Live on Saturdays: Video Reviews and Summaries

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by riskylogic, Feb 15, 2020.

  1. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Electric Castle Live and Other Tales


    Live Performance by Ayreon
    Released March 27, 2020
    Recorded September 13-15, 2019
    Genre Progressive metal, progressive rock, rock opera
    Length 2:26:39
    Label Mascot Label Group / Music Theories
    Producer Arjen Anthony Lucassen

    Electric Castle Live and Other Tales is a live album and DVD/Blu-ray by Arjen Anthony Lucassen's progressive rock/metal rock opera project Ayreon, that was released on March 27, 2020. It is a live version of the 1998 studio album Into the Electric Castle, performed as an actual rock opera, complete with mise-en-scène; it is a recording of one of four live performances between September 13 and 15, 2019 in Tilburg, to celebrate the original album's 20th anniversary in a way similar to The Theater Equation, with songs from other Lucassen projects performed once the songs from the albums were all performed.

    Lucassen and fellow singers Anneke van Giersbergen, Damian Wilson, Edward Reekers, Edwin Balogh, Fish, and George Oosthoek returned to reprise their roles from the original album, alongside drummer Ed Warby and flutist Thijs van Leer. New additions include Simone Simons of Epica, Marcela Bovio of Mayan, and Mark Jansen of both Epica and Mayan, with actor John de Lancie acting as narrator. The performance of the album was followed by a selection of songs from other Lucassen projects.


    John de Lancie – Narrator
    Fish – Highlander
    Simone Simons – Indian
    Damian Wilson – Knight
    Edwin Balogh – Roman
    Anneke van Giersbergen – Egyptian
    John Jaycee Cuijpers – Barbarian
    Arjen Anthony Lucassen – Hippie
    Edward Reekers – Futureman
    George Oosthoek – Death
    Mark Jansen - Death
    Marcela Bovio - Backing vocals, lead vocals on "Out in the Real World"
    Dianne van Giersbergen - Backing vocals
    Jan Willem Ketelaers - Backing vocals
    Robert Soeterboek - Vocals on "Songs of the Ocean"
    Michael Mills - TH-1 (recorded intro to Other Tales section)
    Rutger Hauer - Voight Kampff (recorded intro to "Pink Beatles in a Purple Zeppelin")

    Ed Warby – drums
    Marcel Singor – lead guitar
    Ferry Duijsens – guitar
    Bob Wijtsma – guitar
    Johan van Stratum – bass
    Joost van den Broek – keyboards
    Ben Mathot – violin
    Jurriaan Westerveld – cello
    Thijs van Leer – flute
    Robby Valentine - piano on "Robby Valentine" and "The Mirror Maze"
    Arjen Anthony Lucassen - guitar on "Songs of the Ocean"


    Arjen Anthony Lucassen – producing, mixing

    Track Listing
    1. "Welcome to the New Dimension" 3:10
    2. "Isis and Osiris" (Lucassen/Fish) 10:51
    3. "Amazing Flight" (Lucassen/Jay van Feggelen) 8:26
    4. "Time Beyond Time" 6:30
    5. "The Decision Tree" (Lucassen/Fish) 5:44
    6. "Tunnel of Light" (Lucassen/Fish/Anneke van Giersbergen) 4:29
    7. "Across the Rainbow Bridge" 6:05
    8. "The Garden of Emotions" 9:00
    9. "Valley of the Queens" 4:18
    10. "The Castle Hall" 5:45
    11. "Tower of Hope" 5:32
    12. "Cosmic Fusion" 6:53
    13. "Robby Valentine" 4:52
    14. "The Mirror Maze" 6:52
    15. "Evil Devolution" 5:00
    16. "The Two Gates" 6:54
    17. "Forever of the Stars" 1:39
    18. "Another Time, Another Space" (Lucassen/Fish) 6:18
    19. "Shores of India" (Lucassen/A. van Giersbergen) 5:23
    20. "Ashes" (Lucassen/Astrid van der Veen) 5:06
    21. "Out in the Real World" (Lucassen/Marcela Bovio) 4:01
    22. "Twisted Coil" (Lucassen/Lori Linstruth) 9:18
    23. "Kayleigh" (Fish/Marillion) 4:14
    24. "Pink Beatles in a Purple Zeppelin" 4:36
    25. "Songs of the Ocean"

    Version Control
    The album was available to pre-order in five editions: the Super Deluxe Wooden Box Set for €159,00, limited to 1500 copies worldwide, the 5-disc Earbook for €49,99, the Gold Vinyl Edition for €27,99 the 2CD + DVD edition for €17,99, and the Blu-Ray for €17,99; the Gold Vinyl Edition does not contain the tracks "Robby Valentine (piano solo)", "Kayleigh", and "Speech by Arjen & Joost"

    I ordered the bluray for $12.99. According to the label, the 5.1 audio is DTS. The audio selection screen doesn't specify.

    The Concert
    Beautiful picture, great sound. On with the show.

    "Welcome to the New Dimension"
    OK, we’ve got a stage with a castle wall with a large door in the middle as the backdrop. Above the wall is a large screen. The screen initially shows cover art – which is what is usually shows throughout the main show. But then the Narrator begins his narration on screen. The four musicians on stage stage at the start are the violinist (Ben Mathot), two guitarists (Marcel Singor and Ferry Duijsens), and main Lucassen henchman Joost van den Broek on keyboards.

    Surroundwise, the center channel isn’t used at all. Just crowd noise in the back.

    "Isis and Osiris"
    The narrator is now narrating live from a tower/perch above the wall on the right side of the stage. Duijgens now has a mandolin, and guitarist Bob Wijtsma is next to him on the right. Over on the left Singor is now next to Jurriaan Westerveld on cello, with van den Broek behind them. Three background vocalists (Marcela Bovio, Dianne van Giersbergen and Jan Willem Ketelaers) are stationed on the left above the wall. The Highlander (Fish) and the Indian (Simone Simons) come out though the door to sing. After they are done, the Knight (Damian Wilson) replaces the first two, and bass player Johan van Stratum replaces the mandolin on the right, and Mathot returns on the left with violin. As the Knight is singing, Ed Warby take his place behind the drum set in back of the musicians on the right. The Knight is then replaced by the Roman (Edwin Balogh) and the Egyptian (Anneke van Giersbergen). The Highlander sings a bit more, a violin solo, then more Roman and Egyptian, then the Highlander back again to finish it off.

    Synth, Fish vocal echoes, background vocals, guitar reverb all appear in the rear speakers, so yes we have a surround mix. The musicians on the left are all mixed to left front, while those on the right to the right right front. Keyboards and the vocalists are centered, but the center channel is not used.

    "Amazing Flight"
    We’ve got a pared down band – drums, keyboard, bass, two guitarists. Two more characters, the Barbarian (John Jaycee Cuijpers) and the Hippie (Arjen Anthony Lucassen) come through the door. This never was my favorite Ayreon, but this audience knows every word. The Indian sings from the tower on the left – she is mixed in surround. Mathot comes out on left with violin, Thijs van Leer comes through door with flute, plus another guitarist on right.

    "Time Beyond Time"
    Start with pared down band again, with another new character – Futureman (Edward Reekers). The Knight and the Roman come out for debate. Strings and flute show up; some synth in the back.

    "The Decision Tree"
    We are informed by the narrator that one of the “seven” characters has to go – I guess that means Futureman already doesn’t count.

    Three guitars and bass, with bass on left. The Highlander and the Barbarian are the protagonists, along with the three background vocals on top of the wall.

    "Tunnel of Light"
    Two guitarists and mandolin with the Highlander start off. The Egyptian rejoins with the help of Marcela and Dianne who have moved down to the main stage. Unfortunately this is where the Highlander gets written out of the script – bye bye Fish.

    "Across the Rainbow Bridge"
    The knight is accompanied by guitar, then a second guitar, the Roman, keyboards, and the background trio join in. Synth in the back, psychedelia on the screen, while the Hippie takes the stage.

    "The Garden of Emotions"
    What I take to be the regular band at this point – three guitars, violin, bass, keyboards and drums. The Hippie starts things off as the Egyptian takes a turn as a background singer up on the right side of the wall. The Indian goes back up on the left while the Roman and the Barbarian take center stage. Cello comes out and the Knight is up on the left with the Indian. The Egyptian then takes center stage.

    "Valley of the Queens"
    … and she’s still there with a flute and a cello and the background vocalists.

    "The Castle Hall"
    Well that’s it for the Egyptian, but there’s still six left. How does that work? I guess the Futurist is back for the best song on the album. It is also possibly the best from a theatrical standpoint, so this is an easy choice:

    "Tower of Hope"
    The Hippie starts it up in the left lower, while the Futurist takes the center stage. Arjen does some conducting from up there while he’s at it. The flautist is back.

