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Category:    Home > Reviews > Music > Punk Rock > Documentary > Pop > Ireland > Awards > Country > Comedy > Radio > Concert > Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame In Concert Box Set (2009 - 2017/Time Life Blu-rays)

Anti-Nowhere League: We Are The League (2019/Cleopatra DVD/CD Set*)/Ash: Teenage Wildlife - 25 Years Of Ash (2019/BMG CD Set)/CMA Awards Live: Greatest Moments 2008 - 2015 (**)/FM (1978/Arrow Blu-ray/*both MVD)/Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame In Concert Box Set (2009 - 2017/**both Time Life Blu-ray)

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

Here is a new set of music releases for you to know about, most with video...

A biker, a skinhead, a grammar school boy, and a Persian exile came together and formed an incredible band known as the Anti-Nowhere League, that topped the UK charts in the early 1980s with their unique brand of punk rock music.

Anti-Nowhere League: We Are The League (2019) is a unique mix of the band members tell the band's humble beginnings, mixed with clips from Steward Capelands' punk-art film ''So What!'', and never before seen archival footage of the band, this is the most accurate and visual telling of one band that reached popularity despite all sorts of odds... and still continues to thrive today.

The DVD here is is presented in standard definition on DVD with a 1.78 X 1, anamorphically enhanced widescreen aspect ratio and the occasional full frame shot of archival footage. The interviews are cleanly shot and the lossy 2.0 stereo mix is fine for a documentary film of this nature as well.

Special Features include Additional Interview Footage and a 19 track CD of previously unreleased 1982 live performance.

If you're in a band or a fan of UK punk rock music, then is a fun documentary to check out.

One of the saddest things is how many great music acts that have success worldwide have next to no hits in the U.S., from Shirley Bassey way back to more recent talents like Crowded House, Blur, Split Enz, Jamiroquai, A-Ha, Jigsaw, Level 42, Adam & The Ants (pre-solo Adam), Swing Out Sister, Dizzie Rascal, Super_Collider, Phil Kiernan and so many others that have so much great music (et al) to offer and do not get the success they deserve to match their talent and likability.

Add to that list an Irish band that has lasted a quarter century, yet has hardy had the success it deserved in the U.S., but we now have Ash: Teenage Wildlife - 25 Years Of Ash (2019) captures the rise, growth, talent and energy they always had and delivered all these years without stopping. Two CD sets (plus some vinyl options) have been issued, with the first two CDs issued as one set, like what we got) shows their rise and growth, plus a second set with a third CD of bonus tracks of rarities has also been issued. The tracks include...

Disc 1:

A Life Less Ordinary


Darkest Hour Of The Night

Kung Fu


You Can't Have It All

Girl From Mars

All That I Have Left

Wild Surf


Uncle Pat

Shining Light



Return Of White Rabbit




Coming Around Again

Disc 2:

Burn Baby Burn

Dare To Dream




Oh Yeah


Confessions In The Pool

True Love 1980

Angel interceptor

Jesus Says


End Of The World


Walking Barefoot

Jack Names The Planets

Twilight Of The Innocents

Disc 3:**

Here Comes The Music


Teenage Wildlife

I Shall Not Die

Skullful Of Sulphur

Teenage kicks




Seventh Circle

Everybody's Happy Nowadays

Chinese New Year

Wasted On You

Comet Tempel 1

Heroin, Vodka, White Noise

New Tattoo

When I'm Tired


The more I listened, the more I enjoyed, but it also increasingly made me amazed on what we missed out on in the states and just how bad radio and music promotion has become here in the last 30 years. Their big hit was Goldfinger, with its equally great music video (one of many for their various songs), was a huge alternative rock hit and remains one of their best songs, though note it has NOTHING to do with the James Bond film of the same name. It is just a great classic and so many of these songs work and hold up. Their cover of the Carly Simon hit Coming Around Again is pretty good too.

***Also good here is the sound, PCM 2.0 16/44.1 Stereo that sounds really good and well transferred. However, it is the first non-classical CD (excluding several titles we've covered form the 2L classical music label) that offers a new audio format that claims to be ultra high resolution/ultra high definition sound equal to Direct Stream Digital from a Super Audio CD or the best vinyl around. You do not need it to hear the CD tracks much the way the 20-bit HDCD sound format works, but this one is called MQA sound and was co-developed by high fidelity audio giant Meridan, whose MLP (Meridian Lossless Packing, now known as Dolby TrueHD) fueled Super Audio CD's rival format: DVD-Audio.

At least like HDCD-encoded CDs, MQA-encoded CDs do tend to always sound better than plain old CDs and that is a good thing, but very few players exist to play the MQA tracks and the few outboard DAC (digital audio converted) that handles MQA are about $1,000 each, so despite our best efforts, we could not play those tracks at the time of this posting, but will update this section when we can.

