Goin' to the Chapel...
Laura Pinto | St. Petersburg, FL United States | 05/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anybody who was alive during the Sixties is familiar with the music of Jeff Barry. And many folks who hadn't yet been born during Jeff's heyday have come to know his work. You can't possibly miss it ... Jeff's fingerprints are everywhere around us! Producer ("I'm a Believer") and songwriter ("Sugar, Sugar") par excellence, Jeff was such a part of American pop culture that I simply cannot imagine life without his presence in it."Chapel of Love: Jeff Barry and Friends," originally taped in March of 2000 as a PBS special and now available on home video, is a gem. It's pure magic from start to finish. Think of it as an hourlong music video. The first act on the tape is the show's namesake, "Chapel of Love," and the Dixie Cups' beautiful three-part harmonies on the song make it as close to a religious experience as you can get outside of church. I literally got goose bumps. That performance alone is worth the price of the tape. But then there are 13 more after that one, and each one will make someone smile with a fond memory. "Da Doo Ron Ron" by The Crystals, "Be My Baby" by Brian Wilson (his genuine affection for the song coming through with every note), "I Can Hear Music" by Ronnie Spector with harmonies by Brian W., and the energetic "River Deep Mountain High" by Mary Wilson. After this, a stirring rendition of a song I admit I'm a little biased towards, "Tell Laura I Love Her," by Ray Peterson who still sounds the same as he did when he first recorded the tune.Next, Ron Dante, the lead voice of The Archies, comes onstage with his guitar and performs a rockin' version of "Sugar, Sugar" that was a delight from start to finish. Afterwards, the three excellent singers who had been providing background vocals, Jana Anderson, Mindy Stein and Melanie Taylor, do emotionally charged justice to the heart-tugging "Leader of the Pack." The Crystals are next with "Then He Kissed Me." Jeffrey Osborne and Deniece Williams perform the sweetly sentimental "The Last Time I Made Love," then Deniece takes the stage alone for "I Honestly Love You." After this, Andy Kim, the co-composer of "Sugar, Sugar" and a bright star in his own right, does a soulful version of his signature "Baby I Love You." Ron Dante then returns to the stage for a fantastic and fun performance of "Hanky Panky." The finale is "Doo Wah Diddy Diddy" sung by the entire gang.The video is interspersed with recollections by Jeff and each of the artists. The pacing is perfect; it never lags or goes flat. You won't even have been aware that an hour has passed until you see the credits start to roll. In short, a fantastic trip down memory lane for this baby-boomer and highly recommended for all ages!"
Laura Pinto | 09/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Obviously Jeff Barry is an incredible songwriter. But the performances of Jeffrey Osborne and Denice Williams make this DVD a must have for anyone who is into excellent music. Superb musicianship. Ronnie Spector really belts it on "I can hear music". Guitar solo on "Baby I love you" is a all time classic.