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AVALON

Roxy Music

Crossover Prog


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Roxy Music Avalon album cover
3.60 | 144 ratings | 22 reviews | 31% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. More Than This (4:30)
2. The Space Between (4:30)
3. Avalon (4:16)
4. India (1:44)
5. While My Heart Is Still Beating (3:26)
6. The Main Thing (3:54)
7. Take a Chance With Me (4:42)
8. To Turn You On (4:16)
9. True to Life (4:25)
10. Tara (1:43)

Total Time: 37:26

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians


- Bryan Ferry / voices, keyboards, guitar synthesizer
- Phil Manzanera / guitar
- Andy Mackay / oboe, saxophone

- Paul Carrack / piano, keyboards
- Neil Hubbard / guitar
- Neil Jason / bass
- Alan Spenner / bass
- Rick Marotta / drums
- Andy Newmark / drums
- Jimmy Maelen / percussion
- Kermit Moore / cello
- Yanick Etienne / vocals
- Fonzi Thornton / vocals

Releases information

CD Warner Brothers 23686 (1990) / CD Virgin 47460 (2000)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Tarcisio Moura for the last updates
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ROXY MUSIC Avalon ratings distribution


3.60
(144 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
31%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
32%
Good, but non-essential (22%)
22%
Collectors/fans only (12%)
12%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

ROXY MUSIC Avalon reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Roxy Music is Art Rock...absolutely, and Avalon sits excellently in this genre because it is such a clever musical composition with all the artistic greatness from ' More Than This' right through to ' Tara', It is full of swirling moody atmospheres and I think both Ferry and Manzanera were at their artistic peak on Avalon. Just listen to the opener on side 2 . ' The Main Thing' and the continued build to the climatic and beautiful ' Take A Chance With Me' Other highlights recommended are the instrumental ' India' and the ballad ' To Turn You On'. Highly recommended for any Art Rock enthusiast.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#34023) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, February 05, 2005

Review by Matti
COLLABORATOR Neo-Prog Team
4 stars I like the opportunity to write about some good non-prog albums as well. Avalon is arty pop which comes already close to Bryan Ferry's solo output - and Ferry compilations always have Roxy Music tracks like 'More Than This', 'Avalon' and 'To Turn You On' from this album. Yet it can't be said that Ferry IS Roxy Music, for also Phil Manzanera (g) and Andy Mackay (oboe, sax) have a lot to say in that smooth clear sound into which the suave, charming style of Mr Ferry fits perfectly. I could imagine he appeals for ladies especially! Most of the album would suit for luxurious night clubs where people drink martinis and dance and flirt with the opposite sex.

I love the fresh airiness of the opening track 'More Than This'. To me another highlight is 'While My Heart Is Still Beating', the saddest song. The way the last percussion patterns of the instrumental 'India' precede that song is the most artistic moment. Quite unforgettable is also the female voice solo in very sensual 'Avalon'. ONE OF THE COOLEST POP ALBUMS EVER (represents the 80's at its best).

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Send comments to Matti (BETA) | Report this review (#36741) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, June 17, 2005

Review by daveconn
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The ethereal, otherworldly atmosphere that permeates Avalon makes for a lovely and striking pop album. Here, Bryan Ferry has hit upon the inextricable link between love and tragedy, delivering his words of love as a spirit fading in and out of our world, flotsam on the ectoplasmic ebb and flow of music. It's a different album than anything Roxy Music or Ferry had yet made, inviting comparison as much to Brian Eno's languid Another Green World as the wilting romance of Flesh + Blood. The difference may be that Mackay and Manzanera are fully engaged here; the perfectly placed guitar parts and spectral keyboards are equal partners in the ultimate outcome, defining Avalon as much as Ferry's voice. But Avalon's real achievement is its songs: "More Than This," "Avalon," "Take A Chance With Me" and "To Turn You On" are so sophisticated that the love songs from Manifesto and Flesh + Blood pale in comparison. These are the album's centerpiece, around which more visceral tracks like "The Main Thing" and "The Space Between" simply act as a buffer. Also included here are a pair of instrumentals that reinforce the album's wistful, delicate mood. After an album this spectral and spectacular, the band's imminent demise carries less of a sting. It's the crowning achievement of the band's second coming, and by far the most flattering setting that Ferry has found for his romantic muse.

