Hours of fun
Icepick | Castroville, CA USA | 12/04/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Music Scene was a show that only lasted about four months, and from this disc it's easy to see why it failed. It was far too eclectic with each show having one pop act, one progressive rock act, one C&W act, one black act, etc. For the militant pop music fan of the day, the show would have made you endure three things you weren't interested in for every one you were. That being said, if your tastes are broad, there's lots of great stuff here. The show was tuned in to what was popular at that very time. It's not a bunch of bottom top-forty material. Still, some is memorable and some deserved to stay locked in the time capsule.The show interjected comedy routines between the musical numbers and, man, are they lame. Most of them. The bit that Tommy Smothers does before "Okie From Muskogee" is priceless. The chapters stops on the DVD are set so that if you skip ahead a chapter you hit the beginning of a musical number rather than the comedy bit. So you can easily skip past all the comedy (recommended).Some favorite numbers, including some unexpected surprises: CSNY, "Down By the River," with a great hippie guitar freak-out; an interesting medley by the Everlys showing they were still cool in 1969; Isaac Hayes with "Walk on By" from "Hot Buttered Soul; Jerry Lee Lewis; Little Richard; Paul Anka doing *his* song, "My Way"; Ten Years After; a gospel version of The Archies' "Sugar, Sugar"!?; The Temptations; some awesome performances by Sly & the Family Stone; Janis Joplin. There are from 40-50 numbers total.The DVD has a clean, colorful picture. The sound was decent considering that most of the music was vocal-oriented. I listen through TV speakers, so if the sound is superior I don't really know. But it did seem that the instrumentals were muted for some numbers, e.g. "Walk on By.""
The Cutting Edge of Wholesome Entertainment
R. Epstein | USA | 04/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"No doubt had I watched this series 35 years ago, I would have run out of the room when guests like Bobby Sherman or Steve Lawrence came on. And like many of the reviewers here, I would have questioned the intelligence of putting so many performers of different musical background all on one show. But I remember that Ed Sullivan's show had a similar mismatching of musical talent every week (not to mention puppet shows and ballet!). That was the sign of the times. The title of this show sums it all up: Music Scene. It is a terrific time capsule of the entire music scene of that era. It's all so innocent and unsophisticated to us now, but that's why most of the show is extremely enjoyable to watch. This show was right on the cusp of the next wave of television that was soon going to splinter into specialized programming. Previous to that, as we can see in this show, there was a lot of pressure to make sure that all the programming had something for everyone. I'm glad that it did splinter into programming that offered more intelligence and sophistication, but I'm also glad that there is this record of the America of decades past. One can appreciate how "radical" the sixties was on mainstream America when they see its musical extremes back-to-back. I think this series is a wonderful kaleidoscopic portrait of one of the most amazing times in our history, musically and culturally.
FEATURED PERFORMERS: James Brown, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Oliver, Three Dog Night, Tom Jones, The Rascals, The Dells, Roger Miller, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Bobby Sherman, The Music Scene Singers, Sly and the Family Stone, Merle Haggard, Pat Williams, Steve Lawrence, The Temptations, Jerry Lee Lewis, Smith, Ten Years After, Richie Havens, Janis Joplin, Isaac Hayes, The Archies, and special gusts hosts Tommy Smothers and Michael Cole (reciting Rod McKuen - aagh!). BONUS TRACKS: Mary Hopkin, Lou Rawls, Marva Whitney, Joe Cocker, Captain Ely. Tommy Rose, Spirit, Della Reese, Gary Puckett, The Grass Roots, Lulu, Edie Gourmet, Little Richard, BB King, Paul Anka, Charley Pride, Buffy Saint Marie, The Everly Brothers, 4 very brief (non-musical) promos by The Rolling Stones, and more "Sugar Sugar" than you could ever hope for (actually, I really enjoyed the gospel rendition!).
Worth it for the flashbacks
Tom Tuerff | That there Phoenix place | 04/28/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Of the two volumes in this series, this one, Volume 1, is probably the weakest. Not that it's bad, but it took the producers a few weeks to fine-tune this show (pretty much just in time for the show to be cancelled). There are some flat-out funny moments here, and some aren't intentional. Notice, for example, that during the CSNY piece, Graham Nash, playing away on the piano, is virtually ignored by the cameras. If you didn't know who was who you'd think the drummer must be Nash; he gets more camera time.David Steinberg's "antics" (I use the term lightly) range from pretty darn funny to just goofy.Musically, the proof is here; Richie Havens, Isaac Hayes, and even Mama Cass is pretty good. And Jerry Lee Lewis takes the cake, as "The Killer" ofen does. Be sure to buy volume 2 of this set as well. As the show sped towards oblivion the comedy got stranger, the guests got louder and if I didn't know better I'd bet you that last-show's guest-host Groucho Marx is still cracking jokes in that studio."
A Pop Culture Time Capsule!
Steve Stalzle | Denver, Colorado, USA | 09/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a wonderful discovery on DVD!
There are two DVD's that comprise the complete series, which was only on from September, 1969, to January, 1970. David Steinberg is great as the host, and was one of the writers of the show. What a great showcase of the talent of the late 60's! It's an interesting variety of musical artists, and a neat time capsule of pop culture.
One of the coolest episodes, in my opinion, is the very last one, co-hosted by Comedy Legend Groucho Marx!! They did a little 'chat' session with Groucho and David Steinberg which is a classic!
Apparently this show was cancelled due to low ratings and competition from 'Laugh-In' And 'Gunsmoke', and I bet the producers/writers/performers never thought it'd ever see the light of day in any form after cancellation, but HOORAY for the DVD's!!!!
Some of the best things about the DVD's are all the Extra Bonus Material! It appears to be segments/songs/musicians cut from the original episodes! It's some killer stuff, and I'm amazed that all this fabulous material got the AXE during the original run of the show! Well, they only had 45 minutes per episode to get so much material in, I guess....
This is a must-see for fans of pop culture and music of the late 60's!
I highly recommend it!"