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Quality of Mercy - Steve Harley 18/05/2014

The Quality of Mercy

Quality of Mercy - Steve Harley Background The Quality of Mercy is a studio album from English rock band Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel. Led by Steve Harley, the band's line-up consisted of new musicians compared to the last Cockney Rebel album. Best known for his hits in the 1970s such as Judy Teen, Mr. Soft, the UK number one hit Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me), Mr. Raffles (Man, It Was Mean) and Here Comes the Sun, this album was the first of new material since 1996’s Poetic Justice. The album was released on CD in the UK and Norway only, through Gott Discs, whilst Pinnacle Records handled the album's distribution within the UK. Never available to download – the album remains only available on CD, and a copy can be found second-hand usually for £10 or over – sometimes up to £30. The album failed to make the Top 200 in the UK, although it did make an appearance on the Norwegian albums chart, peaking at #40. A total of two singles were released from the album, with the main one being The Last Goodbye which peaked at No. 186 in the UK in early 2006. The other single A Friend for Life was released four years earlier in 2001 as a stand-alone release, where it peaked at No. 125 in the UK. Soon after the album's release, Harley embarked on a UK 30+ date tour to promote the album. The album's title is based on the Shakespearean phrase. Critically the album was well received by both critics and fans. Produced entirely by Harley, except for A Friend for Life which was produced by both Harley and ex-Cockney ...

True Blue (Digitally Remastered) - Madonna 11/05/2014

True Blue

True Blue (Digitally Remastered) - Madonna Background Madonna – love or hate her – is one of the best-known performers of all time, and her career has certainly been exceptional. She burst onto the music scene with her 1983 self-titled debut album, and immediately found success with such hits as Holiday, Lucky Star and Borderline. 1984's Like a Virgin continued the success with the massive hit title track, and others like Material Girl and Dress You Up. When it came to recording a third album, it made sense to keep the dance-pop sound of the previous albums alive, but with a different twist. She worked with Stephen Bray and Patrick Leonard on the album while co-writing and co-producing all the songs. Deemed as Madonna's most girlish album, True Blue deals with her visions of love, work, dreams as well as disappointments, and was inspired by her then husband Sean Penn, to whom Madonna dedicated the album. According to Madonna, True Blue takes its title from a favourite expression of her then husband Sean Penn and his very pure vision of love. The album was a direct tribute to him as well and was inspired by her "unabashed valentine" for Penn. Most of the songs on the album reflect this idea, and each song on True Blue was developed separately. Musically True Blue was a different direction for Madonna. Her previous efforts had her singing in a high pitched voice. With this album, Madonna toned it down for a more bubblegum-pop voice. The songs on the album reflect this and a number of instruments were used in the songs ...

Queer - Thompson Twins 05/05/2014


Queer - Thompson Twins Background By the later 1980s, the Thompson Twins had seen plenty of success internationally, with hits such as In the Name of Love, Love on Your Side, Doctor! Doctor!, You Take Me Up, Hold Me Now and Lay Your Hands on Me. However when Joe Leeway left the trio after the 1986 album Here’s to Future Days, Thompson Twins struggled to find the same commercial success as before. In the UK they never gained Top 40 success again. Now a duo consisting of Tom Bailey and Alannah Currie, the 1987 album Close to the Bone, and 1989’s Big Trash had been limited successes. Queer was the second album for the Warner Bros. label, following Big Trash. Although the previous album was not a major commercial success, it did spawn the Top 30 hit Sugar Daddy in the US. Before the release of Queer, it appeared as if the band was on the verge of commercial rebirth. Tom Bailey and engineer Keith Fernley had been experimenting with making dance music under the moniker "Feedback Max." As such, the group slipped several white-label 12-inch singles to London disc jockeys, the most successful of which was a track called Come Inside. The rave-style record became massively popular, and charted high on the playlists of influential DJs. Most of the Feedback Max records, including Come Inside, were actually remixes of tracks that had been intended for the next Thompson Twins album. When Come Inside was issued as an official Thompson Twins release, the record was immediately ignored, as it stalled at number 56 on ...