    "Cosmic Fusion"
    The Indian takes center stage with a violin; synth and background vocals in surround. The Roman up in the left tower, and the Futurist in center warn her; but the two growly voiced Death vocalists (George Oosthoek and Mark Jansen) take over the stage, while the Indian takes the left tower. Turns out not good for the Indian – she gone. But we get a long instrumental passage to remember her by.

    "Robby Valentine"
    He plays piano.

    "The Mirror Maze"
    He still plays piano, but the Hippie comes out with the string section. The Futurist and a guitarist show up too. Then bass, drums, another guitar, the Roman and the Knight. The two female characters are gone, but we still have Marcella and Dianne.

    "Evil Devolution"
    The Futurist, strings, keyboards, and a guitar – and back ground singers, bass, drums, and another guitar. Psychedelia on the screen.

    "The Two Gates"
    Without having existed yet, the Futurist gets graduated by the Narrator. No strings for the Barbarian or the Roman, but the rest of the band and the background vocalists are along. The Knight shows up too along with some sound effects in the rear speakers.

    "Forever of the Stars"
    The narrator comes down to the stage. The Barbarian is gone, and we are admonished to find meaming.

    "Another Time, Another Space"
    The Futurist is back again – so we’ve got him, the Hippie, the Roman and the Knight – and the band. Strings in surround. The singers from upstairs come down and all the gone baby gone characters come back somehow too for a rousing chorus. That’s the end on the main show

    "Shores of India"
    Now we are into encores that (with the exception of "Kayleigh" introduce other Lucassen projects. The first one is from a joint project between Lucassen and Anneke van Giersbergen called The Gentle Storm. This song is from the one album entitled The Diary. Anneke is lead vocalist.

    Next we move to Ambeon, which is another Lucassen side project that yielded one album entitled Fate of a Dreamer. Simone Simon is the lead vocalist.

    "Out in the Real World"
    Lucassen was involved in Stream of Passion with Marcela Bovio on their first album entitled Embrace the Storm; the group had three more albums without him. Marcela is the lead vocalist. Is Pop Metal a genre? If so, this must be it.

    "Twisted Coil"
    Yet another Lucassen side project called Guilt Machine that yielded the album entitled On This Perfect Day (former Porcupine Tree member Chris Maitland was the drummer). Damian Wilson is the lead singer.

    Fish does a Marillion tune from Misplaced Childhood. A rather uninspired performance, but there’s synth and piano in surround.

    "Pink Beatles in a Purple Zeppelin"
    From a Lucassen solo album entitled Lost in the New World. Lucassen is the lead singer. They release a bunch of pink and purple balloons into the theater and Arjen pops them all. Strings in surround.

    "Songs of the Ocean"
    From the first Space One album, which I have; I'm familiar with this song. Lucassen sort of plays guitar, Cuijpers is lead. Everyone else comes in as backup.

    All the Ayreon albums are rock operas, so doing a theater performance is an obvious thing to do. There was an unofficial performance of The Human Equation (released on DVD as The Theater Equation), but this is the first official live performance. Since Into the Electric Castle was the best selling Ayreon album, it is the obvious choice. Unfortunately, it’s not among my favorite Ayreon albums. I much prefer The Universal Migrator and The Source that have a more instrumentation and less vocal operatics. But still, it’s a great show. Surround wise, the center channel isn’t used and the rear speakers are only used sporadically – but when they are it’s always a nice enhancement.

    It’s not expensive – a bargain for any Ayreon or prog metal fan.

    Music – 2
    Sound quality – 3
    Video presentation – 3
    Video quality – 3
    Surround - 2
    weekendtoy likes this.
  2. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Live in Gdańsk


    Live Performance by David Gilmour
    Released 22 September 2008
    Specific regions are detailed below
    Recorded 26 August 2006
    Genre Progressive rock
    Length about 120 min
    Label EMI (UK)
    Columbia (U.S.)
    Director Gavin Elder
    Producer David Gilmour, Phil Manzanera

    Live in Gdańsk is a live album by David Gilmour. It is a part of his On an Island project which includes an album, tour, DVD, and live album. It was released on 22 September 2008. A David Gilmour Signature Series Fender Stratocaster was released at the same time.

    It is a recording of the final show of his On an Island Tour in 2006, where he played to an audience of 50,000 at the Gdańsk Shipyard to celebrate the founding of the Solidarity trade union. The show featured the song "A Great Day for Freedom", from the Pink Floyd album The Division Bell (1994) and was the only show of the tour to feature it. It was last performed by Gilmour during his semi-acoustic shows in 2002.

    Gilmour played the entire On an Island album during this concert.

    It's the final Pink Floyd-related recording to feature Richard Wright, who died on 15 September 2008, one week before the album's official release. Also notably, this concert took place approximately one month following the death of Syd Barrett. Gilmour and his band were backed by the Polish Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zbigniew Preisner. Leszek Możdżer was featured on piano as a special guest.

    David Gilmour – guitars, lead and backing vocals, console steel guitar, acoustic lap steel guitar, alto saxophone on "Red Sky at Night"
    Richard Wright – piano, Hammond organ, Farfisa organ, lead and backing vocals
    Jon Carin – keyboards, synthesizer, backing vocals, lap steel guitar, programming
    Guy Pratt – bass guitars, backing vocals, double bass, guitar on "Then I Close My Eyes”
    Phil Manzanera – guitars, backing vocals
    Dick Parry – tenor and baritone saxophones, electronic organ
    Steve DiStanislao – drums, percussion, backing vocals
    Polish Baltic Philharmonic orchestra, Zbigniew Preisner – conductor
    Leszek Możdżer – piano

    Track Listing
    The first ten tracks are from On an Island and are played in the same order, so it is basically a live rendition of the album. Five Pink Floyd covers are tacked on at the end. The track listing for the concert DVD is as follows:

    1. "Castellorizon"
    2. "On an Island"
    3. "The Blue"
    4. "Red Sky at Night"
    5. "This Heaven"
    6. "Then I Close My Eyes"
    7. "Smile"
    8. "Take a Breath"
    9. "A Pocketful of Stones"
    10. "Where We Start"
    11. "Astronomy Domine"
    12. "High Hopes"
    13. "Echoes"
    14. "A Great Day for Freedom"
    15. "Comfortably Numb"

    Version Control
    The six different available editions of Live in Gdańsk are:
    • 2-disc edition containing the concert on CD
    • 3-disc edition containing the above plus a DVD featuring 114 minutes of concert footage, plus a 36-minute documentary
    • 4-disc edition containing the above plus a 5.1-surround sound mix of On an Island and 11 extra audio-visual tracks taken from various TV appearances
    • 5-disc deluxe edition containing the above plus an extra CD containing 12 bonus live tracks from the 2006 tour as well as a wallet of memorabilia.
    • 5-LP vinyl edition containing the whole Gdansk show, including "Wot's... Uh the Deal?" and a bonus LP containing 2 Barn Jams, "On the Turning Away" and 2 songs from Live at Abbey Road.
    • iTunes edition containing the entire album, plus various region-dependent audio and video extras.
    I got the 4 disc edition mainly to get the 5.1 mix for On an Island. Let’s see how much of an extra bennie the concert is. Like Remember That Night (which I haven’t reviewed yet), it features Richard Wright and Phil Manzanera.

    The Concert
    The video quality is very good for a DVD – I’ve got many blurays that are worse. It’s a night time concert with not a lot of lighting - that makes calrity less important. Even though the audio is Dolby Digital, there isn’t a lot to gripe about there either. Maybe it is Dolby Digital Plus, which is supposed to be better for multichannel; I don’t know how to tell.

    Starts with a panorama of the venue and surround area. Sorry Gdańskians, but Pompeii is just a tad more scenic. A large portion of the crowd seems to be to the sides and even behind the stage. I guess the six large screens help (some of) the crowd without a clear view of the stage see what is going on. It seems like the orchestra is in a pit behind the stage

    Anyway, this song is a concerto for guitar and orchestra. Just reverb in the back.

    "On an Island"
    Now we have the full band. Drums and Wright are in the back, in front it’s Manzanera, Pratt, Gilmour, and Carin. Gilmour vocals and sometimes guitar in center, just reverb in back. Screens show one band member each shows

    "The Blue"
    Manzanera on acoustic guitar; backing vocals from the entire band.

    "Red Sky at Night"
    Concerto for sax and orchestra with Gilmour on sax – I didn’t know that was part of his repertoire; sax in center channel.

    "This Heaven"
    Pratt with string bass; Manzanera electric guitar. First use of double imaging I think – Gilmour shown from front and side simultaneously.

    "Then I Close My Eyes"
    Gilmour starts with a banjo, then an acoustic slide guitar (or at least that’s what I’d call it), then electric guitar. Lots of strings. Perry appears for the first time (I think) on sax, and that’s Możdżer on piano.

    Starts with band introduction. Gilmour with acoustic guitar after song concludes. Carin on slide guitar. Gilmour vocals in center, a little string reverb in the back.

