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Product: Audio CD
Title: Faith
Label: Sony
Artist: George Michael
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
If you do not like this Cd, you do not like pop music.


A classic. One of the best albums of the 80s. Or any other era actually. Easily Michael's best album.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Rare Masters
Label: Island
Artist: Elton John
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
For the Serious Elton John Fan


Have you ever wondered what happened to those Elton John songs that were released, but were not part of an album? How about that Christmas song that crops up every now and then on a classic rock station ("Step into Christmas"). Well, there were enough of these songs to collect into a 2-CD set.
Before buying this set, I was unaware that Elton John had recorded his first single in December 1967, which was then released in March 1968. Listening to the songs from the late 60s, you can also see a much stronger blues influence than was evident in the songs from the 1972 onward. One of the great features of this set is the 24-page booklet that includes comments from Bernie Taupin as well as explanations by the author of the booklet regarding the history of each song. The booklet alone is a must-have for the serious Elton John fan.
There are so many songs on this CD that I would be unable to talk about every single one, so instead let's focus on some of the highlights.
The entire soundtrack from "Friends", an early 70s movie, is included on the first CD. I am either proud or regretful to say that I actually saw this movie in the theater when it was released. The movie was okay; Elton's soundtrack was lovely. I admit that every time I listen to the soundtrack, I think about the movie, which was poignant, though a bit weak. Elton's first effort at a movie soundtrack was very good, and was a harbinger of the distant future when he provided music for many more movies.
Two other very interesting tracks on disk 1. "Lady Samantha" is often considered the song that got the music industry interested in this young singer/songwriter. Released the same year as "Empty Sky" in England, and a year before Elton's U.S. debut, things moved very fast for Elton from that point. The other song is "Grey Seal", a much more polished version of which appeared on "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road". This version is more bluesy, and slower, than the later version. You can feel Elton's raw talent on this song.
Disk 2 has many more gems. There is a blues-rock version of "Madman Across the Water" that lasts for nearly 9 minutes. Though portions of this song are dated, this is harder rock than Elton usually plays. There is a newer recorded version of "Skyline Pigeon", originally recorded for the "Empty Sky" album. This version shows the evolution of Elton's skill as a singer and a musician. Another song I enjoyed was "Step into Christmas", released in November 1973. This song did not do well as a single, which was surprising given Elton's popularity during this time frame, but the song is a fun, fast-paced rock Christmas song. The lyrics are simple, the hooks are catchy, but still one of the best rock Christmas songs I can recall.
"I Saw Her Standing There" is a live duet recorded with John Lennon in Madison Square Garden on 28 November 1974. While the sound is not great, this song was John's last live appearance before a live audience. The booklet explains in detail the origin of this song, which was based on a bet between Elton and John Lennon.
There are a number of other wonderful songs. There are a couple that are not so wonderful. However, on the balance, I am pleased with this 2-CD set. Certainly, this boxed set is a must-have for any serious Elton John fan. This music spans his most creative era, from 1967 to 1975. The songs are ordered chronologically, which gives the listener a real flavor for the musical evolution of the first superstar of the 70s. Enjoy!



Product: Audio CD
Title: Selected Ambient Works, Vol. 2
Label: Warner Brothers
Artist: Aphex Twin
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
A Musical Tool From A Musical Genious


Richard, Richard, Richard... how do you do it? Every Aphex release is beyond explanation. I hated this cd when I first got it (about 7 months ago), it just didn't sound like music to me. Then I did what I do whenever I try to connect with music, I listened to it on headphones right before I slept. Wow, this cd has more stanima than any other thing I've ever heard, I still listen to it almost ritually before bed. It kind of puts you into a daze, half-asleep while half-awake and it paints pictures in your mind. I don't know what I would do without it. SAWII is without a doubt the most valuable piece of music I own, how else can I persuade you to get it? And when you do, don't put it off after first impression because it is likely to be a disappointing one.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Best of the Pointer Sisters
Label: RCA
Artist: The Pointer Sisters
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Pointer Sisters Best CD ever released


All the songs that you are familiar with are here and there are a handful of songs that will make you sit up and take notice of why this group has been around for so long.