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2PR FM Test Site  -  February 2000
Album Reviews:

First Published Thursday 20th July 2000 at 3:15 pm
Revised Monday 15th March 2004 at 6:05 pm

Rating: 80%    Label: BMG Music Australia.

The Melbourne duet Bachelor Girl have shook the charts with their debut album "Waiting for the day".  Firmly established as one of today's hottest AC groups, they have chalked up five smash hits including "Buses and trains", "Treat me good", "Lucky me", "Blown away" and their current charting hit "Permission to shine".  This group have a strong future ahead of them.

Bachelor Girl
Waiting for the day
Released December 1998

Rating: 100%   Label: Warner Music Australia.

Definitely one of the best party albums ever, Gina G's Fresh has a truck load of 90's dance.  Appearing in the 1996 Euro song contest for the UK, this songstress has got us all doing our moves here at 2PR.   With hits like "just a little bit", "Fresh!", "Ti Amo", "Follow the light", "Gimme some love", "Rhythm of my life", "I belong to you", and  "Higher then love", this album will be a strong staple on many dance stations and night clubs for many years to come.

Gina G
Fresh!
Released October 1996

Rating: 100%   Label: Mushroom Records Australia.

The 1990's was the decade of bygone artists making their glitzy comeback.  Generally these projects are written off as "Old-timers cashing in on their sentimental past".  In 1995, Frank Sinatra's "Duets" album came with a lot of noise, but no real bight.  Frank  repeated this mistake in 1996 with the release of "Duets 2".  No disrespect for Frank Sinatra, but his place was the 1940's.  I recently gave away both of his Duets discs on ebay.  Not worth keeping.

However Tom Jones RELOAD has dealt some hard punches on the recent AMS Top 20 Singles Charts.  With the Synth remake of Talking Heads "Burning down the house" and the foot-tapping "Sex-bomb", both going top five, this album has a future!  Mushroom have just released another bullet from this album.  The THREE DOG NIGHT classic "Mama told me" has been revamped with the Stereo-phonics, and at this point, also looks like a strong top five contender.  A remake of Inxs's "Never tear us apart" with Natalie Imbruglia comes down with a smooth orchestral groove.  I LOVE IT!!!

Tom Jones
Reload
Released:
January 2000

Rating: 85%   Lable: EG / Virgin.

Generally, Bryan Ferry's albums are of the "one good song" line of things.  Out of his umpteen albums, Manifesto and Avalon are of reasonable listening pleasure.  Flesh and blood certainly stands out from the crowd, when compared to his other albums.  From the opening, Bryan tackles the old Picket classic "Midnight hour" with the true early eighties production sound.  Other hits that make this album a masterpiece are "Oh yeah", "Same old scene", "over you" (his best single), and the old Byrds hit "Eight miles high".

Roxy Music
Flesh and Blood
Released:
May 1980

Rating: 100%  -  Label: Motown Records

Making his earliest sounds with the Commodores, Richie climbs to his peak during the 1980's with three big hit albums, the third of which, Dancing on the Ceiling.  Featuring a diverse sound repertoire, this successful album contains its  popular selling title cut, The White Nights Love Theme, "Say you say me".  The earth grounding country sound of Alabama is also utilised to its best, when dueting on the track "Deep river woman".  Other great sounding tracks include "Ballerina girl", "Sela", "Love will conquer all", "Tonight will be alright", "Night Train (smooth alligator".  "Don't Stop" also comes across with modest vibrancy.   Great disc to play, every track sounds excellent.

Lionel Richie
Dancing on the Ceiling
Released:
1st September 1986

Rating: 0%   Label: Dick James Music.

