(1994/Film Movement Blu-ray)/Hues
Corporation: Rockin' Soul/Love Corporation
(1974 - 1975/RCA/Sony/Vocalion Quadraphonic Super Audio CD/SACD/SA-CD
Collection (2011 -
2018/Naxos/C Major Blu-ray set)/Todd
Rundgren's Utopia: Live At The Chicago Theater
(2018/MVD/Purple Pyramid Blu-ray/DVD/2-CD Set)/Wandering
Muse (2014/IndiePix DVD)
B/X/B/B & C+/C+ Sound: B-/B+ B B-/B/B- C+ B-/C+ Extras:
C+/C-/C+/C+/C Main Programs: C+/B/B/B-/B-
Import Super Audio CD is now only available from our friends at
Vocalion, can play on all CD-capable players and can be ordered from
the link below.
a great new diverse set of music releases for you to know about....
(1994) is a film I never bought and always had issues with, the tale
of the title adult who was castrated before 7-years-old so his voice
would never change, crack or become mature, becomes a singing
sensation. As was the case with darker forces in the Church, they
wanted voices that would celebrate the faith, but at what cost to
some members? Coming out decades before the sickening church
scandals that unravel as you read this, the script is more interested
in the story as narrative than dealing with its issues. That makes
it odder than ever to view now.
glossing over issues of genital mutilation, pedophilia and violent
suppression, it also is casual with the homoerotic aspects (even near
incest) of the story as Farinelli (Stefano Dionisi as an adult; I
nerver bought his lip-syncing in this film either) seduces women with
his singing and his composer/brother (Enrico Lo Verso) has sexual
intercourse with them as his castrated brother does not have that
ability as they go on their European tour where the singer is a big
hit with women and high society. The film is too happy to deal with
just that period and ignore the awful implications of how they got
you can see for yourself if this is a fair assessment or are you able
to be passive with the issued being put on the side.
we get another great double album release on not just one CD, but a
Super Audio CD with three sound choices from the great British record
label Vocalion. The
Hues Corporation: Rockin' Soul and Love Corporation
(1974 - 1975) delivers the vocal group at their commercial and
critical peak at RCA Records with two really fine studio albums and
the first one includes their classic chart-topper Rock
and all-time instant classic. Fortunately, even with a few
soundalikes, they were singing as well on all their records and this
Quadraphonic (4-track 4.0) Super Audio CD/SACD/SA-CD
Hybrid release brings back the rarest versions of the albums for the
first time since their original release of the time that very few
people have had the chance to hear.
recording original material, the tracks include...
ROCKIN' SOUL (Holmes)
2: HOW I WISH WE COULD DO IT AGAIN (White;
3: WE'RE KEEPIN' OUR BUSINESS TOGETHER (Holmes)
ON DOWN THE ROAD (Smalls) from the musical The Wiz
5: I GOT CAUGHT
DANCING AGAIN (Holmes)
6: LOVE'S THERE (Holmes)
7: ROCK THE
8: I'LL TAKE A MELODY (Toussaint)
9: NO END IN
SIGHT (McManus; Pedrowski)
10: INTO MY MUSIC (Holmes)
ONE GOOD NIGHT TOGETHER (Holmes)
12: FOLLOW THE SPIRIT (Moore)
LONG ROAD (Lambert; Potter)
14: GOLD RUSH (Holmes)
15: HE'S MY
16: WHEN YOU LOOK DOWN THE ROAD (Holmes)
SHOWED ME WHAT LOVE IS (Raleigh; Fox)
18: LOVE CORPORATION
19: SING TO YOUR SONG (Holmes)
20: SOUL SAILIN'
they had no more hits that big and that big hit is considered an
early disco hits, yet they sadly disappeared. If anyone thought they
were only a good one hit wonder, these albums prove that myth wrong.
The second album had Kari Russell replace Fleming Williams as a
singer, but the album has David Kershenbaum (Joe Jackson, Duran
Duran) as producer and future producer Michael Ommartin (Donna
Summer, Diana Ross) as one of the several name musicians here also
including David Paich (soon of Toto), Larry Carlton, Ernie Watts and
so many more. So this is much more than two albums with 4-track
sound and one big hit, but two albums RCA backed strongly and smartly
knowing they had some great music on their hands. That's why every
serious music lover should revisit it, especially this way.
he is one of the top ballet dancers of the last century or so, we
have not heard enough of John Neumeier, but a new 4 program set
John Neumeier Collection
(2011 - 2018) that includes remarkable (if sometimes long)
performances of Nijinsky,
has arrived in a solid (and solidly-cased) Blu-ray set that is being
announced as a Limited Edition is now available and includes some
great extras. This is not to be confused with another fine Neumeier
set on Blu-ray we reviewed a few years ago at this link that one
might want to get with this one at the same time...
