Music Television 1

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Post  misery guts on Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:32 am

Dmitri Shostakovich - Symphony #12 in D Minor op.112
"The Year 1917" - written in 1961, performed here by the same gang as the previous ones, on Feb 17, 2014. Good stuff.

Motorhead - Overkill - The Bronze Years Part 1
Entertaining & long look at the 20-odd years that the rock legends spent on Bronze Records (run by Gerry Bron). Krusher turns out to have been an art employee of theirs, glad to finally find out (a DJ & stuff these days). Mick Wall, Malcolm Dome and fan clubber Alan Burridge all spoke well, with Brian Robertson and Wurzel contributing about their times spent in the madness of the band. Not sure why it needed to be called Part 1, it seemed to cover all their albums pretty thoroughly.

Kraftwerk: Pop Art
Coinciding with a 2013 exhibition of artwork at the Tate, this new doc tried to put their place in music history into a wider context. Regrettably, this meant plenty of time for Francois Kevorkian and Derrick May, but no sign of Karl Bartos. Archive footage of Ralf Hutter was at least worthwhile, but overall it felt like a good attempt to make a bad documentary.

Dmitri Shostakovich - Symphony #13 in B Flat Major, op.113

"Babi Yar", done on Jan 8, 2013, by the usual etc. Not many left to go now.


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Post  misery guts on Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:36 pm

Barry White at the Royal Albert Hall, London
A gig from 1975, notable for starting with a long orchestral/instrumental bit, then a good ten minutes of the Love Unlimited Orchestra, before Big Bad Bazza waddles on to enthuse the crowd and press the flesh. Oh, and rattle through many numbers. Sure, he could sing, but critical adulation will never come.

Imagine: Dame Shirley Bassey - The Girl From Tiger Bay
A 2009 tribute coinciding with the recording of an album composed by assorted modern composers like Gary Barlow, KT Tunstall and Richard Hawley, each tasked with creating a new song that reflects Ms Bassey's career. As the youngest of 7, her own life turned out to be that bit more interesting than most of the tribute songs (the racy "Burn My Candle" out-did Madonna by about 30 years). Producer David Arnold did his best, and there were at least some "old guard" contributors like Don Black & John Barry (cf. Bond themes).

The South Bank Show: Alfie Boe
From 2013, how a tenor from Fleetwood, the youngest of 9 (!) was one day talent spotted whilst working at the TVR factory, and went on to storm London and New York, in La Boheme and Les Miserables. His sensibility to combine pop with opera suggests he might have a more enduring (and/or a more challenging) longevity.

The Pixies: Live at Eurockeennes 2004
An odd band, critically loved but I can't see why. I daresay Frank Black, Kim Deal & the others are sincere, and talented, but oh dear. One great strength is their brevity. I recall reading a review of another band which went "while you've been reading this review, the band have played another 13 songs". And that's what came to mind as they belted through 30 numbers in under an hour and a half. Still, the crowd loved them.

Alvin and the Million Pound Guitar
How the late rocker Alvin Stardust took his guitar along to very early gigs, and got it signed by luminaries like Buddy Holly and Gene Vincent, Bill Haley and Eddie Cochran. Also signed by the Beatles and the Stones, it was insured for £1 million, and in 2011, he intended it to be given to his daughter, though I suspect it will end up in the Hard Rock Café or somewhere, as he feared it would.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:28 am

Dmitri Shostakovich - Symphony #14 in G Minor op. 135
Yeah, yeah. From Dec 2, 2012, I begin to wonder about the arrangements of these gigs, but anyway, a formidable effort of work.

Dame Shirley Bassey at the BBC
A mixture from across the ages, whether duetting with Neil Diamond, or propping up her career with help from Yello or Propellerheads. Her appearance with Morecambe & Wise and at Glastonbury also featured, happily.

John Shuttleworth: One Foot in the Gravy
From May 2001, the musical comedian intersperses his songs with stand-up, or vice-versa. Also with an interlude with musicologist Brian Appleton. His songs cover topics rarely touched on by anyone else, but that's comedy for you. A joyful experience, the crowd became warmer as the night accelerated.