Benny Mardones - Benny Mardones 26/04/2014

Benny Mardones

Benny Mardones - Benny Mardones Introduction Benny Mardones is an American rock and pop singer-songwriter who is best known for his big American hit, Into the Night, which hit the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart twice, in 1980 and again in 1989. With a spectacular voice sounding a bit like a mix of Bruce Springsteen and Bob Seger, Mardones originally released his debut album Thank God for Girls in 1978, and gained success with the following 1980 album Never Run, Never Hide. When Mardones recorded and released the 1981 follow-up Too Much to Lose, a disagreement at Polydor Records amongst other situations caused the record to become a commercial failure. It was by this point that Mardones’ career was essentially put on hold as he fell into battling personal issues such as a drug addiction with cocaine. During the mid-1980s he released two albums, which were released and distributed by BT Records, but only within the New Jersey state, especially in the Syracuse area where Mardones has always remained a popular performer. They sold well, apparently around 16,000 copies each, but the limited, local release obviously meant that his career continued on a small scale. Both of these local albums, lost AOR gems, were a hint of things to come when Mardones released his true fourth studio album, Benny Mardones in 1989. Background The album was Mardones' first of two albums for Curb Records. The album was recorded and released after the successful re-issue of Mardones' 1980 hit song Into the Night. In 1989, a ...

White Boy - Dan Hartman 12/04/2014

White Boy

White Boy - Dan Hartman Background White Boy is the sixth studio album from American musician/singer/songwriter Dan Hartman. During his career Hartman not only did he find success with many other artists whom he produced or wrote songs for but he also had his own hits with songs such as I Can Dream About You, Instant Replay, Free Ride, Love Sensation, and Relight My Fire, all of which had world-wide success. He had collaborated with such artists as Tina Turner, Dusty Springfield, Joe Cocker, Bonnie Tyler, Paul Young, James Brown, Nona Hendryx, Holly Johnson, Living in a Box, the Plasmatics and Steve Winwood. Sales of Hartman's solo recordings, group efforts, production, songwriting and compilation inclusions exceed 50 million records worldwide. The White Boy album was recorded during 1985 and 1986 but remains unreleased. Following the comeback commercial success of Hartman's hit single and same-titled album I Can Dream About You in 1984, Hartman soon began recording his second album for the MCA Records label. He continued to write with his songwriting partner Charlie Midnight, who he first wrote with for the I Can Dream About You album. The album marked Hartman's desire to create an edgier recording, however the MCA felt that although the songs were good, they did not suit Hartman's image. As a result the album was shelved. Despite this a small number of official vinyl LP test pressings were created by the company in 1986, and have been listed for sale at high prices up to $1500. In recent years the ...

Stranger Comes to Town - Steve Harley 05/04/2014

Stranger Comes to Town

Stranger Comes to Town - Steve Harley Introduction Stranger Comes to Town is the so far latest studio album from English songwriter and musician Steve Harley. The album was released in 2010 and was Harley's first studio album in five years, after the Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel album The Quality of Mercy. Best known for his hits in the 1970s such as Judy Teen, Mr. Soft, the UK number one hit Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me), Mr. Raffles (Man, It Was Mean) and Here Comes the Sun, this album follows the previous one very nicely in terms of being more direct, personal and totally honest. The album became the first album solely credited to Harley without his band to make an appearance on the UK chart, where it peaked at No. 187 in mid-May 2010. No physical singles were released from the album, except for a radio promotional CD single of Faith & Virtue. Additionally three digital only singles were released from the album – Faith & Virtue, For Sale. Baby Shoes. Never Worn. and 2,000 Years from Now. The album was released by Repertoire Records in the UK and Germany only via CD, and remains largely available worldwide as a digital download. As published on the official Repertoire Records website, Harley described the new album as "a labour of love". The website also highlighted songs labelled as stand out tracks; Faith & Virtue, Take the Men & the Horses Away, the poignantly titled For Sale. Baby Shoes. Never Worn. and 2,000 Years from Now. The song True Love Will Find You in the End is the album's only cover – ...

