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Beiträge von Martin A Hogan
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Rezensionen verfasst von
Martin A Hogan "Marty From SF" (Salt Lake City, Utah)

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News of the World: A Novel
News of the World: A Novel
von Paulette Jiles
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 14,99

5.0 von 5 Sternen A Vivid & Heartfelt Story, 14. Dezember 2016
This was a random choice by my book club. At first, it didn’t seem promising, showing a map of 1870’s Texas and a route that the main characters travel. The main characters are Captain Kidd, a seventy year old ‘reader’ who travels from town to town and gets paid (in dimes) to read from newspapers from all over the world. People crowd the halls in each community just to listen to the wild and extraordinary stories Captain Kidd has to tell. Soon he is offered money to return a ten-year old girl to her aunt and uncle 400 miles away. Its good money and he accepts, only to find a girl whose family was killed by the Kiowa Indians who then raised her for four years. She is basically an Indian and has forgotten her language and ‘white’ habits.

The bond between the Captain and Joanna are tough companions at first; Joanna trying to escape at every turn. Soon they form a slow but enduring trust that takes them from humorous personal encounters to terrifying gunfights in an attempt by some to capture the girl for ransom. The imagery and description of their travels is vivid. The landscape is almost a third character as they wind their way along a wild and unforgiving countryside.

The Captain must deliver Joanna to her relatives and the result is both surprising and heart-breaking. They must separate and she is left in the hands of the none-too happy relatives. The last chapter sums up the story almost too quickly, but it is a satisfying and heartfelt one. Joanna’s fate is revealed and the Captain receives an unexpected reward. Paulette Jiles delivers a heartfelt and evocative novel.


Shibari - Amerikas Bestseller Intimes Gleitmittel - Wasserbasis 236ml
Shibari - Amerikas Bestseller Intimes Gleitmittel - Wasserbasis 236ml
Wird angeboten von Global 1st Ltd
Preis: EUR 17,56

5.0 von 5 Sternen Lasts A Long Time, 18. November 2016
This lube is a non-sticky water based gel. A little goes a long way. There is not much need for reapplication. There is not much of a taste and it is not sticky at all. Since it is water-based, it will eventually dry on your skin, but does not feel gooey or sticky and it washes off very easily. It claims to be hypoallergenic and definitely does not leave a stain on sheets or clothing. For the price, this bottle will last quite a while with typical use (four to five times weekly?). It should last several months, but obviously, your amount of usage will determine that. The price is very very reasonable and much cheaper here on Amazon than at a specialty store.


In the Now
In the Now
Preis: EUR 5,99

5.0 von 5 Sternen It's All Here - It's All Good, 27. Oktober 2016
Rezension bezieht sich auf: In the Now (Audio CD)
It’s a little difficult to review an album by an artist that has so much history behind him without preconceived notions about what he should sound like. The Bee Gees have covered all the bases of musical styles from country to rock to ‘R & B’. Barry Gibb does not stray too far from this mix. ‘In The Now’ ranges from slightly saccharin ballads to forceful hard rock with a lot of variety – all Gibb style.

The first two singles released, ‘In The Now’ and ‘Star-Crossed Lovers’ are strong in their own right and skillfully written and polished. One reviewer wrote that ‘Star-Crossed Lovers’ is akin to Frank Sinatra’s ‘Something Stupid’, which may or may not be a compliment. ‘In The Now’ is a forceful song, pitching forward with earnest bridges and breathy choruses. The rest of the album is a little more exciting with strong surprises. ‘Amy In Colour’ is a psychedelic surprise while ‘Meaning Of The Word’ is a melancholy somber ballad that reflects Gibb’s sad family history. In fact, *‘The Long Goodbye’, ‘Diamonds’ and the truly heartbreaking, 'End Of The Rainbow’ will prove to be timeless tear-jerkers Gibb is famous for, but with more heartfelt reality.

However, there are plenty of upbeat rocking surprises such as the urgent maniacal rocker, *‘Blowin’ A Fuse’ and the obvious nod to Bruce Springsteen with the absolute crowd pleaser, *‘Home Truth Song’. Some songs have great solo guitar work to belt the tunes home and give them that ‘jump start’ that past lead guitarists from the Bee Gees years never truly had.

