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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Documentary > Rock > Blues > Pop > Country > Counterculture > Canned Heat – Live At Montreux 1973 + The Canned Heat Story

Canned Heat – Live At Montreux 1973 + The Canned Heat Story


Picture: C     Sound: B-/C+     Extras: D     Concert: C+     Documentary: C+



Though their peak time was brief, Canned Heat was one of the early Rock/Blues bands (and white bands at that) and continued to be remembered as more than just a one hit wonder.  Songs like Going Up To The Country and On The Road Again defined the time, but when their lead singer and friend Alan Wilson self-destructed in 1970, they lost their momentum and a new feel for the decade arrived.


Canned Heat – Live At Montreux 1973 + The Canned Heat Story (2004) is a new DVD set from Eagle Eye that shows the band back together in concert recovering from that loss and a too-short program about them that starts off with superlatives about the band, then goes into a tailspin only saved by blunt reflections of personal tragedy.  Eventually, almost all the band members had befallen various disturbing fates, but in 1973, they were trying to make a comeback.


This concert runs over and hour, is pretty good, but is not just the band in action.  The legendary blues icon Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown joins them for a few songs as a sort of payback for their commitment to Blues and a big show of support for their comeback.  It is very poignant and makes for one of the better early concerts.  I actually reviewed the single disc before, a review you can find at this link with more detail:





The latter documentary allows the viewer to see what was next, which is why it was a smart move for Eagle to include this with the concert for a complete look at an amazing band.


The 1.78 X 1 image on the concert DVD is from old 1.33 X 1 professional analog video, likely NTSC, and shows it age.  It can be a little muddy, yet the anamorphic approach ads a solidness and color consistency non-anamorphic would not have allowed.  The 1.33 X 1 image on the documentary is very soft and sometimes harder to watch, but has rare footage and concert performances.


Both offer 2-channel soundtracks, PCM 16-bit/48kHz 2.0 Stereo on the concert, stereo-boosted Dolby Digital 2.0 from the original mono track.  The concert also has Dolby Digital 5.1 and very slightly better DTS 5.1, but they can only improve on the PCM so much since the recoding is so old.  There are no extras, but it is a more than satisfactory set of library quality for music fans and historians with classic music to boot.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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