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Category:    Home > Reviews > Music > Pop > Soul > Rock > Instrumental > Multi-Channel Music > Musical > Concert > Progressive Rock > Arthur Fiedler/Boston Pops Greatest Hits Of The '70s, V1 + V.2 (1973, 74/Sony/Vocalion Quadraphonic Hybrid Super Audio CD/SA-CD/SACD)/Jeanette (2017/KimStim Blu-ray)/Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Encore (2

Arthur Fiedler/Boston Pops Greatest Hits Of The '70s, V1 + V.2 (1973, 74/Sony/Vocalion Quadraphonic Hybrid Super Audio CD/SA-CD/SACD)/Jeanette (2017/KimStim Blu-ray)/Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Encore (2010 - 2013/Time Life Blu-ray)/US Festival 1982 (Icon/Plum w/DVD)/YesSongs (1972/both MVD Visual Blu-rays)



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



PLEASE NOTE: The Arthur Fiedler Import Super Audio CD (SACD) is only available from our friends at Vocalion in the U.K., plays on all CD, DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray players and can be ordered from the link below.



Here's some very notable, even key music for you to know about and catch, mostly with video



Though he never had a hit record, Arthur Fiedler was played all the time on adult contemporary radio when it existed and put The Boston Pops further on the map. His music was also referred to as elevator music, but in retrospect, his usually instrumental remakes of established hits were not always that far form the mark. The two albums, Arthur Fiedler/Boston Pops Greatest Hits Of The '70s, Volume 1 (1973) and Volume 2 (1974) have been paired on a single

Super Audio CD from the Sony catalog thanks to the great U.K. record label Vocalion, making the 4.0 Quadraphonic mixes available for the first time since the albums debuted.


Though these songs in their original versions might not appeal to some today, they come from a peak tome of great music worldwide and even if you don't like his covers, Fiedler and company definitely are having fun here and demonstrate good taste in the choices of hits, many of which are true classics and even standards by now (save #4, which was already a classic, but Aretha Franklin made it a hit again).


Tracks for each album are...

  1. Popcorn (Kingsley)

  2. Play Me (Diamond)

  3. Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard (Simon)

  4. Amazing Grace (Traditional)

  5. Everything is Beautiful (Stevens)

  6. Lost Horizon (from the musical motion picture, Bacharach; David)

  7. Help Me Make it Through the Night (Kristofferson)

  8. Song Sung Blue (Diamond)

  9. The First Time Ever (I Saw Your Face) (MacColl)

  10. We've Only Just Begun (Nichols; Williams)

    PLUS 11. Love's Theme (White)
    12. The Way We Were (Hamlisch; Alan & Marilyn Bergman)
    13. (I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden (South)
    14. One Less Bell to Answer (Bacharach; David)
    15. Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress) (Laurie)
    16. Time in a Bottle (Croce)
    17. The Most Beautiful Girl (Wilson; Sherrill; Bourke)
    18. You Are the Sunshine of My Life (Wonder)
    19. Killing Me Softly with His Song (Fox; Gimbel)
    20. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (Raye; Prince)
    21. Take Me Home, Country Roads (Danoff; Nivert; Denver)
    22. Joy to the World (Axton)


Some remakes are good, others not quite getting why the original worked, but each one is a surprise, especially if you know the given song. I got a real kick out of these and now that you can hear them in multi-channel stereo surround, you can tell Fiedler and the Pops were way more serious about how good they felt their music was than not. The sonics certainly make it more than just mere 'elevator music' or token run-throughs of the songs. No, they are not as good as the hit versions, but they offer nice alternatives that have aged and held up better than you mighty expect.


A paper pullout with illustrations is the only extra, but I like the album cover art for both release.



Bruno Dumont's Jeanette (2017) wants to be a musical about Joan Of Ark as a child, but with a limited budget and it is a strange, risk-taking effort, but it ultimately falls flat unless you are a big fan of the history surrounding her. However, I found it a very long and sometimes trying 115 minutes and thought it was showing things only it ultimately understood. I was intrigued that it was shot in the old 1.33 X 1 frame, but nothing out of the ordinary is done with that narrow-vision frame and the music was very forgettable.