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Send comments to daveconn (BETA) | Report this review (#57195) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, November 20, 2005

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I preferred by far Roxy Music's first period. From Manifesto onwards, I found them too disco oriented with here and there some good songs (but too few to be honest).

When I listen to the opener, "Modern Than This" I guess that this album will not be different. Good pop / commercial music, for easy radio listening. It peaked at the sixth spot in the UK charts. The song was rehearsed for the Avalon tour but was dropped after the first show in Dublin. It was played at the first few shows on the reunion tour in 2001 in a lower key as Bryan found it more comfortable to sing in the new key.

"The Space Between" is a disco/soul tune with no flavour, and truely monotone. Insipid. The title track is a more classic Roxy song : the crooner style of Ferry being brought once more in evidence. But the song is just OK. It lacks in passion from. The single peaked at number 12 in UK.

The song I prefer is "While My Heart Is Still Beating" : a slow intruiging tempo with good bass and piano. Ferry's interpretation is fairly good. "The Main Thing" is a bit of the same vein, but not so good : a bit experimental but with little feeling. It was the opener of the "Avalon" tour.

My second fave is "Take A Chance With Me" : this is not a wild one (there won't be any on "Avalon") but it's catchy and has a good melody. It sounds very fresh and nice. It was the last Roxy single released during the life of the band. It only peaked at number twenty-six in the UK charts.

I guess that "Avalon" is an album representative of an era (disco / pop). There are a sum of average tracks here but no highlights (on their two last efforts there was at least one or two great tracks which can not be found here).

Four tracks are rather weak : "The Space Between", "India", "To Turn You On", "True To Life" and "Tara" which makes this album rather boring, I'm afraid.

When John Lennon was killed, Roxy decided to do a tribute single to him and recorded "Jealous Guy" in 1981. They needed a new song for the b-side and as "To Turn You On" was ready they released it as such. When Roxy recorded "Avalon", Bryan said : "this is a quality track and I don't want it to be lost as a b-side." As far as I'm concerned, it could have remained so.

Avalon was a huge commercial success reaching number one in the UK album charts and their most successful album in US. IMO, this is an album that is absolutely not necessary to own. It has nothing to do with the great Roxy we all know and love. No real highlights here. No hits. Just supermarket music. Two stars (and I am generous).

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#112022) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Avalon is the eigth full-length studio album by UK pop/ rock act Roxy Music. The album was a great commercial succes for the band and the only of their albums to reach platinum sales in the US. Avalon was produced by Rhett Davies ( Genesis, King Crimson, Camel, Talk Talk, Dire Straits, Brian Eno). While I enjoy both Manifesto (1979) and Flesh & Blood (1980), those two albums are probably the weakest albums in Roxy Music´s discograhy, so it wasn´t with the greatest expectations that I put on Avalon. I´ve been pleasantly surprised though.

The music is by and large commercial pop/ rock albeit with a sophisticated touch at times. It´s very well written and performed though and I´m actually enjoying myself quite a bit while listening to the album. It´s like the band has grown in the two years since the release of Flesh & Blood and they´ve reached maturity with the more commercial style of their second period.

The musicianship and production is as always top notch.

Avalon is a good album and recommended to those who enjoy eighties pop/ rock with an excellent production and some well written songs. Don´t expect progressive behaviour though this is first and foremost a commercial pop/ rock album. 3 stars is deserved.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#214624) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, May 10, 2009

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is ROXY MUSIC's final album released in 1982. I remember well hearing 3 of these songs on the radio back then and really liking them even though I was into RUSH, FLOYD, ZEP etc. The fact was these were good songs and I liked the singers voice. I really knew nothing of the band back then, I didn't own any of their records but I had an appreciation for their sound. That grew when they released that Neil Young cover "Like A Hurricane". Fast forward over 25 years and I finally buy "Avalon" just to see if the magic was still there for me. It is, especially on the song "Take A Chance With Me" probably because of the three tracks I knew from the radio back then this is the one I heard the least, so it really brings me back to when I felt like I was on top of the world in my early twenties. Some have stated that this is almost like a Bryan Ferry solo album because he really made the album he always wanted with "Avalon". This might have a commercial flavour but man this is so sophisticated and smooth. Very subtle and mature. Very much mood music, and i'm sure many a guy used this album to get his lady in that special mood.

