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    Live at The Isle of Wight Festival 2004 (Blu-ray) (2CD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 7th, 2017

    “Is it loud enough?”

    What young 1970’s pup, learning to play a guitar for the first time, didn’t, at one time or another, attempt to imitate Pete Townsend’s windmill power chord strum? I count myself in that group. While I was not a very dedicated Who fan, I had an appreciation for the musicianship. There were still songs like Pinball Wizard and Behind Blue Eyes that I would embrace as if they were my own anthems in those days. It would be hard to deny that The Who is one of the most successful rock bands in history. Part of the original British Invasion of the 1960’s, there are few such acts that are even still around, let alone able to fill the huge stadiums and halls of Rock’s yesteryears.
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    Live At The Orleans Arena Las Vegas (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 12th, 2016

    It all started back in the early 1960’s when Chuck and the late John Panozzo got together with another kid on their Chicago block named Dennis DeYoung and started to play a little music. By 1970 guitarist James “JY” Young joined the band, and they recorded a few minor albums. In 1975 their first hit Lady would put the band on the map, and when Tommy Shaw joined as a singer/writer/guitarist for the Crystal Ball album, the top of the pop charts would be the band’s new neighborhood for the better part of a decade. There’s little doubt that the band peaked in the late 1970’s with The Grand Illusion and Pieces Of Eight. It’s amazing how many hit singles came from just two LP’s
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    ELO: Live in Hyde Park (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on April 18th, 2016

    In the late 1960’s three musicians came together with an idea. It was a somewhat unconventional idea. Roy Wood and Bev Bevan were part of the band The Move when they met up with Jeff Lynne from The Idle Race. The three hit it off almost instantly. So much so that before long Lynne would also become a member of The Move so that he could work with Wood and Bevan. But that wasn’t going to be the ultimate goal. The unconventional idea that the three had involved combining rock and roll with classical music. Of course, other bands had done orchestral arrangements, most notably the Beatles.
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    The Wrecking Crew (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 22nd, 2015

    What do Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys, Sonny & Cher, The Monkees, and Nat King Cole have in common? (Besides, of course, their undisputed status as musical icons and the adoration of millions of fans.) Well at various points in their illustrious careers, they were each backed by The Wrecking Crew, a tight-knit group of session musicians responsible for cranking out some of the most familiar hits of all time. This documentary is a lively love letter to that incredibly charismatic and cohesive group, whose contributions remained largely anonymous for decades.
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    Daryl Hall & John Oates: Live in Dublin (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on April 3rd, 2015

    They started as a local band in Philadelphia. By 1972 they had released their first album on the national stage called Whole Oates. The duo has been together for over 40 years and have remained playing through most of that time. Even with stops for solo projects, Daryl Hall and John Oates have remained a team throughout those years. It’s rather rare for a rock team to remain together and friends for so long. Their endurance has paid off in so many ways, but 2014 would be a year they would see a lot of that hard work and partnership be recognized as they became the first Philly band inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
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    A MusiCares Tribute To Paul McCartney (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on March 26th, 2015

    I’m not really a big Beatles fan. That will shock, anger, and dismay many of you. Sure, I’ve got a couple of favorites, but nothing I feel the need to hear over and over again. Now, with that said, I am a fan of Paul McCartney. Of all the Beatles he has evolved the most. He has gone from a kid who was nothing really special, just in the right place at the right time, to a very accomplished musician. Few musicians today can match his performance skills on almost any instrument. While a lot of celebrities talk about compassionate subjects, I get the impression McCartney is more sincere than most. Perhaps it’s this sincerity that makes him such a good songwriter.
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    Live At Knebworth (SD Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on March 19th, 2015

    Anyone who has ever played an instrument or sung understands the therapeutic powers of music. In England they have been using that idea to help physically disadvantaged children with music at the Nordoff-RobbinsMusicCenter in London’s KentishTown. The institute was founded by American composer Paul Nordoff and British teacher Clive Robbins. They have thousands of success stories. We’re talking children who had closed themselves off from the world around them, many who had stopped speaking or communicating at all.
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    Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 6th, 2014

    My mom’s worn-out VHS tape was simply labeled “Motown 25.” I can very vividly remember it sitting in the entertainment center of our living room in Puerto Rico when I was little. It even migrated over to St. Petersburg with the rest of our family almost 20 years ago. As time passed and we adopted DVDs, a lot of our VHS tapes got pushed to the background (or the scrap heap). But not “Motown 25.” I suppose I never realized the historic, star-studded concert celebrating Motown’s 25th anniversary had never been available on DVD. Well thanks to StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment, that’s no longer the case.
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    Stage Fright (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 14th, 2014

    “Isn’t it wrong to sing and dance when someone has just died?”