I like about these programs is that they take their time, the dancing
pushes the boundaries and Neumeier is digging deep into the material
to bring out nuances you would not get anywhere else. In Little
for example, he actually adds author Hans Christian Anderson as a
character in a way that melds very well and makes total sense. Thus,
Neumeier mis making sure his superior dancing ability is met at the
highest levels with the best possible interpretations of the material
before him so each one will stand out as compared to all other
interpretations of them past, present and future. Very smart and
that is why you should get this set before it runs out!
some of the greatest records from the 1970s and being one of the
premiere singer/songwriters of his time, Todd Gerund was and is so
much more, a brilliant musician, technician, producer, arranger,
engineer and music genius, whose success started long before his solo
work and has been going strong all this time. As a member of Nazz
and Utopia, he was already heading up some of the most interesting
and challenging music around. That is why I was very interested when
he was reforming the latter with Todd
Rundgren's Utopia: Live At The Chicago Theater
(2018) after over three decades!
get a 24-song set that sticks with only their own songs pretty much
(no solo Rundgren hits here by what is essentially the U.S.'s lost
Progressive Rock band (sorry Kansas!) with more string, smart
instrumental work than even I expected. Rundgren talks with the
audience a little, but it is about the music and the audience is with
him all the way. This is so good, I wanted to go back and hear all
their original studio albums and again ask the question, why is this
man not more celebrated? Why!?!
set has a Blu-ray disc, DVD and 2-CDs so you can play it on almost
every 5-inch digital playback machine ever built. Serious music fans
should check it out. More on the playback quality below.
Tomas Wormser's Wandering
(2014) is a documentary about Jewish musicians, Jewish identity and
how traditional instruments and traditional music are being kept
alive by those of the faith in this glove-traveling work following
independent musicians, their work, their thoughts, their music and
how faith plays into that. The added point being it is music and
existence that many wanted to see erased and disappear, made more
important by a resurgence by such hate groups, et al.
just over 90 minutes, it becomes an important testimonial to lives
gained and lost, ideas and people lost and almost lost, then possibly
the start of something new or the delayed continuation thereof. I
did not know hardly anyone here, but cheers to the directors for
coming up with this idea and delivering on it. This may just become
more relevant as time goes on, so you might want to give it a look.
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image on Farinelli
was shot on 35mm Kodak color camera film negative (including 5494
stock) and is as good looking as anything here, with consistent color
and a solid look. The 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image
transfer on all four Neumeier
shows are HD shoots that have good color, but can have slight motion
blur in a few small places. He also has his shows lit better than
most classical releases, so they look better than most we have
covered over the years that were not 1080p or above.
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Utopia
is such a production and benefits from fine color consistency, is not
as well lit, but looks as good with not major darkness issues. The
only low point is when we have to deal with multi-screen images and
cell phone footage, but that is mercifully short.
leaves the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Muse
shot digitally mostly outdoors and having the softest appearance,
much like the Utopia
DVD, but rougher since it w3as shot on the fly and location more
often than not.
Blu-ray had any lossless multi-channel sound on it, it might have
been the sonic champ here on this list, but the DSD (Direct Stream
Digital) 4.0 Quad lossless sound mix on Hues Corporation is
remarkably the best recording here, has the best playback of all
these releases and is the oldest, 20 years older than Farinelli!
Anyone who doubts the sonic excellence of soul music before the
Disco era will be especially impressed how good the mixing,
engineering, producing, arranging and performances captured are here.
All 20 tracks sound great and those used to the classic hit Rock The
Boat will be amazed what they have not heard in the song before in
the stereo mixdown 99% of us have heard and only heard since it was
issued 44 years ago and counting. We also get the 2.0 DSD Stereo
that sounds better than any stereo version you've heard before and a
PCM 16/44.1 2.0 Stereo version that loses some of the music, but also
shows in comparison how much better the presentations in lossless DSD
sonic runner-up here actually turns out to be the DTS-HD MA (Master
Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes (including the 5.0 DTS-MA on Little
of the John
Blu-ray set, all very well recorded, with fine soundstages and decent
clarity and warmth that complement the extraordinary dancing well.
The PCM 2.0 Stereo versions for older systems on all the Blu-rays are
also not bad, but no match for the DTS versions and as good as what
we've heard on ballet Blu-ray releases over the last few years.
would think Farinelli
might have a 5.1 mix or the like, but it is only here in a DTS-HD MA
(Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless mix from the original analog Dolby
SR (Spectral Recording) original theatrical soundmaster, but this is
a little harsh, a bit over-bass oriented and a little louder than it
needed to be, hurting the natural sound originally intended. Try a
Pro Logic (or Pro Logic-like) mode when playing it back for best
results, but expect some sonic limits.
has a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on both the Blu-ray and DVD versions,
but has PCM 2.0 Stereo on the Blu-ray and lossy Dolby Digital 2.0
Stereo in place of that on the DVD. Rundgren has always been
sonically adept in his many releases over the years and why this one
has no lossless multi-channel option on the Blu-ray is puzzling.
Especially with the music being so good, this is a disappointment and
the PCM 2.0 16/44.1 Stereo on the two CDs are no better than the
Blu-ray's PCM Stereo. A shame too since it is shot so well.
leaves the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Muse
that is passable and does not hurt the music much there, but it is a
documentary and some location audio is better than others. Not bad
overall, though I wish the music was lossless somewhere.
include illustrated booklets on all releases but Muse,
adds an Original Theatrical Trailer, trailers for other Film Movement
releases, interviews an a Making Of featurette, Neumeier adds
excellent interviews by the man himself on all four programs and
Behind The Scenes on Tatiana and Mermaid, Utopia has interviews with
all members of the current form of the band and a Behind The Scenes
look at the show and Muse
has 45 minutes of
Scenes and Outtakes.
can order The
Super Audio CD directly and only from Vocalion Music at this link...