Folly Pier Waterworks, Isle of Portland 17/03/2014

Folly Pier Waterworks

Folly Pier Waterworks, Isle of Portland Introduction and History Folly Pier Waterworks was a Victorian waterworks on the Isle of Portland, Dorset, England. The building was situated near the coastline of East Weares, the east side of Portland, and sat below HM Prison Portland, which it supplied water for. The waterworks today only shows remains of the reservoirs foundations and walls, whilst the site itself is found close to various old historic relics such as the Rifle Range, Folly Pier, King's Pier and the Salt Pans. The East Weares area, including the site of the Folly Pier Waterworks, has been labelled a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), largely due to the scrub and wildlife being of high nature conservation value. The Victorians built Folly Pier Waterworks to serve HM Prison Portland at The Grove village directly above, which opened in 1848, as well as other 19th-century fortification schemes. This was around the time before Portland had a piped water supply, and with Portland's increasing population, Portland's scattered wells and springs were inadequate to supply water. This led to the large reservoir being built in 1855 by John Coode for the government near Folly Pier to supply the prison with water. Named after Folly Pier, which was created in the 18th and 19th century to transport stone by sea from the island, both fresh rainwater and seawater were stored in separate reservoirs before being pumped up to the prison on the cliff-top. The waterworks worked alongside the nearby ancient Folly Pier ...

Red - T'Pau 09/03/2014

T'Pau - Red

Red - T'Pau Introduction Red is the fourth studio album by British pop/rock group T'Pau. It was released in 1998, and was the first album since The Promise from 1991. The group originally gained success in the late 1980s and split in the early 1990s. In 1997 original lead singer Carol Decker reformed the band with a completely new line-up and released a brand new version of their original hit Heart and Soul. The new line-up started playing gigs and recorded this album in 1998. The album was released on Decker's own Gnatfish label, and would be released in America during late 1999 with a bonus CD featuring three extra tracks (including the 1997 version of Heart and Soul). In 2007, the album was officially released for download. It would be Decker's last album/single release until the 2007 solo single Just Dream. Background After the original split of T'Pau, Decker attempted a solo career. In 1993, she contributed a track to the soundtrack of the film Dirty Weekend, and the following year a small number of live performances followed. In 1995 she released the single One Heart - as the official anthem for the Halifax World Cup Rugby League Centenary '95. It peaked at #130 in the UK. She performed the song at Wembley Stadium during the opening and closing ceremonies. By 1997 though, Decker had taken the decision to build a 'new' T'Pau around her, and get back on the road after assembling a massive amount of new material. Although she considered continuing as a solo artist, it was advised ...

Rejuvenator (DVD) 02/03/2014


Rejuvenator (DVD) Introduction IMDB Rating: 5.3/10 Runtime: 90 min Available on: DVD (Germany only), VHS Vivian Lanko as Elizabeth Warren/The Monster John MacKay as Dr. Gregory Ashton James Hogue as Wilhelm Katell Pleven as Dr. Stella Stone Jessica Dublin as Ruth Warren Marcus Powell as Dr. Germaine Roy MacArthur as Hunter Louis F. Homyak as Tony the Guard Irene Fitzpatrick as Nurse Jones Brian Thomas Jones – Director, Writer Simon Nuchtern – Screenplay, Story Bernard E. Goldberg – Associate Producer Steven D. Mackler – Producer Robert Zimmerman – Line Producer Larry Juris – Music James McCalmont – Cinematography Brian O'Hara – Film Editing Susan Bolles – Production Design Linda Lee Cocuzzo – Costume Design Ed French – Special Makeup Effects Artist Dan Frye – Makeup Effects Technician Joseph McGirr – Sound Effects Editor Pawel Wdowczak, Mark Weingarten – Sound Mixers Rejuvenatrix (aka The Rejuvenator) is a 1988 horror film starring Vivian Lanko and John MacKay, and directed by Brian Thomas Jones. The film was inspired by the 1959 science fiction film The Wasp Woman, which had been produced and directed by Roger Corman. Background In early 2014, the director Jones was interviewed by Matty Budrewicz for UK Horror Scene. The article looked back at what was considered a forgotten classic. Budrewicz described the film as "A film I love dearly, "Rejuvenator" is a marvellous, Gothic sci-fi frightener - a kooky and ever-so-slightly-kinky hybrid of Cronenberg, The Wasp Woman and Billy Wilder's ...

