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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Pop > Soul > Rock > Standards > Dance > Documentary > British Invasion > Experimental > Industry > N > Bee Gees – One Night Only (1997/Eagle SD Blu-ray)/Going Underground: Paul McCartney, The Beatles & The Counterculture (2013/Chrome Dreams/MVD DVD)/Level 42 Live (1992/MVD DVD)/Scorpions: Moment Of Glo

Bee Gees – One Night Only (1997/Eagle SD Blu-ray)/Going Underground: Paul McCartney, The Beatles & The Counterculture (2013/Chrome Dreams/MVD DVD)/Level 42 Live (1992/MVD DVD)/Scorpions: Moment Of Glory (2000/Eagle SD Blu-ray)/Three Little Girls In Blue (1946/Fox Cinema Archive DVD)


Picture: C/C+/C/C-/C     Sound: B-/C+/C/B-/C+     Extras: C+/C/D/C-/D     Main Programs: B-/B/B-/C/C



PLEASE NOTE: Three Little Girls In Blue is only available from online from Fox and can be ordered through our sidebar from Amazon.com.



Here are our latest selection of music releases…



Eagle has been building up a very large catalog of music titles, especially concerts, and go out of their way to showcase their releases at every turn.  Along with as many HD programs on Blu-ray as any music label you can name, they have hundreds of DVDs and are the first company to try something some might like and others night not.  They have decided to issue some of their standard definition (or SD) titles on Blu-ray in upscaled presentations, something some Blu-ray players already do.


This has its problems and especially with so much HD content (including endless programming filmed on 35mm, 70mm or 16mm film), the results can look rough with upscaling introducing artifacts and elements that can make a presentation look worse.  The 1997 concert Bee Gees – One Night Only is one of the first title to receive this treatment, with Eagle rightly arguing you’ll get the same image with better sound than DVD could ever deliver.


That is a fair argument if you are an audiophile, but the video can still be a trying affair.  However, this presentation is more satisfying thanks to the better audio and it is not a bad show either as the trio shows they can still sing classics like Nights On Broadway, You Should Be Dancin, Massachusetts, One, I Started A Joke, et al, plus classics Barry Gibb penned for others including the Theme from Grease, Islands In Te Stream, Heartbreaker and Guilty.  This show works better more often than not, even if it is not a home run, but with Barry the only survivor, it is now a document of one of the most successful vocal trios in music history and has a sad irony in viewing since I first saw it upon its original release.


Extras include a paper pullout, while the Blu-ray adds an Interviews featurette and three bonus music performances.  Also, watch for Olivia Newton-John in the audience when the Gibbs sing Grease.  Nice moment.


For more on The Bee Gees on this site, start with this link…




Next up is the best release on the list and the only documentary, Going Underground: Paul McCartney, The Beatles & The Counterculture (2013), another stunningly thorough Chrome Dreams/MVD DVD release tracing the rise of Experimental Music and Psychedelic Music through England and how Paul McCartney simply not moving to the country like his bandmates gave him top access to a movement in the making that would change world music and culture forever.


Dating Jane Asher at the time and living in her basement despite his immense wealth, he was writing hits for others and encountering the UK counterpart to the Beat writers, some of the US originals of which were visiting the country.  McCartney got interested very quickly along with the literature, publishing and dissonant music of the time starting in 1965.  As a result, he would back the work of many of these people while on break form The Beatles and then started to really pay attention to the music, resulting in landmark songs with the band that quickly mainstreamed these innovations and gave The Beatles their next artistic breakthroughs.


The pother bandmates were not as quack to catch on at first, but that soon changed and by the time the Summer Of Love happened in 1967, they were easily keeping up with a fresh new group of bands, especially The Who and particularly Pink Floyd.  The makers are once again very thorough here, delivering more incredible vintage footage, original vintage music and great interviewees and scholars.  This time, it is the great Chris Ingram who has the best and most insightful, as well as the most hilarious moments throughout in another must-0see winner for all serious music fans.  I was once again very impressed.


Extras include Extended Interviews in a featurette entitled The Other Side Of The Mirror: US & UK Psychedelia worth seeing after the documentary.



Taped in March 1992 after they had several big worldwide hits, Level 42 Live shows a band that was still in more than prime form and ready to have even more hits and success, but as the music business was too busy trying to make it on one hit wonders and fads, they never got the chance to have more success as they deserved to.  Hot Water, Her Big Day, Lessons In Love and the classic Something About You, this is a really decent, top rate concert whose only flaw is that it is not longer.  The band is in amazing form with plenty of energy, musical prowess and more than enough talent to annihilate most such bands to day.


If you are curious or a fan, this DVD is worth your time and singer Mark King not only delivers here terrifically, but still had the voice 7 years later when he went solo.  There are no extras unfortunately, but I want to explicitly recommend King’s great solo Ohne Filter show from 1999 we reviewed many years ago, is still one of the best in the series and you can read more about at this link:





The other SD Blu-ray from Eagle is Scorpions: Moment Of Glory (2000) which I reviewed even earlier than the Mark King DVD.  All the extras and content are the same as the DVD covered at this link:




Find out more in the technical section below.



Finally we have Bruce Humberstone’s 1946 Fox musical Three Little Girls In Blue now on DVD from the online-only Fox Cinema Archives Collection.  This Technicolor bash was yet another way Fox was trying to compete with all the other studios in the genre (especially MGM) by throwing in everything but the kitchen sink.  June Haver, Vivian Blaine and Vera-Ellen are three country gals who just love to sing, dance and work on their farm.  But with only older men around, the sisters decide to go man hunting in the city.


Before this can become a simple Folk Musical (no inanimate object start dancing either), they head to early 1900s Atlantic City and are following men and leads as songs follow us and them.  George Montgomery and Frank Latimore are among the male support, while Celeste Holm turns up as a city gal with some of the same ideas in mind.  The songs may not be very memorable and scenes not well defined, though there is a spectacular dream sequence with Vera-Ellen that is as pricey as it is remarkable and it the highlight of an uneven film that still has plenty of energy and ambition.  If you love musicals and have never seen this one, you’ll want to get it as the stars often overcome the limits of their material just the same.

There are no extras.



The upscaled to 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on Bee Gees and Scorpions are not the upgrades one would wish for, but Scorpions is especially problematic as it always has been since its DVD debut with all kinds of artifacts and flaws.  It remains one of my least favorite HD concert shoots ever, but Bee Gees still has its share of staircasing and other issues looking not much better than its DVD version (unreviewed, but I remember it looking a little less rough than this) so these discs are really good for the better sound.  However, the 1.33 X 1 on the three DVDs here are not all better, save McCartney, the one performer that really looks as it should.  Level 42 is simply an old NTSC or PAL analog recording that shows its age and Blue should look great, but the print only occasionally shows how great the 35mm three-strip, dye-transfer Technicolor of this film would have looked which would be amazing.  The film needs saved!


The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on Bee Gees and Scorpions are not awful, but they are not always sounding as they should (some have already reported getting decoding issues on select players), but the lossless PCM 2.0 Stereo versions in both cases fare more cleanly and clearly.  Bee Gees benefits more than Scorpions in this case, the latter of which did not impress me with its odd mix to begin with.


The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on McCartney and lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Blue tie for second place in playback with the former of the usually solid quality we expect from Chrome Dreams releases, so that leaves the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Level 42 the disappointment with weak, low-volume audio that sounds a generation down despite the great performances.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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