    "Take a Breath"
    Hey, a rock song. Pratt starts with lead vocal, but Gilmour guitar has the center channel. Very nice dual guitar jam from Manzanera and Gilmour. If I were going to use up my embedded video on the On an Island set, I’d use it here:

    David Gilmour - Take A Breath (Live In Gdańsk)

    But I won’t.

    "A Pocketful of Stones"
    Carin colead vocalist, Możdżer on piano again. Uncredited violin soloist. A bit of a light show for the first time.

    "Where We Start"
    Pratt on string bass, Manzanera acoustic guitar, Gilmour electric. Gilmour vocals on left, Carin backing vocals on right. Orchestra prominent. End of set.

    "Astronomy Domine"
    Ok, we’ve got the namby pamby stuff out of the way; time for the Pink Floyd Revisited set. As it turns out, the stage is equipped with a whole bunch of lights that you never got to see in the first set. Furthermore, there’s a seventh screen behind the stage below the row of six above it (actually this also was used during "A Pocketful of Stones") that is used to display psychedelia. Richard Wright lead vocals – he gets the center channel.

    "High Hopes"
    I dare say that’s the same bell and hammer that showed up in Pompeii ten years later. I wonder how long David has been dragging that thing around (Since The Division Bell was released, I imagine). Gilmour with lead vocals and acoustic guitar, then slide guitar. Lots of strings; wish they could have been mixed to the back more.

    Well it came down to “Astronomy Domine” or “Echoes”, but we’ve got two original Floyd members for Echoes, and only one for AD since Gilmour wasn’t in the band then. So, as a memorial to Richard Wright, and to save myself the trouble of trying describe 25 minutes of lights, dry ice, and music:

    "A Great Day for Freedom"
    A string laden version of the song.

    "Comfortably Numb"
    This makes it three straight weeks with a review of a concert that ends with this song – and that’s not counting The Wall movie I covered the week before that which also has it. If I covered Remember That Night next week it would even one more, but I think I won’t. I feel like I have the world record in and already. That said, this is the only one of the three that has Richard Wright as one of the lead vocalists and a full string orchestra. Anathema just had a measly quartet (but hey they did it first). Gilmour doesn’t throw an amp off the stage, but maybe Waters would have – but we’ll never know because he wasn’t there (Sorry, been reading the Animals 5.1 thread)

    In conclusion, while the surround mix of On a Island is clearly the main attraction of the Gdańsk set, the concert is still a major bennie. I don’t care much about most of the live performance of the album, except that I will allow for the strong possibility that the live version of “Take a Breath” is better than the surround version. On the Pink Floyd side of things, the performances of both “Astronomy Domine” and “Echoes” are keepers. The surround mix of the live performance was nothing special, but it did use the center channel to feature Gilmour and sometimes Wright.

    It is also perhaps also worth mentioning that the 2 CDs contain three more Floyd tracks from the live performance than the DVD: That’s what I ripped to my stereo collection; all of the discs in the four disc set have their merits.

    Music – 2
    Sound quality – 2
    Video presentation – 3
    Video quality – 2
    Surround – 2

    The video and audio quality rating are a little skimpy perhaps, but the surround rating is a little generous. 11 points is fair.
    ti-triodes and mark winstanley like this.
  3. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    U2 Live From Paris
    This one is a bit of a cheat. It is the added concert on the Joshua Tree deluxe box.

    We have a pcm stereo only concert, and that's fine, it sounds really good in 5 channel stereo.
    It was filmed at Hippodrome de Vincennes, Paris July 4th 1987. The picture is very good dvd quality.
    The guys look fairly rough and ready, as it was a long tour, but they are performing beautifully.

    We get a great tracklist.
    I will follow
    Trip through your wires
    I still haven't found what I'm looking for
    MLK excerpt
    The Unforgettable fire
    Sunday bloody Sunday
    In God's country
    Electric co
    New years day
    Bullet the blue sky
    Running to stand still
    With or without you
    Party girl

    This is U2 still in rock band mode.
    There are some additions of technology, but not to the level of the Rattle and Hum tour.
    I will follow rocks out like traditional early U2.
    Trip through your wires is a really nice inclusion.
    I still haven't found... is excellent as always.
    Mlk is essentially one verse in a tribute type styling.
    Unforgettable fire has edge doing his piano and guitar balancing act.
    Sunday is pretty straight and good.
    Exit comes over really well. The brooding start, and the explosion really come over well.

    This is a big open air set up, and the crowd is enormous. The stage is large with a beige backing cloth bearing the Joshua tree picture, spreading seemingly endlessly.

    In God's country comes in beautifully. The new songs are really coming across well.

    This is a fairly raw concert. There aren't any touch ups, but the singing and playing is real and solid.
    It is really interesting seeing this, and surprising it never got a prior release. I assume they wanted to avoid market saturation after the phenomenal success of the Joshua Tree album.

    Electric co comes revelling. Some big bulky guy comes on the stage from the audience and lifts Bono up in the air. It's a solid performance and the band connect with the audience on all levels.

    Bad is such a great song, and it comes in nicely. We get Bono playing with the audience a little, but essentially a fairly straight version.

    Edge gets on the electric piano for October, with the full opening section.
    Bono joins the solo piano, and it works beautifully.

    News Years Day starts immediately on the dying embers of Bono's "on" from October.
    The crowd really makes some noise at the start of this this. Edge's backing vocals are mixed higher, and sound great.

    Pride lifts the crowd higher again.
    Again it's a solid rendition.
    It closes the set...

    Bullet The Blue Sky comes in really well.
    Bono attacks Edge with the floodlight during his lead break section. This is a fairly straight version.

    Running to stand still is a nice come down from bullet, and some more piano from Edge. Bono strums some acoustic guitar. We get a Bono harmonica outro.

    With or without you has that atmospheric intro, and rises to the occasion beautifully.
    Bono stops the show, asking what's going on up front, declaring "no one gets hurt at a U2 concert", they restart and Bono sings Love will tear us apart.
    We rise to one final crescendo and they leave the stage again.

    Party girl has a playful feel, and the audience obviously all had Under A Blood Red Sky, as they are ready for all their parts.
    Good version. Edge sings harmony on the outro. A lady comes out with a champagne bottle and Bono pops it, sprays the crowd and pours a glass.

    40 as good as always and the crowd know their part.

    This dvd also includes the Outside it's America, and the video's for With or without you and Red Hill Mining Town.

    I reckon it's an excellent set, and the concert is very good.

    Hymie the Robot and riskylogic like this.
  4. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    No, it's not a cheat. It's one of the basic reasons I created this thread in the first place. If I'm going to splurge on a box, I'd like to know if any of the rest of it is worthwhile. Keep up the good work. :)

    Of course, one of the other reasons is that wanted to stop buying boxes. I have a stack of 20 unopened blurays and DVDs, with another 10 (including the relatively pricey Blood Red Sky) on the way that I paid an average of somewhere between $15-20 for. Probably closer to $15. Collecting old DVDs is kinda like collecting old CDs - they are practically giving them away. I am really excited about the brand new ten year old collector's edition Tool DVD that I got for under $8 - I just have to find some way to fit it into my busy listening and watching schedule.

    However, you didn't include a sample, so I'll try to fill in:

    The video looks terrible - is it better on your copy?
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
    mark winstanley likes this.
  5. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    The video is good quality dvd, that must be a very poor/low bit upload.

    I was on my phone and unable to add a link.
    riskylogic likes this.
  6. albertop

    albertop Forum Resident

    It doesn't have to be a two-step process. I use DVDFab Passkey to remove the protection from BR discs, and then I extract contents directly in DVDAE. DVDFab is not a free software though, but it's much faster in this way.
    riskylogic and mark winstanley like this.
  7. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I paid for both Make MKV and DVDAE. Since they are already paid for, and my computer has the time, I'm good.
    mark winstanley likes this.
  8. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I don't think your phone is the problem; as near as I can tell youtube doesn't have anything better. They do have the same song in Paris in 2017 though.
    mark winstanley likes this.
  9. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    I just find it too awkward to post links with the phone..

    But the video quality is good, better than Under a Blood Red Sky... I'd say as good as any dvd I have.
    riskylogic likes this.
  10. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Blackfield NYC: Live in New York City


    Live Performance by Blackfield
    Released 2007
    Recorded 16 March 2007 at the Bowery Ballroom, New York City
    Genre Progressive rock
    Label Snapper, KScope

    Blackfield NYC: Live in New York City captures a performance by the band in March 2007 at New York City's Bowery Ballroom, shortly after Blackfield II was released. The set contains all but one of the tracks from Blackfield II, another eight from Blackfield, and one cover.


