No announcement yet.

Cream of The Crate: Album # 168 - David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust [The Motion Picture]


  • Cream of The Crate: Album # 168 - David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust [The Motion Picture]

    It’s an experimental record, in the sense that Bowie was trying out an unknown formula." (

    The strength of Ziggy lies in its completeness."(BBC Music 2002)

    "With Bowie there is the good and the "bad" but, there is never ever anything indifferent about him or his music"(This review)

    Click image for larger version

Name:	David-Bowie---Ziggy-Stardust_LP-Cover.jpg
Views:	3
Size:	48.4 KB
ID:	75665

    This is album review number one hundred and sixty eight in the series of retro-reviews of both vinyl and CD albums from my collection.

    The series is called Cream of The Crate and each review represents an album that I believe represents significant musical value, either because of its rarity, because it represents the best of a style or styles of a music or because there is something unique about the music, the group or the particular production. The first fifty reviews were based on vinyl albums from my collection, with the following fifty on CD albums from my collection. Links to all these reviews can be found at the bottom of the page.

    Just this week we were notified of the death of one of the great voices that came out of the 1970's and remained on top for five amazing decades. I reached into my record crate for one of three albums by this man - and pulled out one that could be easily considered as one of his greatest live albums ever!

    I am talking about David Bowie and the vinyl album I'm featuring is titled - Ziggy Stardust - The Motion Picture. It was originally released on vinyl in 1983, on the Starcall label it has the identifying code of MAL2 003. It is a double album in a gatefold cover with 15 tracks including a melody. Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture has been released on CD twice to date, the first being on 7 August 1992 by Rykodisc and the second in April 2003 by EMI/Virgin being the album's 30th Anniversary 2CD Set.

    The Starcall release was only released in Australia.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	David-Bowie---Ziggy-Stardust_Vinyl-label.jpg
Views:	3
Size:	47.4 KB
ID:	75666

    This album was actually recorded in July of 1973 at the Hammersmith Odeon Theatre and for ten years it was only available as a bootleg recording.
    Originally it was intended to have been released in February 1974 as a double LP ("Bowie-ing Out") but the plan was abandoned. Then in 1983 RCA who had the contract to release Bowie's music through an album, released what was in fact the very last performance by Bowie in his persona of Ziggy Stardust.

    As most people know filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker focuses his lens on a 1973 concert by David Bowie, who was performing under the his most loved persona of Ziggy Stardust, with his glam-rock backing band, the Spiders From Mars. Although the music could be heard by watching the film, stories have it that Bowie didn't want the music released as an album because he wanted to discard the glam rock image and was concerned the album's release would delay that decision. Others tell that he wasn't happy with the quality of the music and apparently didn't get on very well with Tony Visconti - the producer, and that they were both at odds during the whole mixing session.

    With his passing, the story of David Bowie is being told in great detail in so many places, so I think i'll focus on this album and leave the full story for others.

    Suffice to say that Bowie was born in 1947 and was born David Robert Jones and he began playing the saxophone at age 13. He was greatly influenced by his half-brother Terry, who was nine years older and exposed young David to the worlds of rock music and beat literature.

    In the late 1960's, somewhat
    out of fear of being confused with Davy Jones of The Monkees, David changed his last name to Bowie, a name that was inspired by the knife developed by the 19th century American pioneer Jim Bowie.

    His first hit was the song Space Oddity in 1969. The original pop chameleon, Bowie became a fantastical sci-fi character for his breakout Ziggy Stardust album and so a most loved and most "disturbing" character was born.

    His image of confused/chaotic/para-sexuality set the media on fire and the fans responded with love and passion, with "Ziggy Troops" forming worldwide.

    David Bowie released 26 studio albums between 1967 and 2016 - with his last album, Blackstar, being only released on January 8th. He also released nine live albums between 1974 and 2010, with this album being the 3rd in that list. All in all there is also a staggering 49 compilation albums.

