Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
James is James but this DVD does him no justice!
J. Hand | southern Indiana | 12/22/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I think the hard thing about giving recent releases of older video musical performances a fair shake is that modern stuff is (typically) so technologically superior in video and sound quality out of the gate. Although I know I should take that into perspective, this disc looks dated. It sounds dated. In places it looks like was recorded by filming the performance while it was playing over a television set. The technology exists to fix this kind of material up quite presentably. I wish it would have been done with this release. I suspect that DVD's total sales wouldn't have made doing so worth the cost. It's a shame because James deserves the best. It seems whenever an artist of note passes there is a rush to release every piece of archival material, for better or for worse to cash in on their rekindled or new-found fame. Too often the artist wouldn't have accepted such sub-par material to be released had he/she been alive. (Think Jimi Hendrix in general, and more recently the proliferation of live Doors video footage with less than bootleg sound quality) If you love JB and just knowing you are watching the Godfather bakes your cookies, buy this. If you want to see and hear the mastery and showmanship that was The Hardest Working Man in Showbiznizz look elsewhere. I wish I had another title recommendation instead."
Substandard quality but close to his best live DVD!
Phil S. | USA | 06/26/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It seems that some non-industry enterprising souls managed to drag some 1979 video cameras into this show. The cameras are stationary, apparently there was no additional lighting for such a project; so there's no cutaways to the crowd, which can add that interactive dimension. Judging by the facial expressions of the three ladies who dance and sing along on stage, it was total pandemonium out there.
So what we have is something for the deep fan; and passable *audio* of an exceptionally fine show. Brown is totally committed to the proceedings, trimmed down, singing well. Very few of those screams and moans he's associated with. By the end of the decade, on record and on stage, it was more about the *music*.
The music here is great. You won't hear a greater "Sex Machine" out there - it's a marathon performance of 20 minutes, and never gets boring.
There's the lesser-known "Eyesight" from his good selling "Jam/1980s" album, an introspective lyric over the New New Heavy Funk. (On many reissues of this set, you'll see "Hindsight" listed. Indeed, on the original VHS release, the track was missing from the jacket details).
"Quality Control" is not a consistent theme in his catalogue: some of his most exciting records have editing flaws, pitch control issues, bad overdubbing, etc. But things like "Live At The Garden" and "Pure Dynamite! [live at the Royal]" are still important efforts.
let's keep this "Santa Cruz" opus in that frame of mind."