"More Than This" is of course one of the hits on this record. Just a gorgeous soundscape with Ferry's one of a kind vocals. "The Space Between" sounds like a track that would have been played in the dance clubs back then. A sexy song if there ever was one. "Avalon" is another hit. This sounds so good.The female backing vocals were a nice touch. "India" is a short instrumental. "While My Heart is Still Beating" opens with percussion and drums as the vocals come in.Themes are repeated. I like the sax late. This song's ok. "The Main Thing" is one I do like a lot. It's all about the beat here. A catchy little tune that reminds me of THE TALKING HEADS.

"Take A Chance With Me" is my favourite if only for reminding me of my youth. This is a Ferry and Manzanera composition. Some atmosphere early as the sax comes in. The main melody kicks in before 1 1/2 minutes."I was blind can't you see ? Through the long and lonely night, heaven knows I believe. Won't you take a chance with me ?". "To Turn You On" has the focus on Bryan's almost spoken vocals early before it all picks up. Tasteful guitar 2 1/2 minutes in followed by piano. "True To Life" is another song I really like. Percussion, vocals and atmosphere are like the holy trinity of this album if you know what mean. Great song. "Tara" is the short closing instrumental. Sax and atmosphere.

Even the pictures of the guys in the liner notes show a band who has shed the bizarre clothes and makeup. They look so real and mature. This was their biggest selling album by far. I have to give 4 stars for the ambience they created here. A unique album with well crafted songs that has the ability to take me to another place.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#224919) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars And the life was sucked dry

Roxy Music has always appealed to me so much more as live band than on their studio albums, and probably no where more so than here. "Avalon" is an album that frustrates the hell out of me because there is so much potential here. But she is an album killed by production: a dry, lifeless slickness that sucks the passion and energy of these formidable performers right away. This is the music coming out of the little round speakers in the ceiling of your dentist's office as he cleans your teeth. Music that makes you glaze over, music that won't threaten the older ladies chatting away with the receptionist. And it's a real shame because I've seen some of these tracks in their live videos and they do come to life in that setting. Both "Avalon" and "While My Heart is Still Beating" in particular are outstanding pieces of sophisticated art-pop that can be gripping under the right circumstances. But here, alongside the stock beats and the toned down instrumental flourishes that sound like studio musicians bored out of their minds, there is nothing here I can care about. Nothing that grabs me. Nothing more than pure professionalism devoid of any musical vibrancy or magic. Perhaps it's an album Ferry needed to make but it's not the one curious proggers should choose to investigate this great band. I'd suggest watching their live DVDs for the Roxy experience and then dig back through their earlier studio works if you like what you hear. As I read some of almost unanimous 5-star ratings on sites like Amazon and RYM, where people proclaim this a mature masterpiece of romantic pop perfection, I have to say it's completely lost on me. I love many pop albums but even from that perspective "Avalon" is a toothless, disappointing exercise. I struggle to give the second star.

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#246144) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, October 24, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars By the end of the 70ties, Roxy had shifted from art rock to pop music of mostly high standards. Avalon is a collection of easy listening, accessible and smooth songs that are nevertheless very well crafted, memorable and emotional. As much as I hated this in 1982, time has been gentle with it. And as it turned out, I would now say Roxy were still relevant and fresh so late in their career. They sure set the standard for how to write classic pop material.

The stumbling block for me is the polished sound that is so glossy and clean that everything has lost most of its edge. Also the fact that they ran out of ideas by the end of the album doesn't help, I'm usually losing my interest by the time the album is halfway through. There are strong highlights though. Next to the well known hits, there is The Space Between, a song that could have featured on a Japan album, Heart Still Beating and The Main Thing. Also True To Life is a graceful song but it sits amidst a number of drowsy tunes that make it hard to get so far into the album.

All in all, not an overwhelming but still a graceful end to the Roxy studio chapter. 2.5 stars

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#274315) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, March 26, 2010

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Avalon was Roxy Music´s eighth and final studio album. And one of their best, even if completely different from what they were doing when they started. In fact it represents their capacity of reinventing themselves completely like it was announced from the very first track on their debut in 1972 (re-make/re-model). it was also one of the groundbreaking albums of the 80´s with its perfect production (some say too perfect) and atention for the smallest detail. The band, or more specific, Bryan Ferry had taken the band into the most sophisticated art rock product thus far.