    His influence on music across the decades cannot be overstated. He drove music into places and spaces it never conceived and indeed, one of his big strengths apart from his music, was his ability to change, to literally become a chameleon and to not just adapt to changing times, but to drive those changes.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Bowie.jpg
Views:	3
Size:	47.1 KB
ID:	75670

    So we know he wasn't initially happy with the music on this album (if the stories can be believed). Personally I believe it was more his desire, an imperative almost, for him to change and drop the much loved Iggy Stardust that drove the desire to not release the music.

    In fact toward the end of the album, just prior to the track Rock 'N' Roll Suicide, he announced to the audience - "Not only is it the last show of the tour, but it's the last show that we'll ever do. Thank you." It wasn't a message that the music was over, it was a message that he was again changing, Ziggy was just another chrysalis.

    If you try and describe the album apart from the tracks specifically, words like part sci fi, partly the story of a group of people in society who are not considered to behave according to the moral or social standards accepted by general society, in a narrative form, which unfolds via the sophisticated use of shifting perspectives and, glam rock in space - all these come to mind!

    So here we are, over 42 years after that final concert with this recording, recalling and replaying that music.

    Track Listing:

    Side A
    1. Hang On to Yourself
    2. Ziggy Stardust
    3. Watch That Man
    4. Medley:
    a. Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud
    b. All the Young Dudes
    c. Oh! You Pretty Things

    Side B
    1. Moonage Daydream
    2. Space Oddity
    3. My Death

    Side C.
    1. Cracked Actor
    2. Time
    3. Width of a Circle

    Side D
    1. Changes
    2. Let's Spend the Night Together
    3. Suffragette City
    4. White light/White Heat
    5. Rock 'N' Roll Suicide

    Click image for larger version

Name:	David-Bowie---Ziggy-Stardust_Rear-LP-Covera.jpg
Views:	3
Size:	48.6 KB
ID:	75667
    Rear of the cover


    Click image for larger version

Name:	David-Bowie---Ziggy-Stardust_Inside-gatefold-cover.jpg
Views:	3
Size:	23.9 KB
ID:	75669
    Inside the Gatefold

    Track 1 is Hang Onto Yourself, not a memorable track as far as Bowie tracks go, but a ripper to kick a show off with. Highly energetic Mick Ronson bends his guitar around the universe like a man possessed.

    Track 2 which is Ziggy Stardust is one of those Bowie tracks that will remain indelibly printed in our musical psyche. Kicking off with one of the memorable riffs of all time, Bowie as Ziggy, tells the story of Ziggy Stardust and his band - The Spiders From Mars. His image defied that which parents had just come to accept as being "the" image of pop stars from the 60's - in fact he defied many things with his gender twisting, off-the-planet image. All this image would have made a minor star of any artists, but when the words came out of Bowie's mouth, he became Ziggy Stardust, and the "Spiders From Mars" provided the music that both pushed Ziggy, and reflected Ziggy's journey.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	David-&-Mick-Ronson.jpg
Views:	3
Size:	48.5 KB
ID:	75671
    Bowie and Ronson

    Early punk on one hand, but with the skill of Mick Ronson on guitar, this group would always be steps ahead on the ladder of almost any punk style band.

    Ziggy played guitar, jamming good with Wierd and Gilly,
    And The Spiders from Mars.
    He played it left hand, but made it too far,
    Became the special man,
    Then we were Ziggy's Band.

    Ziggy really sang, screwed up eyes and screwed down hairdo
    Like some cat from Japan, he could lick 'em by smiling
    He could leave 'em to hang
    Here came on so loaded man, well hung and snow white tan.

    So where were the spiders while the fly tried to break our balls?
    Just the beer light to guide us.
    So we bitched about his fans and should we crush his sweet hands?

    Ziggy played for time, jiving us that we were Voodoo
    The kids was just crass,
    He was the naz
    With God given ass
    He took it all too far
    But boy could he play guitar.

