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Discussion in 'Music' started by Brian O, Oct 13, 2001.
I need reviews of this DVD.
As is typical of the DVD Websites I read everyday (the Bits and the 'File), they are woefully remiss in their coverage of DVD music titles. (I think Bill at the former site should change his tagline from "We Know DVD" to "We Know Movie DVD-Video.") Absent online or print reviews (I have found none), I'll offer some comments of my own:
I have some minor navigational/authoring and mastering problems with the disc (the menu design is rudimentary; the audio upcuts at the beginning and chops off the tail end of a few songs).
The audio is serviceable to good. I don't know why the Dolby Digital 2.0 track was included. There is a PCM track.
The video looks exactly like what it is: approximately 15 + year-old stuff, shot 1.33:1. Dodgy stuff if you've gotten used to looking at Gladiator.
If you're a Rush fan with a DVD player, of course you're going to want to have this, but I continue to eagerly await newer releases of newer material. (For instance, a video compilation that includes all of the vids the band has shot since Presto).
Also, although billed as "previously unreleased" (on this title at least), the "Afterimage" and "The Enemy Within" vids included herein were of course on the Through the Camera Eye release back in 1984.
Finally, I had difficulty getting a copy of this disc through my usual DVD/CD e-tailers (800.com and TowerRecords.com, respectively). Indeed, this September 25 release is still out of stock at the former site. I ended up (eek!) walking into a Wherehouse here in West L.A. to buy this title.
As a die-hard Rush fan, I almost bought this one. But I had seen the videos before. I generally dislike videos (music is to be heard, not seen), and Rush's are particularly awful, especially the 80s stuff. It's good for a laugh if you love giggling at the horrid early 80s editing and cheasy video effects of the late 70s. The video for Hold Your Fire is the most amusing, featuring the band and the chick who sings the refrain looking like paper cut-outs flying around the screen for some reason.
I knew that I would only watch it once, then leave it on the shelf to collect dust forever, so I left it in the store.
Although I largely agree with you about the '80s cheese' of some of Rush's videos, I think it is important to look at those videos within the context of the times in which they were shot.
Personally, I find that there is still some enjoyable stuff here. The "Distant Early Warning" vid, which I have always liked, has chilling, added impact post-September 11.
The "Afterimage" video is still an emotional accompaniment to an already emotionally intense song (which, again, I find has increased poignancy post-September 11). I dig the look of the band circa this time: Ged with the Steinberger; a boyish-looking Alex workin' that whammy bar on his black Fender Strat; and Neil, knocking the hell outta his old, red Tama kit--using matched grip, thank you very much--whilst his tail flies.
"Time Stand Still" (not "Hold Your Fire") is playful and kinda fun. I'm glad Aimee Mann was available/wanted to be in the vid. IMO, this vid actually represents progress of sorts for the band: it has a lighter tone that I think is readily apparent when you view the vids on this disc in order.
Which brings me back to my desire to see all the vids they have shot since then on DVD . . .
I think the older stuff is the best. Too bad they didn't video all of the recording of Moving Pictures.
One quirk I noticed is that for the hidden "bonus" videos, the audio defaults to PCM. (It's no big deal.)
As others mentioned, Rush fans will probably want this despite the shortcomings.
Home Theater Pictures
Rob et al.:
Just bought it. EXTREMELY disappointing, I must say.
The Who: 30 Years of Maximum R&B Live is over 2 1/2 hours long, has VERY old clips, and the image/sound quality is as close to pristine as they could get. Even the U-Matic/Quadriplex video stuff is presentable.
Rush: Chronicles is just a little over one hour long, video and sound quality is just a tad above VHS, and there are LOTS of essential clips missing (Xanadu, Spirits of the Radio, The Body Electric, Roll the Bones, Countdown, Vital Signs and a couple of others).
(And the more disappointing thing is that the Afterimage clip (the song that started all the rumours about Neil Peart´s "death", BTW) DOES have images from The Body Electric...)
What kept Mercury from cramming ALL Rush promo videos in one single DVD (there aren´t THAT many, to begin with!), cleaning up the image and boosting up the sound? Yeah, the PCM track is finer than the Dolby 2.0, but some of the songs really could have a 5.1 re-mix.
I know that Rush fans were eager for ANYTHING by Rush since DVD was invented by Graham Bell in 1875, but this DVD can be easily called a scam. No extras, poor image quality, poor sound. We surely deserved better.
Several comments regarding your post. Although I have issues with this disc--not unlike my comment regarding the vids themselves to Mike Broadman in my post #4 above--I think its important to look at this disc in the broader context. I think calling this DVD a "scam" is a harsh overstatement.
