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Martin A Hogan "Marty From SF" (San Francisco, CA. (Hercules))

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Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Remastered)
Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Remastered)
Preis: EUR 13,99

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5.0 von 5 Sternen The Landmark Album!, 11. März 2010
"Sgt. Pepper" is arguably the Beatles most recognized album. Released in 1967 at the peak of the 'hippy/flower power' movement, it combined art with music in a way that no album had previously done. From the way upbeat, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" to the surreal, somewhat somber, "A Day In The Life", every song is a classic. The sound is what makes this album amazing. George Martin and his son remastered and remixed several songs for the "Love" album. This same remarkable remastering has revitalized "Sgt. Pepper's" to an unbelievable clarity. Mixed with an array of sound effects, the remastering not only enhances the instruments and vocals, but brings all those art/music sound effects throughout the album to a vivid height. It's really remarkable how great this album sounds.

Also included in the great album is a multi-paged booklet with some excellent liner notes. There is also a diagram identifying all the famous people in the cover photo! On your computer, you can play the five-minute mini-documentary about the album (Quick-time), which showcases comments from all four Beatles and George Martin. All of this is mixed in with rare photos never seen before. Imagine learning that this album was recorded at night with over 400 hours devoted to it. That's perfectionism and its shows. In fact, there is a mini-documentary for all the Beatles albums. This CD is a collector's item and a perfect showcase for the Beatles genius.

Back to Nature
Back to Nature

5.0 von 5 Sternen An Ode To The Adirondacks, 28. Februar 2010
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Back to Nature (Audio CD)
While, "Hey Music" explored a few more non-Adirondack topics and styles, "Back To Nature" bares homage to the Adirondacks mood, seasons and legends. In a return to "Forever Green", this album is a complete set of wonderfully pleasant songs that set moods throughout the entire album with actual places and personal feelings.

"Living In These Mountains" is the perfect set starter describing the various seasons, pleasures and pitfalls including lyrics like "august sun on your skin" and the "big ice storm in 1998" that caused power loss and topped many a tree. Adding a little spoken word, "Jamie Savage" sings the history of the legendary `Adirondack Chair', a unique comfortable design that has made its way around the world.

Songs like, "Thank The Earth", "Back On The Trail", "Climb Away!" along with others all bring forth visceral images of the Adirondacks along with personal lyrics that all describe a story or event. Legends of the mountains are given fair coverage including "Beckett's Joy" and the truly fascinating story of John Januck. "Janack's Landing" is a bouncy tune with fiddle and banjo that is an ode to John Janack, a colorful Adirondack legend who lost a leg in a mining blast, had one eye, was a fire warden and raised eleven children in the wilds of the Cat mountain area.

"Perfect Day" closes the album with colorful lyrics and just about the prettiest piano accompaniment I've heard in a long time. It perfectly captures the mood of the mountains, the theme of this album and befits the closing of this third work. The lyrics, emotion and talented musicians on this album are part of a love affair to the Adirondacks. Multi-talented Dan Duggan, Dave Ruch and Henry Jankiewicz all accompany Jamie Savage on his musical tour. Frank Orsini's fiddle winds its magical way throughout the album and vocalist Peggy Lynn's vocals compliment every song she covers. "Back To Nature" is a great compliment to "Forever Green", Savage's first album. Welcome back to nature!
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Preis: EUR 62,92

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5.0 von 5 Sternen The Gibb Brothers Family Album, 10. Februar 2010
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Mythology (Audio CD)
Sure, the stats are there. Barry Gibb has written (16) number one hits. The Bee Gees have the rare claim of occupying the #1 and #2 positions on Billboards Music Charts (behind the Beatles and Elvis Presley). The Bee Gees have had (9) number one hits; six of them in a row (behind the Beatles and Mariah Carey). And now it's their 50th anniversary. But this box set represents more than just that.

Twenty years ago, the Bee Gees released Tales From Bros Gibb, comprising all their singles and B-Sides on four discs (up to 1990). Now twenty years on, they focus in the songs they take most pride in. This time, they include brother Andy Gibb, who was heavily rumored to become the fourth Bee Gee in the late 1980's, before his tragic death. This is a musical collection of the biggest family pop/rock group in history.