    Making love with his ego Ziggy sucked up into his mind
    Like a leper messiah
    When the kids had killed the man
    I had to break up the band

    Ziggy played guitar

    It is somewhat ironic that the first and last words are - "Ziggy played guitar" - for while Ronson takes the lead part of playing guitar, the theme of the track was actually composed by Bowie on guitar and as Ziggy, he had the first and last word. “Weird and Gilly” were Bowie’s sometimes-nicknames for Trevor Bolder and Woody Woodmansey at the height of their powers. There are some Bowie tracks that always remain in our heads, ready to pull out when needed, and Ziggy Stardust is one of those tracks.

    Ziggy Stardust

    Track 3 is Watch That Man which appeared on the Aladdin Sane album. It has often been likened to the Rolling Stones style of playing at that time, maybe it is? But one thing is for certain, it has a kick-arse solo!

    Track 4 is in itself a compilation of three tracks - and that makes it a great track to look a bit deeper at. The first track in the medley is Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud which is a track Bowie put on the B-side of the single Space Oddity. Fans of Bowie played it but the general public rarely heard it because of the popularity of the A-side. In the book "We Could Be Heroes" by Chris Welch, Bowie is quoted as saying about this track, "
    It was about the disassociated, the ones who feel as though they're left outside, which was how I felt about me. I always felt I was on the edge of events, the fringe of things, and left out. A lot of my characters in those early years seem to revolve around that feeling. It must have come from my own interior puzzlement at where I was."

    A great choice to start the medley, it is a very reflective, moody track that allows us to pause from the intensity of previous tracks. Mike Garson on piano and the woodwind playing are very tasteful and demonstrate that other element of Bowie's music - taste!

    Click image for larger version

Name:	ziggy-stardust-and-the-spiders-from-mars.jpg
Views:	3
Size:	49.7 KB
ID:	75674

    Then as the track seems to be fading away, the tempo. subtly changes and the track morphs into All the Young Dudes. Written by Bowie, he literally gave it away to Mott the Hoople had initially rejected the track, but did record it and had it as a massive hit. I just love the way Bowie (sorry Ziggy) takes this track into the final track of the medley - Oh! You Pretty Things. By now we have totally moved away from introspection and mood, into a lively uptempo piece of music, originally on the 1971 Hunky Dory album, it is certainly a great example of Bowie stripping his composition back to basics with minimal instrumental backing it has been written about as a piece that is meant to prepare us for ".... the impending obsolescence of the human race in favour of an alliance between arriving aliens and the youth of the present society"

    Medley (Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud; All the Young Dudes; Oh! You Pretty Things)

    Turn the album over to Side 2 and we are hit with a full on, grande musical odyssey, almost a mini electro-space opera called Moonage Daydream. With Ronson being given his head to create a frantic, yet brilliant lead solo that swirls, screams across the speaker field in a climactic orgy of passion and a frenzy that must have set Ziggy off into the far reaches of the galaxy - it is hard not to be taken by this track, and live it must have been absolutely spectacular.

    The vocals rise and fall, as the band loses any semblance of conservatism in what is nothing less than an orgy of sound, yet, it is never so out of control that even as Ziggy indicates this part of the trip is over, the band is able to bring it down, to "ground" us once again, in a controlled and skillful manner - with a guitar driven conclusion. Forget the lyrics, this is about the Spiders from Mars and their music!

    Moonage Daydream

    Even as the last notes of the previous track fade away, and we are left somewhat beautifully shellshocked (or is it starstruck?), those familiar pulses that herald Space Oddity intrude into our space and as we gleefully recognise them, this recognition is reinforced with the gentle introductory chords and we know that we are in for another journey. Incidentally, unlike the journey the previous track induced, this journey is different yet has every part as much passion.

    We are all aware of the story of Major Tom and this track is most likely to be the one track that most of us will recall first when there is any discussion on Bowie. It can be debated whether it is in fact his best work, but there is no doubt that it is easily his most recogniseable. Interestingly, despite its worldwide popularity it only reached the number 1 position as a single in the UK. The main character - Major Tom, was obviously a favourite of Bowie as he resurrected the
    Major Tom character in the songs "Ashes to Ashes", "Hallo Spaceboy" and "Blackstar".