    Aviv Geffen - keyboards, additional guitars, vocals
    Steven Wilson - guitars, vocals
    Eran Mitelman - keyboards
    Seffy Efrati - bass guitar
    Tomer Z - drums, percussion

    Cinematographer – Studio M
    Mixed By – Steven Wilson
    Film Editor – Lasse Hoile

    Track Listing
    1 Once
    2 Miss U
    3 Blackfield
    4 Christenings
    5 The Hole In Me
    6 1,000 People
    7 Pain
    8 Glow
    9 Thank You
    10 Epidemic
    11 Someday
    12 Open Mind
    13 My Gift Of Silence
    14 Where Is My Love?
    15 End Of The World
    16 Hello
    17 Once (Encore)
    18 Cloudy Now

    Version Control
    The Snapper DVD-only version was released in 2007. A CD+DVD edition was also released by Kcope in 2007 and re-released in 2009. I have the Snapper NTSC. The Kscope edition is still available new from Burning Shed for cheap.

    The Concert
    We’ve got great-for-DVD video quality, the audio is DTS, and we’ve got surround. The Bowery Ballroom is a small venue; the audience is maybe a few hundred.

    Starts with just Tomer Z on stage, who starts playing a drum solo in surround. Wilson walks next by himself, and starts playing guitar and singing: He is mixed on the left with guitar spilling over into left rear, but vocal just in front. The rest of the band then walks on, bass player Efrati to the left of Wilson, Geffen center right, and Mitelman on far right. Mitelman plays next – piano is front right, then Geffen guitar on left (with some in the back), bass in front. Then synth on right. Center channel used, but sparingly.

    “Miss U”
    Drums and bass just in front, synth in back. Wilson and Geffen guitar and vocals front left and right, respectively. Piano in back.

    The surround mix is shaping up to be a stage envelopment scheme. When Efrati and Mittleman come in with background vocals, each of the four vocalists have their own speaker: Efrati – left rear, Wilson – left front, Geffen – Right front, and Mittleman – right rear. Bass and drums are both mixed to the front. Guitars are far left and right (i.e. mixed partly to the back), Mittleman is mixed to the rear. Let’s see if that holds. Wilson solo at end in surround, I guess that is because he briefly walked over to the right sight of the stage.

    Usual scheme, but Efrati is the only background vocalist and he in both rear speakers.

    “The Hole In Me”
    Geffen just singing, Wilson guitar mixed in stereo. Awesome track. This has unfortunately has lyrics overlaid, but it will have to do.

    “1,000 People”
    Surround by the book.

    Geffen is only lead vocalist; he is mixed in stereo. Reverberating guitar from Wilson in surround.

    The rest of the band leaves and Geffen plays solo on keyboards. Keyboards are in surround, vocals in center channel.

    “Thank You”
    Alanis Morissette cover. Geffen stays on keyboards, which are mixed in front. Wilson straps on guitar, play briefly in surround, then vocal in center channel.

    The band all comes back. Geffen just vocals – he is mixed in stereo. Wilson vocals are still just on left. Otherwise, surround as usual.

    Just Wilson electric and Geffen acoustic guitars and vocals for several minutes, then keyboards, then bass and drums.

    “Open Mind”
    Usual scheme, with vocal echoes in surround.

    “My Gift Of Silence”
    Wilson guitar in stereo, vocal on left, piano in back. Efrati moves over to sing with Geffen – so his vocals are front right.

    “Where Is My Love?”
    Geffen has an electric guitar, otherwise situation normal.

    “End Of The World”
    Geffen puts his guitar down and unbuttons his shirt – I guess he’s getting a little warm. More four speaker vocals. Uh oh – the shirt comes off. Oh dear, that’s not what I want to see. Well that is the end of the regular set. Hopefully Geffen can get dressed again.

    Nope, still shirtless. That’s gonna cost a point. Nice Wilson solo.

    “Once (Encore)”
    They didn’t really play the song properly the first time, so let’s try again. Yes, that’s the way it sounds on the album, except it has a surround mix this time.

    “Cloudy Now”
    Reverbing Wilson guitar in surround. Crowd sings along. Slow beginning, furious finish.

    Given the current price and the fact that it covers most of the first two albums in their entirety, this is a really good entry point for the band. Plus, it comes with a surround mix. It isn’t quite the clinic on sound stage envelopment that KC Meltdown in Mexico is, but it’s in the same ballpark. It’s a great way to present a live presentation with a visual soundstage in surround. It's the second best Blackfield surround disc (after V). However, you might just want to rip it and not watch Geffen lose his shirt.

    Music – 2
    Sound quality – 3
    Video presentation – 1 (-1 for loss of shirt)
    Video quality – 2
    Surround – 3

    Part of a Blackfield Sunday doubleheader: Blackfield V is on the surround thread.
  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    Here is a slightly better piece of footage from the show. It is still nowhere near as clear as the dvd, but it is a lot better

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  12. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yes, that is much better.
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  13. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band - The River Tour - Tempe, Nov 5th 1980, ASU Activity Center (now Desert Financial Arena)


    This is the bluray concert in The Ties That Bind: The River Collection. Available as a four cd + 3 dvd set, or a 4cd + 2 bluray set

    Bluray set available from about $40 on discogs Bruce Springsteen - The Ties That Bind: The River Collection

    dvd set available from discogs from about $20 Bruce Springsteen - The Ties That Bind: The River Collection
    If you prefer new it is $82 on Amazon

    For me these Springsteen sets have been very very good. Each has had a solid number of outtakes, and with Springsteen that actually means pretty good to great songs that didn't make the album. They have each had (to the best of my knowledge) full concerts. They have been presented very well, and in terms of what a lot of sets like these are costing these days, they have been good value also.

    The set has the original River album in full, an alternate single album, and another disc full of left over songs.
    We get the Ties That Bind Documentary, and we get this concert.

    The concert setlist is
    Born To Run
    Prove It All Night
    Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
    Jackson Cage
    Two Hearts
    The Promised Land
    Out In The Streets
    The River
    Thunder Road
    No Money Down
    Cadillac Ranch
    Hungry Heart
    Sherry Darling
    I Wanna Marry You
    Crush On You
    You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
    Drive All NIght
    Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
    I'm A Rocker
    Detroit Medley
    Where The Bands Are (Credits)

    Ramrod (Bonus: The River Tour Rehearsals)
    Cadillac Ranch (Bonus: The River Tour Rehearsals)
    Fire (Bonus: The River Tour Rehearsals)
    Crush On You (Bonus: The River Tour Rehearsals)
    Sherry Darling (Bonus: The River Tour Rehearsals)

    The audio I have selected is pcm 5.1 surround.
    There is a DD 5.1 and a pcm stereo track also.
    Mixed by Bob Clearmountain
    Mastered by Bob Ludwig

    We have a 4:3 ratio picture, and it is very clear.

    We open with a scorching Born to Run and dive straight into Prove it All Night.
    They have bothered to mix this. We get cymbals and keys in the side, and Clarence's sax in Prove it all Night is in the rears.
    The sound is solid, and the band is ... well it's the f'n E Street band.
    Federici's organ lead is between the rears. When Bruce is playing his lead breaks he is front and centre.

    I don't think I have made it all the way through this yet. I know last time the Mrs needed me for something. Hopefully I'll make it today.

    10th Ave has little Steven on the right side.
    Clarence is on the left side.
    Bruce is in the middle of the crowd by the time we get to the "I'm all alone" section.

    To me this is Springsteen in his Rock And Roll prime

    Jackson Cage
    The audio isn't studio sounding, it is pure unadulterated live rock. The band is a big band, and I think the idea was to have that solid wall of rock sound.
    The music is predominantly up front, but we do have the extra width that you get with surround, and there is stuff mixed in the rears on occasion and, so far at least, effectively.

    Two Hearts is a great song and comes pounding out of the speakers.

    Promised Land and the harmonica comes out. From probably my favourite Springsteen album Darkness on the Edge of Town.
    Little Steven takes a lead, then Clarence, then Bruce on the harp.
    Some girl runs up and kisses Bruce.

    Out In The Street rocks out beautifully and Bruce is having a blast. Steve and Bruce share the main mic for the outro chorus.

    The River starts with an instrumental section, and then we hit the song proper.
    To me this has a good 5.1 mix for a concert video. It feels like they captured the sound and feel of the arena, and we get some discreet mixing also.

    The dynamics on here are very good to. It isn't often that Bruce gets too quiet, but when he does, it is.

    Badlands is one of my favourite Springsteen tracks, and this is a great version. Little Steven has been adding some good backing vocals all through.

    Thunder Road might be my favourite Springsteen track.
    The crowd is right there with the band every step of the way.

    We have a set break at just about the one hour mark.

    No Money Down opens with a blues (manish boy) riff, and Bruce starts telling a story.
    This is an intro for Cadillac Ranch.
    Bruce and the E Street band were probably the premier live Rock and Roll band at this time. Springsteen has just always been a great performer, just having a blast and squeezing out every last drop in each show.

    Hungry Heart is spot on with a very cool intro.