Each disc is focused on one brother. Barry's disc (like the others) relies strongly on his lead vocals and comprises mostly hits. "Spirits (Having Flown)" begins the set, being one of the arguably best compositions the group has produced and ends with their first notable single, "Spick And Specks" from Australia in 1966. Each song is carefully remastered, a few in mono and the remainder improved in clarity and state of the art stereo. Barry, noted for his strong vocals including falsetto includes a few album cuts and previously unreleased cuts that are a marvel. "Barker Of The UFO" is a bewildering cut, but perhaps reflects the sixties atmosphere of random fun. Mostly, this disc shows Barry`s choices as being some of his finest in composition and production.

Robin's disc also carries several hits, but contains some album cuts and B-Sides that could have been singles, or were for other artists. "Love Me" and his solo's "Juliet" and "Saved by The Bell" are historic masterpieces. The exquisite, "The Longest Night", almost a single and one of his most romantic is haunting. Pull in the ethereal, "Rings Around The Moon" and his version of "Islands In The Stream" and you get a clear idea of what Robin's voice can wield. For a true crowd pleaser, Robin includes the anthemic song, "Odessa" from 1969. A song that has received extensive critical acclaim as a masterpiece of songwriting and singing.

Maurice Gibb never had a lead vocal single, as his expertises were in arrangement instrumentals and harmonizing, the latter being the magical glue that held the brothers harmonies together. From the sixties simple, yet satisfying, "Suddenly" to his post-mortem tribute song, "Man In The Middle", Maurice proves his talents. To emphasize his own style and talent, this collection contains two remarkable previously unreleased songs, "Angel Of Mercy" and "The Bridge" with shared vocals with his daughter Samantha of `Samantha Gibb and the Cartels'. Maurice's solo singles, "Railroad' and "Hold Her In Your Hand" are here in digital delight. It s a shame that the B-Side of "Railroad", the song "I've Come Back" is not here. His songs were lovingly chosen by his wife Yvonne and children Samantha and Adam Gibb.

Although Andy Gibb unfortunately never became the fourth Bee Gee, his songs were chosen by his daughter Peta, who shows a talent for what her father's best songs truly were. All of Andy's singles are here (other than the notorious novelty song, "All I Have To Do Is Dream" with a C-list actress). But she cleverly mostly picks out the songs that Andy wrote himself. Most of his first album cuts are included here, pure in their style and innocence. Olivia Newton-John is included as well (a long time family friend) in a duet along with a heart-breaking unreleased song, "Arrow Through The Heart".

On this box set, it truly is a family affair. The accolades are included with the music (which is enough already!), along with a 60-page booklet with rare family photographs from the early sixties to the recent. The Bee Gees history is carefully chronicled with excerpts from many artists. It starts with Barry Gibb under the title "From Our Family" and continues with his heartfelt reminiscing, particularly about Andy. Many many quotations are here, from Robin Gibb to Yvonne, Samantha and Adam Gibb. Peta Gibb also describes in loving terms her feelings about her father's legacy. The accolades don't stop there. Included in this tribute are extensive comments from extraordinary people like David English, Robert Stigwood, George Martin, Cliff Richard, Graham Nash, Elton John, David Foster, Olivia Newton-John, Franki Valli, Brian Wilson, Burt Bacharach, Glen Campbell, Kenny Rogers, Dionne Warwick, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake and many many others. There is so much more in this extraordinary box set that begs a look and a listen. Not many artists have achieved so much. Only one family has reached this height. The Bee Gees are forever.

Wii - Wireless Guitar Controller
Wii - Wireless Guitar Controller

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3.0 von 5 Sternen More Of A Competitive Game Than A Musical Instrument, 9. Februar 2010
= Spaßfaktor:3.0 von 5 Sternen 
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Wii - Wireless Guitar Controller (Videospiel)
This was my introduction to Wii and my first reaction was to contact my friend Oliver who owns 'Guitar Hero World Tour Band Kit' - Wii to get his reaction. He often holds Wii party jams. First, he explained that its not a way to produce music on your own, but is a game and a competitive one. Comparing his plastic, less expensive Guitar Wii with this one was night and day. This model looks and feels like a real guitar. However, both guitars were equal in capability. We set up playing against each other. The strum bar is like a toggle bar and does make a bit of a 'click-clack', but it's not that noticeable when you are concentrating on the music. The Touch Sensitive Neck Slider/Fret buttons are nicely color-coded so you can hit the note(s) and strum at exactly the right time. Here's what I had not known. The song (Beatles, in this case) plays along and you hit the notes properly while strumming and you get points. If you miss the note, there is a minor "ach" sound that lets you know you blew that note. By the end of the song, we compared percentage points and of course, I sucked. Oliver is the expert here.

