A SPECIAL ONE NIGHT EVENT DOCUMENTING ONE OF ROCK & ROLL'SGREATEST & MOST UNIQUE PERFORMANCES. RECORDED LIVE AT THE COCOANUT GROVE IN LOS ANGELES, ROY ORBISON IS JOINED BY ANECLECTIC ENSEMBLE OF ROCK & ROLL SUPERSTARS.
"When Springsteen wrote and created his Born To Run album he explained to critics that he wanted "to have an album with lyrics like Dylan, singing like Roy Orbison, and a sound like Phil Spector." If you're 25 or older and you can only give your children one snapshot of popular music, circa '60- '90, buy them a copy of this tape. Bonnie Raitt, Jennifer Warnes, k.d. lang, John David Souther, Jackson Brown and Steven Soules sing backing vocals. Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Bruce Springsteen and T-Bone Burnett, among others,play instrumental second fiddles. And they all do it for The Man. Roy Orbison. The architect of the symphonic, Ravel-like love song. The singer of singers. Just weeks before he died he played a concert in Boston and the local critic said, (I paraphrase) "he repeated that last line, in his falsetto voice, over and over and over as if to say, 'I'm still here and can do it...anytime.'" The videotape is revelatory. Stephen Burton (gtr) shows, over and over again, why he is to studio musicians and especially to guitar players, an icon non-pareil. He is Chet Atkins, Django Reinhardt, Bucky Pizzarelli, all in one. The tape does a tidy review of Orbison's hits. More remarkable than the performance of those hits is the reverential looks and obvious excitment of Springsteen, Costello, lang, Raitt, Browne, etc. as they accompany him on his tour of transistor radio hits. Forget the Wilbury's. This is Roy's night. Deservedly. Roy knew how to constrain all that emotion behind his words until he was ready to release it. In the last moments of the tape Roy sings "Pretty Woman" and it opens up into a jam-for-all. Noteworthy is how Springsteen acquits himself in a mano a' mano guitar trade with Burton. First they trade twelve bar solos, then they raise the stakes and trade four bar exchanges. Springsteen shows that all those hours spent in his bedroom paid off, ("..well I got me a guitar and I learned how to make it talk...") not topping Burton but filing a tasty, even nasty, testament of his own licks and sources. Perhaps most easily, and unjustly, overlooked in a star studded vid like this is Elvis Costello who plays, no, contributes in a huge way, turns as a harp (harmonica) player, guitar player, singer and pianist. But instrumentally, Burton, Springsteen and Alex Tutt (long-time Orbison drummer) truly set themselves apart. And...It's a real hoot to see k.d. lang and Bonnie Raitt and Jennifer Warnes doing "steps" and singing "sha la la la" and "doo wah doo wah doo wah" and obviously loving it. It is a video to love. And that doesn't even begin to address Orbison's lyrics: "A candy colored clown they call the sandman; tiptoes to my room every night; just to sprinkle star dust and to whisper: "go to sleep, everything is alright." Dylan, Springsteen, Orbison, ..... Quick. Name three more lyricists of that stratum. Buy the tape. Re-learn what was good and true (men "do" cry") about popular music in the sixties and the seventies."
The Very Best Music DVD Released
Richard R. Carlton | Ada, MI United States | 07/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The DVD release of this one *IS* the legacy of Roy Orbison.A number of reviewers comment on the absolutely spectacular 5.1 and DTS mixes for this release and I couldn't agree more....this is not only arguably the best DVD yet released, the remix was done from 1987 tapes and really shows why it is worth considering re-buying your favorite music when remixes are released.Regarding the black and white format.....it is sharp and clear with excellent video mixes.....you are usually on the right person at the right time throughout and the fact that it was shot at LA's Coconut Grove makes it even better.And now the music....ah, the music....of coure it has Pretty Woman, Cryin', Dream Baby. But what is spectacular is Roy's delivery of Blue Bayou, the sailing lyric in It's Over, the rhythm section on Candy Man, the fun in redoing his 1st hit from Sun Studios...Ooby Dooby...there isn't a track on this one that won't find a special place in your heart.It simply cannot be said any other way.....this is what Roy was always all about....and you've got Springsteen, Lang, Souther, Riatt, T-Bone, Costello, Browne......all to vouch for it!"
