Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Stax/Volt Revue Live In Norway 1967|
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Stax/Volt Revue - Live in Norway 1967 marks the first-ever official release of this historic concert. Considered by soul music fans to be one of the greatest lineups of artists ever to grace the concert stage, this DVD ... more »
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Memphis Soul Fans' Delight!
J. Bode | Lawrence, KS United States | 10/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Holy Grail has surfaced at last! If you are reading this, you love Memphis Soul, so what are you waiting for! Buy this disc! The packaging is great, with a nice booklet of over a dozen pages written by the author of Soulville. Considering this is old black and white footage and that one cannot undo poor camera choices (such as ridiculous rapid zooming in and out during one Sam and Dave song), the quality is quite good. The edits done to preserve continuity are essentially seamless and never detract from the program. Sometimes the microphones are overdriven a bit, but there is nothing that can be done about that now, and it isn't that bad. So, from a technical and packaging standpoint, very, very good.
The performances are way cool. Booker T and the MG's and the Mar Kays warm things up and it is great to have some time to focus on their talents. Arthur Conley perfoms "Midnight Hour" with co-author Steve Cropper, which is kind of neat, but I really enjoy his second performance even more. Eddie Floyd's perfomance is brief and fairly good. When Sam & Dave are introduced, the show really takes off and the band steps it into high gear. I personally purchased this just to have a chance to realize a dream - seeing Sam & Dave perform. They do not disappoint! To me, their 4 songs (one is slightly abbreviated) are the highlight of the show. We have all seen Otis and know how amazing he is, but footage of Sam & Dave is unheard of. I suspect many of you, like me, were more curious about this aspect than the Otis portion of the show, because we all know Otis will deliver, and he does. All one need say is that Otis performs and you know it is great. Still, my personal highlight is "When Something is Wrong With My Baby" by Sam and Dave. Watch the funny interaction between Duck Dunn and Dave. The band is incredible all the way through. I was still on the edge of my seat the second time through the show! If you love Stax, this might move you to tears! BUY IT!"
An important document, but the records are better.
David W. Carpenter | Washington, DC | 12/08/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I am a big fan of the music put out by the Stax/Volt machine. The nine-volume CD set with all the singles they released from 1959-1968 has been among my favorite things to listen to for years. I had read about the great success of the 1967 European tour, and it was surely a high period for all of the artists involved, so when I saw this DVD available, I knew within two seconds that I was going to buy it.
It is an interesting historical document of an important moment in pop music history. Musically, though, I have to say that the singles themselves are more compelling. The chief problem here is the fact that the musicians believed that everything needed to be played faster live. They even talk about this in the interviews. They wanted to give it an extra kick, stir up the audience almost to a frenzy, if possible. They certainly do deliver energized, frenetic performances. But, faster is not always better. In almost every song here, they deprive the music of the space it needs to breathe. Artistically, the evening was more or less a failure. The magic you can hear on the Stax records is just not present here. At least to my ears.
This is still recommended for big fans of Stax/Volt, but they probably don't need my help to realize that. Otherwise, check out the original records first. They are superb."
Track Listing ...
D. Wentworth | Pittsburgh, PA | 05/26/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Here's the track listing, from all music, for those seriously considering purchasing this set.
1 Red Beans and Rice Booker T. & the MG's
2 Green Onions Booker T. & the MG's
3 Philly Dog Mar Keys
4 Grab This Thing Mar Keys
5 Last Night Mar Keys
6 In the Midnight Hour Arthur Conley
7 Sweet Soul Music Arthur Conley
8 Raise Your Hand Eddie Floyd
9 You Don't Know Like I Know Sam & Dave
10 Soothe Me Sam & Dave
11 When Something Is Wrong with My Baby Sam & Dave
12 Hold On! I'm Comin' Sam & Dave
13 Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song) Otis Redding
14 My Girl Otis Redding
15 Shake Otis Redding
16 Satisfaction Otis Redding
17 Try a Little Tenderness Otis Redding"
Like soul music? BUY THIS DVD!
John A. Werner | Chicago, IL USA | 10/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I cannot believe my good fortune to have stumbled across this DVD. It may very well be Soul perfection. At the very least it's a shining testament to some of the finest musicians ever to pick up their respective instruments.