Gibb’s vocals vary quite a bit from strong to wispy, but given his age, stature and style, they manage to work to bring the songs home. The band is top-notch and Stephen Gibb’s guitar work excels. With all songs written by Gibb and his two of his sons, the lyrics and structures are fairly solid, despite a few clunky clichés. The deluxe set contains three very good older songs, but seem out of step with the album’s theme.

Barry Gibb has been a song-writing machine and successful recording artist for decades and this album proves that he has probably reached his peak with twelve songs that cover all the emotional and musical bases. This album is a keeper.


The Elementals
The Elementals
von Michael McDowell
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 18,49

4.0 von 5 Sternen Holds You In Suspense, 27. Oktober 2016
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Elementals (Taschenbuch)
This is a good gothic, curse-ridden southern horror story that reads well. Taking place in the far south on the Gulf, the tale begins with the funeral of a matron with some strange burial rituals that set up the story. From that point on we get to know several family characters both direct descendants and those that marry into the family. The book is heavy with good ritualistic description and the characters are well-thought out. You get a feeling for each one and what their reactions might be.

However, little happens in the way of scares for about two-thirds of the book before it really kicks in. Mind you, the first part is rich in detail, atmosphere and character set-up – there just isn’t much action other than the oppressive heat everyone endures on vacation while on the gulf.

Once the story about the families and the three vacation homes they inhabit beings to roll, it’s the hottest day of the year. You really get a feel for the heaviness of the weather and the lack of energy. The scares come fast and steady. There are no real ‘got you’ scares but a procession of occurrences that lead to an inevitable, but fairly predictable ending. In fact, we really never know why the homes are cursed or why some of the ‘spirits’ or ‘elementals’ do what they do. It all just happens.

This is a fast easy, enjoyable read that will hold your suspense. It may not hold all your answers and may not scare the daylights out of you, but there is some value here. I found it interesting that one of the major characters keeps repeating that, the ‘spirits’ don’t want you to know the truth and they try to deceive or trick you. That’s certainly true here, as we don’t always know why the ‘spirits’ did what they did.


Storytellers 1996
Storytellers 1996
Preis: EUR 12,99

0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Pared Down Excellence, 27. Oktober 2016
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Storytellers 1996 (Audio CD)
VH1 Storytellers was a great show that showcased classic groups performing their greatest hits in a pared down fashion, along with interesting stories behind each song. There is a small audience giving it a truly intimate feeling. This Bee Gees set is from 1996.

Barry does most of the talking while on an acoustic guitar with Robin on vocals and Maurice on piano. Some of the more interesting stories are about ‘Islands In The Stream’, ‘Stayin Alive’ and ‘To Love Somebody’. The hits that the Bee Gees released at this time were the songs, ‘Still Waters’ and ‘I Could Not Love You More’, neither of which made much of a chart impact. What is clear, despite this, is the amazing vocal harmony the brothers had.

The radio interview is from 1989 and the album, ‘One’. It’s fairly interesting, but not something I would listen to more than once or even twice. The CD is definitely a rare glimpse into the music of the Bee Gees and how their songs have progressed and lasted over the years. The songs alone are well worth repeat listening’s.


Tragedy: The Ballad of the Bee Gees
Tragedy: The Ballad of the Bee Gees
von Jeff Apter
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 17,49

3.0 von 5 Sternen Tragedy & Triumph, 27. Oktober 2016
I resisted reading this biography simply because the title “Tragedy” sounded too tabloid or gossipy. I finally relented and was surprised to read a completely thorough and well-paced biography of the Bee Gees. In fact, unlike other bios, this one is perfectly paced with each segment of the Gibb’s lives well thought out and presented without excessive verbiage or lack of vital information. The author did his homework. (The only omission I found was about the ‘Midnight Special’ period).

The book might have been called, “Tragedy & Triumph”, but I’m not the author. There were stories in here that I have never read before and certainly many I had. Its a fast read. There was so much success and turmoil in the Gibb family since the 1950’s and I found some of it heartbreaking, even though I knew the stories.