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Major-Tom.jpg
Views:	3
Size:	48.5 KB
ID:	75675

    Even though it is so well known, it is worth revisiting here as it is a splendid demonstration of Bowie and indeed his bands, ability to take a studio track and transfer it to the stage with credit. It is actually quite hard to relisten to in light of Bowie's passing without pausing to reflect on his career in general, and this track specifically - as to me it really sums up David Bowie. Yes I know that you know, and I have acknowledged that Bowie had many persona's over the years - but this "form" and this track is just so David Bowie.

    Space Oddity

    The third and final track is My Death. There is almost no pause between tracks, we barely have time to shake Major Tom out of our mind when Ziggy hits us with a track that takes on a whole new meaning with David Bowie's passing. An uptempo ballad, it again demonstrates Bowie's ability to tell a tale of reflection that we, as the audience, cannot fail to take into our hearts and rewrite with our own experiences.

    This brings us to the second LP, and side 1 kicks off with Cracked Actor. Another track that appears on the Aladdin Sane album. Here Ziggy kicks of with what is without doubt the best "rockin'" track on the album. The story of what happens to many ageing rockers (read musicians) can be found in this track.

    I've come on a few years from my Hollywood highs
    The best of the last, the cleanest star they ever had
    I'm stiff on my legend, the films that I made
    Forget that I'm fifty 'cause you just got paid

    Crack, baby, crack, show me you're real
    Smack, baby, smack, is that all that you feel?
    Suck, baby, suck, give me your head
    Before you start professing that you're knocking me dead

    Oh stay
    Please stay
    Please stay

    You caught yourself a trick down on Sunset and Vine
    But since he pinned you baby you're a porcupine
    You sold me illusions for a sack full of cheques
    You've made a bad connection 'cause I just want your sex

    Crack, baby, crack, show me you're real
    Smack, baby, smack, is that all that you feel?
    Suck, baby, suck, give me your head
    Before you start professing that you're knocking me dead

    Oh yeah

    Ooh stay, for a day
    Oh yeah
    Don't you dare
    Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

    Oh yeah

    There is nothing subtle about the references to drugs and sex - at times both were most certainly part of the staple diet of Bowie, and in this track Ziggy is reflecting on the downward path many of his contemporaries have found themselves on. In regard to the music - well it is a track which would/should have most people up and dancing. It is interesting however, that the audience reaction is less enthusiastic as on many other tracks.

    Cracked Actor

    Time is good track, but not a great track! The track was written in the USA while Ziggy was doing his tour in 1972 and was the opening track on the Aladdin Sane album. It has a British Music Hall feel about it at times. Keyboardist Mike Garson said that he employed "... the old stride piano style from the 20s and I mixed it up with avant-garde jazz styles plus it had the element of show music, plus it was very European."

    This side of the album finishes with Width of a Circle. This is the longest track on the album at little over 9:30minutes. In many ways it is a track of two-parts. In part 1 we rock while in part two, Ziggy becomes narrative again and, although while the tempo drops, it never really slows as we are regaled with tales of the devil and other creepy things. It could easily have become a noodling track in some ways, it has a "Black Sabbath" type riff underpinning it, but Ziggy never allows noodling on any of his tracks!

    The final side begins with another Bowie classic - Changes! This is certainly another favourite of Bowie fans and music fans in general. Released as a single in 1972, it really didn't capture the market's interest, but over the years has become a perennial favourite.

    (Turn and face the strange)
    Don't tell them to grow up and out of it
    (Turn and face the strange)
    Where's your shame
    You've left us up to our necks in it
    Time may change me
    But you can't trace time

    Strange fascination, fascinating me
    Changes are taking the pace
    I'm going through

    Such a track of self-analysis where Bowie cautions us that changes are inevitable, and no matter how much the world tells them to stay the same; changes will take place, and as for him, he says, "Strange fascination, fascinating me, changes are taking the pace I'm going through". How appropriate in reflection of this, his last concert as Ziggy!