Tumbleweed Connection raised Elton to his initial peak audibly with the hit single Country Comfort, and that legendary epic, Burn down the mission.  It was the energy of that album that inspired the recording of 11-17-70, Live at the ANR Studios in New York City.  In reality, this album was nothing but one long horrible noise.  John's talents were wasted, with his vocals drowned in layers of instruments, which unfortunately destroyed the albums ambience.  The eighteen minute version of burn down the mission became panned out to the point of very overdone. As much as I love listening to Elton's Music, this album was a rapid fall to failure.  The modestly improved "madman across the water" and "Honky chateau", were released in 1971 and 1972 respectively. but it would be the release of "Don't shoot me, I'm only the piano player", and "Good-bye yellow brick road" in 1973, that would bring him back to his audible peak, and steer him well clear of this brief trench in his career.

Elton John
11-17-70
Released:
5th July 1971

Rating: 100%+++  Label: Rocket Records/Geffen.

Many critics have taken a hard chord to Elton's Geffen Years, (1979-1986).  This for me was Elton at his Peak.  Much of his seventies material had a degree of a somewhat dated production sound.  Albums like "Jump up", "Too low For Zero" and "Breaking hearts" demonstrated John's talent at full potential.  "Leather Jackets" is no exception. 

The album's lead in track "Leather Jackets" jumps with lively upbeat tempos, follow by the smooth chilling sound of "hoop of fire".  The uptown-rocking "don't trust that woman" continues the varying sound palette of this album.  Other selections that make this recording a real star include "heartaches over the world", "Do it again", the beautifully crafted "Gypsy heart", "Slow rivers" performed with Cliff Richard, "Angeline", "Memory of love", and the emotionally wrenching "I fall apart".  This disc was recorded close to John's throat surgery of 1987, but is not evident at all on this album.  This would have to be one of Elton's all-time top three albums.

Elton John
Leather Jackets
Released:
3rd November 1986

Rating: 100%   Label: Atlantic Records America.

Off the 1980 Tozzi hit "Gloria", Branigan scores her Christmas 1982 Australian #1 Hit, and from that point gave us nothing but great 80's dance beats, and delicately tender ballads. 

This stable output continues with the album "Self Control", which features the album's title cut, going top 5 in August 1984, and other tracks including "Ti amo" (top 10 January 1985), a remake of King's "Will you still love me tomorrow", and the album's opening smash, "the lucky one".  "Every beat of my heart" and "satisfaction" are another two tracks that give this album its well worked style variations.

Laura Branigan
Self Control
Released:
4th June 1984

Rating: 80%   Label:  CBS Records Australia.

The New Zealand Songstress Sharon O'Neill Scored her first hit in Australia, "How do you talk to boys" during the later part of 1980.   Her fourth album "Maybe" was release during 1981.  The title track was released as a single, which scored a modest #44 during November 1981, on the Australian Music Report.  Despite the ordinary chart success, this O'Neill album produced an array of great tracks including "Waiting for you", "Betcha", "For all the tea in China", "I don't wanna touch you (I just wanna ride you car)", and the album's main highlight, "Anytime you want".

Sharon O'Neill
Maybe
Released:
2nd November 1981

Rating: 65%   Label: Mercury Records Ltd.

With the strong credentials of Dire Straits behind him, Mark Knopfler embarks on his first solo project.  Not a bad album to listen to.  Main musical highlights include Gerry Rafferty's "The way it always starts", and the few different versions of the Local Hero theme; "Wild thing", and "Going home".  I just LOVE that sax performance at the end.  Kind of a "off with a bang" finish. 

The Soundtrack is from a movie which tells the story of aScottish village fareness, which has the attention of a Texas billionaire, Felix Happer. (Burt Lancaster)  The village lies on the coast of the north sea, where they are huge deposits of oil to be drilled.  Happer sends Mac and Danny (Riegert and Capaldi) who are in negotiation with the people of the village, as he wishes to buy the entire town.  Although most of the folks have no problem selling up, an old man stands firm against selling his shack and beach, in fear of destruction, pollution, and capitalist greed. The family has owned the property for generations.

