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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > R&B > Disco > Pop > Hip Hop > Nile Rodgers & Chic - Live At Montreux 2004

Nile Rodgers & Chic Ė Live At Montreux 2004

 

Picture: B-†††† Sound: B†††† Extras: D†††† Concert: B

 

 

Though constantly written off as just another original Disco-era act, Chic has turned out to be one of the most influential, important and innovative music acts of the last half of the 20th Century.Why?For one thing, the late Bernard Edwards and his partner Nile Rodgers must have a record or near record for most artists ever worked with in the history of the music industry.With only five Top 40 hits from 1977 Ė 1979, that was all they needed to influence a new generation of post-Disco, post-R&B dance music fans, with Good Times in particular being the foundation for Hip Hop itself.Rodgers has continued to work non-stop and has also kept Chic together.Live At Montreux 2004 is a recent concert (7/17/04) that shows Rodgers has not allowed the group to lose much of its luster.

 

The loss of Edwardsí bass is unavoidably audible and the loss of drummer Tony Thompson in 2003 another major blow, the new configuration of the band figures well here.The songs included in this 99 minutes long concert are:

 

1)     Everybody Dance

2)     Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)

3)     I Want Your Love

4)     Diana Ross & Sister Sledge medleys (Iím Coming Out, Upside Down, Heís The Greatest Dancer, We Are Family)

5)     At Last Iím Free

6)     CHIC Cheer

7)     My Forbidden Lover

8)     Le Freak

9)     Good Times

 

 

The weak point here are the medleys, which are a key or two too low and do not have the energy, spirit or spontaneity of the originals.Iím Coming Out is supposed to be revelatory, but this version drags and has limited energy.Upside Down lacks the convincing sass of the original.In those cases, Rodgers and Edwards did not get their versions of those hits on the original Diana album, only recently issued in a Deluxe Edition double CD set (reviewed elsewhere on this site), but they are ultimately Miss Rossí songs by vocal ownership.The Sister Sledge tracks do not suffer as badly, but this was some of that vocal groupís best work, so it is still hard to compete.

 

My Forbidden Lover fares better and was too hot and R&B for pop radio of the time, but it is grossly underrated.The same female vocalists are much more on target in this case.At Last Iím Free was likely too feminist to the same stations, and that was at a time of broadcasting.It is another gem.The musicians and Rodgers (of course) are terrific without missing much throughout, but the ladies are ambitious and deserve credit for that.The result is still one of the best Montreux DVD concerts to date.

 

This extends to the DVD performance.The digital HD-shot 1.78 X 1 image is anamorphically enhanced and may have the usual detail limits of that format versus film, but this is one of the most naturalistic-looking ones we have seen to date.The sound is even better, here in PCM 2.0 16Bit/48kHz Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 and especially good DTS 5.1, which is the preferred way to play it back if you can.The DTS is perfect to capture all the bass, rhythm and richness of the soul throughout.The Dolby just is not as soulful, while the PCM is good, but cannot match the DTS.Sadly, there are no extras, except for a pullout inside the DVD case with illustrations and a brief essay by Graham Betts.Nile Rodgers & Chic Ė Live At Montreux 2004 is one of the best concert DVDs to date.

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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