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Product: Audio CD
Title: Michael Ball Christmas
Label: Hip-O Records
Artist: Michael Ball
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
What else can you say - Michael Ball is wonderful


Just a quick and easy review here - just buy it. Michael Ball - Oh Holy Night. Enough said.



Product: Audio CD
Title: On the Town
Label: Polygram Records
Artist:
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
Buy this CD for the Orchestra not the Singers


The London Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas play so well, the ballet interludes are worth the price alone. Unfortunately, I thoutght the vocalists left a great deal to be desired. I found their interpretations stuffy like they were afraid to let their hair down and sing. I'll say it again though, the LSO plays great!



Product: Audio CD
Title: Thriller
Label: Sony
Artist: Michael Jackson
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Thriller reached the absolute summit of ALL music.


I grew up with the Jackson Five, and yes, I must say they were my role models at an early age. Just as they were becoming has beens, Michael expoded onto the scene with Off The Wall, then Atom bombed musical history with Thriller. The Beatles were sensational in their run. This does not threaten that. The Rock snobs though, have to stop dissing what is obvious. Every song on Thriller is known by any one who listened to music in any way, shape, or form in the 80's. Beyond the kookiness, Michael filled stadiums like we have not seen before or since. He attained an idol status that lasts to this day, despite the anti-climatic sales of albums since then. Also, never before has the music video been used to create this multi-media aura around him. You can't hear a song from Thriller without picturing the video images. Forget the hype. Forget the aversion, if any, to the artist himself. Thriller has very likeable, danceable tunes on it. Credit the writing genius of Rod Temperton (of 70's group Heatwave) for much of that. He has the knack for creating just the right hook and beat that is so infectious, yet he's virtually invisible. I do have a favorite Thriller song. It's the first we all saw in video, and it established the MJ persona. It's "Billie Jean". Despite the plastic surgery nightmare, despite personal behavior shortcomings, this album is worth owning. Judging by the sales figures (its still selling incredibly well) most of us already do.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Celebration: The Best of Kool & the Gang (1979-87)
Label: Mercury / Universal
Artist: Kool & the Gang
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
It's time to celebrate!


Without a doubt, Kool & The Gang are one of my favorite funk/soul artists, if not my favorite. This album covers the late disco era of 1979 all the way up to when pop was going strong in 1987. All of Kool & The Gang's best hits in those years are here on this album. Although Kool & The Gang might not get the credit for it, they were a good versatile group. While you listen to this album, you'll hear songs that have a little bit of disco in them such as "Ladies Night," rocking tunes such as "Tonight" and "Misled," and good ballads such as "Joanna" and "Cherish."
Even though the song "Celebration" is still widely played at various celebratory events such as when a home town NBA team wins a game, Kool & The Gang's other songs and Kool & The Gang themselves don't get the credit they deserve.
I recommend anybody who likes rock or soul from the era of the late 70s to mid 80s to get this album. It's the definitive album for a great group. The booklet with the CD tells a biography of Kool & The Gang and also tells the chart positions on both the R&B and Pop Charts for every song.