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The Midnight Special: 1973
The Midnight Special 1973
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Movie Details

Creators: Doobie Brothers, Edgar Winter, Jim Croce, Linda Ronstadt, Steely Dan, Anne Murray, Billy Preston, Gladys Knight & the Pips, George Carlin
Studio: Guthy-Renker
Format: DVD
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 16
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)

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Movie Reviews

One of the best in the series
James Zinn | Kansas City, MO | 09/08/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The Midnight Special Series used to be on NBC on Friday nights at midnight in the 1970s. There was always a few artists featured per episode. Usually each artist got a couple of songs, with commercial breaks between each song, and as I recall, the show was 1 hour long. Comedians were also featured on most episodes and Wolfman Jack was the show's host.

Unfortunately, the video series is released as a per year basis, so instead of getting particular episodes with artists you want, you end up with some artists/songs you like, mixed with absolute dreck/schlock you don't want to see. This means don't spend too much on any particular DVD, as most just arn't worth it. Also, all are mixed into Dolby 5.1 surround sound, but few particular performances have sound quality worth the trouble it took to mix them. You do have the option for stereo on them, so that will probably be good enough for most people. 1970s TV was all originally broadcast in mono.

Fortunately, the 1973 and 1974 DVDs are among the best ones of the whole series, overall.

On this particular 1973 DVD, you get more bang for the buck than most.

Most of the video is live, but I suspect some lip synching or pre-recorded backup is done on some of them on the DVD performances, especially Johnny Nash on this one.

The Doobie Brothers are just OK, as they always are. They just don't create any great sparks here.

Billy Preston's performance of "Circles" is pretty good.

The Steely Dan performance is worth the money spent alone, as it is the original touring lineup of the band with Denny Dias and Skunk Baxter on guitars (Walter Becker on bass). There is probably no other video footage, let alone audio, of the original band live, except the live audio B-side of "Bodhisattva". With "Do It Again" on the "More 1973" DVD, it just makes you yearn for more and wonder if performances of "Dirty Work" or "Midnight Cruiser" are lurking in the vaults somewhere.

The Jim Croce performance of "Leroy Brown" is pretty good, and it must have occurred not long before he died in the plane crash in Sept. 1973.

Interestingly, Seals and Crofts actually are way better than you would expect, when you see them live, vs. listening to their studio cuts.

"Bang a Gong" is sped up too much, and Marc Bolan's falsetto gets a bit wearing after awhile, as it probably has some coke-fueling in there. It doesn't help that his backup singers falsetto too much, too. Sounds like some goats got out of the pen.

For some odd reason, on War's "Cisco Kid", Papa Dee Allen is missing but it appears his percussion kit is there (weird). There must be a story on that one.

The Argent performance is OK but they seem a bit awkward/shy. I'm sure they were better seeing them in a whole concert than this one song on TV.

This DVD closes with an absolutely devastating Edgar Winter performance of "Frankenstein" with Ronnie Montrose on guitar. What a rockin' stompin' performance! Also almost worth the price of the DVD alone.

The comedy segments are OK but as in all of the DVDs, you get just a snippet instead of the whole routine. At least you get some vintage George Carlin."
Burt Sugarmans MIdnight Special
Barry B. Einhorn | 09/20/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Having just received my set of DVDs. Seeing these stars doing live shows is great. Video and audio are poor."