As noted in other reviews, the sound quality is not perfect. On brief occasions there is some distortion, mostly due to overdriven mics. And there are a few changes in volume that are noticeable. But frankly, this is just me being overly critical for your benefit. In general, and considering the era in which this was recorded, the sound is well done. One of the key elements of the Stax/Volt sound is the wonderful bass lines, and Donald "Duck" Dunn's bass comes through strong and warm.
The video quality is about what you'd expect from 1967. There are a few glitches, but no major issues. If you remember watching B&W television in the late 60's, it may actually be nostalgic. However you will come to loathe the moments during Sam & Dave's "Soothe Me", when the camerapeople decide to show off their new zoom lenses. Luckily the motion-sickness inducing camera work only lasts about 25-30 seconds. Don't worry, just close your eyes at about 39:45 and let the music carry you away for 30 seconds.
And the music will carry you away. The show is perfectly paced, starting off with the instrumental groups and concluding with a scorching performance by Otis Redding. Booker T. & the MGs (Booker T. Jones on organ, Steve "the Colonel" Cropper on guitar, Donald "Duck" Dunn on bass, and the incomparable Al Jackson, Jr. on drums) start off the show, and are then joined by the horn section (Wayne Jackson on trumpet, Andrew Love and Joe Arnold on tenor sax) to form the Mar-Keys. This ensemble then serves as the band for the rest of the show. Arthur Conley jumps in with a level of energy that most modern performers would be hard-pressed to match, and the show just builds from there. Eddie Floyd keeps the pressure on, and almost starts a riot when he goes into the audience. Security is provided by what appears to be a branch of the Norwegian military, who intervene when the crowd comes to the front of the stage. This happens more than once during the show, but the reaction is rather tame from what I've heard about the audiences in Great Britain and France. And Eddie Floyd does a good job of diffusing any tension. He asks all the "soldiers on the front line" to turn around and clap their hands, doing his best to invite everyone into the musical celebration. Things settle down for a moment, but then come Sam & Dave. This is an electrifying performance by Sam Moore and Dave Prater, not to be missed. I know James Brown was the hardest working man in show business, but Sam Moore would definitely give him a run for his money. During the performance of "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby", Sam is literally vibrating with the energy and emotion he puts into his vocal.
Sam & Dave leave it all on the stage in this performance, and it seems impossible to top. Of course, one should never doubt Otis Redding. And he definitely does not disappoint. Using "Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)" as a sing-along, he draws in all of the audience. And they are his from that moment on. By the time he finishes with "Try A Little Tenderness", the audience is rapt. Just witness the young blonde woman in the front row, in some kind of hand-clapping, head-shaking frenzy. A few "mini-encores" from Otis, a final push to the front of the stage by the audience and the evening is over, all too soon.
To put things into perspective, I have only one thing to say. If this music and these performances don't move you, I have some bad news... You're dead. Check your pulse, because there is something seriously wrong.
There are a few extras on this disc. The interviews with Steve Cropper, Jim Stewart, Sam Moore and Wayne Jackson give some interesting insights into what the band members were feeling at the time, and Jim's futile attempts at trying to control the tempo of Otis' set. The alternative take of "Green Onions" is wonderful, showing the impressive skills of Al Jackson if nothing else.
Special note to musicians: I originally picked up this DVD with the hopes of copping some of Steve Cropper's guitar playing. This can be done in some instances. But there is a better view of Donald Dunn. I started as a bass player, and I'm in awe of Dunn's work, here and in other instances. I can't find a single note that he missed in the entire 75 minutes. During the Booker T. & the MGs' songs, it is also possible to work out Booker T.'s organ playing. But once the first two songs are over, Booker T. is mostly off camera or in the distance. Musicians should definitely check out this DVD, for inspiration if nothing else.
However, if I were a drummer, I'm not sure I would want to see this. Why? Because Al Jackson's performance will make you weep, it's that good. Not only are his phenomenal skills as a drummer in evidence, this DVD also demonstrates his skill as a showman. Not necessarily in his drumming style; he keeps it cool, effortless and smooth as always. His skill as a showman shines through in the way he changes accents and beats, knowing exactly how and when to excite the audience and take things to the next level by doubling the tempo, etc. Not to mention he's always "in the pocket". And if you want to see incredible drumming technique, just watch the alternative take of "Green Onions"."