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Post  misery guts on Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:58 am

Dmitri Shostakovich - Symphony #15 in A Major op.141
The last in this series, from Jan 7, 2013. Next come the Concertos.

Dmitri Shostakovich - Cello Concerto #1 in E Flat Major op.107
The same set-up as before, with Gautier Capucon the star soloist on cello. From Dec 3, 2013.

Karajan's Magic and Myth
A lengthy examination of the legendary conductor, from members of his orchestras, and other relevant musicians or singers. The stature of Placido Domingo, James Galway and Nik Harnoncourt certainly showed the breadth of his effect, and told many tales of Herbert's world. His conviction and interest in recordings perhaps gave him a commercial edge over others.


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Post  misery guts on Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:07 am

Rory Gallagher: Irish Tour '74
A pretty enjoyable effort, mixing concert footage with bts stuff of him & his band, places he'd go to (eg guitar shops) and so on. Not someone I've had much time for, though I'm aware he's madly popular with some folk. Worth giving another try to.

Dmitri Shostakovich - Cello Concerto #2 op.126
This time it was Mario Brunello on cello, but otherwise the usual components. He managed to fit in 2 encores, as well. From Jan 8, 2013

One Nation Under A Groove - The Story of Funk
James Brown, Sly Stone, George Clinton and Earth, Wind & Fire were the main strands taken by this story, and how they each in differing ways advanced the cause of funk. The narrative kinda ran out with the arrival of the 1980's, but funk is apparently still alive & well.

The Genius of Funk
An hour compilation of many funk acts & their songs, from the already covered above, to Herbie Hancock, the Average White Band, Stevie Wonder and even Jamiroquai. So a pretty good effort. An unsung hero was Larry Graham, not least for his own Graham Central Station act.
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Post  misery guts on Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:28 am

Dmitri Shostakovich - Piano, Trumpet & Strings Concerto #1 in C Minor op.35
Danil Trifonov on piano and Timur Martynov on Trumpet. Gergiev conducting and the other usuals also present & correct.

Whitesnake: Ultimate Review
What David Coverdale did after Deep Purple made him famous. Using Jon Lord was intriguing, Neil Murray was reliable, but Steve Vai was a bad mistake. They went off the boil, and failed upwards to mega-selling American success. There's a parable in there.

Rewind: The Christmas Hits
Somewhat muddled reflection on the Christmas pop market, starting in 1972, thus pretending Bing Crosby never happened. Sounds daft, but matched by re-telling the 1980 story without mentioning the shock death of John Lennon. Maybe this is the shape of history shows to come? They might just as well have spent the hour and a half droning on about how much they love the execrable "Fairytale of New York".


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Post  misery guts on Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:46 am

Dmitri Shostakovich - Violin Concerto #1 in A Minor op.77
Vadim Repin did the violin playing, everything else being much as usual, from Feb 18, 2014.

Metallica: Up Close & Personal
Intriguingly told solely from archive of the band, rather than helpful fans. So this mainly boiled down to Hetfield and Ulrich. Oddly, the story went from the 90s, back to the 80s, then on to the 00s. Their occasional experimentation, whether in the name of publicity or not, has put them in a different level to most of their peers.

Dmitri Shostakovich - Violin Concerto #2 in C Sharp Minor op. 129
This time it was Elena Baeva on the violin, from Feb 16, 2014, but otherwise the same set-up as the others.

Len Goodman's Big Band Bonanza
Still mining the same material, dance supremo Goodman pays tribute to the war-time sounds of the big band, Glenn Miller and Ted Heath, but also vocal contributors like Dennis Lotis. Is Pete Conway really Robbie Williams' dad? A bizarre bit of referencing if so. Rebellious band-leader Ivy Benson had to fight sexism as well. I sense this was done to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the disappearance of Glenn Miller.


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Post  misery guts on Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:03 am

Dmitri Shostakovich- Piano Concerto #2 in F Major op.102
Denis Matseuv did the piano-playing honours on this 1957 composition, done here on Jan 7, 2013.