    I absolutely love the sax playing of Ken Fordham that sees this track move into the next.


    Just why Bowie made Let's Spend The Night Together part of his repertoire must have a story behind it, but aren't we glad he did. The track will always be associated with the Stones but Bowie puts his own edge on this great track. It just demands to be played at a decent tempo, however Bowie's up's the ante on this and kicks into a higher gear until we get toward the end, where not only does the band reinforce that they have put their own stamp on this track, but Bowie drops the pace and adds his own words - and you know what? Not only does it work, it works brilliantly!

    They said we were too young
    Our kind of love was no fun
    But our love comes from above
    Let's make... love

    Track 3 is Suffragette City and the tempo doesn't drop one iota! It was released as a single and failed to chart, and to be honest it isn't anywhere near my favourite track on the album. Sure it has good pulse and strong drive, and I'm certain to upset some Bowie fans - but I think it was added to the show to give the audience a "good-time" track - that's all I'll say except to make a passing reference to Bowie, making a reference to the cult movie Clockwork Orange and, the "Droogs".

    Hey man, Henry, don't be unkind, go away
    Hey man, I can't take you this time, no way
    Hey man, droogie don't crash here
    There's only room for one and here she comes
    Here she comes

    The penultimate track is track 4 - White Light/White Heat. Recorded by his friend Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground. Although a staple of the Ziggy Stardust tour the track never appeared on an album until this album was recorded. Bowie continued to put it into his live repertoire even after discarding the Ziggy persona. It's a frantic version of the track, and it's a good track but not outstanding. One suspects it was a track that was meant to be listened to and heard live.

    This brings us to the final Ziggy Stardust track - Rock 'N' Roll Suicide. The show not only came to an end, the tour not only came to an end, but so did Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Spiders-From-Mars.jpg
Views:	3
Size:	54.2 KB
ID:	75672

    There is nothing accidental about this being the final track, Bowie never did anything accidentally. he was a consummate performer and knew how to respond appropriately to each moment.

    This is a fine choice for his climactic end to Ziggy. The musicians behind him sensing the importance of the monet are brilliant. The album has been criticised for not really capturing the "moments" - I disagree and when it comes to this track, if the hair on the nape of your neck doesn't rise, either you are dead, or your have never responded to a live rock concert!

    Time takes a cigarette, puts it in your mouth
    You pull on your finger, then another finger, then your cigarette
    The wall-to-wall is calling, it lingers, then you forget
    Oh oh, you're a rock 'n' roll suicide

    You're too old to lose it, too young to choose it
    And the clocks waits so patiently on your song
    You walk past a cafe but you don't eat when you've lived too long
    Oh, no, no, no, you're a rock 'n' roll suicide

    Chev brakes are snarling as you stumble across the road
    But the day breaks instead so you hurry home
    Don't let the sun blast your shadow
    Don't let the milk float ride your mind
    You're so natural - religiously unkind

    Oh no love! You're not alone
    You're watching yourself but you're too unfair
    You got your head all tangled up
    But if I could only make you care

    Oh no love! You're not alone
    No matter what or who you've been
    No matter when or where you've seen

    All the knives seem to lacerate your brain
    I've had my share, I'll help you with the pain
    You're not alone

    Just turn on with me and you're not alone
    Let's turn on with me and you're not alone (wonderful)
    Let's turn on and be not alone (wonderful)
    Gimme your hands cause you're wonderful (wonderful)
    Gimme your hands cause you're wonderful (wonderful)
    Oh gimme your hands

    It would be over 25 years before Bowie sung this track again. It is is an absolutely brilliant track in both lyric development and the music that forms an integral bond with the track. It is a fitting swansong for Ziggy Stardust and just one word remains - Brilliant!

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Ziggy-played-guitar.jpg
Views:	3
Size:	48.8 KB
ID:	75673

    "Of all of the shows on this tour, this particular show will remain with us the longest because not only is it — not only is it the last show of the tour, but it's the last show that we'll ever do."