Only see if you are really curious, but I am giving it credit for trying. It could have been worse!


Extras include a 16-minutes interview with Director Dupont by Critic Olivier Pete, Original Theatrical Trailer and Deleted Scenes.



The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Encore (2010 - 2013) Blu-ray is a follow-up to the excellent Blu-ray release of the four induction ceremonies that followed these. I liked those better (no reviewed, but highly recommended) and was struck by how laid back these four annual get-togethers were. Certainly with a rich amount of talent, great speeches, jokes and music performances, each show has undeniably classic moments. Inductees include Genesis, The Stooges, The Hollies, Tom Waits, Dr. John, Leon Russell, Darlene Love, Freddie King, Donovan, Small Faces/Faces, Heart, Paul Shaffer, ABBA, Public Enemy, Alice Cooper, Randy Newman, Albert King, Freddie King, The Beastie Boys, Rush, Quincy Jones and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers.


Highlights (form the press release) include...


''The legendary Canadian power trio Rush performing fiery classics Tom Sawyer and The Spirit of Radio for their fervent fans.


Red Hot Chili Peppers leading a searing all-star jam session of Higher Ground anchored by Slash and Ron Wood.


Heart going Crazy on You before being joined onstage by fellow members of Seattle rock royalty from Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains.


Alice Cooper ripping into ferocious versions of Eighteen and Under My Wheels before closing the set with Rob Zombie on School's Out


The Hurdy Gurdy Man Donovan is joined onstage by John Mellencamp for a chilling performance of Season of the Witch.


and the complete HOF induction speeches including Don Henley inducting Randy Newman, Neil Young inducting Tom Waits and many more.''


Billy Joe Armstrong inducting The Stooges, Steven Van Zandt inducting The Hollies, Barry & Robin Gibb inducting ABBA, Bette Midler inducting Darlene Love, Chris Cornell (now sadly gone) inducting Heart and Don Henley inducting Randy Newman worked particularly well for me.


The only extra is a booklet that offers a guide to all four ceremonies that tends to be very handy, making this another great Hall Of Fame set worth your time.



The first of two huge events, The US Festival 1982 tends to be a lost classic, an event that many loved, too many forgot or never heard of and a set that some politically wished never happened because they hated Rock Music, youth, intelligence, success and wanted to gut the country. Launched by Apple Computer's Steve Wozniak, who epitomized (with his tech ans science knowledge, along with his counterculture and maybe even semi-hippie (if you can call it that) attitude, the Reagan Era and those implementing it wanted to ignore it all and hope he'd go away (not knowing how far he or Apple would go). He did not, but the show and its greatness (great performances little seen since and hardly shown or released anywhere) is owned by the man himself.


Instead of a concert film, it is a documentary that features many interviews and clips of parts of the big performances (a few at full length, but I wanted more) and the live performances from The Police, Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, Eddie Money, The Ramones, Santana, The Cars, The Talking Heads, The B-52s and the like led to some of the biggest paydays in the histories of all the acts involved.


I liked seeing the empty Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, California turned into the performance site for three days, how he spent his money, who he hired to make this happen (it came down to legendary super-promoter Bill Graham to deliver the talent the most) and that it did all actually work!


As the press release notes, the film includes archived appearances by Johnny & Joey Ramone, Carlos Santana, Sting, Ric Ocasek, Danny Elfman, and Fred Schneider; plus exclusive sit-downs with festival founder Steve Wozniak, Mick Fleetwood, Eddie Money, Marky Ramone, Kate Pierson, Stewart Copeland, and Mickey Hart with its priceless archival footage.


Extras include an audio commentary track by Director Glenn Aveni and extended interview pieces by Wozniak, Mick Fleetwood and Stewart Copeland of The Police.


Needless to say this is very overdue and hope it is the beginning of unearthing the US Festival archives. Let's hope so.



Finally, we finally get the U.S. Blu-ray release of Peter Neal's concert film YesSongs (1972), capturing the greatest of all Progressive Rock bands in their early peak giving a great show (one of many endless brilliant live shows, as fans will convincingly claim) and we have covered the gem twice before, starting with this Import Region B Blu-ray...