Simon Rattle: The Making of a Maestro
Decent hour long look at the famous conductor who rose from acclaim at Birmingham, to global respect in Berlin. It reflected the tributes for his 60th birthday (Jan 19th), and he shows no signs of slowing down.

Tim Rice: A Life in Song
One of those gala nights where Michael Grade talks to a subject whilst various performers demonstrate the songs (Don Black had one I saw a while back). Here the singers ranged from Roger Daltrey, Seth Lakeman and Sophie Ellis-Bextor, through to Gemma Arterton, Alexander Armstrong and Julian Ovenden. Andrew Lloyd-Webber obligingly appeared to accompany Rob Brydon. The mixture of Rice's lyric subjects further emphasise the quality of his achievements.


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Post  misery guts on Thu Mar 05, 2015 3:45 pm

Sammy Davis Jnr - The Kid in the Middle
People keep going back to this story. Here, Paul Anka and Jesse Jackson made for curious new contributors, though friends Arthur Silber and Burt Boyar were crucial. Peggy King and May Britt even got in on it. The angle seemed to be the rediscovery of rare footage from some shows he did, which is fair enough. He was a bold soldier in the US civil rights war, but suffered some collateral damage along the way.

Music in Review: Asia
A supergroup who made one great album, and then had later changed line-ups and less worthy albums. But this one moment gave us songs like "Heat of the Moment", and radio immortality.

Aerosmith: Videobiography
A pretty bold career look that claimed they were the only challengers to the Rolling Stones, something I must say I consider laughable. But the stuff on their 70s work was of interest to me, and their slow renaissance in the 80s and 90s suggest they were stronger for the knocks they took. Take them seriously, though? Nah.

An Evening With Sammy Davis Jnr
An hour culled from a couple of shows, I think, with musical numbers (of course) and some comedy along the way (mainly from impressions, which were impressive), and later chat with the studio audience. Like many American performers, he got a strong reception in the UK, and had gentle fun with his producer, the legendary Dennis Main Wilson.


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Post  misery guts on Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:38 am

Total Rock Review: Rainbow
An album-by-album consideration of Richie Blackmore's post-Deep Purple project which managed to also include Jon Lord among many line-up changes. The music received much adoration, though not as much as Blackmore did. Some called him the greatest ever, though his childish attitudes to team work were less covered. A brief flirtation with chart-friendly music seemed against the grain, which perhaps sums things up.

Lynyrd Skynyrd: Rock Case Studies
A pretty steady run-through of the Southern rockers who hit timeless gold with "Freebird". Their bad luck plane crash brought their journey to an untimely halt. Unlike some of these shows which drown in numbers of contributors, this story was usefully recounted with just 3.

Vivaldi Recomposed
Max Richter here responsible for a new version of the Four Seasons, with Daniel Hope on the violin, performed live from Berlin. Was it very different? Nope. Still a classic bit of music, though.


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Post  misery guts on Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:23 pm

Total Rock Review: Van Der Graaf Generator
An album-by-album look at an "influential cult band" who made a couple of notable singles, but generally impressed with their albums. Three band members were present amidst the usual faces, and a refreshing tale was told as a result.

Inside Uriah Heep 1970-1976
Again, an album-by-album format, and their story was of progression and greater success up to peaking with their 4th LP "Demons and Wizards", and the classic single "Easy Livin'". Somehow they seemed to be scorned by the music press and robbed of commercial acclaim. But the band members still seemed pretty contented with their work.

The Magics of Music
Another Chris Nupen effort, this time centred on piano whizz Daniil Trofonov. He started performing and composing at the age of 7, and has made his way with increasing fame amidst the classical music world.

Levon Helm: Ain't In It For My Health
From 2008, the story of the ageing drummer in The Band, as his latest album was Grammy-nominated and he sought to avoid Hall of Fame-type status without full respect for the other band members. All this whilst battling health issues. Helm certainly was a character, and he seemed sanguine about the no-win situation he found himself in. His album did win its Grammy, but he was nowhere near the ceremony.

