Feeds:
Posts
Comments

A review, or rather random thoughts inspired by part one of Peter Jackson’s mammoth rethinking of The Beatles Let It Be sessions from 1969 as GET BACK (follow link to review). Even part one is two and a half hours, and rather a slog unless you’re a Beatles obsessive. Which I am. Now showing on Disney Plus.

THE LONDON CHUCK BERRY SESSIONS (Follow link) from 1972 just added to Reviled! It was the third album in The London Sessions series from Chess (following Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters). Side one was indeed new material recorded in London. Side two was live, and was only “In London” if you think the Locarno Ballroom, Coventry is “in London.” It was much reviled in spite of being his biggest selling album and containing his only million selling single … My Ding-A-Ling.

The Nigel Havers Theatre Company is on a long tour going well into 2022 with Noël Coward’s PRIVATE LIVES (Link to review). Such a classic play has been strangely absent from major productions the last few years, so this one is timely. It’s a play that CAN’T go wrong. We saw it at Chichester Festival Theatre. Patricia Hodge and Nigel Havers play the leading roles. Directed by Christopher Luscombe.

A new film review, PASSING directed by Rebecca Hall (FOLLOW LINK). It’s filmed in black and white and in 1.33:1 format, and set in 1929. The original novel by Nella Larsen was published in that year, and is now considered an American classic. It stars Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga. The themes of racial and gender identity have made the book so highly-regarded in recent years. The main thing is that it’s now on Netflix, and free, having done the obligatory Sundance Festival premiere and then a month theatrical release to qualify for the various Awards.

AROUND AND AROUND adds another to the Reviled: Albums Critics Love To Hate series. This one is by Marvin Gaye from 1976, I WANT YOU (follow the link). This one is so appropriate to the series because on initial release, critical noses were turned up because they detected incipient late night crooner disco. Add to that every track was written or co-written byLeon Ware. Then the likes of Prince, Madonna, Todd Rundgren and others started listing it as a seminal and influential album. This is a classic “Revised from Reviled” album, and every Marvin Gaye album is worthy of attention.

Not really a rant but a nostalgia piece on the Jumble Sales of the past, particularly the 1960s. Charity shops killed the jumble sale. JUMBLE SALES (follow the link), Do comment in the box at the bottom of the article, though because I have to moderate it, there won’t be an instant conversation.

The new addition at AROUND AND AROUND is in “Reviled: The Albums critics love to hate” and this time it’s Eric Clapton’s THERE’S ONE IN EVERY CROWD (LINKED) from 1975. Negative reviews were a bounce back perhaps after the success of 461 Ocean Boulevard. I’ve really enjoyed the days working on the album with it playing most of the time. It’s under-rated, not least by Clapton himself.

Review of David Storey’s 1970 play, Home (LINK TO REVIEW), revived at Chichester’s Minerva Theatre. The production standards and acting are high, as expected. My issue is with the much-acclaimed play itself. They say the negative reviews are more entertaining than the positive ones. You’ve got it. In contrast to all the national papers, I found the play well past its ‘best before’ date. Like most Chichester productions, I’m sure it will find its way to London in time.

At ‘Around and Around’ the latest addition to “Reviled: The Albums Critics Love To Hate” is one you may not know, “3614 Jackson Highway”, by Cher (LINKED). It was not so much “reviled” as totally ignored at the time, though the consensus now is that it’s a lost classic. It was recorded with the Muscle Shoals rhythm section and horns in 1969, and is one of the early, great ‘Country Got Soul’ albums. The playing is as good as you’d expect, and the tracks are all on YouTube. This is a long piece, also dealing with the rock snob “Fear of Cher” phenomenon. A remastered version (last out in 2019) featured more ATCO tracks, mostly recorded a year later which are included. They’re quite bizarre in some ways … jazzy beatnik rather than hippy. But always interesting.

Review of the Irish set RomCom, WILD MOUNTAIN THYME. (FOLLOW LINK) It’s another adaptation of a stage play, directed by the playwright, John Patrick Shanley (writer of Moonstruck too). The cast has Emily Blunt, Jamie Dornan, Christopher Walken and Jon Lamm. It has a soaring soundtrack, beautiful Irish scenery and we loved it, yet critics REALLY went to town and hated it, being particularly critical of the Irish accents (though the Irish critics were kinder than American and English “experts” on Irish accents). We had just had our COVID booster jabs and chose to watch a relaxing RomCom. Maybe our defences were down, but I thought the criticism undeservedly “nasty.” See what you think. Now streaming free on Amazon Prime.