The `whammy' is nice, as it lets you add a little personal vibe to your playing, but its not extremely noticeable. Also, you cannot make your guitar sound louder than the rest of the music playing, which I thought might be cool to hear how you are doing.

It's purely a very sleek looking guitar for gaming purposes. It focuses on hand/eye coordination, which is something everyone (especially kids) will appreciate. Also, there are many variations on playing, depending on how easy or difficult you want to play a song with guitar or bass guitar. The Wii gaming program has a lot of options. Personally, I don't think I will get a lot of mileage out of this, but if you already have a Wii Guitar and like any Wii games, you'll definitely enjoy this. Taking the price (now decreased) into account, I'd suggest that only a real Wii musical game player would truly appreciate this.

I Dreamed a Dream
I Dreamed a Dream
Preis: EUR 8,49

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Realized Anticipation, 23. Januar 2010
Rezension bezieht sich auf: I Dreamed a Dream (Audio CD)
The phenomenon that is Susan Boyle continues with her debut album and does not disappoint. Anticipated since that night on `Britain Got Talent' when she `rocked that audience', Susan finally fully escapes with a well deserved piece of work. The song collection contains a range from classic pop to anthemic show tunes.

The strongest songs are, "Wild Horses", "Cry Me A River" and, of course, "I Dreamed A Dream". "Wild Horses" takes a daring approach using a Rolling Stones classic and turns it into a heartfelt ballad. "Cry Me A River" brings out a surprisingly sultry Susan Boyle, completely devoid of her hip wiggling from her television debut.

There are a few songs that slightly wobble under heavy strings and backing vocals like, "Amazing Grace" and "How Great They Art", but still showcase Miss Boyle's vocals. "Daydream Believer" and "The End Of The World", both previous pop hits have a nice touch that show a sensitive touch with a unique interpretation, but seem a tad out of place. Otherwise, this collection will satisfy any casual fan.

There is arguably little doubt that grand anthemic pieces like, "I Dreamed A Dream" and "Who I Was Born To Be" are Miss Boyle's foray. Her voice only sounds stronger and more emotional when backed by a strong orchestra. "Memories" from `Cats' would be a fantastic offering and an example of her grandest range. The only thing missing from this album is the audience reaction from her "I Dreamed A Dream" appearance on television. The rising approval of the audience roaring as she reaching the climax of each verse was spine-tingling. It was real. It was Susan Boyle.

The Imposter: How a Juvenile Criminal Succeeded in Busines and Life
The Imposter: How a Juvenile Criminal Succeeded in Busines and Life
von Kip Kreiling

5.0 von 5 Sternen Inspiration & Perspective, 23. Januar 2010
`A Transformational Memoir' is the perfect subtitle for this autobiography. Well presented and easily read, the story is heart-breaking and heart-mending with stinging visceral tales of hardship and hopelessness transformed into impossible success. Kip Kreiling describes his youth in Denver, surviving a broken home, drug abuse, child abuse, thievery, anger and self-destruction. Sometimes the descriptions are enough to make you ill. As the author suggests, he should have died long before adulthood. Living a drug fueled life as a dealer and user with no real family, it seems that it would simply be a matter of time before this individual runs into irreparable harm. In fact, the description of one particular overdose is so positively descriptive and frightening, it will alarm you.

Mr. Kreiling discovers eight principles of transformation that he shares with the reader. These are not necessarily placed forward as general self-help suggestions, but merely what he discovered along his path that helped him survive and thrive. It isn't magic. Its perspective. Carefully balancing viewpoints to avoid being pigeon holed into one belief, the author touches upon his experiences with religion, non-belief in God and personal inspiration. Initially it might appear as if he will dive into detail about how the Mormons and his `missions' might be the answer, but that is placed in perspective along with his personal spirituality and choices. A telling quote: "If I had to choose between believing in a God, and an associated religion, and believing in my mind, then the choice was clear to me: I had to believe in my mind". He also makes it clear that his mind is the receptacle of intelligence and not the source. There is no room solely for religious prothelytizing.

Discovering this positive mind-set and trusting in his own personal instincts, Kip Kreiling advances in his personal world and business world with remarkable success. Often he still doubts himself, but maintain that positive inspirational outlook that has served him so well. The reader is also caught possibly being manipulated or in disbelief only to discover that the stories and results are not that difficult to realize. Mixing descriptive past stories with what he has learned is a nice format, but Kreiling goes further to analyze what instincts, and inspirations were necessary to reach the positive ends. Many famous people's stories are included, but one stands out more than others. Abraham Lincoln invited all his enemies to the White House for dinner. When asked by a northern woman why he was inviting them to dinner instead of destroying them, Lincoln responded, "Madam, don't I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?" I had to think about that comment a while. It's perfect.