    Rock 'N' Roll Suicide

    With the type of musical legacy David Bowie left us, and with the number of video clips available, we will always be able to indulge ourselves both in the life, times and music of Ziggy Stardust, and, all the other brilliant persona's David Bowie would confront us with. To try and do justice to the man in one short album review would be to do him a major injustice!

    David Bowie was not just a singer, a musician, a composer and a showman - he was all of these beautifully combined, but he was also a dreamer! Yet the more we reflect upon him the more we start to unravel the many layers of David Bowie, for he was also pretty and most certainly he was witty. He drove himself as only a person can who is so totally possessed by exploration! Exploration of himself and his personas, of music, of what could be, what will be, what is and what was. He was also interested in the exploration of others and what drove us as humans to do what we do while constantly seeking changes that drives us as a race to great things and terrible things.

    Like an onion, no matter how many layers we peel back, there are more. So it is I cannot claim Ziggy Stardust (The Movie) is his "best" album, nor will I make any declarations as to what that almost mythical album is! Each album, for better or worse, reveals something of David Bowie, who in so many ways is simply reflecting ourselves back to us!

    There are some albums of fantastic quality, while others are just OK - but with Bowie there is the good and the "bad" but, there is never ever anything indifferent about him or his music.

    You chose your favourite album - but as the years move on, all David Bowie albums will rightly find their own levels on the scales each of us develop.

    This album is available still on vinyl, although the CD release does have bonus tracks and is claimed to be a better mix.

    Vale David Bowie - you have truly returned to that which is your real form: real stardust: and thank you for sharing with us that wonderful persona of Ziggy Stardust!

    Click image for larger version

Name:	David-Bowie---Ziggy-Stardust_Sml-LP-Front-Cover.jpg
Views:	3
Size:	46.7 KB
ID:	75668

    VIDEOS - As this album is the music from the show captured on film, you will find clips of the music I have discussed, but this is the time and the place to "see" Ziggy in all his glory!

    Ziggy Stardust

    Watch That Man

    My Death


    Lets Spend The Night Together

    Rock 'N' Roll Suicide

    If you are interested in checking out the first fifty vinyl albums reviewed, just click here

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Vinyl_v-sml.jpg
Views:	156
Size:	14.3 KB
ID:	75676

    If you are interested in checking out the first fifty (50) CD's reviewed by me, just click here

    Click image for larger version

Name:	CD-Rack-V_Sml.jpg
Views:	53
Size:	39.4 KB
ID:	75677

    If you are interested in checking out reviews 101 to 150 (Vinyl & CD) as reviewed by me, just click here

    Click image for larger version

Name:	CDs-and-LPs_Sml.jpg
Views:	56
Size:	42.7 KB
ID:	75678
    Past album Reviews - Numbers 151 onward:

    Number 151 - The Shaggs: Philosophy Of The World

    Number 152 - The Animals: The Animals

    Number 153 - Omar Khorshid: Live in Australia 1981

    Number 154 - Alan Parsons Project: Tales of Mystery and Imagination (Edgar Allan Poe)

    Number 155 - Billy Thorpe: Tangier

    Number 156 - Aretha Franklin: The Best Of

    Number 157 - Big Bill Broonzy: Big Bill Blues [His 23 Greatest Songs]

    Number 158 - The Supremes: Where Did Our Love Go

    Number 159 - The Band: Stage Fright

    Number 160 - Ray Brown & The Whispers: Hits and More 1965 - 1968

    Number 161 - Guitar Junior: The Crawl

    Number 162 - Jimi Hendrix: Radio One

    Number 163 - Memphis Minnie: Queen Of The Blues

    Number 164 - Eno: Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)

    Number 165 - The Loved Ones: Magic Box

    Number 166 - Various Artists: On The Road Again [An Anthology Of Chicago Blues 1947 - 1954]

    Number 167 - Janis Joplin: Greatest Hits
      Posting comments is disabled.