A Magical Night
H. Goodman | Hopewell, NJ USA | 03/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On September 30th, 1987, the stars were in alignment, and an incredible concert took place. Thankfully, they filmed and recorded it. This DVD features not only an amazingly warm and relaxed performance by Roy, but also includes a remixed SACD soundtrack of the film. If you already have the "Black & White Night" CD (first issue) you may want to pick this up anyway. The sound mix is crystal clear. I think there were at least three acoustic guitars being played that night, and on this reissue, they positively shimmer! The other differences from past issues of this concert on disc or video are the inclusion of "Claudette", restored to its proper place in the running order, and on the SACD, "Blue Angel" is added on as a bonus track. This package is really worth the price. I paid no more than I would for an average new DVD, so the SACD is really a bonus. If you're a fan of the great Mr. Orbison, I think you'll watch this one over and over."
Outstanding concert DVD for HT with great DTS audio!
Axayacatl | Ohio USA | 09/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Others have already done justice to the incredible ensemble of talented musicians who jammed with Roy for this "exclusive" (Cinemax) concert performance, before a celebrity/VIP audience in "Black & White Night" in September, 1987.So I will make my comments more technical in nature. First the video is 4:3 full-screen, even though the concert was shot on film, it was for exclusive presentation on Cinemax cable. If you have a home theater system with a comprehensive audio setup, you will be extremely pleased with the quality of this production. The B&W film transfer and DVD mastering is excellent with a perfect balance of digital detail and B&W grain.The audio mix and digital mastering is also exceptional. I tested the DS5.1 on a few tracks and it was certainly okay. But what really stands out is the DTS6.1 which is fabulous!! They did a great job.If you enjoy really good concert DVDs (there aren't that many), and have a system to do them justice, then Roy Orbison B&W Night will knock your socks off. You can watch/listen over and over and over. With the classic songs and the all-star ensemble, it's difficult to imagine anyone who wouldn't enjoy this concert.(System is a Yamaha RX-V3000 with a 10 speaker configuration, an Epson EMP-7600 2200 lumens front projection setup with a 162" screen. It's a pretty amazing system ... if something isn't really good enough, it will basically be unwatchable and unlistenable. On the other hand, with the B&W Night concert DVD with its high resolution and super DTS mix, you can "fall into" this concert, just as if you were in the audience).What fun! This is a great DVD sure to be a favorite in your collection. Enjoy!!(After nearly two days of CNN etc, tonight I watched this DVD twice, with Roy and his pals having fun and making great music ... a strong and much needed dose of American inspiration, creativity and musical talent in this very somber week of September 11, 2001)."
Maybe the best dvd concert I own.
Eduardo Middleton K. | Santiago, A.M. Chile | 02/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Taking aside that this concert is a tribute to a rock'n'roll legend and that the ensemble that plays with him is a dream team of pop and rock stars, I should also praise the outstanding B&W video quality, which gives this disc a timeless look. Moreover, this gem has superb audio quality and includes the lyrics, if you press the subtitle function. The band (B. Springsteen, Elvis Costello, James Burton, Alex Acuna, Jackson Brown, Ronnie Tutt, T-Bone Burnett, Tom Waits et al. Nuff said?), the back up singers (Bonnie Raitt, K.D.Lang and Jennifer Warnes) and the director are having a lot of fun sharing the stage with this unique singer/composer who can whisper, in an almost operatic way his heart- breaking songs and still make us feel his delivery as strong as any modern day rocker. A great contributing factor for the beauty of this concert is that all the musicians and singers involved in this tribute let Orbison be the star and act as if they were a professional band hired for the ocassion, although it's inevitable to feel the worship attitude that everybody has here and that adds very well to the result. Buy this!"