Lizard (CD/Dvd-Audio)
Lizard (CD/Dvd-Audio)
Preis: EUR 22,91

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5.0 von 5 Sternen The Enigmatic 'Lizard', 12. Januar 2010
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Lizard (CD/Dvd-Audio) (Audio CD)
Robert Fripp provides some skeptical and cynical notes about this album. In 2009, he wrote of "Lizard": "Labour and laboring, mostly joyous, strive effortfully to present appearance of cohesion". He also reminds us that "Lizard" was both not as commercially successful as other King Crimson albums and that he doesn't feel it is the most critically accomplished of his albums. That's a lot to say about your work. All the more amazing that Steven Wilson was able to convince Fripp to release this 5.1 surround sound version. This is even more surprising when you realize that "In The Wake Of Poseidon" was skipped temporarily.

Always an amazing mix of progressive rock and jazz, "Lizard" arguably stands out among the best King Crimson accomplishments. Noted for a variety of distortions/effects of different vocals, Wilson manages to extract them and balance them so they stand out clearly and crisply. In fact, all the instrumentals on every track are separated or enhanced to truly bring attention to every detail. These are things that are often missed on the stereo mixes.

"Cirkus" flat out rattles your senses with its mix of rock and freeform blasts. Fripp's mellotron is so powerful, it's stunning. Andy McCulloch on drums is dizzying and emphatic. These tracks (along with others here) take Pete Sinfield's lyrics and elevate the entire song to a nearly psychedelic level. "Happy Family", allegedly a comment on the Beatles break-up is one of the few songs that get muddied in the new mix, but not for great effort from Wilson. The original tracks and "scraps and fragments of stuff" were meticulously remixed. As Sid Smith notes: "For me `Lizard' has always been an album that was too big for stereo to contain." In terms of fusing free-jazz with progressive rock for me, there's almost no parallel." "Lady of the Dancing Water" contains some of the prettiest flute work available anywhere, in fact, all the horns and woodwinds are clearly pronounced. The immense song, "Lizard" with its bridges, alterations and variations is one of the most interesting and strongest songs on the album. With virtually eight songs connected with a barrage of ingenious methods, it becomes an easy favorite. Jon Anderson's vocals on the section, `Prince Rupert Awakes' is alive with strength and beauty complimented by Fripp's stinging mellotron. The album closes with `Big Top', an amusing and somewhat demented climax.

This package contains the CD with a new 2009 stereo mix and three bonus tracks, (an alternate take of "Lady of the Dancing Water", another remix of "Bolero" and a `studio run through with guide vocal from original session' of "Cirkus". These tracks are great to have, but only "Bolero" stands out as something truly worthy, although this version of "Cirkus" is interesting to hear if only for the improvisation of the vocals.

The DVD contains the album in 5.1 surround sound, the new 2009 stereo mix, the original album (1999 remastered version) and the three bonus tracks. Robert Fripp and Sid Smith's notes make for a very interesting contrast in perspective of "Lizard". If not for the persuasion of Steven Wilson, we might not have ever heard this album in its purest form, that is, every instrument clearly marked out and placed and a sensory experience that you could only hope from any band. "Lizard" ranks up there with "In The Court of the Crimson King".

The Last of His Kind: The Life and Adventures of Bradford Washburn, America's Boldest Mountaineer
The Last of His Kind: The Life and Adventures of Bradford Washburn, America's Boldest Mountaineer
von David Roberts
  Gebundene Ausgabe

5.0 von 5 Sternen A Driven Mountaineer, 3. Januar 2010
Author David Roberts gives a thorough and fascinating examination of mountaineer Bradford Washburn from his childhood in Massachusetts to his travels around the globe. Washburn was born into a life of plenty never wanting even through the Great Depression. He was properly schooled and initially not much of an athlete, but his love of mountaineering overtook his life. Beginning in the Presidential Range of new Hampshire and countless climbs of Mt. Washington, Washburn is shown to have a natural affinity to the mountains, be it summer or winter. At an early age he was exploring the Alps, outpacing event he most experienced of climbers.

