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INFOMAN

MUSIC

THE JOHN PEEL FESTIVE FIFTY

FESTIVE FIFTY

THE iNFOMAN CD REVIEWS

CD REVIEW A-Z INDEX

By the time I have finished listening to a CD a couple of times, researching it and indexing it for my collection, I am bound to know a little about it and probably to have formed an opinion on it. Since 2004, I have been jotting down my fact findings and general thoughts on what I heard, along with any relevant observations I made in the process, particularly anything factual. 
So often I have read a newspaper or magazine review of an album, particularly compilations of re-issued or previously unreleased archive material, that has left me thinking that even a simple track listing and total playing time would have been more helpful, and that I could have done a better job. So here is a chance to put my money where my mouth is. I hope that over time it will build into a useful collection of reviews. 
A number of these reviews can also be seen on the Amazon website, where I have now become one of their prestigious Top 100 UK reviewers.

RECENT REVIEWS INDEX

B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I-J  K-L  M  N  O  P-Q  R  S  T  U-W  X-Z
COMPILATIONS (VARIOUS ARTISTS)

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THE iNFOMAN SINGLES OF THE YEAR
Radio is largely a singles medium, as is television, and since 1964 I have compiled my list of the best singles of the year. Some lists have since been slightly modified, mainly because I discovered a single from that year that had been overlooked - perhaps because I had known it as an album track, hadn't known which year it was around, or didn't have the record and hadn't come across it when researching the list, rather than for any Stalinist revisionist history reason. 
Looking back to the 1960s, I can see that singles that consisted of previously unreleased material were more highly regarded than those that were lifted from an album, a practice that has since become the norm and which discourages artistes from developing musically between albums. B-sides have been listed where these had a bearing on the record's placing, and especially if they were not included on a contemporary album. Occasionally, the B-side is the favoured track, but is generally still listed after the A-side. 
Some years were compiled after the event, through the filter of time, but still with the intention of reflecting what I liked at the time as far as I could remember. This has been noted on the page. 
For some years there is as yet no list compiled - perhaps I'll return to them and create some.

1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976
1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987
1988 1989 
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997  

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iNFOMAN'S YEAR IN MUSIC

Culled and edited from previous end-of-year newsletters, and now created especially for this site, these are brief overviews and reviews of freshly purchased records during the InfoMan musical year. From 2004 they were replaced by the custom CD reviews found on this site.

1991-2000 2001 2002 2003
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iNFOMAN ACQUISITIONS OF THE YEAR

With links to reviewed CDs where applicable

2003 CD Acquisitions Of The Year
2004 CD Acquisitions Of The Year

2005 CD Acquisitions Of The Year
2006 CD Acquisitions Of The Year
2007 CD Acquisitions Of The Year
2008 CD Acquisitions Of The Year
2009 CD Acquisitions Of The Year

CD Reviews
CD Review A-Z Index

THE iNFOMAN 1976 ALL-TIME HOT HUNDRED SINGLES
I recently discovered a list I had compiled of my all-time favourite 100 singles, dated 2 March 1976. This interested me because it was a snap shot of what music I was finding to enjoy just before the punk movement took off.
As the chart was compiled in one day from an imperfect set of data, errors of omission have crept in, but I have made only one obvious correction, otherwise the list stands exactly as it was

1976 All-Time Hot 100 Singles
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THE iNFOMAN COMPILATIONS


Find Spotify Playlists by Lozarithm (that's me) here

ALICE MIX
These are songs collected on a C90 side either with titles inspired by the book Alice In Wonderland, or simply involving an Alice

A BLUES PRIMER (PART ONE)
A BLUES PRIMER (PART TWO)

The Blues is such a huge field that to try to compile an overview of its history on one 80 minute disc is an impossible task, as I discovered when I attempted it. I intended to encapsulate the white blues boom of the 1960s and contrast the acoustic country blues with the electric blues of the cities that developed long before rock and roll. The decision to split the primer over two discs, the first covering a 25-year period up to 1950, and the second from 1950 to 1970, meant that the Blues Boom section and most of the plugged-in blues happened on the second, entirely stereo disc. 

