Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Uschi Nerke, Steven Marriott, Robin Gibb, Mike Hugg, Barry Gibb
Director: Michael Leckebusch
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Wine and cheese
running_man | Chesterfield Twp., MI | 09/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Beat Club was a popular German television show that aired between 1965 and 1972, when its name was changed to 'Musikladen'. Unfortunately, this series of highlights has never been released in the United States or Canada. If you purchase any of the Beat Club discs, you'll need to use an "all-region" player, or pay a sound technician $10 or better to convert the disc from PAL (the European standard) to NTSC (the US and Canadian standard).
Is it worth your $10 outlay? I believe so, although that isn't to say that everything on these discs is noteworthy, or will appeal to American audiences. This 1968 disc is a case in point. Among the "cheesy" offerings are several lip-synchs that could have been rare classic performances. The Beat Club was well known for allowing artists to smash the Top 40 limitations often imposed on lengthy, live performances, so it's hard to imagine why a band like Steppenwolf would stoop to lip-synching. It actually seems oxymoronic to say, 'Born To Be Wild' lip-synched. How can that song, or Steppenwolf's other offering, 'Sookie Sookie' be reduced to imitation? Ditto for The Beach Boy's lip-synch of 'Do It Again'. Cheesy all on her own is Melanie's performances of 'Animal Crackers' and 'Bobo's Party'. I don't know how you feel, but this girl is just disturbing to me. At least 'Bobo's Party' is progressive folk. Slipped into the midst of this dismal start to the disc is a sweet cover of 'Lady Madonna' by one of the finer cover artists of the late 1960's, Richie Havens.
Tracks seven through sixteeen represent the fine wine of the disc. It starts with a long and nasty version of 'Natural Born Woman' from Steve Marriot and Humble Pie. Other highly satisfying and entirely live performances from artists such as Alvin Lee and Ten Years After ('Good Morning Little Schoolgirl'), the lovely Bonnie Bramlett with husband Delaney and Eric Clapton in tow ('Poor Elijah'), and Chicago swiping 'I'm a Man' from Stevie and Spencer, lie in wait. The Nice chime in with a progressive pop/classical/jazz overture titled 'Hang On To a Dream', and Champion Jack Dupree offers up gritty delta blues with 'Calcutta'. Yes is also featured on the disc, although 'No Opportunity Necesssary, No Experience Needed' is hardly their finest composition, and the performance is already available on a 'Musikladen' disc anyway.
The remaining three tracks, while worthy of inclusion, feature bands much more familiar to European audiences. 'Fat Mattress' offers up solid blues-rock with 'Mr. Moonshine' and 'Naturally', while 'Bloodwyn Pig' proves Roland Kirk isn't the only musician who can play two saxophones at once with their performance of 'Modern Alchemist'.
At the time this review was written 'The Beat Club - 1968' was running around $30. Add to that shipping, and the minimum $10 conversion fee, and you're looking at a substantial investment for sixteen video tracks. While the Beat Club offered superb visual and sound quality, especially considering the era, you may be reluctant to fork over so much money for 40 year old entertainment. I would suggest that your initial investment could be largely recouped by copying the disc, and then reselling the used original on Amazon. The steep price should be the only hurdle you need to clear in obtaining this collection of rare, and mostly fine performances."