Roberts describes some of the harrowing experiences Washburn and his companions endeavored, most notably in Alaska, where gigantic glaciers, changing moraines, raging rivers and relentless weather tested their abilities. Throughout the book, stories of friendship bonded and tested by accomplishments and setbacks set the motif. Indeed, Washburn was an individualist, but rallied many famous fellow mountain climbers to set record (or `bag' peaks). He was among the first of many to climb McKinley (twice; his second wife being the first woman), K2, Everest and many others. Washburn was also an expert photographer, often balancing heavy photography equipment at the open door of a small airplane to photograph the highest and wildest of peaks in Alaska, noting various routes that would make climbing safer and faster. He was one of the first to use planes to drop food and supplies along a climbing route to ensure the best of gear was available. Also an expert cartographer, Washburn was able to map many areas, including the then unknown St. Elias area in Alaska and large portions of the Grand Canyon. Much of his climbing was financed through the National Geographic Society which was always a tumultuous marriage. However, it was the NGS that received the greater of the goods. After many years we read that Washburn also became director of the prestigious Museum of Science in Boston.

The book also includes many harrowing stories of being stranded in week-long snowstorms, treacherous climbing attempts and the tragedy of many lives lost or ruined on mountain climbs. Washburn lost many friends in accidents, including his first wife in a sad plane incident. Sometimes the reader wonders what drives the obsession of this mountain climber. There is no great search for the inner workings of Washburn here nor much examination of his personality. The author did meet Washburn, but much of the biography is told from other writings and accounts.

In the end, Washburn would have accumulate eleven honorary doctorates along with his own degree from Harvard, a great contributor to the National Geographic Society and his own Museum of Science. Washburn led a fascinating long life and the stories are breathtaking. But there is a lost feeling about his character, as you feel like with all you read about this amazing mountaineer, you never really got to know him. If anything, however, you do get a overpowering sense of the drive Robert Washburn held for exploration and mountain climbing.

The Bee Gees-Greatest Hits Go Classic
The Bee Gees-Greatest Hits Go Classic
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Preis: EUR 3,54

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3.0 von 5 Sternen Mildly Exciting..................., 21. Dezember 2009
Most of these "orchestral" recordings of famous pop songs are syrupy, simplistic and stupid. I've heard enough Bee Gees recordings like this to be wary, but I bought this on a whim. It is a basic orchestra except they have added a strong percussion and bass, making for a little bit more substance. However, there are only four good songs. The reason these are better than most is that the orchestra not only gives a slightly different interpretation of the song, but it adds sone extra percussion and minor synthesizers. In fact,"You Win Again" contains some nice little sound effects. The four good songs are, "Ordinary Lives", "Tragedy", "You Win Again" and "To Love Somebody". The rest are uninspired repeats of what you've heard elsewhere. If you're interested in something different, you might like this, but for me, it was only mildly exciting.

For the record, The "Classic Dream Orchestra" has done their own renditions of other groups, such as, ABBA, The Beatles, Elton John, Elvis Presley, Neil Diamond, Phil Collins, Queen, Rod Stewart and Simon & Garfunkel.

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4.0 von 5 Sternen Get Your Back - Back!, 12. Dezember 2009
Twice a month I visit the chiropractor for an adjustment. After I tried an inversion table at a friends house, I was hooked. This inversion table is amazing. After the first three minutes inverted, I could actually feel the "stretch" in my entire back - it felt good.

Assembling this table looked a bit daunting at first, especially since they recommend you assemble it with two people. However, with a little patience and `alone', I had it together in less than an hour. The material is sturdy, comfortable and easily adjustable. At 5'-11" and 195 pounds, it was easy to set the ankle and table length to the proper fitting. The ankle pads are just strong enough to be comfortable so you can completely relax your feet and ankles while hanging. The safety strap is also easily adjustable to let you decide how severe an angle you want to hang with. I went for the complete invert right away. This part was a tad unnerving, as you have to go slowly. Placing my hands above my head, the table quickly flipped until I was upside down. I highly recommend you go slowly and use the comfortable side bars. Getting back up is also easy by simply pulling on those same side bars.

It is recommenced that you always wear shoes/sneakers while using the table. It is also nice to be able to simply fold the entire table up to move to another room. Do note the ad here that you will feel a loosening of tension in your back, neck and muscles. I've only had this a few days, but I can truly feel the difference and can't wait to see my chiropractor again. Also, when is the last time you spent so little for a truly helpful piece of medical equipment?

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