Mark Knopfler
Local Hero
Original Motion
Picture Soundtrack
Released May 1983

Rating: 80%   Label: CBS Records Australia.

Having established herself as one of the 80's best female vocalist, from the Australasian region, O'Neill releases her sixth album "Foreign Affairs" in April 1983.  This would eventually sell as her biggest selling album, and produce her highest charting single, "Maxine", reaching #16 during the Spring of that year.  The album opens with the quick tempo "Danger" which would be the first single of the album.  Without a doubt, the best cut would have to be "I'm loosing you". Those backing harmonies are just out of this world!  Other worth-wile tracks to mention are "Radio lover", "Hearts on the run", "All the way down", and the upbeat rocking rhythms of "kids in our town".

Sharon O'Neill
Foreign Affairs
Released:
25th April 1983

Rating: 100%    Label: Polygram Records Australia

Perhaps one of the worlds most familiar albums when it came to radio air-play during the 1980's, but unlike many main-stream albums, this one has aged well.  With it's solid nine track repertoire of big hit singles, melodic edged rock anthems and ballads, this was one of the 80's most diverse music projects. Opening with one of the best rock ballads of all time, "So far away", the albums consistency just keeps coming, with the tracks "Money for nothing", "Walk of Life:, the albums best cut "your latest trick", "Why worry", "Ride across the river", "The man's too strong", "One world", and the albums title cut "Brothers in Arms".

Dire Straits
Brothers In Arms
Released:
27th May 1985

Rating: 99%    Label: Sony Music Australia.

Standing out from the sudden on-slaught of greatest hits compilations, that have been released over the last five years, "From Time to Time" is one of the winners.  This album features all his hit singles from "Where-ever I lay my hat", "Come back and Stay", "Love of the common people", "I'm gonna tear your playhouse down", "everything must change", "Wonderland", "Some people", "Softly whispering your name", "oh girl", "from both sides now", an excellent cover of the Crowded House track, "Don't dream it's over", and the popular 1992 duet with Zucchero, "Senza una donna (without a woman)".  This albums only big downfall was a shock-horror remix of his 1985 hit single, "Every time you go away". Like the rest, why didn't they just put the original 7" version on.  This would have made this album complete.

Paul Young
The Very Best of:
From Time to Time
Released:
27th April 1992

Rating: 80%   Label: Warner Brothers International

1978 saw the appearance of Princes first album "For you".  "Controversy" would be his first serious album, that displayed a cohesive collection of songs. "1999" bought the same kind of sound as "controversy", but was still regarded as a member of the funk family, until 1984's "Purple Rain". 

This collection of tracks brings Prince to his full light as a pop superstar.  Producing a fine blend of rock, pop, funk and R&B, the album opens with it's psycho-electric rock "Crazy", which immediately brings this piece of work into its maximum level of brilliance.  Other album highlights include the rhythm driving, "I would die 4 U", "When doves cry", "Take me with you", and the ever timeless "Purple rain".  Other songs found on the album of moderate liking are "Computer Blue", and "Darling Nikki". 

Prince and
The Revolution
Purple Rain Soundtrack
Released:
23rd July 1984

Rating: 100%+++   Label: Elektra Records America

By 1984, the Cars had already recorded four albums, producing a respectable string of hits during the early 80's.  "Heartbeat City" bought the group to it's peak with an album that produced no less then five Billboard Hits during the 1984-1985 period.  These included "you might think", "Magic", "hello", "heartbeat city" and the Benjamin Orr ballad, "Drive".  The album comes across well with a consistent mid-eighties dance feel.  Other tracks that complimented the album was "Why can't I have You", a song which had great charting potential, and the other tracks, "looking for love", "Stranger eyes", "it's not the night", and  "I refuse".

The Cars
Heartbeat City
Released:
30th April 1984

Rocket Performer:
Rocket Logo Denotes Perfect Album.
All tracks score above "satisfactory" rating.

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