Awards Live: Greatest Moments: 1965 - 2015
(Time Life 3-DVD Set)/Johnnie
Taylor: Ear-ga-sm & Rated EXtraordinare
(1976 - 1977/Columbia Records/Sony/Vocalion Import Hybrid Super Audio
The King Of Strings
(1983/EMI/Umbrella Region Free Import Blu-ray)
C+/X/B/B/B Sound: C+/B+ B B-/B+/B-/B Extras: C/C-/B/C/C+
Main Programs: C+/B/B+/B-/B
Import Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Umbrella
Entertainment in Australia, can only play on all Blu-ray and 4K
Blu-ray players, while the Johnnie
Super Audio CD is now only available from Vocalion in the U.K.. All
can be ordered from the links below.
is a really good mix of new music titles for you to know about...
this new 3-DVD set is entitled CMA
Awards Live: Greatest Moments: 1965 - 2015,
it is a mislabeled highlights edition of the 10-DVD set we reviewed
at this link...
get some of the interviews and a smaller booklet versus the larger
set and it is at less cost, but I'd think true Country & Western
Music fans would want the full set, even if they had to pay more.
The three discs we get start with highlights starting in the years
1968, 1985 and 2012 if that helps anyone. Maybe some would like the
smaller set, but it just feels a bit emptier, even if I had not seen
the larger set before. Now you can choose.
up are two albums by a soul vocal legend who is not remembered as
much as he ought to be. Originally a major singer for many years at
the legendary Stax Records label, with classics hits like 'Who's
among others. By the mid-1970s as the label was becoming even more
richly soul oriented, Johnnie Taylor landed up signing a big contract
with Columbia Records and the result was new state-of-the-art
recording facilities and two major albums in Ear-ga-sm
(1976) and Rated
(1977), now issued as a strong double feature single disc from the
great British label Vocalion as an Import Hybrid Super Audio CD with
CD tracks. However, you have to have SA-CD capacity to enjoy both
albums at their best in their original 4-track Quadraphonic mixes.
The result shows off his voice better than ever and puts him in the
same realm easily more so with Marvin Gaye and Al Green (both with
multi-channel audio releases of their own) among the best soul male
vocalists of the period, maybe even of all time.
the track listing for each album...
DISCO LADY (Scales; Vance; Davis)
2: PLEASE DON'T STOP (THAT SONG
FROM PLAYING) (Davis)
3: DON'T TOUCH HER BODY (IF YOU CAN'T TOUCH
HER MIND) (Davis)
4: I'M GONNA KEEP ON LOVING YOU (Morris;
5: YOU'RE THE BEST IN THE WORLD (Toney)
6: RUNNING OUT
OF LIES (Jordan)
7: SOMEBODY'S GETTIN' IT (Jones; Colter;
8: IT DON'T HURT ME LIKE IT USED TO (Jordan; Ross) alto
sax: Eli Fountain
9: PICK UP THE PIECES (Davis; Barker; Briggs)
YOUR LOVE IS RATED X (Moore)
11: STORMY (Moore; Davis)
I GO (THROUGH THESE CHANGES AGAIN) (Orr; Harris)
13: DID HE MAKE
LOVE TO YOU (Scales; Griffin)
14: AND I PANICKED (Roach)
LOVE IS BETTER IN THE A.M. (PARTS 1 & 2) (Scales; Griffin;
16: IT AIN'T WHAT YOU DO (IT'S HOW YOU DO IT)(Scales;
Davis; Robinson; Harralson)
17: NOT JUST ANOTHER BOOTY SONG
(Davis; Briggs; Hamilton)
18: I'M JUST A SHOULDER TO CRY ON
(Scales, Vance; Davis)
19: STOP GIVING PEOPLE HARD LUCK STORIES
to say, the first track on the first album, ''Disco
was a stunning, across the charts, across the board, crossover
megahit nationwide and worldwide, yet it is not necessarily a disco
song per se and those expecting two sexed-out disco records will be
shocked to know that they are actually very rich soul vocal releases
that have tracks that are up there with the best seductive tunes of
the time. I am also impressed with how the content holds up and
often rings true, but at the same time, why have these gems not been
we have the playback quality. Those with a home theater system that
has SA-CD playback can enjoy the stunning sonics of the 4.0 ultra
high definition DSD (Direct Stream Digital) multi-channel stereo few
people got to hear back when the albums arrived on Quad. Taylor has
range and bass that goes beyond disco or other genres, really
phrasing the content for best impact and this was a great second wave
for his career that hit the mark critically and commercially at the
time. Too bad the second album was not as strong commercially.
ultra high definition DSD (Direct Stream Digital) 2.0 Stereo tracks
are also decent, if not as great as the 4.0 and will sound more like
the mixdowns you would have heard at the time. That leaves the PCM
16/44.1 2.0 Stereo tracks sounding good, but passable versus the
stunning impact of either DSD choice. Those multi-channel music fans
will even find some demo moments on the disc that make it worth going
out of your way for.
only extra once again is the illustrated booklet included with tech
info and another outstanding essay by David Zimmerman.
was a musician, composer and director. He is considered to be the
King of String orchestra in that he believed sting instruments can
play the lead roles like any other brass instruments. He brought
more class to orchestra music and into the world modern
The King Of Strings
(2018) is a documentary takes a look back over his life and his dream
and how he became a world class performer.
might not (especially at this point in time) remember the name of
Mantovani, but most people would remember and heard his music.