Tales From Topographic Oceans 2CD/2DVD-A
Tales From Topographic Oceans 2CD/2DVD-A
Preis: EUR 29,99

12 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Over Four Hours Of Music!, 24. Oktober 2016
This follow up to the enormously successful ‘Close To The Edge’ was fraught with conflicts and enormous inspirations. Composed of lead singer Jon Anderson, guitarist Steve Howe, Bassist Chris Squire, multiple keyboardist Rick Wakeman and drummer Alan White and recorded in the countryside, it was intended to be a ‘concept’ album. Indeed, despite the varying degrees of accolades and dismissals, the album still did very well. It was at least an opportunity for the five artists to explore and expand their talents at length over the course of the album. All had great solo opportunities.

Now re-released in this four CD package, it covers all the bases – more than I have seen in any other collection to date. Thanks to Steve Wilson, there is a 5.1 surround sound remaster of the entire album in three formats. DTS is the most common/popular and if any album was meant to showcase the talent in surround, this was one of them. Its like being in the studio. I love this album but going through a point-by-point analysis would prove nothing other than I love this album. Instead, here are some of the goodies you get in this 2-CD collection.

CD One – 2016 Stereo Mixes

CD Two – 2016 Stereo Mixes and Alternate Album

CD Three – Alternate Album and Single Edits

Blu-ray Disc and DVD-Audio – 2016 Stereo Mix (LPCM Stereo 24-bit/96kHz)

Blu-ray Disc and DVD-Audio – 5.1 Surround Sound Mix (LPCM Stereo 24-bit/96kHz and DTS-HD MA)

Blu-ray Disc and DVD-Audio – Original Stereo Mix from Flat Transfer (LPCM Stereo 24-bit/192kHz)

Blu-ray Disc – Alternate Takes (LPCM Stereo 24-bit/96kHz)

Blu-ray Disc – 2016 Stereo Singles Edits (LPCM Stereo 24-bit/96kHz)

Blu-ray Disc – 2016 Stereo Instrumental Mixes (LPCM Stereo 24-bit/96kHz)

Blu-ray Disc – UK Vinyl Needle-Drop Transfer (LPCM Stereo 24-bit/96kHz)

Blu-ray Disc – US Banded Promo Vinyl Needle-Drop Transfer (LPCM Stereo 24-bit/96kHz)

All the sleeves are black and there is a great liner note leaflet. It contains information about about the various sources and the reasons behind them which is very helpful for audiophiles. Sid Smith gives a lengthy expose on the album in generl and it provides some interesting insights. The photos are there as well from that period. At the beginning is a Definitive Edition Blu-ray Disc listing (like the one above). Just the sheer quantity and quality on this set is fantastic. I am glad its finally available.


In The Now
In The Now
Preis: EUR 9,29

13 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen It's All Here - It's All Good, 7. Oktober 2016
Rezension bezieht sich auf: In The Now (MP3-Download)
It’s a little difficult to review an album by an artist that has so much history behind it with preconceived notions about what it should sound like. The Bee Gees have covered all the bases of musical styles from country to rock to ‘R & B’. Barry Gibb does not stray too far from this mix. ‘In The Now’ ranges from slightly saccharin ballads to forceful hard rock with a lot of variety – all Gibb style.

The first two singles released, ‘In The Now’ and ‘Star-Crossed Lovers’ are strong in their own right and skillfully written and polished. One reviewer wrote that ‘Star-Crossed Lovers’ is akin to Frank Sinatra’s ‘Something Stupid’, which may or may not be a compliment. ‘In The Now’ is a forceful song, pitching forward with earnest bridges and breathy choruses. The rest of the album is a little more exciting with strong surprises. ‘Amy In Colour’ is a psychedelic surprise while ‘Meaning Of The Word’ is a melancholy somber ballad that reflects Gibb’s sad family history. In fact, *‘The Long Goodbye’, ‘Diamonds’ and the truly heartbreaking, *‘End Of The Rainbow’ will prove to be timeless tear-jerkers Gibb is famous for, but with more heartfelt reality.

However, there are plenty of upbeat rocking surprises such as the urgent rocker, *‘Blowin’ A Fuse’ and the obvious nod to Bruce Springsteen with the absolute crowd pleaser, *‘Home Truth Song’. All songs with some great solo guitar work to belt the songs home and give them that ‘jump start’ that past lead guitarists from the Bee Gees years never truly had.