Red Hot Chili Peppers: Behind The Music
Rather like the Aerosmith story, they toiled away manfully for years, and had line-up problems because of drugs, but they turned it around to increasing fame and sales. Rick Rubin (who else?) proved instrumental when he persuaded Kiedis that "Under the Bridge" deserved inclusion, and the rest was history.
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Post  misery guts on Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:38 am

The South Bank Show: Female Singer-Songwriters
Perhaps feeling unable to get a whole hour out of Joan Armatrading or Suzanne Vega, a loosely-stitched effort talking to both, and new face Lucy Rose, together with clips from previous shows with Bjork, Annie Lennox and Dolly Parton. So, no lack of variety anyway.

Inside The Sensational Alex Harvey Band
From the ashes of Teargas, Alex Harvey moulded a hit package that slowly evolved some great material, such as Faith Healer and Give My Compliments to the Chef. An album named after a cover of Tomorrow Belongs To Me raised hackles, but led to their cover of Delilah and hit single status. Boston Tea Party was their other monster success. Sadly they tipped over into decline, and Alex died in 1982. One of the unfairly forgotten forces of Scottish rock.

Ne-Yo's #HangOut
Another of this series, as he has a new album out. He talked of his breakthrough writing for Mario, co-writing with Sia, meeting Jay Z, touring with Chris Brown, struck by Cheryl Cole's beauty, friendship with Rihanna, and working with Beyoncé. Seems like a good character, so I hope his career sustains.

Suede: Live at La Cigale, Paris
From 2013, a lengthy show with material mixing their big early hits, with later works. At least Brett Anderson seems happy these days.

The Other Side of Bruno Mars
A shorter-than-expected effort from June 2012, covering his failure as a Motown star, but subsequent success anyway. Apparently, being the first male Latino on the cover of Playboy is his legacy. Future shows on the guy will probably be more thoughtful.


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Post  misery guts on Sat Mar 14, 2015 1:24 pm

Nas: Time Is Illmatic
A reflection on his classic breakthrough album from 1994, re-telling his story, his friendship with the late Ill Will, and how he now funds a Harvard fellowship, to put his money where his mouth is, in terms of encouraging the next generation. More impressive than I might have expected.

James Rhodes: Piano Man - Uppers & Downers
Finally got to the rest of this series, here the maverick pianist played & discussed pieces by Moszkowski, Bach, Blumenfeld and a frenetic version of Grieg's wonderful "In the Hall of the Mountain King".

Focus: Rare Broadcasts
I hadn't heard "Sylvia" in years, then I watched this & heard it on the radio a few days later. Hocus Pocus is their other classic, with its yodel blast. Those Dutch, they're something else.

Inside Creedence Clearwater Revival
That their singer bore startling resemblance to Steve Martin passed unremarked here, but more importantly they churned out standards like Proud Mary, and radio faves like Bad Moon Rising. This show took the "album-by-album" approach, again, and it's a story of a band that builds and builds until they burst.


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Post  misery guts on Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:31 pm

Ice Cube: The Making of a Don
From a respectable scholarly background, Cube went on to music notoriety in NWA, before getting ripped off. He had more success as a solo star, and a half-decent movie career. But accusations of musical copying/stealing affect his work with Westside Connection. Hey, even I liked "It Was a Good Day".

2Cellos: Live at Arena Pula
A sort of homecoming for the duo, on Jul 3, 2013, in their Croatian homeland, as they covered U2, Coldplay, Michael Jackson, AC/DC, Sting, and assorted others. A fun show, some captions would have made it that bit more fun.

James Rhodes: Piano Man
This time working on several works by Chopin, and talking about his friendship with the writer George Sand, and his untimely death at just 39.

Il Divo: A Musical Affair - Live in Japan
From Mar 11, 2014, at the legendary Budokan, the multi-lingual marvels welcome Lea Salonga to share the stage and the singing with them, as they moved between classical or light opera numbers, to more recognisable pop efforts. A more engaging show than I expected.

Rock Milestones: Wishbone Ash - Argus
Their 3rd album, with some of the band telling their tale, and Bob Harris an irregular-but-welcome inclusion of support. Not a band I'd much notice of before, but clearly worth checking out.
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Post  misery guts on Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:58 am

Live With... Andy Fairweather-Low & The Low Riders
Did his own stuff in the first half, and a few covers in the second. A likeable guy and still a fine musician. Short, but sweet.

