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Francis

Wellington, New Zealand
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  • 5
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  • 6
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  • Prince and the Purple Rain Era Studio Sessions

  • 1983 and 1984
  • By: Duane Tudahl, Ahmir Thompson - Foreword
  • Narrated by: Ron Butler
  • Length: 19 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47

His journey is meticulously documented through detailed accounts of his time secluded behind the doors of the recording studio as well as his days on tour. With unprecedented access to the musicians, singers, and studio engineers who knew Prince best, including members of the Revolution and the Time, Duane Tudahl weaves an intimate saga of an eccentric genius and the people and events who helped shape the groundbreaking music he created. From Sunset Sound Studios' daily recording logs and the Warner Bros. vault of information, Tudahl uncovers hidden truths and reveals details about Prince's unreleased outtakes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Incredible oral history

  • By Francis on 05-06-18

Incredible oral history

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-06-18

An exhaustive chronology and description of Prince's recording sessions and live performances across two years is something that will on the surface appeal only to obsessive fans (which, well, guilty as charged), but Tudahl includes amongst the cut-and-dried statistics so many extensive interviews with everyone who played with or knew Prince between 1983-1984 that this also becomes an incredible oral history of two of the most pivotal years of his career, as he began the rapid ascent from the release of the Little Red Corvette single in early 1983 to the recording and release of Purple Rain in 1984 (and, following Purple Rain's skyrocketing success, the immediate recording of the sharp left-turn of Around The World In A Day). I've read a lot of books about Prince, but this is the one that, through the interviews and Tudahl's extensive research, brings the reader the closest to understanding the day-to-day life of my favourite musician.

The narrator, Ron Butler, does a great job of reading the book, including differentiating between the different interviewees and keeping things moving through the more stat-heavy parts of the book.

I really hope that, as mentioned in ?uestlove's (excellent) forward, that Tudahl is able to expand this work into further volumes covering the rest of Prince's career - I'd happily read each and every one.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Electric Arches

  • By: Eve L. Ewing
  • Narrated by: Eve L. Ewing
  • Length: 1 hr and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 45
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 40

Blending stark realism with the surreal and fantastic, Eve L. Ewing's narrative takes us from the streets of 1990s Chicago to an unspecified future, deftly navigating the boundaries of space, time, and reality. Ewing imagines familiar figures in magical circumstances - blues legend Koko Taylor is a tall-tale hero; LeBron James travels through time and encounters his teenage self. She identifies everyday objects - hair moisturizer, a spiral notebook - as precious icons.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 100% recommend

  • By Erin Cline on 11-01-17

Brilliant

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-31-17

One of the best things I've read all year. An astonishing set of poems blurring afrofuturism with biography, with guest appearances by Erykah Badu and Metta World Peace and Prince and Assata Shakur. Ewing's reading is fantastic - an incredible audio production, complementing a brilliant book.

  • Insomnia

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Eli Wallach
  • Length: 25 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,220
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,037
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,025

Since his wife died, Ralph Roberts has been having trouble sleeping. Each night he wakes up a bit earlier until he's barely sleeping at all. During his late-night walks, he observes some strange things going on in Derry, Maine. He sees colored ribbons streaming from people's heads, two strange little men wandering around town after dark, and more. He begins to suspect that these visions are something more than hallucinations brought on by lack of sleep.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Do yourself a favor and read this one.

  • By NanaReads on 08-30-17

A rest-stop on the path of the beam

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-02-16

Insomnia is one of Stephen King’s odder novels. Long and shaggy, it takes a slow pace to get where it’s going, but with some unexpected twists. At first, the story seems like it will be of a piece with the other novels King was writing at the time (Delores Claiborne, Gerald’s Game, Rose Madder), which dealt principally with real-world horror, and in particular violence against woman. Then, around a third of the way through, the book takes a sharp turn into the more fantastical – and, in particular, begins to draw in and develop elements of King’s Dark Tower novels. This immersion in King’s larger tapestry of Dark Tower stories will probably determine how satisfying you find the book – on its own, it might read like it stretches the (mostly) straightforward story of Ralph Roberts out by adding large, often-unresolved, sections about the Crimson King, 'the Random' and 'the Purpose', and a certain gunslinger named Roland. Read as a part of the Dark Tower novels, however, it is a very enjoyable addition to that much longer story.

Regarding the audio quality and interstitial music used on the audiobook – this is presumably the same recording that was made for the cassette version of the book in the early 90s, and audio quality-wise is very good. Eli Wallach delivers a great reading, capturing the voice of Ralph and the other characters well. The music used between sections is bizarre – I don’t know quite why the producers at the time thought a screeching electric-guitar-and-violin combo would be the right choice to set the mood, but that’s what they went with. So be aware that you may need to run to turn the volume down on your headphones/stereo every time that crops up – but it doesn’t impact too much on what is otherwise a great audio production.

  • Neil Young's Harvest (33 1/3 Series)

  • By: Sam Inglis
  • Narrated by: Jay Snyder
  • Length: 3 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 18

Neil Young's Harvest is one of those strange albums that has achieved lasting success without ever winning the full approval of rock critics or hardcore fans. Even Young himself has been equivocal, describing it in one breath and his "finest" album, dismissing in the next as an NOR aberration. Here, Sam Inglis explores the circumstances of the album's creation and asks who got it right: The critics, or the millions who have bought Harvest in the 30 years since its release?

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Just a long record review.

  • By G. L. Jones on 01-05-09

Fair to middling

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-29-12

Sam Inglis does a good job of exploring the many paradoxes of Harvest - particularly its status as Neil Young's most overwhelmingly popular album in terms of sales and public recognition, as contrasted with its frequent dismissal by hardcore fans and the artist himself - for about two-thirds of this book, but then suddenly switches to a much less interesting track-by-track review and series of potted biographies of the main players in the final third. Its a shame, as he could have gone much deeper into the themes of the earlier sections, for much more reward. The first part is good listening, but this is still one of the less satisfying entries in the 33 1/3 series that I've read or listened to.

Jay Snyder is a poorly matched reader here - where the book often has a nice humorous touch, he tends to overrun it with his VERY DRAMATIC reading. Someone to match the gentle lilt of both the book and Harvest itself would have been a better fit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful