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Category:    Home > Reviews > Music Variety Show > Rock > Soul > Pop > TV > Ed Sullivan Rock & Roll Classics Box Set (Ventura DVD)

Ed Sullivan Rock & Roll Classics Box Set (3 DVD Version)


Picture: C+ Sound: C+ Extras: D Performances: B



The catalog of music performers on The Ed Sullivan Show remains one of the most impressive lists in world TV history, so releasing collections of these performances is always an appealing thing. Every few years, more impressive material comes on DVD somehow and the new Rock & Roll Classics Box Set is no exception. Yes, there is narration here and there, and some of the songs are edited, but the performances are in tact otherwise.


The three discs do not overlap too much with the giant Rhino Box Set of the same name from a few tears ago and each disc has subsections as follows:


DVD 1:



Ike and Tina Turner Revue - Proud Mary
Stevie Wonder - Fingertips
James Brown - medley: Please, Please, Please/Papa's Got A Brand New Bag
The Temptations - I Can't Get Next To You


Stevie Wonder - For Once in My Life
Marvin Gaye - Take This Heart Of Mine
The 5th Dimension - Up, Up & Away
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - I Second That Emotion
Jackie Wilson - Lonely Teardrops



James Brown - It's A Man's, Man's, Man's World
Gladys Knight & The Pips - I Heard It Through The Grapevine
Sam & Dave - I Thank You
Ike and Tina Turner Revue - Bold Soul Sister


Diana Ross & The Supremes - Love Child
Janis Joplin - Raise Your Hand
Dusty Springfield - Son Of A Preacher Man
Gladys Knight & The Pips - If I Were Your Woman
The Supremes - You Can't Hurry Love



DVD 2:



The Band - Up On Cripple Creek
The Byrds - Turn, Turn, Turn
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Down On The Corner
The Lovin' Spoonful - Daydream
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - Abraham, Martin & John


The Young Rascals - Groovin'
The Turtles - Happy Together
The Young Rascals - Good Lovin'
Spanky & Our Gang - Sunday Will Never Be The Same
The 5th Dimension - Stoned Soul Picnic
Oliver - Good Morning Starshine
The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations


The Mamas & The Papas - California Dreamin'
The 5th Dimension - California Soul
The Turtles - She'd Rather Be With Me
The Friends Of Distinction - Grazing In The Grass
Beach Boys - I Get Around

MAMAS AND PAPAS SECTION: California Dreamin' (version 2), Monday, Monday, Dedicated To The One I Love, Creeque Alley, Twelve Thirty, I Call Your Name



DVD 3:


Rolling Stones - (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
The Animals - Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
James Brown - Papa's Got a Brand New Bag, I Feel Good
Jerry Lee Lewis - Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On
Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley
The Animals - Bring It On Home To Me


Janis Joplin - Maybe
Elvis Presley - Peace In The Valley
Buddy Holly - Oh, Boy!
The Mamas & The Papas - Words Of Love
Bobby Darin - Mack The Knife
The Carpenters - We've Only Just Begun


The Beatles - Ticket To Ride
Bobby Rydell - A World Without Love
Peter & Gordon - I Don't Want To See You Again
Billy J. Kramer with The Dakotas - Bad To Me
Petula Clark - The Fool On The Hill
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - Yesterday


The Beatles - Help!
The Bee Gees - Words
The Byrds - Mr. Tambourine Man
The Four Tops - It's All In The Game
The Temptations - medley: My Girl/I Know I'm Losing You



Outside of technical playback, the selections are prime and those who do not want to or know if they want to shell out over $100 for the larger Rhino set now have this release as an option. As for the performances, save lip-syncing, it is great to see all these artists in their prime or early prime. Sullivan said he would never have Elvis on the show, but by the fourth and final appearance, had hoped he would be back. He never was. Sullivan was lucky to be at his peak as American music saw its last golden age. That is why a set like this is such a pleasure to go through.


The 1.33 X 1 image varies throughout, from old kinescope copies of the show, to black and white videotape, to full color tape. Like all previous Sullivan DVD releases from other companies, these come from good masters. The sound is available in Dolby Digital 5.1, but it is of the ambient kind, even when the acts are lip-syncing to their hits. Too bad this could not be in DTS with the original records dropped in with audience response and ambient sound mixed in for realism. There are no extras, but Ventura has put together a nice case for the three DVDs making for easy access.



- Nicholas Sheffo


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