Alicia Keys - Keys To Keys
A few generalised historic comments, but mostly derived from 3 different interviews done to promote her 'Girl on Fire' album. So there was some overlap, and also a chance to see how different interviewers tried to elicit the same answers. She was a judge on the Australian version of The X Factor at one stage, and prefers having short hair. Supportive of Barack Obama and busy with charity work. Claimed "Empire State of Mind" was not necessarily about New York. Hmmm...

Mind in the Wilderness
Khatia Buniatishvili gave a long open-air concert at the Sacrower Forest, nr Berlin. Her sister Gvantsa helped her on piano on a few tunes, too. Both were from Georgia. The concert seemed somewhat random to me, but still a pleasant listen.

James Rhodes: Piano Man
Three pieces by Bach, delivered with typical frenetic brilliance.

The South Bank Show: Angel Blue
She paid her way through college via beauty pageants, and was a good friend of Placido Domingo. Her youth suggests she has a long career still ahead of her. The girl from Apple Valley done good.


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Post  misery guts on Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:20 pm

Reginald D Hunter - Songs of the South
A 3x1 hour series with the Georgian comedian going home to consider the musical heritage of 6 US States (Tennessee & Kentucky; Alabama & Georgia; Mississippi & Louisiana). I'm not mad on Hunter as a stand-up, but he did a great job here, covering a multitude of styles and stories, and meeting a galaxy of stars, from Dolly Parton and Del McCoury, to Clarence Carter and Cindy Wilson and Ludacris, to Dr John & Allen Toussaint. The number of records name-checking these States in their title was impressive (Blue Moon of Kentucky, Georgia on my Mind, Mississippi Goddam). One other point that amused me - he pronounced Appalachia as "Apple atch ia" rather than "apple a shia". But hey, maybe it doesn't matter.


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Post  misery guts on Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:07 pm

Live With... Eddi Reader
Helpfully, she did no recognisable Fairground Attraction stuff, but what she and her cohorts did do was pleasant enough.

Boy George & Culture Club : Karma To Calamity
The entertaining story of how the 80s icons reconvened to make their 1st album in 15 years, and plan a new stadium tour to coincide, even though George clearly doesn't gel with the others. A jaunt abroad to write the album goes very well, but then George appoints himself a new manager, and there's a fateful live performance on telly which earns mucho slagging on Twitter. Cut to George cancelling the tour because of vocal polyps, and falling out with the rest of the band. Oh well...

James Rhodes: Piano Man - Mad, Bad & Sad
Rachmaninov, Ravel and Debussy providing the material for Rhodes to showcase them and him. Definitely talented.

Rock Milestones: Legend - Bob Marley and the Wailers
A 1984 compilation which redirected Marley's legacy, and became one of the biggest-selling albums ever for the "Sly Stone of reggae". This show took a track-by-track approach. The only down notes were suggestions that his political material was omitted to offer a watered down version of the man, but a project like this wasn't intended to be definitive. So that's why it isn't.
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Post  misery guts on Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:07 am

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at Benicassim 2013
A short burst of greatness from a band easy to overlook.

Riverdance - Live from Beijing
From 2009/10 at the Beijing Exhibition Centre, running through the usual type of stuff, notably the title track, if that's not a nonsensical thing to say. Melodic, if soporific.

Busta Rhymes - Unauthorized
He began modestly as part of a group, but became big news when he went solo and released several albums with themes predicting national catastrophe. Something which would have been bland if not for the 9/11 attacks. His so-called prophecy did not deserve much serious discussion.


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Post  misery guts on Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:44 pm

Being James Galway
The Irish flautist legend, from his early days in orchestras, working for the great conductor Herbert von Karajan, until the maestro pulled his chain once too often, and Galway went his own way. Dubbed "the man with the golden flute", he recovered from a motor accident to record a version of John Denver's "Annie's Song", and never looked back. He now lives in Switzerland, and encourages the next generation of musicians.

