Showing posts with label Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Review. Show all posts

Roger Waters The Wall Concert Review

Hello everybody and Welcome to Best Shot Whisky Reviews where a shot of good old Classic Rock is always welcome as well. Today my dutch pall Terry Mace Hardyman gives us a short review of the Roger Water concert in Amsterdam last Sunday. Some pictures are included as well. Thanks a lot Terry, it's clear you had a great night despite some problems with the sound.

Roger Waters - The Wall - Amsterdam - September 8, 2013 

By special request a short review of Roger Waters performance of "The Wall" in the Amsterdam Arena, Sunday evening, 8th September 2013. The Amsterdam Arena can hold up to 45.000 spectators and was sold out to capacity. Although the Dutch press was very impressed by the performance, I myself was not too happy. The Amsterdam Arena has a bad reputation with regard to its acoustics. Apparently it depends where you are sitting. In my position the stage was to the right of me and from time to time, especially at maximum volume, the sound became "blurred" especially during "Comfortably Numb" during which number the solo guitar was completely drowned by the accompanying sound effects. 

Very impressive was the use of the so called "quadro" technique. For instance you experienced the sound of an aeroplane as if it were flying just above your head. As a visual experience "The Wall" was overpowering. The wall itself - consisting of white blocks - was built up from one end of the stage to the other and used as a huge projection screen on which all kinds of videos were projected including "live" close ups of the band. 

During the performance of the hit single "Another Brick in the Wall", Roger Waters was assisted by young children from a local Amsterdam school who performed magnificently. Roger thanked them for their cooperation in a "Pidgin Dutch" speech. All in all it has been an unforgettable evening. A pity that the sound (at least where I was sitting) was such a meddle (!). 

Driving home I played the CD in the car which sounded a lot better.

Terry Mace Hardyman                                            September 2013

The Writer (Left)

Pink Floyd - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn - Review

Pink Floyd - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn - 1967

Songs: Astronomy Domine, Lucifer Sam, Mathilda Mother, Flaming, Pow R. Toc H., Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk, Interstellar Overdrive, The Gnome, Chapter 24, Scarecrow, Bike.

Music: Psychedelic Pop Rock   

Well, this is the Debut Album of Syd Barrett & the Monsters of Deep Space, a.k.a. Pink Floyd at the time this record was released. Everybody knows the story of Syd I suppose. He took too much Acid and went into obscurity eventually, leaving his band for Roger Waters to take care. Syd died in 2006.
But on The Piper our Crazy Diamond still Shines! I read Syd Barrett as follows: Actually he was a writer of short to the point Pop Songs like their debut single Arnold Llayne.  
This album contains a lot of this type of Song. Some of  them could have easily been given to artists like David Bowie or Donovan or even Dave Berry. Some of them are quite good (Lucifer Sam, Mathilda Mother, Flaming). Some are not (Chapter 24, Bike).

But then what happened. Syd found some pills and, like people did back in 1967, he took one and one more and one more…….and suddenly the  world became a Strawberry Field Forever.
It was at such a moment that Syd created Interstellar Overdrive and Astronomy Domine, the key songs on this album that were inspired by Jimi Hendrix and, in turn, inspired the psychedelic world for some years to come. The songs are actually quite good.
Roger Waters tried a pill as well but it was probably a pain killer as the result Take up thy Stethoscope and Walk is no match for Syd´s space adventures.
On this album the Floyd experimented for the first time with sound effects and other gimmicks that, in later years, would become an all important ingredient of their music. A good example is POW. R TOC. H, a jazzy song with Richard seemingly playing his piano in the Jungle.

All in All the Album is somewhat inconsistent. But no one can deny its importance for Psychedelic Rock.      

Rating: ******** (8 out of 10)
Black = Good Songs
Green = Great Songs
Red = Could Be Better

Who should buy this Record:  If you like your Psychedelic Music quite poppy, this one´s for you. Also for those who appreciate early David Bowie.
It´s an interesting but not easy start of your Pink Floyd Collection.

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Willy & the Poor Boys - Review

Creedence Clearwater Revival Willy and the Poor Boys (1969)  

Songs:  Down on the Corner, It Came out of the Sky, Cotton Fields, Poorboy Shuffle, Feelin´ Blue, Fortunate Son, Don´t Look Now, The Midnight Special, Side o´ the Road, Effigy.