I love that an underrated band like this is getting such great treatment as so much of the music that gets Ultra HD sound treatment is usually classical, jazz or older hit music. Thus, you cannot go wrong sonically with either CD set.

Since we did not get that third CD, we cannot count it as an extra, but we did get a nicely illustrated booklet with a large text sample on the band by Steven Wells, who made a documentary about the band. If you have never or barley heard of the band Ash, you MUST get this set!

Next up is a compilation set, CMA Awards Live: Greatest Moments 2008 - 2015 and it is the first HD offering after several DVD sets we've seen of the annual event. I have very mixed feelings about the state of the Country Music genre to day and here's the list of performances included:

  • "More Like Her" | MIRANDA LAMBERT

  • "Cowgirls Don't Cry" | BROOKS & DUNN featuring REBA McENTIRE

  • "You're Gonna Miss This" | TRACE ADKINS

  • "Need You Now" | LADY ANTEBELLUM

  • "Fifteen" | TAYLOR SWIFT

  • "Consider Me Gone" | REBA McENTIRE

  • "As She's Walking Away" | ZAC BROWN BRAND featuring ALAN JACKSON

  • "Don't You Wanna Stay" | JASON ALDEAN with KELLY CLARKSON


  • "A Little Bit Stronger" | SARA EVANS

  • "Country Girl (Shake It for Me)" | LUKE BRYAN

  • "You and Tequila" | KENNY CHESNEY featuring GRACE POTTER

  • "Remind Me" | BRAD PAISLEY featuring CARRIE UNDERWOOD

  • "Begin Again" | TAYLOR SWIFT

  • "Pontoon" | LITTLE BIG TOWN



  • "The Outsiders" | ERIC CHURCH

  • "He Stopped Loving Her Today" | ALAN JACKSON and GEORGE STRAIT

  • "Somewhere in My Car" | KEITH URBAN

  • "Drunk on a Plane" | DIERKS BENTLEY

  • "Take Your Time" | SAM HUNT

  • "Girl Crush" | LITTLE BIG TOWN

  • "Tennessee Whiskey/Drink You Away " | CHRIS STAPLETON and JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE

  • "Gonna" | BLAKE SHELTON

Not much of this is memorable to me, but it will be to fans, though the wildcard is Taylor Swift before she pulled an Olivia Newton-John and left the genre to go all out Rock/Pop. Justin Timberlake's appearance is still its own oddity as he is only a part-time visitor, but fares as well as anyone her. For fans only, at least they finally have a Blu-ray of the show.

Though color is good, the 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers are a little inconsistent and DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes can sound good, but are not as wide-ranging as one would hope. Otherwise, they are still better than the DVD versions. A booklet with tech and content info is the only extra.

FM (1978) is a fun time capsule piece on the late 1970's radio scene. Starring Michael Brandon, the film is centered around the height of success for a Los Angeles rock and roll station named Q-SKY radio, which hosts plenty of interesting characters. As a corporation looms over them, however, and attempts to cash in on the airwaves by filling it with commercials, the station soon runs into financial problems. Can the lovers of rock and roll behind Q-Sky keep the spirit of the music alive?

While a bit dated, FM is fun and has a great soundtrack which features Steely Dan (who deliver the hit title song), Jimmy Buffet, Linda Ronstadt, Tom Petty, The Eagles, and The Doobie Brothers.

The film also stars Eileen Brennan, Alex Karras, Cleavon Little, Martin Mull, and Cassie Yates.

FM is presented in 1080p on Blu-ray disc with a 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio and an Uncompressed stereo 2.0 PCM audio soundtrack. The film has been remastered and restored from the original film elements. Also included is a PCM Mono 1.0 music and effects track that highlights the film’s fantastic soundtrack. The colors are vibrant and highly detailed with acclaimed cinematography by the amazing John A. Alonzo (DePalma's Scarface).

Special Features:

No Static at All, a newly filmed interview with Michael Brandon, the star of FM

Radio Chaos, a newly filmed interview with Ezra Sacks, the writer of FM

The Spirit of Radio, a newly filmed video appreciation of the era of FM radio and the FM soundtrack by the film and music critic Glenn Kenny

Extensive gallery of original stills, promotional images and soundtrack sleeves

Original trailers

Reversible sleeve featuring two original artwork options

and FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by writer and critic Paul Corupe.

Finally, The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame In Concert Box Set (2009 - 2017) has been issued in the Blu-ray format and here is our coverage of the DVD set a little while ago...


That includes a link to a previous Blu-ray review of a disc included in this set. All three sections are here in fine 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers with DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes that are about as good as they are going to get. Extras are also the same, but the playback upgrades in all cases are worth it.

- Nicholas Sheffo (Ash, Time Life) and James Lockhart



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