Mantovani loved strings instruments and one of the most interesting
things he did for music was was being able to create an 'echo' effect
without being in a cathedral, church or echo chamber, he was able to
take an orchestra and create a sound that was more than just the sum
of the instruments. He wrote and created music that was played in
hotels, early stereo and films... and he became world famous.
Probably his most famous piece was 'Charmaine' the background music
was a biography of Mantovani, he was like the Frank Sinatra/Elvis
Presley of string orchestra. Without this biography I probably
wouldn't have even of known he existed and how he effected the world
of music and entertainment. The biography is made of black and white
pictures with his music in the background and various narrators
telling about his life and music.
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image mixes new and especially
old footage, but looks pretty good considering, so that means the
audio is also mixed, here in lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo that is
often monophonic. The real question is why was this not in a
lossless audio format?
include various performances of Mantovani, though a special edition
has also been issued.
(1973) is one of the more unusual films from the very prolific
journeyman director who was in especially good form in the 1970s.
The film about a dysfunctional, toxic young couple (Cliff DeYoung
with toxic male issues and Cristina Raines as his wife and mother of
their child) gets rougher when she becomes sick with a very serious
illness. At first though, everyone is singing songs from John Denver
and you think this might be some kind of lost operetta, especially
unusual before hit songs started showing up (especially as filler) in
film and TV releases in the 1980s to date too often for our own good.
is actually a TV movie Universal (who owned MCA Records at the time,
now known as Universal Music, though Denver was an artist at
competing RCA Records) made, first shown on CBS and almost a decade
before MTV arrived, though Denver himself was all over TV and several
music charts. The film is interesting in that it has its moments of
peace and leisurely silence, but also is brutally honesty about how
the couple does not get along, something we rarely see in any dramas
Foster (Carpenter's They
turns up as 'the other woman' and Brenda Vacarro is great as the
caring, even loving doctor who tries to help Raines out with the best
decisions and best advice possible. Universal and ABC created what
we now know as the TV Movie/telefilm and that means they did it
better than most and they were all pretty much shot on 35mm film, so
that is why they hold up as well as they do. They were also made for
audiences with a brain, so that is a big plus.
also makes for a nice time capsule and in a year where TV movies were
usually very interesting. A few have made it to Blu-ray (Spielberg's
Night of The Scarecrow,
Dan Curtis' Dracula,
among them), so it is great that the Redwind label has joined it with
this impressive Blu-ray edition. The result is more than a mere
'disease of the week' film and everyone ought to see this one at
1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer comes from 35mm
film as noted and since Universal had a contract with Universal at
the time, some elements might have been dye-transfer,
three-strip Technicolor and the color here is more impressive than
you might think. It also remains one of how good color block style
filmmaking (aka narrow vision) can look, so expect some fine color
range and detail. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix
is also in nice shape, from the original soundmaster apparently and
as clear as just about any TV produced at the time. Extras include
chapter stops for the songs and an Original Theatrical Trailer as it
we have a film that is not discussed enough for all of its success
and the talent of its lead star. Winner of two Academy Awards, Bruce
(1983) lands on Blu-ray in a nice looking (and sounding) HD transfer
courtesy of Umbrella. Out of his six nominations, this is Robert
Duvall's only Academy Award winner, and well deserved for his
captivating performance here. The film also won an Academy Award for
Best Screenplay (Horton Foote).
centers around a country singer named Mac Sledge (Duvall) whose past
his prime and has taken residence in a broken down motel. Struggling
with alcoholism and depression, Mac soon falls for widow Rosa Lee
(Tess Harper) who runs the motel along with her young son. Once he
starts to get his life back on track, Mac must choose between a
comeback or a quieter life...
film also stars Betty Buckley, Ellen Barkin, Tess Harper, and Wilford
Brimley to name a few.
in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and
a 2.0 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) Stereo lossless mix, which looks and
sounds very nice here. The film isn't available in the U.S. yet
(Universal was its original distributor), so this is your best bet if
you want to see a nice HD presentation of the film as of this
Length Audio Commentary by Bruce Beresford
featurette, featuring interviews with stars Robert Duvall, Tess
Harper, and Allan Hubbard, Director Bruce Beresford, and
Writer/Co-Producer Horton Foote
a Theatrical Trailer.
is a little slow, but has nice performances and a very grounded and
realistic feel to it. The highlight is Duvall's performance and has
some interesting commentary on life and romance.
can order the Johnnie
Super Audio CD directly from Vocalion starting at this link...
Umbrella import Blu-ray, go to this link for it and other hard to
Nicholas Sheffo, Ricky Chiang (Mantovani)