Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Best of Musikladen Live - Stephen Stills Manassas|
Actors: Karl Dall, Ingo Insterburg, Bryan Ferry, Bonnie Tyler, Joan Jett
Director: Michael Leckebusch
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Stephen Stills had graduated to solo stature after central roles in two influential but internally combustible bands, Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, when he opted to form the short-lived Manassas in ... more »
A must for Stills fans
Stratman | Germantown, Maryland United States | 01/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The only negative things I can say about this DVD are: 1) It's not long enough at only 40 minutes, and 2) It doesn't feature any acoustic material. BTW, the Amazon review is wholly inaccuate in stating that this material is from Manassas "debut" album, Down The Road. Down The Road was actually Manassas' second album, and this DVD doesn't feature any material from it. All of the material here, save one extended jam, is from Mansassas double-LP "Stephen Stills and Manassas".Stills is, as usual, amazing on guitar; he's one of the most unheralded electric players of his era. The performances here are faithful to the recorded versions. The band is tight and there's none of the sloppiness that mars so many live recordings. You can't go wrong with this DVD."
running_man | Chesterfield Twp., MI | 09/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is Stephen Stills at his literal zenith. After his 1968 and 1970 releases with CSN and CSNY, Stills launched a series of solo efforts. His first solo album is widely recognized as a rock classic, and while its successor, Stephen Stills 2, gained less acclaim, it offered strong compositions in songs such as 'Know You Got To Run' and 'Sugar Babe'. In 1972 Stills pulled together Manassas, with drummer Dallas Taylor (Woodstock Festival and 'Deja Vu'), bassist Calvin "Fuzzy" Samuels ('Four Way Street'), and Paul Harris ('Stephen Stills 2') being Still's veteran bandmates, and produced the opus of his recording career. The band's output, however, maxed out at only 3 discs, and this German television broadcast represents the only visual record of the band available. In fact, the only other professionally produced, finished material to be had is a radio broadcast from Amsterdam, Holland in 1973.Fortunately, the band is being seen in their genesis, promoting their debut double-LP. Their sound is clean and Stills appears pumped-up for this performance. The filming couldn't be much smarter for the early 1970's, aside from graphics displaying song titles, and day-glo, mirrored images of the band members for the background. These are minor distractions. The bulk of the video is pure performance footage. Despite the lack of an audience to spur them on, it doesn't appear the performances could be more inspired. Stills takes a deep breath before launching into the first number, the introspective 'Bound To Fall'. The band already appears warmed-up, with Paul Harris contributing a scintillating organ solo. 'Bound To Fall' is followed by a Stills/Chris Hillman composition, perhaps the loveliest ballad either man has ever recorded, 'It Doesn't Matter'. Joe Lala's provocative percussion on the production is penetrating and persuasive.The opening selections conclude with the entreating 'Hide It So Deep', a country-flavored number which Stills is especially adept at delivering. Al Perkins adds a sweet steel guitar to the rich mix. Each of the first three songs feature lingering harmonies from Stills and Hillman.We are then treated to the opening salvo from the double-LP 'Manassas', titled 'The Raven'. 'The Raven' is Stephen Stills' Abbey Road. As he segues from 'Song Of Love', to 'Rock and Roll Crazies', to 'Cuban Bluegrass', Stills puts on display the immutable appeal of the singer-songwriter. These are clearly songs written by Stephen Stills for Stephen Stills. We sense his roots, connect with his passions, and need only sit back to be absorbed by the appreciable talents he employs to convey his artistry. Particularly appealing are the pronounced vocal and guitar hitches of 'Rock and Roll Crazies' surrounding the lyric, "...catch yourself practicin' bein' shallow every day... yeah!" Beautiful. And 'Cuban Bluegrass' stirs Stills into a mambo only a lead guitarist could get away with.Stills finishes off this abbreviated version of 'The Raven' with the wrought-iron blues of 'Jet Set'. His delivery will cause you to wonder whether Stills was born for the blues, or the blues for Stephen Stills. From this point on in the video the cameraman is clearly mesmerized by Stills' masterful fretwork.While nearly all the material chosen for the video has a parallel studio version, 'Jet Set' does segue into a jam session, aptly titled 'Jam', which is not available on any other release. This segment runs five minutes and features a funky guitar from Stills, and nice instrumental runs from Lala and Harris. It's nice to have this unique instrumental, but when one considers that it replaces the usual conclusion to 'The Raven', the strutting and determined 'Anyway', and the engaging 'Both of Us'.... Appearing as an afterthought (something of a studio session encore), the video concludes with Stills donning his fourth electric guitar of the evening for a churning rendition of 'The Treasure', one of the closing numbers from their debut album. Stills smoking guitar and strong vocals are backed up with soaring harmonies by Hillman and Al Perkins, and a sharp-as-a-knife steel guitar solo from Perkins. Although the camera (enraptured with Stills' wah-wah backup) misses most of Perkins picking, it is still true icing on the cake.At the conclusion of the first number, Stills jokingly remarks to Hillman, "...take the first verse of the first one...", apparently suggesting this was the second take of 'Bound To Fall'. Fans of Manassas can only hope that more material from this rare and exciting performance remains in the vault, and will one day find the light of day. Indeed, if versions of songs such as 'So Begin the Task' and 'Colorado' lie in wait, justice demands they be awarded their freedom. It would be criminal to hold them back any longer."
A Rare Gem
Paul | New York, New York USA | 08/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 1972 performance by Stephen Stills and Manassas is a must-have for his fans and for anyone else who apprecates brilliant rock/blues/country/latin guitar playing. Stephen Stills (who together with Neil Young in the Buffalo Springfield practically created the so-called folk-rock sound) has never gotten the appreciation he deserves as a musician, particularly from fans of Neil Young, the equally brilliant but not quite as good guitarist who has risen to greater popularily. The sound of this video has been beautifully remastered and is far superior to the bootleg of this show that's been floating around for years. Identical in all regards except it does not include the second take of Bound To Fall. Contrary to the Amazon review, all of these tracks emanate from their self-titled debut double-album. Mr. Stills, who has shined during the recently completed CSNY2K tour of North America, performs with a talented ensemble of musicians including the well-known Chris Hillman and Joe Lala among others. It was this band that Bill Wyman, allegedly, told Chris Hillman he would have left the Rolling Stones to join but apparently no one ever told Stephen until much later."
So much untapped potential...
meiringen | the Midwest | 03/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A wonderful video of a band that had tremendous potential, but never made it. All of the songs on this DVD are from the "Manassas" debut double album, contrary to what the content review says. Stills is at his best, and the band proves to be very versatile in many styles of music.It's too bad that this band never made it -- what you see on this DVD is just a fraction of what they were capable of. I saw them in concert, and it was an experience that I shall never forget. Even though the production values are somewhat dated (this was originally broadcast in 1972), the video does look good, and the sound is great.This DVD is a must have for fans of Stephen Stills."