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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Rock > Heavy Metal > Jazz > Standards > Pop > New Wave > Alternative > Drama > Hip Hop > Rap > Graffit > Black Label Society: Unblackened (2013)/Bryan Ferry: Live In Lyon (2013)/Caro Emerald In Concert (2013/Eagle Blu-rays)/The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert (1992/Eagle SD Blu-ray)/Morrissey 25Live (201

Black Label Society: Unblackened (2013)/Bryan Ferry: Live In Lyon (2013)/Caro Emerald In Concert (2013/Eagle Blu-rays)/The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert (1992/Eagle SD Blu-ray)/Morrissey 25Live (2013/Eagle Blu-ray)/Wild Style: 30th Anniversary DVD set (1983/Submarine Deluxe/Music Box)

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

Here's a really rich set of new music releases...

Black Label Society: Unblackened (2013) is the third release of the Heavy Metal band we have covered and like its predecessor releases, it shows the band in fine form, even if you are not a fan. See our coverage of the following for comparison:

Skullage DVD/CD set


European Invasion: Doom Troopin Live Blu-ray


This show was recorded at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California and the 17-song set is just fine, as good as the other releases and the audience is a plus. If you want to find out more about this band and never heard of them before, this is as good a place as any to start. It did not stick with me like it predecessor releases, but they have talent and I see why new material keeps getting issued on them.

Bryan Ferry: Live In Lyon (2013) is the second and better of the two concerts we have covered from the former Roxy Music lead singer long now a solo artist. His Dylanesque Live: The London Sessions DVD was a change of pace in fairness to him, as our coverage at this link will show:


This time out, it is back to his hits in and out of the band including Avalon, Love Is The Drug, Lennon's Jealous Guy and his remake of Let's Stick Together among the 22 songs he performs. He is older and does not hide this, sings through this (even looking like he is struggling at times) and the result is that he delivers a really exceptional concert that impressed me throughout and shows how underrated an artist he really is. Very impressive and he has a great band with him, all of whom are shown and discussed in the booklet included with the Blu-ray disc.

Caro Emerald In Concert (2013) features the vocalist singing 18 songs in a Jazz style from the BBC Radio Theater in London. The retro style will remind one of Martha Davis of The Motels at times, but Miss Emerald is more stylized and retro singing the likes of Just One Dance, Riviera Life, Black Valentine, Liquid Lunch, That Man and Man About The Boy. Even more period than

Diana Krall, she brings the period feel and sound of the music to life, though most of the compositions are new ones.

See it soon as she may become the next biog vocalist and who knows if she'll switch styles like a Linda Ronstadt or Sheena Easton.

The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert (1992) is a new Eagle SD Blu-ray that takes standard definition analog video and upscales it to high definition, or 1080i in this case. We previously reviewed the shorter DVD version about a decade ago at this link:


Though my fellow writer was not happy with missing songs and how extras were hidden as Easter eggs, the concert is now here in full length, the extras easy to get to and sound even more improved in an upgrade more than worth the effort. See more in the technical section below.

Morrissey 25Live (2013) has the former lead singer of The Smiths long into his solo glory giving an exclusive show at a Los Angeles High School to major fans. The 19 songs well performed here include Alma Matters, You Have Killed Me, Still Ill, Speedway, That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore, Let Me Kiss You and of course, Meat Is Murder. Like the Bryan Ferry show, this is top rate with a great band, great audience and yet another singer who is still somewhat underrated. Don't miss it.

Though this is our first concert from Morrissey, we have reviewed other DVD releases, all of which were documentaries. You can read about them and any new titles on him we add later at this link:


Last but not least is Charlie Aheran's Wild Style: 30th Anniversary DVD set, the key classic 1983 drama/comedy about graffiti artists in New York City during the rise of Hip Hop, Rap, Punk and Breakdancing. Along with Style Wars (reviewed elsewhere on this site and being restored as we speak), it is a key document of the time and though the acting and story can be rough, we get plenty of fine moments, happy accidents, unscripted moments and a rare capturing of a set of music and art cultures still with us today.

This edition replaces the older Rhino DVDs and expands them with a restored version of the film to boot, so if you are a fan or never caught up to it, this is the best way to be introduced to it to date.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on Label and Morrissey, plus 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on Lyon and Caro are about even with each other including some motion blur, color limits and depth limits, though Morrissey has a few more solid shots, but all also have style choices that can hold consistency back. The 1080i upscaled image from the Mercury disc comes from analog PAL 540i video sources and is not bad, but has its share of haloing, yet is an improvement over the controversial DVD version. It is equalled by the 1.33 X 1 color image on Style made from a new HD master of the original 16mm camera materials and looking superior to all previous video versions, but this one is screaming out for Blu-ray presentation.

The DTS-HD HR (High Resolution) 5.1 mix on the Mercury disc is also a big improvement over the simple stereo on the old DVD which had no 5.1 mix of any kind, but it has limits and the PCM 2.0 Stereo version also shows the age of the audio. Still, it will likely never sound better, so fans will be happy. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on the rest of the concert Blu-rays are all top rate recordings and mixes with musical soundfields that take full advantage of the multi-channel arrangements and are a pleasure to hear. All also have PCM 2.0 Stereo tracks that are not bad, but none can match their DTS counterparts. The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Style shows its age the the budget limit of the film, but this is still a bit clearer than the older DVD, so that helps.

Extras in all cases include a nicely illustrated booklet (a paper pullout in the case of Label) on their respective programs with photos, tech information and essays. Caro, Mercury and Lyon add rehearsal footage and all plus Label adds a clip of Zakk at a U.K. prison, interviews, Label also adds a video for the song Losin Your Mind and a Photo Gallery, Lyon adds the Isaac Ferry short The Making Of Olympia, Mercury adds a Photo Gallery, Mercury Phoenix Trust Facts and 10th Anniversary documentary, Morrissey adds a Behind The Scenes featurette with comedian and megafan Russell Brand and Style (with a booklet thicker than al the others combined) adds a feature length audio commentary track by Ahearn and Fab Five Freddie, New Interviews, 20th Anniversary Jam, 25th Anniversary Reunion, New Interviews and a New Expanded Photo Gallery.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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