Ferry´s songwriting skills were at their peak after two relatively weak albums (Manifesto and Flesh + Blood). Avalon on the other side has a strong sense of musical direction that is all over the album, and not on just on some tracks as it happened on the previous effords recorded after their come back in 1979. The arrangements and performances are terrific, and the high quality sound reminds me of the Peter Gabriel´s works of the time. The band used some of the finest session man available to great effect and some of them (bassist Alan Spenner and drummer Andy Newmark) would eventually join the band full time for their last tour.

The result was both an artistic and commercial success, just like their debut ten years before. But this time the album went straight to number 1 spot in the UK and spent over an year in the charts. It was their biggest selling album of their entire career and it set the pattern for all future solo Ferry´s works like the highly successful Boys And Girls and Bete Noire. Unfortunatly it was also Roxy´s very last (studio) record and the end of Ferry´s creative powers in revolutionary terms. He would be stuck in the mode for the next twenty years. Still, Avalon was a great feat for the time.

It is hard to point a highlight, since all the tracks are very strong and could have become hits, but I like very much While My Heart Is Still Beating (a live favorite and the closest thing they recorded here that resembles of the original band). Even the two brief instrumentals are interesting: India would serve as the opener for their last tour and the beautiful Tara would get a much better and longer version on their 2001 tour (fortunatly, recorded on CD and DVD for posterity).

A classic pop album that has its prog features too, at least for the time. Of the many pop albums that were number ones, this is probably the one that has stood the test of time with greater results. it still sounds fresh and sophisticated after all those years. Rating: for a pop album I´d gladly give it a five estar rating. In fprog terms it deserves al least four. A very graceful way to say goodbye from one of prog´s most interesting and influential bands.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#275278) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 29, 2010

Review by admireArt
COLLABORATOR PSIKE Team
5 stars Talk about sophistication. From raw experimental electrified Rock to highly depuration in language and structure music-wise; the one that really concerns us; more than concepts and postures ..This kind of refinement was well forewarned in "Siren" (Roxy 5); midly reached in "Flesh & Blood"(Roxy 7) and of course the route Bryan Ferry´s solo works were heading. It was inevitable; the system was already rolling; since Roxy "1". And "Roxy Music" never intended to create a "style" or a "trend" (apart from the humurous proposed; unexistent, upcoming and fabulous "STRAND" ) . They just followed their "tue to life"- instincts (well; Ferrys´s) ; therefore; this structure developed naturally and easily; as the band grew in its wide scope of musical skills; as every record dared intentionally to out-do the last. ("Manifesto" if not for 2 songs; almost out-did all the discography!! for the worst)....BUT; some composers have a clear picture of the sound that haunts them to the point of never declining their self-imposed endeavor to "uncover" it. "AVALON" is elegant, personal and full of restrained; near to perfect songwriting; as Mr. Ferrys´s concept had developed to "Less is More" and the least; is even better; so; why scream? when you can whisper, why repeat?.. what already has been done (even by you). And of course; yes!.. this is the less prog oriented Roxy effort; you will come close to... But It is here; because the band self-evolution started somewhere around the Prog-sphere; But ROXY never tied themselves down ; but to creativity (sacrifices included; which will explain the lack of commercial success). They went their own way. Natural evolution in all its extension. Crystal clear compositions; effective production and oh! yes; the band sounds better than ever. Each member sounds more than comitted to this album. I suppose it was clear for eveyone in the band; (well; the base 3-unit members); that Roxys´s way; was really going to fade away some day soon... The pinnacle of a close to perfect discography. And of course the less prog oriented recommendable ROXY album ("Siren" still hold some.).***** 5 "Masterpiece Stars; even IF..it will never head the top-10-Prog-list-band, and that is; at the end of the day; irrelevant when it comes to music; more if the music is flawless, "More than this there is nothing"

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Send comments to admireArt (BETA) | Report this review (#895490) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars After reuniting for the rather limp Manifesto and Flesh + Blood, Roxy Music regrouped and reimagined themselves for this glorious swansong. The secret to the band getting their groove back was that they realised that the New Romantic crowd were a) looking back to the classic era of Roxy Music for inspiration and b) coming up with some damn fine ideas themselves.

In a way, Avalon is a sort of surrender - Bryan Ferry and his Knights of the Roxy Table passing on the sword to a new generation by embracing that generation's aesthetic and the smooth sophisti-pop tones whilst still creating a space for Ferry's emotive lyrics, Manzanera's guitar work (which is more complex and intricate on this album than you might imagine at a first listen, and Andy Mackay's soulful sax.