Gibb’s vocals vary quite a bit from strong to wispy, but given his age, stature and style, they manage to work to bring the songs home. The band is top-notch and Stephen Gibb’s guitar work excels. With all songs written by Gibb and his two of his sons, the lyrics and structures are fairly solid, despite a few clunky clichés. The deluxe set contains three very good older songs, but seem out of step with the album’s theme.

Barry Gibb has been a song-writing machine and successful recording artist for decades and this album proves that he has probably reached his peak with twelve songs that cover all the emotional and musical bases. This album is a keeper.

*Denotes stand-out cuts.


Saved By The Bell:The Collected Works 1968-1970
Saved By The Bell:The Collected Works 1968-1970
Preis: EUR 17,49

5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Generous & Extensive Collection, 3. Juni 2015
This is one labor of love. 'Robin's Reign' released in 1970 was a poor seller but was a fan favorite. One of the three singles ('Saved by The Bell') reached #2 on the British Charts - no small feat. 'August October' and 'One Million Years' were the others which did not chart. Brothers Barry and Maurice also had single albums to release, but chose not to in order to continue again as the Bee Gees who had split in 1969. Robin had a second album already due to be released, 'Sing Slowly Sisters', but this album was never released, becoming one of the famous 'lost albums' of this period.

Jump ahead 45 years and producer Andrew Sandoval with help from other collectors (Joe Brennan of 'Gibb Songs'); found all the lost acetates, bootlegs and other obscure recording sources for release. Cleaning up the 'Sing Slowly Sisters' album and a dozen or more obscure songs, 'Robin's Reign' saw new light with two additional discs celebrating a two years manic production of pop music with lush orchestration.

Many versions are displayed here in Mono as well as alternate takes, two Italian versions, BBC recordings, interviews, and more. Most notably present to the delight of all fans are Robin's 'Moon Anthem', 'Ghost Of Christmas Past' (a chorus and instrumentation worthy of any classical releases) and the complex 12-minute version of 'Hudson's Fallen Wind', previously released with only a 3-minute portion.

Boxed in a nice four-page cardboard enclosure with a 22-page booklet, there is lots to see and read and there are details about each of the 63-songs. Bob Stanley (writer and a member of the pop group Saint Etienne) and Grammy-nominated Andrew Sandoval both contribute much of the pop history with copious notes. This release from the vaults is a fan's dream. It took nearly half a century to get ‘Saved By The Bell’ out to the public in the proper format and it’s a welcome additional to any Gibb or Bee Gees fans collection. Lord Bless All.


1974-1979
1974-1979
Preis: EUR 22,99

4 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Pinnacle Of Thier Success!, 31. März 2015
Rezension bezieht sich auf: 1974-1979 (Audio CD)
1974-1979 was the pinnacle of the Bee Gees career and creativity. They were the top band in the seventies. So, this collection is a wonderful set with some important items missing. This is the holy grail of seventies music by the biggest band at the time. Never mind whatever is happening with Barry Gibb, Rhino and Warners. This set has its triumphs and miss-steps.

There is no mention that there are newly re-mastered songs in this box set. However, the sound in general is very good. Any songs re-mastered from "Saturday Night Fever", "Bee Gees Greatest", "The Ultimate Bee Gees" or "Mythology" seem to be included here. To not know for sure is maddening as this is again, an historic period. There are minimal notes. lyrics and such. 'Main Course' has a thin insert sheet of lyrics, 'Children Of The World' has a thin insert sheet of photos and fine printed band member contributions, 'Spirits Having Flown' has the original gate-fold and a thin insert sheet of photos. That's it. However, after careful listening on good headphones, it is clear that the high percussion's and the mid ranges (like clavinets and percussion) are more pronounced and audible.

As far as the omission of, 'Bee Gees...Here At Last...Live', an album Rolling Stone gave big kudos to, it's omission is dumbfounding.