...Sings Motown
Another compilation of all kinds of artists performing songs made by Motown, from the sincere (Paul Young, Robert Palmer), to the random (Manhattan Transfer, The Beat). An amiable hour.

Written By Mrs Bach
Did Johann Sebastian's wife Anna Magdalena, compose some of his works, uncredited? An Aussie Professor thinks she did, and has some plausible evidence to back up his case. But there's not really any way of proving it, and the Bach Archive wouldn't play ball, as it wasn't in their interest.

Inside T-Rex
Another album-by-album effort. After adjusting their name and going Glam, they scored 4 #1 singles in the UK, but then the magic went (or the public went). Bolan soldiered on, and was thought to have turned the corner when he sadly died in a car crash in 1977. Hard to imagine how different things might have been with him around in later decades, though.


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Post  misery guts on Sat Apr 11, 2015 11:38 am

An Evening With Matt Monro
From the New 20s Club, Melbourne, 1967. Matt matched the evening cabaret atmosphere with a variety of numbers, interspersed with banter with the audience. He included his big numbers, and kept the crowd entertained.

Kings of Soul at the BBC
Another compilation of clips, from the expected to the less so. Bill Withers, Billy Ocean, Bobby Womack and more, until R Kelly closed things. Fun stuff, in the main.

Frankie Vaughn: The Heart of a Man
Another portrait of a cabaret star, a much-loved singer & entertainer, best remembered for his theme song, "Give Me The Moonlight". Nobody had a bad word to say about him, and his love for life and his family shone through. The only down time was an attempt by Hollywood to make him a star, which he neither wanted nor needed. His rock was his wife, Stella, whom he met when young-ish and to whom he remained faithfully married for decades.

Alicia Keys: From Start To Stardom
Mildly better than the previous effort I saw, though again limited in scope. For all the talk of her integrity and ability, it all still turns on the kudos of Clive bloody Davis, and the patronage of Oprah bloody Winfrey.
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Post  misery guts on Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:06 pm

The Nation's Favourite... 70s Number One
The contrived format returns with a mix of the predictable and the less-so. George & Freda were two of the more interesting people brought on to tell their story. Here's that rundown:
20 Rock Your Baby (George McCrae)
19 Blockbuster (The Sweet)
18 Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick! (Ian Dury and the Blockheads)
17 Don't Go Breaking My Heart (Kiki Dee + Elton John)
16 Band Of Gold (Freda Payne)
15 Cum On Feel The Noize (Slade)
14 Sailing (Rod Stewart)
13 I Feel Love (Donna Summer)
12 December '63 (Oh What A Night) (The Four Seasons)
11 Hot Love (T-Rex)
10 Y.M.C.A. (Village People)
09 I'm Not In Love (10cc)
08 Without You (Nilsson)
07 Night Fever (The Bee Gees)
06 I Will Survive (Gloria Gaynor)
05 Wuthering Heights (Kate Bush)
04 Heart Of Glass (Blondie)
03 Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon & Garfunkel)
02 Dancing Queen (ABBA)
01 Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen)

Queens of Soul at the BBC
Sister show to the Kings one reviewed previously. Again, many of the usual suspects, with several of the more recent names included to try and suggest an ongoing golden age. Nice to get Jocelyn Brown there, surprised at no Jill Scott.
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Post  misery guts on Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:02 pm

Wishbone Ash - Now & Then : Almighty Blues
An enjoyable hour+ concert from an unknown year and lack of captions for the songs. But otherwise, good stuff.

First Love: Katie Derham
Picking up with some of the episodes I missed last time around. This edition featured the newsreader reacquainting herself with the violin after a 20 year gap. The sub-plot concerned her mother, who had encouraged her in her playing but since died of Alzheimers (her father remarried the violin teacher!). Like many other episodes, she failed to practice sufficiently, but found extra help, and got it together enough to complete her part in the recital with aplomb. Now she encourages the musical spirit in her own daughters. Smiles all round.