Pages of Life - The Desert Rose Band 23/02/2014

Pages of Life

Pages of Life - The Desert Rose Band Introduction It was 1985 when American country singer/songwriter and musician Chris Hillman founded the contemporary country-rock band The Desert Rose Band along with Herb Pedersen and John Jorgenson. It was Hillman who remains a key figure in the creation of country-rock, formerly of the American band The Byrds and American country-rock band The Flying Burrito Brothers, whilst both Pedersen and Jorgenson have worked with numerous country artists over the previous few decades. With the three key musicians now together, drummer Steve Duncan, bassist Bill Bryson and pedal steel player Jay Dee Maness completed the group. The band released three albums from 1987 to 1990, which were successful on the American Top Country Albums chart, whilst the singles from the albums were also very successful, giving the band a string of top 20 hits in both America and Canada. With six Top 10 singles in both countries with only two albums, the band’s third studio album Pages of Life was released January 16, 1990 via MCA/Curb. The album was issued on LP, cassette and CD in America, as well as on CD in Canada, via Curb and MCA Records. A longbox edition of the CD was also issued. The CD continues to remain in print, whilst downloadable MP3 versions of the album were made available circa 2010 via sites such as Amazon and iTunes. Background Following the success of the band's previous albums The Desert Rose Band and Running, both of which entered the top 30 of the US Top Country Albums chart, and ...

Nothe Fort, Weymouth 16/02/2014

Nothe Fort

Nothe Fort, Weymouth Introduction Nothe Fort is a fort in Weymouth, Dorset, England. The fort is situated in Nothe Gardens, on the shore beside the northern breakwater of the ex-military Portland Harbour, and at the mouth of civilian Weymouth Harbour. The coastal defence was built in 1872 to protect Portland's harbour, which was then becoming an important Royal Navy base, and remains one of the largest man-made harbours in the world. The fort played an important role in World War II, when the harbour was used as base by the British and American navies. In 1956, the fort was abandoned, and in 1961 it was purchased by the local council. It is now a museum. The fort remains one of the most well preserved forts of its kind in the country, and the fort and its outer gateway has been a Grade II* listed building since 1974. The museum received 12,042 visitors in 2002, 43,000 in 2005, 39,000 in 2006 and 38,415 in 2007. The Fort's History During 1860, a contract was given to a civil engineering contractor to build the Nothe Fort. The fort's first stage of construction was a sea wall which allowed a level site to be formed on the sloping ground at the end of the Nothe Peninsula. However, financial problems caused the wall and foundations to be left incomplete and both the responsibility and construction rights were given to 26 Company Royal Engineers in 1862. Although the upper earthen parapet was complete by 1869, the fort was fully commissioned in 1872 at a total cost of £117,049. The fort was ...

Red and Blue - Cee Farrow 09/02/2014

Red and Blue

Red and Blue - Cee Farrow Introduction and Background Cee Farrow was a New Wave singer of the early 1980s decade, born in Frankfurt, Germany. He was originally a model, but ended up signing to Rocshire Records during the early 1980s. This contract produced one full studio album, Red and Blue, where he worked with producer Andy Lunn and co-wrote various tracks, mainly with Frankfurt/Germany-based keyboardist, composer and producer Lothar Krell. Recorded at Hotline Studios from March–December 1982, the album was released in 1983 within America only where it failed to gain much commercial success, and probably got lost in the midst of the many New Wave albums of the day. However it was the lead single Should I Love You, Farrow’s only charting release, which peaked at #82 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #91 on the Billboard R&B Chart. Don’t Ask Why followed as the next 7” vinyl single but didn’t take off, whilst Wildlife Romance was released which was a promotional 12" vinyl only, unavailable to buy. Regardless Should I Love You has now become considered a great ‘forgotten’ gem of the period. A music video was created for the single, where in recent years it has appeared on YouTube, gaining approximately 30,000 views since mid-2007. The video features a mixture of Farrow performing the song with backing musicians, as well as footage of Farrow in a restaurant where a woman who is sat with an older man can't help but notice Farrow. As the video progresses, the older man gets more suspicious, to the point where ...

