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Mott’s CD review
Book Review: Thailand’s Best Restaurants 2005
by Lang Reid
week’s review is one that has a very bold promise on the front cover.
“Thailand’s Best Restaurants 2005", with 150 establishments in Bangkok
and more in Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, Pattaya, Phuket and Samui! Are these
restaurants ‘really’ the best? And who judges them?
Hopefully, the judges were not as described in the
introduction as “our expert panel of gourmands”, unless the publishers were
stating this somewhat tongue in cheek, as I am sure the doughty reviewers would
have preferred to be considered ‘gourmets’!
The book is divided into sections covering the art of dining
and wining, as well as the reviews themselves. Maps are provided, but it seems
that only the Bangkok restaurants actually have their locations designated, as
the maps of the provincial areas do not show locations at all. This omission is
a small, but important flaw.
There are also indices by cuisine and alphabetically, but
again this is only for Bangkok, the provincial venues are left out. Perhaps
The individual reviews are to the same format. Setting,
Food, Wine, Service and Price. There is also a side-bar with important details
including parking, telephone numbers, amenities, credit cards that are accepted
and whether vegetarian dishes are prepared, plus much more.
At the end of the book there are discount vouchers for many
of the restaurants, up to 20 percent in some cases, so you can probably recoup
the price of the book by careful selection. There are also discounts available
for the thrifty to holders of American Express cards.
I believe that books such as this do have an important part
to play in the dining out scene, and provide a quick reference guide to both
cuisine and location as well as affordability. The actual ‘marks’ gained by
each restaurant should be taken only as a guide, as different reviewers can
have different tastes, restaurants can have bad nights and chefs can have off
days. I think it is also a problematic system if you attempt to compare
restaurants in Bangkok with restaurants in Chiang Mai, for example, on the
numerical scale only. It is like comparing apples and lemons.
However, all that said, it has been a brave call by the
reviewers, and I congratulate them all on assisting to have the book compiled.
There will be those restaurants who feel miffed at being left out, and those
who may disagree with those that are included, but it should provide a stimulus
for all the restaurants in Thailand with any pretensions of being amongst the
‘best’ to do better.
A ‘must have’ book for both visitors and locals. Many
years ago there used to be the Gault Miault guides in Thailand, but these have
sadly disappeared. Thailand’s Best Restaurants fills that niche in many ways,
though the Gault Miault publication did also cater for the more budget
Published by Blue Mango Publishing in Bangkok (ISBN 974-92731-2-5) it has
only just hit the shelves in Thailand, which is somewhat of a shame, with three
months already gone; however, I am sure they have their reasons. The RRP is B.
Mott's CD Reviews: David Bowie - Aladdin Sane
Made up by Mott the Dog
Cut by Ella Crew
David Bowie had already been written off as a one-hit-wonder
after he failed to follow up his hit single ‘Space Oddity’ (1969) with any
commercial success. His first full length album was just a hotchpotch of songs
he had collected over the years, and certainly gave no clue as to what was to
come. By 1970 David Bowie had hitched up with guitarist/arranger Mick Ronson,
who was to become the perfect foil during Bowie’s rise to fame.
The next album, ‘The Man Who Sold The World’ (1971),
although a good album, suffered from too many long guitar solos, repetitive
themes, and lack of direction from the man himself. ‘Hunky Dory’ (1972) was
a concerted effort by Bowie to catch up with his friends like Marc Bolan, who
was riding high in the charts. Even though it was brilliant, it just failed to
spark the public’s imagination, or perhaps too much imagination as on the
cover Bowie wore his hair long - and worse - a long dress, too.
A quick re-think, a sharpening of the sound, a haircut and
dye, the stage act re-shaped, the band ‘The Spiders From Mars’ solidified
into the perfect little hard rockin’ outfit of the blonde haired bombshell
Mick Ronson on guitar; the impossibly side burned bassist Trevor Bolder; Mick
Woodmansey on drums looking like a reject from the Bay City Rollers; and
avant-garde keyboard player Mike Garson. Then came the startling appearance on
Top of the Pops with the new single ‘Starman’, and David Bowie was the most
famous pop star in the world. Easy when you know how.
The album ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the
Spiders from Mars’ was a massive hit around the world. But could they follow
it up? Could David Bowie turn himself into a proper musician and not just some
pop star here today, gone tomorrow?
It would have been easy for an album of Ziggy Stardust Part
Two, but instead the record company demanded more products and Bowie’s
manager, Tony DeFies, lined-up tour after tour. They rode the crest of
popularity while it was up. It was not all plain sailing though as America did
not immediately roll over. In St. Louis for example only 180 tickets were sold
out of a possible 11,000.
Aladdin Sane was written and recorded on the road. That
makes it even more of an achievement as it outstrips its predecessor in
brilliance. It’s a record that defines the high-glam period of the spring and
summer of 1973, a period that indisputably belonged to David Bowie, The Spiders
From Mars, and their millions of fans.
By the day of its release, April 13, 1973, Aladdin Sane had
already chalked up advance sales of 100,000, making it the fastest selling
British pop album since the heyday of the Beatles. It became Bowie’s first UK
number one, a position it held for five weeks. It contained two top 3 singles
in ‘The Jean Genie’ and ‘Drive In Saturday’, and was also the first
Bowie album to reach the US Top 20. Indeed, Aladdin Sane heralded a period of
chart dominance for Bowie. During the summer of 1973, Bowie had five albums in
the UK charts at the same time for a total of 19 weeks.
The songs on Aladdin Sane were the work of a man on the cusp
of genius. The playing of the Spiders was inspirational (try the piano solo
from Mike Garson on the title track, or Mick Ronson’s guitar riff on Panic in
Detroit to get some kind of idea). The choice of the Rolling Stones cover
‘Let’s Spend The Night Together’ is perfect. It is over thirty years
since Aladdin Sane was unleashed on us, and he sounds as fresh and fruity today
as he did then.
EMI have released a 30th Anniversary edition which comes in
booklet form with over 40 pages of stories and reminiscences from the players
and the production team, plus a whole host of never seen before photos. But
best of all, a whole second CD full of live tracks, b-sides, and storming
studio versions of ‘All The Young Dudes’ and ‘John, I’m Only
Dancing’. Although David Bowie went on to be one of the longest lasting rock
stars, I do not think he ever quite reached these heights again.
David Bowie - Vocals, Harmonica, Saxophone
Mick Ronson - Guitars, Piano, Vocals
Trevor Boulder - Bass, Vocals
Mick (Woody) Woodmansey - Drums
Mike Garson - Piano
Ken Fordham - Bux-Saxophone, Flutes
Original - Disc One
Watch that Man
Aladdin Sane (1913-1938-197?)
Panic In Detroit
The Prettiest Star
Let’s Spend The Night Together
The Jean Genie
Lady Grinning Soul
Bonus Material - Disc Two
John I’m Only Dancing
Jean Genie (single version)
Time (single version)
All The Young Dudes
The Supermen (live)
Life On Mars? (live)
John I’m Only Dancing (live)
The Jean Genie (live)
Drive-In Saturday (acoustic)
To contact Mott the Dog
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