    When I first hear a film is going to attempt to be a horror musical, all I can do is simply shake my head at the thought of how bad this may be.  But that’s not to say that I couldn’t be very wrong.  Repo! The Genetic Opera was a rock opera that I had a blast with, and I’m not ashamed to admit I even purchased the soundtrack after the release.
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    Elton John: The Million Dollar Piano (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 9th, 2014

    Few musicians have enjoyed the career that Elton John has enjoyed. From the release of Your Song in 1969, he hasn’t seen many years without hit records. He’s had number one songs in every decade since that day, and the hits continue to roll in. When the music industry changed, Elton managed to change enough to keep up with the times, yet hold on to the poignant songwriting that has made his songs stand out. I’ve been a fan since the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road days of 1973.
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    One Direction: Reaching for the Stars Part 2 — The Next Chapter

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on May 15th, 2014

    As soon as you saw the title of this review or caught a glimpse of the DVD cover art to the right of this paragraph, chances are you either rolled your eyes or squealed with delight. In less than five years, One Direction has become a worldwide boy band behemoth. The group’s devoted fans call themselves “Directioners” and serve as a helpful reminder that “fan” is short for “fanatic.” This DVD is purportedly aimed at those same fans, but I imagine there’s not much here a true Directioner hasn’t already seen on Twitter or YouTube.
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    Cliff Richard: Still Reelin’ and A-Rockin’ (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 23rd, 2013

    Cliff Richard’s music stardom predates that of the Beatles. So the fact that I wasn’t at all familiar with the British pop singer’s music before sitting down to review this Blu-ray probably says more about me than it does about him. Lucky for me, this career-spanning concert — which includes music from his time with the Shadows, some solo hits, and even his duet from the movie that partly inspired the creation of the Razzies — also doubles as a lively, CliffsNotes glimpse into Richard’s incredibly prolific and successful career.
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    Sweet Summer Sun – Hyde Park Live (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on December 11th, 2013

    When you’ve been playing gigs for fifty years and filling venues with crowds in excess of the 100,000 mark, it’s safe to say that not only are you a success in the music industry but an icon.  The Rolling Stones finished their 50th year together by ending their tour back where many would say their legendary status began, back in their hometown and performing at London’s Hyde Park. It was 44 years ago when The Stones first took the stage in the famous Hyde Park and performed for a crowd estimated between 250 thousand to half a million screaming fans who came to what was then a free show.  This time around they return with an enormous stage and a set list filled with hits spanning over the decades
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    Good Ol’ Freda (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 4th, 2013

    We’re about 50 years removed from the Beatles taking the entire world by storm, so you’d be forgiven for thinking that everything anyone could possibly say about the Fab Four has already been said. Fortunately, the success of Good Ol’ Freda — a Beatles documentary that doubles as a loving tribute to its subject and the famous band she adored — doesn’t hinge on any heretofore unknown/shocking revelations. In other words, the film’s charm doesn’t so much come from what Freda Kelly says; instead, it comes from the delighted, no-fuss way she recounts her time with, arguably, the most famous band of all time.
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    Saga: Spin It Again! — Live in Munich (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on November 19th, 2013

    Five years ago, I stood on this stage and I said goodbye. Five years later, I’m standing on this stage and I say, ‘Hello.’”

    I’d honestly never even heard of Saga before popping in this Blu-ray, but it was impossible to miss the family reunion atmosphere of this show. The Canadian prog rockers released their self-titled debut album in 1978, but — like many successful, long-running bands — have undergone a number of lineup changes. (Including a non-lethal, Spinal Tap-esque run of drummers in the early part of this century.) Saga, in its various forms, has found some of its greatest success in Germany, so there was no better place to get the band back together for a concert movie.
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    Morrissey: 25: Live (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on November 8th, 2013

    Twenty-five years in any business is a feat to be recognized, especially when it is in the field of entertainment. It requires constant dedication, devotion, and a loyal fan base that sticks by you; Morrissey seems to have all three. In his latest concert series, Morrissey 25 Live, the English singer celebrates his latest career milestone at Hollywood High School in Los Angeles. From the very beginning, it is obvious that the singer has a loving and dedicated fan base, which was the most surprising detail for me given that before this disc, I had never heard of the singer.
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    Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on November 7th, 2013

    “I like people to go away from a Queen show feeling fully entertained, having had a good time. I think Queen songs are pure escapism, like going to see a good film – after that, they go away and say that was great, and go back to all their problems” – Freddie Mercury

    I had that very pleasure back in the late 1970’s when I attended a Queen concert at the old Spectrum in Philadelphia. It was one heck of a show. Freddie was flamboyant as always
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    Loberace: Live in Vegas (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 30th, 2013

    “I’m often asked, ‘What do I do for a living?’ And I answer: ‘I do what I want.”