Rush's last Mercury Records release was in 1989 (Mercury, via its former parent PolyGram's acquisition by Universal, is now part of Universal Music Group's Island Def Jam Music Group). "The Rush Remasters" aside, as evinced in comments Ged has made in interviews, Mercury has unfortunately shown very little interest in releasing catalog or new titles created from older material for the band. The Chronicles DVD is essentially a direct port of the content that was on the LD and VHS (with the addition of the "previously unreleased" "The Enemy Within" and "Afterimage" vids). Although it would be nice, record companies don't always take the opportunity of a catalog title re-release on a new format to remaster the title for improved image and/or sound quality. FAR be it from me to sound like an apologist for what Mercury has done here--but I AM happy that the disc was at least released at all. I still wish they would simply at least do the same thing for Rush's four other concert films and video compilations.
Repeatedly delayed, Rush In Rio is now skedded for release this fall. Ironically enough, it was shot in your hometown!
Click "Upcoming Releases" (the August 16 release date mentioned at the site as of this typing is not correct).
Forgive me--perhaps I should have been less resolute in my assertion that you are mistaken.
I am supposed to go over to a friend's house this Sunday to watch movies. He and his wife have an LD player (I do not). I will take my TtCE LD over and re-fresh my memory of the "The Body Electric" vid.
In the interim, two things--1) some theoretical musings; and 2) a practical request:
1) Neil has said that "The Body Electric" is about an android that finds religion. Of course, "Afterimage" is about how Neil felt in the wake of the death of friend Robbie Whelan. The vid for the latter alternates between segments of live performance and conceptual segments involving, I would argue, a young boy who does not understand the concept of death (the boy reminds me of young Pink in The Wall). It doesn't make logical sense to me how scenes from the techno-ish video for "The Body Electric" would be appropriate in the "Afterimage" video. Perhaps the other way around--bits of "Afterimage" in "Electric"--wherein the android has visions of death as it achieves sentience, but I'm having trouble with bits of "Electric" purportedly being in "Afterimage."
2) Would you please watch the "Afterimage" vid and make time notes of what bits are from "Electric" and post the same here? If you feel it too tedious, no worries: I'll see for myself come Sunday. But you've got my curiosity up in the interim.
Finally, what does this have to do with the Chronicles DVD per se? Why is this "more disappointing" to you? You're making an observation about the purported content of the video moreso than a critique of the disc. Or are you pray tell holding it against the disc that one of the vids contained therein includes footage from a different Rush video?
You didn't speak to the issue of noting the times in "Afterimage" wherein snippets of "The Body Electric" purportedly appear in your last post (and, if so, why this rises to the level of being the subject of criticism of the Chronicles DVD release for you), so I'll just look into it further myself on Sunday per my post #13 above and report back next week.
But at the end of the day I vehemently disagree. This is analogous to an issue that riles a lot of fans of (older) television shows when it comes time for their release on DVD: if you release a TV show on DVD, would you prefer highlights/favorite episodes, or would you prefer entire seasons? Luckily, from Babylon 5 to The X-Files, the latter approach is winning out largely due to fan outcry.
Similarly, I would prefer that Mercury not cherry pick songs/videos from one release and attach them to other catalog titles on which that material was not originally included. Rather, I would prefer to see Mercury release all of these catalog titles with their original song lists/programs intact (preferably remastered of course). Specifically, I want Mercury to release TtCE in its entirety, rather than pull "Afterimage" and "The Enemy Within" from that title and stick them on Chronicles (and then ridiculously claim that those vids are "previously unreleased"). Somewhere a Mercury exec probably thought this incomplete, disrespectful approach was "cool." This kind of cherry-picking tends to make a confusing mess of an artist's catalog and, in this case, ALL such decisions are made without any input from Ged, Alex and Neil as they don't record for that label anymore. Ged has essentially confirmed this in interviews (when asked on Rockline about the Retrospective discs, he said (paraphrased) 'that's our old record company and we don't have much to do with that.'). I don't want label executives making those kinds of quasi-artistic decisions.
If your position is that you'd prefer your personal favorite songs be pulled from ESL and attached to Chronicles instead of wanting ESL to be released in its entirety with the integrity of the original release maintained then, no, I do NOT agree.
I´m confused now. I think I´m going to sleep.
When you wake up and return to your 'puter, please make sure the cop outs stay in the bedroom.
So I've re-considered my cheeky post from yesterday and now instead want to ask: what are you confused about? The Amazon comments indicating that Maximum was NOT remastered for DVD release? Or something about my comments? Both?
Do tell, because if it is something about my comments, I will attempt to clarify however, in the words of Andy Dufresne, "I feel I have been very clear on . . . [these] point."
I'm back, as I said I would be, after a weekend of some disc spinnin' . . .
In your post #8 you said:
Thanks for dropping back in and posting to the thread.
Mark et al.:
Check the last item in today's (August 26) MusicTap.net post for what Matt Rowe says is the Rush In Rio cover art.