Salt Pans, Isle of Portland 02/02/2014

Salt Pans

Salt Pans, Isle of Portland Introduction The Salt Pans are two salt pans on the Isle of Portland, Dorset, England. Both pans sit next to one another, and are situated on the coastline of East Weares, the east side of Portland. The pans sit directly below the Young Offenders Institution; HM Prison Portland, and are found close to various old historic relics such as the Rifle Range, Folly Pier, King Pier and the remains of the Folly Pier Waterworks. The East Weares area, including the Salt Pans, has been labelled a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), largely due to the scrub and wildlife being of high nature conservation value. The coastline that holds the two ancient salt pans is small, and the two pools are essentially pan-shaped enclosures. Salt manufacture was an important industry for the Isle of Portland during Saxon and Norman times in particular. Portland had two sites for salt production, at the Mere, an area next to Portland Harbour that was once a small, swampy lagoon, and at East Weares under Grove Point. Background Dates and origins of the pans at East Weares remains unknown although it is believed that the pans were created by the Romans but the available evidence suggest they are actually medieval. The pans were formed by being dug out of clay for evaporation of seawater, leaving salt to be scraped from the stones. The pans would flood at high Spring Tides and once they dried out during the following two weeks, local people would scrape the encrustation of salt off the rocks. ...

Sex Crimes - Rio 26/01/2014

Sex Crimes

Sex Crimes - Rio Introduction and Background As AOR and melodic rock really came to fruition in the 1980s, many big names opened the doors to many AOR acts establishing themselves on the scene. However there were also plenty of bands that offered top notch material and yet never hit the big time. The UK duo Rio was one of these artists, involving two talented musicians Jon Neil and Steve Rodford (son of English rock band Argent’s bassist Jim Rodford). Neil, from the band’s Black Tiger and Verity played guitar and performed lead vocals, whilst Rodford, from the band Duchess, performed keyboards, bass guitar and drums, as well as backing vocals. The band formed around 1984, and although the majority of melodic AOR rock came from American artists, Rio offered their own fine brand of UK AOR. Originally as a trio with Dave Kilminster, they formed the group Bombay in the early eighties and later decided to change the name to Rio when it was realised that there was already an American act under the same name. Kilminster soon left the group, as the duo added guitarist Pat McDonald, keyboardist Ross Griggs and drummer Martin Witik for live dates. Building a small following, the duo were soon in the studio to record their debut album, where the pair wrote all nine tracks together. The album, produced by Rodford and additional producer Stephan Galfas, was recorded at Livingston Studios and Liverpool Road Studios. Released by the growing UK metal label Music for Nations, the album Borderland was released ...

I Can Dream About You - Dan Hartman 19/01/2014

I Can Dream About You

I Can Dream About You - Dan Hartman Introduction American musician, singer, songwriter and record producer Dan Hartman has certainly had a fulfilling music career. Not only did he find success with many other artists whom he produced or wrote songs for but he also had his own hits with songs such as I Can Dream About You, Instant Replay, Free Ride, Love Sensation, and Relight My Fire, all of which had world-wide success. He had collaborated with such artists as Tina Turner, Dusty Springfield, Joe Cocker, Bonnie Tyler, Paul Young, James Brown, Nona Hendryx, Holly Johnson, Living in a Box, the Plasmatics and Steve Winwood. Sales of Hartman's solo recordings, group efforts, production, songwriting and compilation inclusions exceed 50 million records worldwide. Although very successful, it is also fair to say that Hartman’s own solo career never truly took off as much as it should have, and he therefore remains rather underrated and overlooked. When he released his fourth studio album It Hurts to Be in Love in 1981, he moved from the disco sound of his earlier solo releases and towards a more straight-forward, pop orientated sound. This move itself was a good decision. It Hurts to Be in Love may not have been a big success but it lead the way for his great 1984 comeback with I Can Dream About You, which spawned three hit singles once he had found himself working with Charlie Midnight. The pair began writing songs for many artists etc, right up to Hartman’s unfortunate death in 1994 from an AIDS-related brain ...
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