28 March, 2010

GIVE PEACE A CHANCE – John Lennon (1972/2005)

Despite having a cover photograph from 1967, this unimaginatively titled DVD is in fact the film record of the One to One charity concert that became the Live In New York City album.

Being one of Lennon's very few live appearances of the 70s, you'd think the DVD's producers might have put a bit of effort into it. Sadly, they haven't. The transfer is awful and looks like it's come direct from VHS. We know that better film from this show exists because we've seen it used in some of the Lennon Legend clips. To make matters worse, someone decided it would be a good idea to spend five minutes at the beginning of the program showing 20-second samples of every song. Ick!

The audio is 5.1 but it hasn't been remixed and sounds terribly thin. Note to producers: shoving some audience noise in the rear speakers does not amount to remixing for surround. If you're not going to do it properly, then just leave the stereo track because any Pro Logic processor could do better than this.

As for the concert itself, John was always a very nervous live performer outside the Beatles but he strikes a good balance of cheekiness, earnestness and energy here. He also reveals that he could sometimes match Paul for uncoolness. He back-announces Yoko's Sisters O Sisters by telling the crowd, “That's reggae.” No it isn't John! We hear him say several times, “It's just the rehearsal,” indicating that the film is taken from the afternoon show. If someone would properly remaster the film of the evening show, it would immediately be the essential Lennon live film. This disc is a cheap and nasty treatment of a show and an artist that deserve better.

The extras are a highly editorialised and factually dubious biography (Lennon was on a sabbatical from life in the late 70s?? Says who?) and a crap photo gallery.

Highlight: Come Together
Feature: * * 
Extras: *
Audio: Dolby 5.1

Previously posted at Strawberry Fields and Amazon.

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