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/11939/Color+Me+Obsessed:+A+Film+About+The+Replac


and the Import Region Free PAL DVD before it...


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/11875/ABBA+Essential+Albums+Gold/The+Doors:+Total


The show (see more details on it in that coverage above) has aged very well over the years and is one of the best live filmed concerts ever, looking good in 16mm, never long enough and proving they were just as great on stage as they were in the studio creating some of the greatest, most remarkable music albums ever.


This is the same transfer as the import Blu-ray and that's a good thing, but now we are in the 4K era, so we'll get into specifics below in the tech section. The band has released several concerts shot on analog tape or HD since, but this is as strong as any of them and the audience is great here too. The film was originally Quadraphonic in its theatrical release, but what happened to that soundmaster?


Along with repeating the extras from the older import Blu-ray, this new version adds art postcards by Roger Dean inside the Blu-ray case and I really appreciated that.



Now for playback quality. Though the Fiedler SACD has no images, it is the sonic champ here when you hear how good the 4.0 Quad mixes are in the ultra high definition DSD (Direct Stream Digital) sound format. Again, no sloppiness here, they were engineering and producing this to sound as good as a classical music recording and they succeeded more than you'd think. The 2.0 Stereo DSD is fine and also shows how well this was recorded, so that makes the PCM 16/44.1 2.0 Stereo regular CD tracks sound lacking, though they sound fine otherwise.


For some reason, Jeanette is presented in a 1080p 1.33 X 1 frame within a 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image with some softness and slight blur in color, but it was not very memorable and if this was to be close to the Dreyer silent classic (reviewed on Criterion Blu-ray elsewhere on this site), why not black and white? This lands up looking more like a sloppy Dogme '95 production than a musical and that's not good.


The 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Encore can look good, but has more soft spots and detail issues than the set with the newer shows. I wish at least some of these shows were shot on film, but it is fine, colorful and clear otherwise.


The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on the US Festival Blu-ray does its best to upgrade the old analog videotape to go with the new HD interview footage, but you can still see some flaws on the older tapes including video noise, video banding, telecine flicker, tape scratching, cross color and tape damage. Cheers to Stewart Copeland of The Police for having the initiative to shoot some of his show and arrival on actual Super 8mm film (that's a late model sound Sankyo movie camera he has, which hold up fine until they die and are very difficult to fix) giving us some of the best shots of the show by default. Wish there was more of his work, which his in 1.33 X 1 like the analog video, but centered in the 1.78 X 1 frame like the anamorphically enhanced DVD that is a bit weaker.


The 1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on YesSongs from its original 16mm film materials can show the age of the materials used, but this is far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film from the recent reissue (likely Eastman Color Kodak film) and is centered in the 1.78 X 1 frame. I like the color very much and likely went a little overboard on the last Blu-ray, especially now that that the 4K era (and my 4K Ultra HDTV) shows the flaws (including some dirt, dust and slight scratches) more clearly. Needless to say this remaster is fine, but was done a few years ago and could use a 4K scan, which would work (it does great things for Super 8mm film) and I could see a 4K Blu-ray down the line working for this and all Rockumentary films.


As for sound, the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Jeanette is nothing sonically great, but passable and sometimes too quiet and refined for its own good. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Encore fares better, especially when the music kicks in, but we also get the talking and speeches, which are just fine. The US Festival only features lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on the DVD and Blu-ray editions, especially shocking for the Blu-ray and to the detriment of the music. A concert set of both the 1982 and 1983 shows need to be issued with 5.1 to 11.1 sound mixes, but this will have to do for now.


Like the Fiedler albums, YesSongs was also originally quadraphonic in theaters it played at its best at the time, but the sound here continues to not be from that 4.0 soundmaster like the previous import DVD (which was distorted) and import Blu-ray (the Dolby True HD 5.1 lossless mix not totally discreet), so the options we get here are a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 that is very low and compressed and PCM 2.0 sound that is barely stereo if that, but the best I have heard the film to date. Someone PLEASE find that 4-track mix!



You can order the Arthur Fiedler Super Audio CD at this link...


https://www.duttonvocalion.co.uk/proddetail.php?prod=CDLK4598



- Nicholas Sheffo


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