    Fire a long time Springsteen live track that The Pointer Sisters had a hit single with.
    Bruce and Clarence have a little showmanship and then sing the last verse together.

    Sherry Darling is back to the rock and roll. We get an extended sax lead.

    I Wanna Marry You is a sweet ballad off the River album and we bring the mood down a little with it here. Bruce tells a story, as he sometimes does.
    Then he either adlibs something or sings something else over the top of the opening chords.
    We make it into the song.

    Crush On You starts with Bruce doing the intro to San Francisco Nights, and they move into a kind of skit that introduces the song, and we're in rock n roll mode again.

    They launch into Ramrod and seem to be having a lot of fun.
    Bruce and Steve sing the last verse together on the main mic.

    You can look but you'd better not touch rolls along, and keeps the rock rolling.

    Drive All Night is another favourite. We're in piano ballad territory, but we move into almost rock n soul mode as the song moves.
    Again it makes the dynamics stand out.
    Clarence lays down a really cool lead on the sax, and then for the next verse the dynamic drops down again. We move into a slow build, crescendo and then drop out for an even slow build to a crescendo with Clarence coming back in.

    Rosalita, probably the first Springsteen I ever heard. A radio favourite in Perth back in the day.
    We get a great version with more showmanship and a proper band introduction.
    Springsteen runs to jump on the monitors at stage side, kind of makes it, rolls onto his back and falls off. Whether staged or not I don't know, but a minute later he hops back up and we head into the last section of the song.
    At about 2hrs 5mins we get the big goodbye. The crowds pumped, I'm assuming the offstage bit was edited, and 2:07 we get

    I'm a Rocker, and when I was a pup, this was probably my favourite track. Cause I was a rocker, baby I was a rocker, but anyway.
    An adrenaline packed live thumper of a track.

    Jungleland brings the atmosphere down again for a minute.
    Bruce has another chat with the crowd.
    We build and build and Miami Steve takes a lead.
    We move into the transition with the Big Man's sax, sadly lost to us now, but remembered here really well with this excellent lead.
    We have another dynamic drop, back to the organ and piano.
    Great live version.

    2:21 we get another goodnight.
    Then we burst into Detroit Medley
    Starting with Devil with the Blue Dress On.
    Good Golly Miss Molly/CC Rider/Jenny Jenny/I Hear a Train?/Devil with the Blue Dress

    Band leaves the stage, credits roll to Where The Bands Are.

    I reckon that has very good A/V quality, and it is a great concert. If you have this and haven't watched this yet, find 2hrs and 40mins sometime and watch it.
    If you haven't got this and you like Springsteen, The River is a classic album, the extra album is really good too. If you like them, the doco is going to please you also, and the cherry on top is a fantastic 1980 concert in Tempe Arizona, with a great set of songs, and band that's cookin' and everybody having a great time.


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  14. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Sweet Dreams - The Video Album

    Video Collection by Eurythmics
    Released 1985 (VHS) 1998 (DVD)
    Genre Electronic, Rock, Pop
    Label Eagle Vision
    Executive Producer Maurice Shapiro
    Director Derek Burbidge
    Running Time 62 min

    Sweet Dreams – The Video Album is a collection of music videos and concert performances by the Eurythmics supporting the release of their debut album entitled “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This). The live recordings are from Heaven club in Charing Cross, London.


    Annie Lennox – vocals, synthesizer, piano
    David A. Stewart – synthesizer, programming
    Peter Phipps - Drums
    Dean Garcia - Bass
    Vic Martin – Keyboards
    Howard Hughs – Piano
    Maggie Ryder - backing vocals
    Gill O’Donovan - backing vocals
    Susie O’List - backing vocals

    Video Production
    Burns & Hardwick Animation
    Video Clips Produced by Jon Boseman

    Track Listing
    1 Introduction 1:46
    2 This Is The House 4:48
    3 Never Gonna Cry Again 4:21
    4 Take Me To Your Heart 4:08
    5 I've Got An Angel 3:41
    6 Satellite Of Love 5:01
    7 Love Is A Stranger [Video] 3:26
    8 Who's That Girl? 3:40
    9 This City Never Sleeps 5:12
    10 Jennifer 4:39
    11 Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) 3:36
    12 I Could Give You (A Mirror) 3:47
    13 Somebody Told Me 3:25
    14 Wrap It Up 3:20
    15 Tous Les Garcons Et Les Filles 3:40
    16 Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) 3:40

    Version Control
    This was first released in 1983 on VHS. It was released on DVD in 1998, and there are many different versions of it. The one I just bought is a 2007 Canadian release, and I got it for under $10.

    The Concert and Videos
    This is a straight VHS to DVD conversion. The video and audio are both on the verge of acceptable. Unfortunately, the original 4:3 was converted to widescreen, which means pretty resolution. It’s just stereo.

    Partially animated intro featuring Eurythmics rep and a record company exec.

    “This Is The House”
    Lennox is wearing a hat and suit, Stewart on keyboards. Lenox is in middle ront, Stewart to her right. The rest of the band is in back with the three backup singers on the left. It’s a small stage, so they are all packed pretty close together. There is a light show of sorts.

    “Never Gonna Cry Again”
    Lennox loses the hat and plays the flute, Stewart with guitar.

    “Take Me To Your Heart”
    The jacket comes off, Stewart still with guitar.

    “I've Got An Angel”
    The Eurythmics do all the songs of the only album they had at this point. Unfortunately not all the songs are good.

    “Satellite Of Love”
    This one is bad too. In fact, all the songs up to this point except the first one are pretty weak. Its picks up after this.

    “Love Is A Stranger”
    This is one of four music video tracks. Lennox rides around in a car; starts with a red wig, takes it off, then goes with a black wig.

    “Who's That Girl?”
    Also a video. Lennox with blonde wig, and Stewart seems to be fooling around with other girls. Annie and Dave were, in fact, romantically involved at this point in their respective musical careers.

    “This City Never Sleeps”
    Also a video. Looks like Lenox, Stewart and the band are performing in someone’s living room or attic.

    Back to the concert. Lennox hasn’t lost her whole shirt, but she is now sleeveless. This is a slow song, Stewart with a nice guitar solo.

    “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)“
    This is surely one of the good songs, and the band is cooking:

    “I Could Give You (A Mirror)”
    Lennox gets her hips working. Stewart on keyboards.

    “Somebody Told Me”
    Stewart plays guitar, and Lennox gets angry.

    “Wrap It Up”
    Fabulous Thunderbirds cover. The backup singers earn their pay on this one.

    “Tous Les Garcons Et Les Filles”
    This features Lennox and Stewart flirting with one another (did I say they were romantically involved), plus drums and bass. It’s my favorite track, but I won’t use the video clip here because it doesn’t involve the whole band.

    “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)”
    The Sweet Dreams music video plays as the credits roll.

    Probably most this can be seen on YouTube with pretty much the same video and audio quality. But if you’re a fan of the first Eurythmics album and you want to explore it further, or you just want to see them perform (mostly) live, this is completely worthwhile . It’s a good show.

    Music – 2
    Sound quality – 2
    Video presentation – 3
    Video quality – 1
    Surround - 1
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  15. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Beatles - Help! (addendum)

    I reviewed the Help! movie DVD way back on the first page. I was probably a little hard on it ratingswise. The video quality isn't that bad - all of those that I have given 1's to since are far worse. Furthermore, even the movie is very silly, it's better than most music videos - so again much better than those that have earned 1's since. Anyway, I also mused that the bluray might be better for surround, and I decided find out. The short answer is yes, and that's because there are indeed surround mixes for all seven songs. They were mixed from four track tapes, so they aren't surround masterpieces, but they are still very nice. The video and audio quality are also significantly. I don't really about the former because I'm not going to watch the movie again, but here are my surround notes:

    This one has Lennon vocals in center channel, bass and drums front, and guitars in the rear. This is far and away the best surround mix of the seven.

    "You're Going to Lose That Girl"
    Lead (lennon) vocals center, bass and drums front, guitars left and right but partially mixed to rear. This is the scheme most of the tracks follow. I'll note the exceptions.

    "You've Got to Hide You Love Away"
    Ringo's tambourine is mixed to the right.

    "Ticket to Ride"
    In addition to center, Lennon lead vocal is mixed partially to the back. Drums are on left, one guitar in front, another on the right.

    "I Need You"
    Harrison lead vocal. I think Lennon's electric guitar is mixed right front and left rear.

    "The Night Before"
    Paul lead vocal. There is an unfortunate 10 second drop out where the song becomes muted and comes from the center channel. which corresponds to the scene where the villain is underground setting dynamite.

    "Another Girl"
    Paul lead vocal.

    They aren't top notch surround mixes by any means, but they are totally rippable. That's the first half of the album. A surround mix for Yesterday can be had from the Beatles 1+ bluray (I'll get to that one later) for 8 out of 14 - definitely enough for another ersatz fill-in-the-missing-tracks-with-stereo-versions Beatles surround album.