JAMES BOND MIX
There are a couple of tracks on this C90 side taken from Shaken And Stirred - The David Arnold James Bond Project, an obvious source of songs inspired by the James Bond films, but I also drew from a wider net, occasionally using songs from the soundtracks themselves. The films, perhaps surprisingly, had an influence in the cultures of southern soul and reggae that is also reflected here

COSMIC COMPILATION
Flying saucers, astrology, the cosmos and space travel form the themes of this birthday C90 tape I made up for Maria in 1998, and later remade in a revised form for her friend Fee

DEBUT FORTY-FIVES
The thesis behind this C60 or C120-side compilation prepared in 1977 was that regardless of genre, debut singles had a unique quality of freshness and vitality which gave them a special edge over other releases

DEFINING MOMENTS
A C90 of some defining moments from various genres, compiled in 1998, and its sequel from a year later. I haven't ruled out a third volume. It is fascinating to hunt for a common thread among these disparate sounds

DESERT ISLAND MOTOWN
A self-explanatory CD compilation of personal Early and Middle period Motown favourites from well-known and lesser known artists recording for Berry Gordy's Detroit-based labels (Tamla, Motown, Gordy, Soul etc.)

JOHN LENNON'S JUKEBOX (VOL. 2)
When John Lennon fled the marital nest in 1968 to fulfill his destiny with Yoko Ono, he left behind his Swiss KB Discomatic portable jukebox, lovingly stocked over time with 40 of his all-time favourite singles. Its rediscovery inspired a double CD of its contents in 2004, John Lennon's Jukebox, with 41 of its 80 selections. However there were a number of errors and omissions which this unreleased minidisc sequel went some way to correcting

JOHNNY CASH
The career of Johnny Cash can be split into three major phases, but none of the compilations on the market apart from box sets cover the entire period as they are limited to certain record labels. My 80 minute disc compilation covers all phases, from his first single in 1955 to 2002's The Man Comes Around album, the last to be released in his lifetime as it turned out, and some posthumous releases

LATINO CARNIVAL COMPILATION
A C90 beginners' guide to Latin music from a distinctly UK viewpoint but with plenty of Jobim songs and some chilled remixes

MILLENNIUM MIX TAPE
How could a tape to launch the new millennium not begin with the music used at the start of 2001: A Space Odyssey? I banished anything with the word Millennium in the title, especially if it was by Robbie Williams, but did end the C90 side with John Barry's You Only Live Twice, featuring the bit he nicked for it

MYSTERY TRAIN
An exploration of Mystery Train, progressing through a variety of styles as a result of Elvis's historic recording (not included as it is taken as read), and other references to it, and some train related songs. It includes B-sides of the Junior Parker source, itself influential on the arrangement of Elvis' version, and of the Elvis Presley cover

NUGGETS REVISITED/NUGGET ORIGINALS
A 60 minute tribute to the Rhino box sets Nuggets and Nuggets II, which incorporated Lenny Kaye's original double-album compilation. These are all re-workings of songs found on those collections, from the 1960s to 2000. 
Some of the songs on Nuggets were themselves covers of earlier songs and I ran up a selection of some of the originals on which they were based as part of a compilation minidisc, approximately 40 minutes in length

NUMBERS
The idea of making up an 80 minute disc compilation around the theme of "Numbers" came to me while listening to one of the tracks that came to be on it, together with the idea of a sequel to be called "Letters"

SAMPLADELICA
Sample-spotting is a popular pastime among many, I believe. These are some fairly obvious ones that I chose to compare with the originals on this C90 side, one of a handful I have compiled

SOUL MUSIC THAT ISN'T MOTOWN OR ATLANTIC
A sequel to my Motown and Stax/Atlantic compilations, this snappily-titled C90-side compilation of US soul from other labels barely scratches the surface of what could be included but does include some indisputable classics

STACKS OF STAX/ATLANTIC
A self-explanatory C90 compilation tape of golden moments from the Southern Soul catalogues of Stax and Atlantic

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THE CAPITAL RADIO "BOTTOM 30"
Kenny Everett broadcast this selection of the World's Worst records, compiled from listener's votes (from his initial suggestions), on his Capital Radio Show of 15 May 1978. 
Some of them are great records which perhaps should be in a "Top 30" of the times, such as Nervous Norvus' Transfusion and The Trashmen's Surfin' Bird. Patrick McNee and Honor Blackman's Avengers cash-in on Kinky Boots is a minor classic (of its kind), while The Legendary Stardust Cowboy's good-bad-but-not-evil Paralyzed featured in the John Peel Festive Fifty and inspired David Bowie to create Ziggy Stardust

1978 World's Worst
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This page was last updated on 12 February, 2010.