The Irish Rock Story: A Tale of Two Cities
A speedy hour looking at the stars who sprang from the scenes in Belfast and Dublin, and those who came from the places inbetween. So, Van Morrison, Rory Gallagher, Thin Lizzy, the Boomtown Rats, U2, the Undertones and Sinead O'Connor. A pretty hearty bunch of contributors raised the tone, too, from Eric Bell and Bob Geldof to Adam Clayton and Sinead herself.

Live With... Marc Almond
Mostly stuff from his new record "The Velvet Trail", with Bedsitter thrown in for nostalgia. Actually sounds like a good album from this evidence.

Rameau Retrouve aka The Real Rameau
Jean-Phillippe Rameau, of Dijon, no less. Live in the late 17th and most of the 18th century. Though he didn't always suit the tastes of the times, he has earned his place in history since then as a great French composer, and also a great thinker too. Didn't write his 1st opera until he was 50. A lesson for us all, then.
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Post  misery guts on Sun Apr 19, 2015 2:20 pm

Total Rock Review: Bad Company
Chiefly their successful 1st album, with a bit on their 2nd, and rather less on their next 3. When they were good, they were very good, but then they took drugs and Paul Rodgers left. Simon "actually in the band in question" Kirke made for a useful inclusion, otherwise it was much as usual.

The Music of Buddy Holly and the Crickets
He didn't write Oh Boy or Not Fade Away, but certainly popularised them. They had the makings of a Mania, receiving wild and enthusiastic responses when touring the UK. Alas, a totally ill-conceived tour of the frozen north of the USA led to one calamity after another, until the ultimate one. Many of the surviving players were present here, in this 2004 effort, and Lubbock's loss was the world's.

Inside Argent
Rod Argent and Russ Ballard meant this band had 2 genii in it. Alas, they didn't work together, creating an inherent split personality. Though both sides coughed up one ATG each (Hold Your Head Up, God Gave Rock N Roll To You), they eventually went their separate ways.

First Love: Janet Street-Porter
Mouthy journalist tries to revive childhood interest in the recorder. Expected to perform a complicated baroque piece at Wigmore Hall, she refuses to put in the practice, gets the venue scaled down to Handel House, and cuts out the trills in the final piece. Her mentor was exasperated, the band she performed with were polite. Janet was Janet, as ever.
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Post  misery guts on Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:22 am

The Godmother of Rock & Roll: Sister Rosetta Tharpe
From 2011, but repeated to mark her centenary on Mar 20. This told her impressive story as she fought prejudice to blend secular tunes with spiritual ones. Along the way she supposedly pioneered the tourbus, and made an impression on Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan. Her decline from diabetes and beyond brought things to a sad end, but shows like this keep her memory alive.

Irish Rock at the BBC
Performance compilation, checking all the big names, though apparently with nothing from Van Morrison. The ending with Hozier rather gave away the context for the whole celebration. At least Therapy? and Frank & Walters rated inclusion.

An Evening With Il Divo: Live in Barcelona
From Apr 3, 2009, a near 2 hour show much like the other concert of theirs I saw. I do like their style, though, and some interesting choices of songs.


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Post  misery guts on Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:26 pm

Lawson: Live Sessions Uncut
Short filler to promote their new album by playing their new single, one of their oldies, and a cover of Lorde's wretched "Royals". And chatter generally.

The Free Story
Simon Kirke was the key figure talking here (and interrupted by a cat called Hendrix!) Their trajectory was skewed by the OTT success of "All Right Now", a one-off they couldn't hope to recapture the magic of, even if it were their normal style, which it wasn't. The decline of Paul Kossoff coincided with the end of the band (and the moves to Bad Company, as discussed previously).

The Strypes: Best Thing Since Cavan
Quirky story, directed by Julien Temple, of a very young Irish band mostly formed from children of folk in other bands, who created a huge buzz, and even the attention of Elton John, but whose 2nd album was delayed by a reluctant record company (at which point the tone shifted to, they may be talented but they need to step up fast). Happily, the piece ended with the guys back on track.

Curved Air - Music In Review
An odd mix of 45 minutes of performance and then another 75 minutes of discussing their few albums. Singer Sonja Kristina Linwood, and three other band members had plenty to say, but the story again seemed to boil down to creative differences. Also, they didn't quite make the success they would have deserved.


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