    Here are the new and revised ratings for the Help! movie:

    Music – 2
    Sound quality – 2 (DVD) or 3 (BR)
    Video presentation – 2
    Video quality – 2 (DVD) or 3 (BR)
    Surround - 1 (DVD) or 2 (BR)

    All the other Beatles movie blurays have 5.1s too. I will probably be going on a Beatles binge.
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  16. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Time for another index. I’m also putting up my ratings for the ones I have – see post #1 for an explanation of them. Ranges indicate either that the rating is version dependent, or that the content varies. The reviews are mine unless other attribution is given. The link for the reviews and ratings are different if the review is from Mark or someone else, or if I changed the ratings which I am doing for the first time today.

    The video content is categorized as follows:

    Concert Documentary: Contains extensive narration along with some performance footage.
    Live Performance: Mostly concert footage, perhaps with a little narration.
    Movie: A theater release featuring a particular band or artist
    Studio Performance: Video of Recording in Studio
    Video Collection: Collection of music videos that may or may not include live performance

    AC/DC Let There Be Rock / Live Performance and Concert Documentary (@mark winstanley)
    Anathema A Moment in Time / Live Performance / Rating: 11
    Ayreon - Electric Castle Live and Other Tales / Live Performance / Rating: 13
    Band, The The Last Waltz / Live Performance and Concert Documentary / Rating: 12-14
    Beatles – Help! / Movie / Rating: 9-12
    Blackfield – NYC: Live in New York City / Live Performance / Rating: 11
    Blue Öyster Cult Live 1976 / Live Performance / Rating: 7
    Cave, Nick – Once More With Feeling / Concert Documentary (@mark winstanley)
    Church, The – Future Past Perfect / Live Performance / Rating: 11
    Dead Can Dance Yulunga and Other Stories / Video Collection / Rating: 9-12
    Dire Straits - Alchemy / Live Performance / Rating: 14
    Dylan, Bob – No Way Home / Concert Documentary (@mark winstanley)
    Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams - The Video Album / Video Collection / Rating: 9
    Gabriel, Peter – Secret World Live / Live Performance / Rating: 13
    Gabriel, Peter – Play / Video Collection / Rating: 12-14
    Genesis – Pop Shop Live TV 1972 / Studio Performance / Rating: 9
    Gilmour, David Live in Gdańsk / Live Performance / Rating: 11
    Gilmour, David Live at Pompeii / Live Performance / Rating: 13
    Hendrix, Jimi – Band of Gypsys: Live at The Fillmore East / Concert Documentary / Rating: 9
    Iron Maiden – Flight 666 / Concert Documentary (@mark winstanley)
    King Crimson Meltdown: Live in Mexico City / Live Performance / Rating: 14
    Kraftwerk 3D 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 / Video Collection / Rating: 13
    Mannheim Steamroller – Fresh Aire 8 / Video Collection / Rating: 10
    Marillion Fish Tales / Video Collection / Rating: 10-11
    Marillion / Recital of the Script / Live Performance / Rating: 12
    Pink Floyd – Devi/ation 1970 / Video Collection / Rating: 6
    Pink Floyd The Wall / Movie / Rating: 10
    Porcupine Tree - Arriving Somewhere... / Live Performance / Rating: 13 - 14
    Roxy Music – The High Road / Live Performance / Rating: 12
    Rush – Exit ..... Stage Left / Live Peformance (@mark winstanley)
    Santana – Santana IV Live At The House Of Blues Las Vegas / Live Performance / Rating: 13
    Springsteen, Bruce - The River Tour / Live Performance (@mark winstanley)
    Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense / Live Performance / Rating: 11-13
    Tangerine Dream The Video Dream Mixes / Video Collection / Rating: 9
    Townsend, Devin – Ocean Machine – Live / Live Performance (@mark winstanley) / Rating: 10-12
    U2 – Under a Blood Red Sky / Live Performance (@mark winstanley)
    U2 – Live in Paris / Live Performance (@mark winstanley)
    Ultravox – Rage in Eden / Live Performance (@mark winstanley) / Rating: 13
    Various Artists Woodstock / Live Performance and Concert Documentary / Rating: 13
    Wilson, Steven – Home Invasion / Live Performance / Rating: 15
    Wishbone Ash – Live Dates 3 / Live Performance / Rating: 13
    Yes – Yessongs / Live Performance / Rating: 7
    Zimmer, Hans – Live in Prague / Live Performance (@thetman) / Rating: 15

    Comments on any of the above are always welcome.
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  17. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter



    Movie by Philip Glass
    Directed by Godfrey Reggio
    Produced by Godfrey Reggio
    Written by Ron Fricke, Michael Hoenig, Godfrey Reggio. Alton Walpole
    Music by Philip Glass
    Cinematography Ron Fricke
    Edited by Ron Fricke, Alton Walpole
    Production company Institute for Regional Education, American Zoetrope
    Distributed by Island Alive, New Cinema
    Release date April 28, 1982 (Santa Fe), April 27, 1983 (United States)
    Running time 86 minutes
    Country United States
    Box office $3.2 million

    Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance, is a 1982 American experimental film directed by Godfrey Reggio with music composed by Philip Glass and cinematography by Ron Fricke.

    The film consists primarily of slow motion and time-lapse footage of cities and many natural landscapes across the United States. The visual tone poem contains neither dialogue nor a vocalized narration: its tone is set by the juxtaposition of images and music. Reggio explained the lack of dialogue by stating "it's not for lack of love of the language that these films have no words. It's because, from my point of view, our language is in a state of vast humiliation. It no longer describes the world in which we live." In the Hopi language, the word Koyaanisqatsi means "unbalanced life".

    The film is the first in the Qatsi film trilogy: it is succeeded by Powaqqatsi (1988) and Naqoyqatsi (2002). The trilogy depicts different aspects of the relationship between humans, nature and technology. Koyaanisqatsi is the best known of the trilogy and is considered a cult film. However, because of copyright issues, the film was out of print for most of the 1990s. In 2000, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, aesthetically, or historically significant".

    The film's soundtrack by Philip Glass was released in 1983, after the release of the film. Even though the amount of music in the film was almost as long as the film itself, the soundtrack release was only 46 minutes long and featured only selections from the film's pieces. In 1998, Glass rerecorded the album through Nonesuch Records with a length of 73 minutes, 21 seconds. The rerecording of the album featured two additional tracks from the film, as well as extended versions of previous tracks from the original album. The album was released as a Philip Glass album titled Koyaanisqatsi, rather than a soundtrack to the film. The music has become so popular that the Philip Glass Ensemble has toured the world, playing the music for Koyaanisqatsi live in front of the movie screen.

    The opening for "The Grid" begins with slow sustained notes on brass instruments. The music builds in speed and dynamics throughout the piece's 21 minutes. When the piece is at its fastest, it is characterized by a synthesizer playing the piece's bass line ostinato.

    Glass's music for the film is a highly recognizable example of the minimalist school of composition, which is characterized by heavily repeated figures, simple structures, and a tonal (although not in the traditional common practice sense of the word) harmonic language. Glass was one of the first composers to employ minimalism in film scoring, paving the way for many future composers of that style.

    Conductor – Michael Riesman

    Track Listing
    1. "Koyaanisqatsi" 3:27
    2. "Organic" 4:57
    3. "Clouds" 4:38
    4. "Resource" 6:36
    5. "Vessels" 8:13
    6. "Pruitt Igoe" 7:51
    7. "Pruitt Igoe Coda" 1:17
    8. "SloMo People" 3:20
    9. "The Grid Introduction" 3:24
    10. "The Grid" 18:06
    11. "Microchip" 1:47
    12. "Prophecies" 10:34
    13. "Translations and Credits" 2:11
    Total length: 76:21

    There is no music for the last track. I don’t know how to reconcile the 10 minute difference between the movie length with the soundtrack length, but I’m not going to worry about it. However, there are a few silent minutes at the beginning and end.

    Version Control
    Koyaanisqatsi was originally released on VHS and laserdisc by Michael Nesmith's Pacific Arts Video.

    The rights to Koyaanisqatsi were passed through various multinational entertainment companies, which eventually prevented a home video release. IRE enforced their legal and contractual rights by creating a federal court lawsuit. IRE distributed a privately issued release of the film on DVD. The release was available to those who made a donation of at least $180 to IRE, and was distributed in a sleeve that was signed by Reggio.

