers talk of a 12th track -- a hidden rendition of Physical that is definitely on my CD -- but my players still only label this surprise number 11 on my version. I'm missing Love You Crazy with Human Nature from my disk.It's listed as number 6 on my cover and in the liner notes -- they even give me the words to it! -- but no song.
Sloppy production standards?
The rest of the album is so good, I'm disappointed to lack a note