    Latest Articles


    • Listen To Older Voices: Bob Bright - Part 4
      by Rob Greaves
      Welcome to Listen To Older Voices, a program produced Rob Greaves for Wesley Mission Victoria and podcast through the Toorak Times.

      Listen To Older Voices presents the stories, views and opinions of our older citizens. It is predominantly in a life & times format, with interviewees reflecting upon their lives from earliest memories. An underlying principal of the program is to promote the concept of positive ageing, reinforcing the principle that older people have & continue to make a valuable contribution to both their local & wider community.

      11 September 2016, 08:48 AM
    • Cream of The Crate: Album # 200 - Australian Compilation: The Complete Havoc Singles (1971 - 1973]
      by Rob Greaves
      "A really stunning & great looking digi-pack from Aztec Records, compiling all the singles from the Australian Havoc Records label in the 70's." (Record Heaven)
      An excellent collection of early 70's Australian Rock / Pop/."
      (Rock On Vinyl)
      Aztec Music prides itself on preserving Australia's rich music history and with this release, they do it with class and style."
      (This review)

      This is album review number Two Hundred in the series of retro-reviews of both vinyl and CD albums from my collection.
      26 August 2016, 10:32 AM
    • Cream of The Crate: Album # 199 - Lightning Hopkins: The Gold Star Series Vol 1
      by Rob Greaves
      "The blues is born with you. When you born in this world, you were born with the blues. (Lightnin’ Hopkins, 1967)
      Sam (Lightnin') Hopkins, one of the great country blues singers and perhaps the greatest single influence on rock guitar players." (New York Times Obituary, Feb 1, 1982 )
      "These are not necessarily the best known Lightnin' Hopkins tracks, but in many ways that makes this CD even more valuable."
      (This review)

      This is album review number One Hundred and Ninety Nine in the series of retro-reviews of both vinyl and CD albums from my collection.
      19 August 2016, 10:24 AM
    • Cream of The Crate: Album # 198 - John Lennon: Plastic Ono Band
      by Rob Greaves
      "The reality of Plastic Ono Band is that it contains eleven of Lennon’s most accessible and gorgeous melodies and riffs." (Gerry Mullholand - BBC review 2010)
      "An album that will be as much analysed as Sgt. Pepper over the years." (Billboard - 1971)
      It remains one of the most audacious, iconoclastic albums in all of rock and roll." (Guitar World 2016)
      The album certainly shows that he had yet to work through many unresolved matters, and that he still had much anger in him. However he was a brilliant man and knew how to channel these elements in such a way to create some brilliant, memorable and haunting tracks." (This review)

      11 August 2016, 12:14 PM
    • Cream of The Crate: Album # 197 - Sam and Dave: The Best Of
      by Rob Greaves
      "Sam Moore and Dave Prater's string of soul and pop hits made them the '60s' most successful black vocal duo." (The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (Simon & Schuster, 2001)
      "Sam & Dave created some of their century's most enduring music in the pop form." (Stylus Magazine January 2007)
      There can be no argument that as a duo, Sam and Dave introduced the previously successful sound of the black church music, so successfully to pop music." (This review)

      This is album review number One Hundred and Ninety Seven in the series of retro-reviews of both vinyl and CD albums from my collection.
      5 August 2016, 08:52 AM
    • Cream of The Crate: Album # 196 - Ma Rainey: Ma Rainey
      by Rob Greaves
      "Her deep, almost-vibratoless contralto sounded rough and unsophisticated compared to other commercial blueswomen but she projected a great depth of feeling and was adored by audiences." (US Library of Congress
      "Ma Rainey was one of the first singers to popularize the style (the blues)." (Joe McGasko - Bio May 2015)
      When we listen to Ma Rainey, the recordings are very crude, but even so the power and mesmerism of her voice shows that pure talent and commitment to an audience makes Ma Rainey stand out even more today.
      " (This review)

      This is album review number One Hundred and Ninety Six in the series of retro-reviews of both vinyl and CD albums from my collection.
      29 July 2016, 10:18 AM