    On January 13, 2012, a Blu-ray version (screen ratio 16:9) was released in Germany.[42] The Blu-ray was also released in Australia by Umbrella Entertainment on March 22, 2012.[43] In December 2012, Criterion released a remastered DVD and Blu-ray of Koyaanisqatsi, as part of a box set containing the Qatsi Trilogy. The release features 5.1 surround sound audio and a restored digital transfer of the film in 1.85:1 aspect ratio, approved by director Godfrey Reggio
    I started out the 1998 CD. There is also a 5.1 DVDA version of that audio-only version. I then got a DVD that has the whole movie, but the audio quality wasn’t nearly as good. There is also a 2009 rerecording of the entire film soundtrack. But what I am reviewing now is the first part of the Qatsi bluray trilogy – and there are no compromises. It’s far better from an audio perspective – DTS MA 5.1 is the only option (there is no stereo option), plus you get the whole thing. It’s not entirely clear me whether or not the audio on the trilogy version is the original or the 2009 rerecording. The music credits on trilogy release simply list Michael Riesman as the conductor, which he was in both cases – so he is the only one I have listed under personnel.

    The Movie
    Even though it was top notch in 1982, the video is a little grainy – good for DVD, but not HD in any modern sense. Otherwise, it’s awesome.

    Starts with the launch of Apollo 11 viewed from a camera on the ground in close proximity. Music is keyboards in surround, with bass vocals chanting "Koyaanisqatsi" in front, and very deep bass that I think comes from a synthesizer – most of the instruments are classical, but Glass does use electronic keyboards.

    Aerial and ground photography of the southwestern US, including Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon. Soundtrack has strings in front and woodwinds in surround, plus more “Koyaanisqatsi" chanting. Some time-lapse photography, which is a hallmark of the movie.

    Time-lapse photography of cloud formations, and a waterfall, and the ocean, and slo-mo waves. Strings in front, horns in surround.

    The aerial camera goes down a ridge towards the ocean, turns a corner and suddenly confronts civilization in the form of first a farm and then a mining operation and a huge piece of machinery in the desert that belches black smoke. Keyboards in surround, horns in front, bass strings. Views of the desert with power lines and towers dominating the landscape with organ in surround, then strings in surround, and back to the mining operation. Back to keyboards in surround, horns in front. End with atomic bomb going off in the desert.

    Sunbathers next to nuclear reactor. Multiple vocal parts front and back. Plane (747) at LA airport, viewed through heat waves. With switch to freeway video, keyboards in surround comes in as the chorus continues. Then a switch to a long line of Russian tanks, and we get strings and woodwinds in front and the chorus continues. A view from space and an atomic bomb, not used. Regular bombs being used – lot of explosions.

    "Pruitt Igoe"
    San Francisco skyline with time lapse photogtaphy. Strings start up after a minute or so, front and back, and the scene changes to buildings torn down, and buildings which ought to be. Keyboards in front, horns in surround. Chorus comes in too – and buildings come down in slow motion. The music subsides to just strings again, and we are back to time laps photography of the skyline.

    "Pruitt Igoe Coda"
    A big glass walled building with clouds reflected shot with time lapse photography. Strings in surround.

    "SloMo People"
    Starts with time lapse people indoors, then slo-mo outdoors on city streets. I think it’s all synthesizer, in surround. Keyboards in front; pilot in front of his jet, and then some waitresses.

    "The Grid Introduction"
    Office buildings at night, time lapse photography. Bass strings or synthesizer. Switch to aerial view of city traffic, probably from office building – horns in front. Moon disappears behind office building.

    "The Grid"
    Switch back to traffic again still at night, but faster. Keyboards, and the chorus is back in surround. Switches to daytime auto traffic, then foot traffic, then people at work. Synthesizer, horns, and strings. Every now and then a normal speed or slo-mo segment in thrown in to change the pace. This goes on for 18 minutes, and it’s the most visually stunning part of the movie. Here is the last six minutes:

    Silence, with aerial view of city. I think this is LA. Then transforms to aerial view of a circuit board, with synthesizer in surround.

    Nightime time-lapse photography with keyboards and synth in surround reminiscent of the opening piece. Then daytime normal speed, and some slow motion. Chanting, presumably Hopi. Stock market scene with blurry time lapse , and we’re back to a rocket launch, then a rocket blowing up. However, the rocket initially shown taking off is a Saturn, and the one shown blowing up is an Atlas-Centaur rocket that exploded in 1962. The burning capsule is shown slowly falling back to the ground. Ends with Hopi artwork.

    I have a bunch of Philip Glass CDs, and this one has always been my favorite. The music is a little monotonous; it’s the transitions that make it interesting – and the same can be said of the movie itself. The fact that the music comes with video and now a little surround just makes it better. It’s not an adventurous surround mix, but some instruments are usually mixed partially to the rear.

    Music – 3
    Sound quality – 3
    Video presentation – 3
    Video quality – 2
    Surround – 2

    I plan on covering the rest of the Qatsi trilogy, which also have soundtracks by Philip Glass. I also plan on running through Baraka and Samsara, which are also films shot by Ron Fricke with just music for audio; there is a Dead Can Dance connection for both.
    Last edited: May 2, 2020
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  18. Guy Smiley

    Guy Smiley America’s Favorite Game Show Host

    Sesame Street
    Sorry to be “that guy,” but I keep meaning to remind you the Dylan film is called “No Direction Home.” Just like the line from “Like a Rolling Stone.” :)
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  19. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    A Hard Day’s Night
    Movie by The Beatles
    Directed by Richard Lester
    Produced by Walter Shenson
    Screenplay by Alun Owen
    Starring The Beatles, Wilfrid Brambell
    Musical Director: George Martin
    Songs: Lennon–McCartney
    Cinematography Gilbert Taylor
    Edited by John Jympson
    Production company: Walter Shenson Films, Proscenium Films
    Distributed by United Artists
    Release date: 6 July 1964 (UK), 11 August 1964 (US)
    Running time: 87 minutes
    Country : United Kingdom, United States
    Language English
    Budget £189,000
    Box office $2.4 million

    A Hard Day's Night is a 1964 musical comedy film directed by Richard Lester and starring the English rock band the Beatles—John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr—during the height of Beatlemania. It was written by Alun Owen and originally released by United Artists. The film portrays 36 hours in the lives of the group.
    The film was a financial and critical success. Forty years after its release, Time magazine rated it as one of the 100 all-time great films. In 1997, British critic Leslie Halliwell described it as a "comic fantasia with music; an enormous commercial success with the director trying every cinematic gag in the book" and awarded it a full four stars. The film is credited as being one of the most influential of all musical films, inspiring numerous spy films, the Monkees' television show and pop music videos. In 1999, the British Film Institute ranked it the 88th greatest British film of the 20th century.

    The Beatles evade a horde of fans while boarding a train for London. En route, they meet Paul's trouble-making grandfather (Wilfrid Brambell) for the first time; he becomes so much of a nuisance that Paul has him locked him up in the guards van, but he and the others soon join him inside playing cards and entertaining some schoolgirls before arriving at the London station, where they're quickly driven to a hotel where they begin to feel cooped up. Their manager Norm (Norman Rossington) tasks them with answering all their fan mail, but they sneak out to party, only to be caught and taken back by Norm. They then find out that the grandfather went to a casino and, after a brief dustup, bring him back to the hotel.

    The next day, they arrive at a TV studio for a performance. After the initial rehearsal, the producer (Victor Spinetti) thinks they're out to sabotage his career (thanks to something the grandfather said); the boys leave through a fire escape and dance around a field until forced off by the owner. Back in the studios they are separated when a woman named Millie (Anna Quayle) recognizes John but cannot recall who he is. George is also mistaken for a model auditioning for an ad with a popular female model. The boys all return to rehearse a second song, and after a quick trip to makeup, smoothly go through a third and earn a break.

    With an hour before the final run-through, Ringo is forced to watch the grandfather and takes him to the canteen for tea while he reads a book. The grandfather talks Ringo into going outside to experience life rather than reading books, passing a surprised John and Paul on the way out. He tries to have a quiet drink in a pub, takes pictures, walks alongside a canal, and rides a bicycle along a railway station platform. While the other three futilely search for Ringo, he is arrested on suspicion and taken to the police station, where Paul's grandfather joins him shortly after attempting to sell photographs of the Beatles with forged signatures; the grandfather makes a break for it and runs back to the studio and tells them about Ringo. Norm sends John, Paul and George to get him back. The boys all go to the station to rescue Ringo, but wind up in a Keystone Cops-style foot chase before arriving back at the studio with Ringo with only minutes to spare before airtime. The televised concert goes on as planned, after which the Beatles are whisked away to another performance via helicopter

    John Lennon as himself
    Paul McCartney as himself
    George Harrison as himself
    Ringo Starr as himself
    And 12 others
    The film's credits state that all songs are composed by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. However, also heard in the film is a portion of "Don't Bother Me", a George Harrison composition.