    For the better part of the last 20 years, CeeLo Green has ferociously defied musical expectations by zigging when you expect him to zag. (If you thought the former frontman of hip-hop collective Goodie Mob would eventually become one of the judges on TV’s #1 singing competition, then go buy a lotto ticket immediately because you have a gift.) I happened to be in Las Vegas earlier this year when I saw a poster for CeeLo’s Sin City Loberace show. And for the first time I can remember in regards to CeeLoo’s career, I thought, “Hey that actually makes sense.”
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    Hugh Laurie: Live on the Queen Mary (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 25th, 2013

    Hugh Laurie is not the first — and he certainly won’t be the last — actor who decided he wanted a career in music too. The move might come as a surprise to people who primarily know Laurie from his sterling eight-year run as the misanthropic title character on House M.D. (Though not if you watched the show carefully.) In the past, Laurie has rocked out with some of his small-screen comrades for charity. But it turns out that after eight years of playing one of the crankiest characters in television history, Laurie was ready to sing the blues.
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    Black Label Society: Unblackened (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on October 17th, 2013

    My knowledge of Heavy Metal and Heavy Metal bands can be counted on one hand with a couple fingers to spare. So as you can probably imagine, when this discs found its way to me, my enthusiasm or my confidence in it was not high. So when I say that Black Label Society: Unblackened was not what I expected, it is not an indictment; quite the opposite, in fact. The concert started right as I hit play, I expected to see the band come out, pick up their instruments, and possibly do a little introduction (that came towards the end of the concert)
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    Caro Emerald: In Concert (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 8th, 2013

    Caroline Esmeralda van de Leeuw didn’t know she was a jazz singer until somebody told her. Growing up in Amsterdam, she was too lazy and impatient to properly learn how to play an instrument. Fortunately, she was blessed with a sultry, soulful and sassy singing voice. Caro Emerald has used that voice to smash chart records in the Netherlands. Earlier this year, her second album, “The Shocking Miss Emerald”, reached #1 in the United Kingdom. And that’s where she happened to be when I was introduced to her funky brand of jazz.
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    Bryan Ferry: Live in Lyon (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 3rd, 2013

    For a variety of reasons, fewer people seem to be retiring when they turn 65. That’s long been the case for legendary musicians like Bryan Ferry, who was at that milestone age when he filmed this concert in Lyon, France during the summer of 2011. Ferry has always combined his own “old soul” sensibility with a forward-thinking approach to creating music. So this show, with Ferry now an actual senior citizen, turned out to be an ideal time to check in on the former Roxy Music frontman.
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    Portnoy/Sheehan/MacAlpine/Sherinian: Live in Tokyo (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 10th, 2013

    Supergroups are hot right now: witness the astonishing box office dominance of The Avengers, as well as Warner Bros./D.C. Comics’ frantic attempts to replicate Marvel’s success. But the idea of a supergroup — a collective whose members have previously achieved individual success — has been around for a very long time, and is most commonly found in the world of music. The members of PSMS (Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan, Tony MacAlpine and Derek Sherinian) certainly fit the supergroup bill. Late last year, they united to rock the faces off their fans in Europe and Asia.
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    Santana & McLaughlin: Invitation to Illumination (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 27th, 2013

    Carlos Santana is too cool for words. When I say that, I refer to both his widely-acknowledged status as a “Guitar God” and to the fact that he doesn’t utter a single word until the 30-minute mark of Invitation to Illumination, his 2011 reunion with John McLaughlin. Having another rock deity on stage appears to have inspired Santana, who performs with an extra little bounce in his step during this Montreux Jazz Festival show. This Blu-ray also has the unintended consequence of serving as a tribute to the festival’s late founder.
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    Paul McCartney and Wings: Rockshow (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 20th, 2013

    Any discussion of the greatest living rock stars has to have Paul McCartney at or near the top of the list. Obviously, “greatest” is a totally subjective descriptor, but even if you’re more of a Stones person you can’t argue with McCartney’s staggering success. He has sold more records than anyone else, wrote the most covered song of all time (“Yesterday”) and owns a handful of other Guinness World Records. The recipe for his singular greatness is a mixture of artistic brilliance, versatility and longevity. It’s what has allowed him to remain relevant more than 40 years after the dissolution of the best-selling band of all time. And a key part of that staying power was Wings.
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