Some History:
'Mr. Natural' was the first change from the ballad-stuck Bee Gees where producers Arif Mardin and Robert Stigwood heavily pushed the Gibbs into recording something different than the usual ballad and dip more readily into their R&B. Soul music was already in their blood but it was stuck. With Mr. Natural they released three singles, all seemingly odd choices from an album that has great songs. From, 'Heaving Breathing' and 'I Can't Let You Go' to the powerful 'Dogs' and 'Down The Road', it is a great collection. All their harmonies, songwriting skills are heavily pronounced. Only 'Mr. Natural' had the funk that was the turning point but it was a good funk.

*In the USA the album charted at a mere #178. 'Mr. Natural' charted #94 and 'Throw A Penny' and 'Charade' did not chart.

On the next album, 'Main Course', Arif Mardin pushed them harder and they went to Eric Clapton's Miami recording house, 461 Ocean Boulevard. It was there that they produced some more of the classic ballads, 'Country Lanes', 'Songbird' and 'Edge Of The Universe', but the R&B and funk got so good it sky-rocketed them up the charts. Sure the country flavored, 'Come On Over' was a hit for Olivia Newton-John, but 'Jive Talkin', 'Nights On Broadway' and 'Fanny (Be Tender With My Love)' were huge hits. The rise was starting fast. Barry's newly discovered falsetto started a new qualified sound that helped enormously.

*In the USA the album charted #14. 'Jive Talkin' charted #1, 'Nights On Broadway' charted #7 and 'Fanny...' also charted #7.

The subsequent album was solely produced by the Bee gees with Arif Mardin out of the picture, so the pressure was high. The Gibbs set forth and produced an even more consistently R&B/black sounding, white-eyed soul album than before. Nearly every song was soulfully arranged with the black Philadelphia sound and it was a huge hit. 'You Stepped Into My Life', 'Lovers', 'Children Of the World' and 'Subway' were strong album cuts, but the singles were stronger than ever.

*In the USA, the album charted #8. 'You Should Be Dancing' charted #1, 'Love So Right' charted #3 and 'Boogie Child' charted #12.

'The Miami Years' is an interesting collection from the 'Saturday Night Fever' album and other album cuts and singles from that period. This is a controversial album. The songs include the four new 'Saturday Night Fever' from that album along with a Samantha Song hit, 'Emotion' - two Andy Gibb cuts, 'Warm Ride' and the single '(Our Love) Don't Throw It All Away' - the B-Side to 'Stayin Alive', 'If I Can't Have You' (a #1 hit for Yvonne Elliman) - another Bee Gees country chart, 'Rest Your Love On Me' (also an Andy Gibb album cut) and an odd B-Side from 'Mr. Natura', 'It Doesn't Matter Much To Me' (a song that has three different versions) and is a typical Bee gees pop ballad. Since 'Stayin Alive' was so huge, the 12" version is also included with a strong horn section. All these songs have been released digitally before.

After 'Saturday Night Fever' (charting #1 for 26 weeks) and numerous singles written and recorded by others, The Bee Gees were beyond touchable as the kings of pop radio. 'Spirits Having Flown' was a Barry falsetto dominated album with him taking the lead on every song. The dance numbers and disco were gone, but the R&B and funk remained on great songs like, 'Search, Find', 'Living Together' and 'I'm Satisfied'.

*In the USA, the album charted #1. The three singles, 'Tragedy', 'Too Much Heaven' and 'Love You Inside Out' also went to #1, giving them a six single streak of #1 hits. The song, 'Spirits Having Flown' was a hit in other counties (#16 in the UK). 'More Than A Woman' hit #21 on the US Radio & Records chart. Andy Gibb's version of '(Our Love) Don't Throw It All Away' went to #9. The Bee Gees 'Rest Your Love On Me' went to #1 on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. This is amazing as are the songs.

The Bee Gees considered themselves songwriters first above everything. And no notes demarking the historic rise of this period is perplexing. This is such an amazing story of pop history that more notes and photos could have been included. Who made these decisions? The clam box is typical for reissues now and the five albums are faithfully reproduced front and back, but in cheap cardboard sleeves and not plastic CD's. The songs that were not previously remastered are done well now. 'Mr. Natural' shows new life as do the others.

It's an historic release of a fantastic period of music and the music makes up for most omissions, but there is still hope that a better collection might come in the future. If not for being five amazing albums, I might not buy this box set.

*Album and single charts information taken from, The Authorized Biography by Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb as told to David Leaf and Wikipedia.


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