    • "A Hard Day's Night" (opening credits)
    • "I Should Have Known Better"
    • "I Wanna Be Your Man" (sample)
    • "Don't Bother Me" (Harrison) (sample)
    • "All My Loving" (sample)
    • "If I Fell"
    • "Can't Buy Me Love"
    • "And I Love Her"
    • "I'm Happy Just to Dance with You"
    • "Ringo's Theme (This Boy)" (instrumental)
    • "Can't Buy Me Love" (reprise)
    • "Tell Me Why"
    • "She Loves You"
    • "A Hard Day's Night" (reprise; closing credits)
    Version Control
    There many different versions of this movie. I have both an old Miramax 2 disc version that also has some supplemental material, and a new Criterion 3-disc bluray edition that I got only because it has a surround mix. In hindsight, a newer DVD with surround that is significantly cheaper might have served my purposes just as well. All of the them have lots of supplemental material, but I will just stick to the movie, and mostly the seven main songs.

    The Movie
    "A Hard Day's Night"
    As the opening credits run, the Beatles are chased through the streets by a flock of female fans. They eventually board a train with Paul’s “grandfather”. The surround mix is very plain. Lead vocals are in the center channel, but the rest is stereo with a little reverb in the back. Not in the same league as Help!

    "I Should Have Known Better"
    Paul’s grandfather is locked up in the mail car, and the Beatles join him for cards. Some female passengers come to watch and the song begins. Same deal on the surround mix. Another difference from Help! is that the songs are usually not by themselves in a chapter – which means I will have to do some editing after ripping.

    The Medley
    There aren’t any complete songs, but the chapter entitled “A Night Out” is a musical highlight as the Beatles go out to a club; portions of “I Wanna Be Your Man", "Don't Bother Me", and "All My Loving" are played while they are there. Grandpa is busy at the casino in between songs.

    "If I Fell"
    The Beatles are on stage preparing for a concert, and one of the studio assistants messes with one of the of Ringo’s cymbals. John comforts Ringo with a song.

    "Can't Buy Me Love"
    The Beatles run down fire escape stairs to a soccer field. They don’t pretend to play, but they dance a little. This is chapter needs editing at the end. There is also an interrupted instance of the song in Chapter 17.

    "And I Love Her"
    The Beatles are now back in the studio and performing for just the TV crew. There are only three mikes – one for Ringo, one for John, and George shares one with Paul who sings lead vocals. If that’s how they really did it then no wonder the surround mix is so limited.

    "I'm Happy Just to Dance with You"
    They wander into the next studio over where some dancers are performing, and another song breaks out. There are zero mikes this time; I have no idea how the drum set and guitars suddenly migrated over to the next studio.

    "Tell Me Why"
    Now we’ve got a live performance with screaming girls as the backdrop. Three microphones again. How come John gets his own, but Paul and George have to share? No wonder they broke up.

    Anyway, “Tell me why” segues right into another rendition of “If I Fell” and “I Should Have known Better”, making it impossible to rip a clean version.

    "She Loves You"
    This is not a new song – it’s doesn’t appear on the studio album with the same name. If you don’t mind the extra screaming at the beginning and the end of the song, this is a clean track.

    A Hard Day's Night
    is a better movie than Help! Wilfred Brambell as Paul’s grandfather is pretty damn funny. But as it turns out, I am way more excited about the Help! bluray upgrade than it’s predecessor. I can’t really get enthused about improving the video quality of 50 year old B&W budget film. However, the audio quality IS better on the bluray release, plus there is a bare bones surround mix. But it’s not nearly as rippable – I had to go through the extra work of editing out the movie bits before slotting eight new songs into my surround collection. But they aren’t the same - I just can’t pretend to have a surround mix of the studio album.

    Music -2
    Sound quality – 3 (old DVD 2)
    Video presentation – 2
    Video quality – 2
    Surround – 2 (old DVD 1)
  20. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    OK, I'll fix it next time.
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  21. Guy Smiley

    Guy Smiley America’s Favorite Game Show Host

    Sesame Street
    The Criterion release is a major upgrade in every way from that Miramax release. Wish Criterion would do all the Beatles films (Of course, I am excited to see what’s in store for the Let it Be reissue and Peter Jackson’s new film later this year).

    While A Hard Day’s Night is the better film (And an essential rock movie), I agree that Help! is the more exciting upgrade in both sound and video. But the Criterion HDN is the definitive release for sure.
  22. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    The Qatsi trilogy bluray set is a Criterion release too.
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  23. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    The Cream of Eric Clapton


    Live Performance by Eric Clapton
    Produced by Chris Hunt
    Starring Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Phil Collins
    Release date January 23, 1990 (VHS), April 29, 1998 (DVD)
    Running time 78 minutes

    The Cream of Eric Clapton is a compilation DVD of live Eric Clapton performances

    Eric Clapton – vocals and guitar
    …and many others

    Track Listing

    The Yardbirds
    1 "Louise" (Hooker)

    2 "Cross Roads" [sic] (Johnson, arr. Clapton)
    3 "I Feel Free" (Bruce/Brown)
    4 "Sunshine of Your Love" (Bruce/Brown/Clapton)
    5 "Strange Brew" (Clapton/Pappalardi/Collins)
    6 "White Room"1 (Bruce/Brown)

    7 "Badge"2 (Clapton/Harrison)
    8 "Worried Life Blues" (Merriweather)
    9 "Layla"3 (Clapton/Gordon)
    10 "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" (Dylan)
    11 "Cocaine" (Cale)
    12 "I Shot the Sheriff" (Marley)
    13 "Wonderful Tonight"5 (Clapton)
    14 "Forever Man" (Williams)
    15 "Tearing Us Apart" 4 (Clapton/Phillinganes)
    16 "Behind the Mask" (Mosdell/Sakamoto/Jackson)
    17 "Holy Mother" (Clapton/Bishop)

    Version Control
    The Cream of Eric Clapton video was first released on VHS is 1989. A DVD version was first released in 1998 – and that is what I have. There are also audio CDs entitled The Cream of Eric Clapton released in 1987 that has a different tracklist, and The Cream of Clapton released in 1995 that has yet another track list. It’s out of print; used copies are available but are not dirt cheap.

    The Videos
    These are live performance clips taken at different times in different places. It’s all formatted for wide screen and the video quality is all quite decent for a DVD – even the early ones are good considering their age. The audio is dolby digital and stereo only. There are no liner notes to speak of, maybe I lost them: I will try to figure out where all these performances are from.

    This is a black and white Yardbirds clip from a 1964 TV show in mono. It mostly features Keith Relf; Clapton is just one of the three band member that are also shown on occasion.

    "Cross Roads"
    Now playing with Cream and with much longer hair, Clapton is lead vocalist on what also appear to be a TV clip – also B&W.

    "I Feel Free"
    Still on the TV circuit, presumably in 1966, Bruce and Clapton are colead vocalists. Clapton has curly hair – how did that happen?
    Even though this is a Cream Sunday, sort of, I'm not going to use the clip here. However, you simply must check out this haircut:

    Cream - I Feel Free

    "Sunshine of Your Love"
    This is a live performance – the video quality takes a step down here. Bruce is lead vocalist, and Clapton has long straight hair.

    "Strange Brew"
    This appears to be from the same TV show as “I Feel Free” with the frizzy haired Clapton. I’m guessing it’s 1967 – looks like an Are You Experienced? haircut.

    "White Room"
    First one in color. This has a brief 90’s segment of Clapton and Bruce together. I believe the performance video is from the 1968 farewell concert - the camera angles are terrible.

    This was also a Cream song, but this video is from a solo performance much later in his career – Hartford Civic Center, 1985. The song order is arranged by chronological order of the original release, and NOT in chronological order of the performance.

    "Worried Life Blues"
    Can’t figure out where this is from, but it’s a small club and it’s gotta be 80’s

    Live Aid concert in 1985, with Phil Collins on drums:

    "Knockin' On Heaven's Door"
    This is from an Old Grey Whistle Test performance in 1977.

    This is also from Hartford Civic Center, 1985

    "I Shot the Sheriff"
    Clapton with a Jamaican backup band – can’t figure out where it’s from.

    "Wonderful Tonight"
    With Mark Knopfler, which would make it 1988 – from Wembley I think.

    "Forever Man"
    This is the official music video; it’s mostly live performance, but keeps cutting to show camera equipment as if that were important.

    "Tearing Us Apart"
    With Tina Turner, at Wembley 1986 as near as I can tell. Looks like Phil Collins on drums again.

    "Behind the Mask"
    From the Princes Trust concert at Wembley, 1987. Star studded lineup including Collins on drums again.

    "Holy Mother"
    Live in Birmingham 1986, Collins on drums

    This is a really nice collection of mostly 1980’s concert performances with a little older footage thrown in at the beginning as well. The second half of the disc is fantastic. Furthermore, there are no interviews to interrupt the music - I like that.

    Music – 3
    Sound quality – 2
    Video presentation – 3
    Video quality – 2
    Surround – 1
  24. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    Nice. Thanks for running out some Clapton, always appreciated
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  25. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I've got Slowhand at 70 in a stack of unopened blurays.
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