It's delicious enough on first listen, but both in the context of Roxy's own discography and the sophisti-synthpop sounds of the time, it feels rather overpolished and tamed - Roxy Music dancing to someone else's beat rather than blazing their own trail as they had from their debut up to Siren. It's not an embarrassing send-off, but it isn't a last-minute triumph either.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#987641) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, June 28, 2013

Latest members reviews

4 stars Avalon may not be the most appreciated effort by fans of the 70's Roxy Music which represented the cutting edge of avant-garde pop/rock music. But this is just Art Rock of another kind, and as depicted on the cover, there is an airy mood and atmosphere that surrounds this album that no other a ... (read more)

Report this review (#586943) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Monday, December 12, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Avalon ? 1982 (2.6/5) 10 ? Best Song: Avalon Bryan Ferry rushes in with a band finale. It's a comeback album and he embraces the Beach Boys softer, more intimately romantic side with predictable results. Other online critics spoke of this album like it was an epic swansong. I don't quite ca ... (read more)

Report this review (#443574) | Posted by Alitare | Friday, May 06, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars One of my favorite albums from the 80s--and one of the few from that decade that still stands up well 25 years later. A real aural treat for its subtle instrumental ensemble work; rarely does a Roxy member solo get too much time or attention, rather every moment of everyone's work seems to merely ad ... (read more)

Report this review (#278725) | Posted by BrufordFreak | Tuesday, April 20, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The last Roxy Music is one of their best albums. It contains a lot of hits (More Than This, The Main Thing, Avalon, Take A Chance With Me, While My Heart Is Still Beating, The Space Between), two short instrumentals which are pretty (India, Tara) but not useful, and a splendid and almost mystica ... (read more)

Report this review (#164721) | Posted by Zardoz | Sunday, March 23, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Released in 1982, many people claim this to be Roxy Music's mature sound, instead of their glam rock semi-psychedelia, which was present in their first two albums (Roxy Music and For Your Pleasure). When Eno left the band in 1973 it seemed like the band didn't know which way to go. Ferry led the ... (read more)

Report this review (#155049) | Posted by Jake E. | Monday, December 10, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The cover artwork promises much and the album almost delvers. Sophisticated, at times sensual music, full of swathes of keyboards, sax and occasional bursts of guitar overlaid by Ferry's crooning vocals. It's somewhat otherworldly, not of this time and place; the only other album that feels simila ... (read more)

Report this review (#135329) | Posted by Hercules | Wednesday, August 29, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Probably one of the best 80's albums. Not only in Prog or POP field. All the songs are marvellous. In general this album represent the side more reflective of Roxy Music and in my opinion this is the more soloist Bryan Ferry's album of Roxy Music's discography. The sounds are honey sounds, the a ... (read more)

Report this review (#133023) | Posted by Ely78 | Tuesday, August 14, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Whenever I am horrified at the ghettoization of taste that has occurred in the music world, I turn on some Roxy Music. Adored by Proggers and Punks alike, the glam rock survivors released this their final album in 1982. They seem to be following the cue of their rival and contemporary Bowie in ... (read more)

Report this review (#120322) | Posted by BobShort | Tuesday, May 01, 2007 | Review Permanlink

1 stars I have a rather strong dislike for the 80s, with the exception of Peter Gabriel and King Crimson, and many jazz acts' works in that period. This album is not progressive at all, I find. It is simply pop, with a slight artistic influence. It is not completely horrible, however. It is catchy at tim ... (read more)

Report this review (#105082) | Posted by Shakespeare | Sunday, December 31, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars On the subject of mellow ( a word I like a lot, and music of that type), this one is right up there with Genesis' 'And then there were three' and Jon and Vangelis' 'Friends of Mr. Cairo'. With this album, Roxy became much more main stream/accessible to Joe Public than in previous albums. One rev ... (read more)

Report this review (#53766) | Posted by | Saturday, October 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Strange but great way for a band to end a career. Most do not quit when they are on top and Avalon was probably Roxy Music's most successful album in commercial terms. It is thick and atmospheric with a slick production and an 80's dance sound (i.e."The Main Thing") that had come into vogue a ... (read more)

Report this review (#34024) | Posted by madgo2 | Saturday, February 12, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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