Type of Music: Late Sixties Blues (Swamp) Rock.

CCR´s fourth album was released at the end of 1969 and was another huge commercial success. It tells the story of the imaginary blues/rock band Willy and the Poor Boys, four guys from California showing the world they can play Southern Music as well as anybody else.

And indeed, they took two American originals (Cotton Fields and Midnight Special) and made them sound as if they were written for CCR in the first place. And that says something about their qualities. Nevertheless, I never liked Cotton Fields as a song despite the nice harmony vocals and I assure you that I´ve heard a lot of versions through the years from artists ranging between Udo Jürgens and the Beach Boys.

No, I prefer the rockers on the Album. For sure Fortunate Son is one of the great Anti Vietnam-War Songs and John sounds really upset here. And let´s not forget It came out of the Sky, for me the best song on the album. It´s a great rocker in Chuck Berry style. Try it out in your car with the speakers as loud as you can stand!
Everybody of course knows Down on the Corner. You probably heard it on the radio today and yesterday and the day before yesterday and…..

Less known is the instrumental Side o´ the Road. In fact it´s John´s guitar solo set on a Booker T & the MG´s kind of groove.
The Blues shuffle Feelin´ Blue is a nice enough song but I took away half a point as it´s just a tiny bit too long. And if you´re curious if CCR could come up with their version of Jimi´s Hey Joe, listen carefully to Effigy.

Some filler here as well. I fail to see the relevance of the Poorboy Shuffle and Don´t look Now is an inferior re-write of Bad Moon Rising.

So what do I tell you. It´s not a bad album but it does not quite convince me. I consider it to be a step back when compared to Green River.      

Rating: ******* (7 out of 10)

Black = Good Songs
Green = Great Songs
Red = Could Be Better

Who should buy this Record:  It´s not the first CCR Album you would want to buy. But Give it a Chance if you find it remastered and cheap!

Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Review

Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Beatles (1967)

Songs:  Sgt. Pepper´s Lonely Hearts Club Band, With a Little Help from my Friends, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Getting Better, Fixing a Hole, She´s Leaving Home, Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite, Within You Without You, When I´m Sixty-Four, Lovely Rita, Good Morning Good Morning, Sgt. Pepper´s Lonely Hearts Club Band Reprise, A Day in the Life.

Type of Music: Quality Pop with Psychedelic Influences.

It´s been called by some the greatest record ever made. Others consider it to be the first concept album. Many people regard it to be the best of the  Beatles Records.
Well, for me it´s non of the above. It´s not in my All Time Top 10 of Classic Rock Albums. And the fact that the title track is revisited at the end of the album is clearly not enough to consider Sgt. Pepper to be a Concept Album. There are too many styles represented here. And, for me at least, the best of the Beatles was still to come.     

Since we have now established what Sgt. Pepper is not, we can concentrate on what it does represent. First of all I consider it to be a Work of Art. Never before in my opinion was so much attention paid to the presentation of a record. I´m sure that many of you can at least partly describe the cover of the Album. The same attention was paid to the sound quality.

Sgt. Pepper is also a fine collection of songs. The variety of styles avoid the record to become boring even after many spins. There is the acid-rock of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, the Indian Chant Within You Without You written by George, the Circus Music of Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite, the Vaudeville of When I´m Sixty-Four, the power pop of Lovely Rita and the sad but lovely pop-ballad She´s Leaving Home.

There are a few minus points as well. Everybody who saw the Woodstock movie will agree that Joe Cocker made With a little help from my Friends his Song. Sorry Ringo!!
I also rate Good Morning Good Morning as a weaker song and the reprise of Sgt. Pepper is irrelevant.
And although I consider A Day in the Life one of the best songs on the record, there are inexplicable irritating flaws in the way John´s voice was recorded.

But these observations do not prevent Sgt. Pepper from being an essential Beatles Album. As such it should be part of any Pop/Rock collection.       

Black = Good Songs
Green = Great Songs
Red = Could Be Better

Rating:******** (8 out of 10)

Who should buy this Record: Everybody.