The Cars – Unlocked (DVD/CD Set)
Picture: C Sound: C+/B- Extras: C Documentary: B-
never the biggest fan of Ric Ocasek’s The Cars, a new wave band with some
attitude that went from unique to subdued and goofy (sometimes annoying) Pop in
the 1980s. Just What I Needed and My
Best Friend’s Girl are classic so the time, but Shake It Up was the kind of New Wave DEVO was bashing and they
became too silly with Magic and You Might Think. The
Cars – Unlocked is a new DVD/CD Set from Docurama that compiles many of
their early rough performance days with some newer songs (say starting in the
mid-1980s) where to compare shows they became too polished for their own good.
a better band earlier and there was just more life, energy and risks
overall. Occasionally, they pulled off
an interesting song like Drive, but
that itself deviated from their old days and to this day feels like the only
time they showed any growth (logical or not) from the first hits. There is also good interview footage and
behind the scenes (and stage) clips throughout.
You also get some great moments where they goof around and groups today
seem almost afraid to do so because fans take everything too seriously and the
wrong way. Makes you miss that time,
especially since the music was better then too.
Overall, this is not a great compilation piece, but it is worth a look.
X 1 image wildly varies throughout since several VHS, Beta and even reel to
reel black and white (240 lines!) NTSC was used in various places
throughout. It is mixed with occasional
professionally-shot footage, but the majority is lower-quality amateur
footage. The sound is here is unenhanced
PCM 2.0 16bit/48kHz Stereo on the DVD and slightly fuller PCM 2.0 16bit/44.1kHz
Stereo on the CD that sounds good enough, but has background hiss. Though not
incredible, the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix has some advantages over both, but the
audio is so old and recorded under many disadvantageous circumstances that it
is amazing it sounds even this good.
include the CD version of 14 of the songs, Docurama trailers, promo trailer for
this release, five bonus concert music tracks and a booklet in a slidecase that
is a real hardcover book for once that happens to contain both discs in the
inside covers. Fans of the band might
enjoy this, but non-fans will only find this to be an interesting curio at best
and move on. Still, it was worth putting
out in this first rate packaging and release, which we can only hope inspires
other acts form the era to do the same.
- Nicholas Sheffo