Robin Gibb with The
Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt Orchestra Live (DTS DVD + CD)
Sound: B- Extras: C Concert: B-
With Maurice Gibb gone, the end of the original Bee Gees
went with him, but the Brother Gibb always had their solo projects and Robin
Gibb even scored two Top 40 solo hits.
We’ll discuss the bizarre Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
feature film another time, but his Oh! Darling was a Top 15 hit and Boys
Do Fall In Love tried to capitalize on new interest in the band in 1984
thanks to the 1983 film Stayin’ Alive, the ill-fated sequel to Saturday
Night Fever. On his new Neue
Philharmonie Frankfurt Orchestra Live concert, he skips those songs, but
raids the Bee Gees catalog nearly non-stop.
Those songs include:
1) Night Fever
Gotta Get a Message To You
3) How Deep
Is Your Love?
8) New York
Mining Disaster 1941
10) Saved By The Bell
11) To Love Somebody
13) You Win Again
16) Jive Talkin’
17) Stayin’ Alive
That is the same order on both the DVD and CD versions,
both issued by Eagle Eye Media. I know
how long ago this was, but Gibb still has a good voice, yet some of these songs
simply do not work without the falsetto that made most of them pop culture
classics. Whether he can still sing
that way aside, the fact that they were falsetto heightened the melodrama of
them, as well as the impact of their arrangements. Combining the songs with an orchestra here is not the catastrophe
it has been with so many acts doing this lately, because most of the songs were
made to have a big sound to begin with.
The original producers of their 1970s hits (Arif Mardin, Karl
Richardson, Albhy Galuten) did ingenious things to make those records stand out
above so many others when the record industry was in its last golden age. With that considered, the orchestra does
As for the discs, the DVD offers an anamorphically
enhanced 1.78 X 1 image that is somewhat colorful and nicely shot on video, but
lacks detail. The sound options are
Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo that plays badly in Pro Logic mode, a very small Dolby
5.1 mix and a shockingly muddled DTS 5.1 mix.
That means the best tracks here are the Dolby 2.0 played in regular
2-channel stereo! This was simply not a
program intended for multi-channel.
When hearing the CD’s PCM 2.0 16bit/44.1kHz Stereo version, this is
again obvious. Aside from the sound
limits of CD, it is obvious that the recording is limited and can only be
stretched so far.
The only extras on the DVD are Gibb’s awkward cover of
Samantha Sang’s Emotion, which they created for her and sang on, plus an
interview that is mixed and a photo gallery.
The concert itself runs about 80+ minutes, with the CD dumping
intros. Gibb still has his showmanship,
but the results of this project are not what they could have been. Still, fans of the music will want to check
into it, because at least he is a creative original in an industry that seems
- Nicholas Sheffo