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Category:    Home > Reviews > Music > Rock > Folk > Politics > Bob Dylan: 1978 – 1989: Both Ends Of The Rainbow (DVD + DVD/CD Version) + Dylan – Never Ending Tour Diaries (Music Video Distributors)

Bob Dylan: 1978 – 1989: Both Ends Of The Rainbow (DVD + DVD/CD Version) + Dylan – Never Ending Tour Diaries (Music Video Distributors)


Picture: C+/C+/C     Sound: C+/C+/C     Extras: C/C+/C+     Main Programs: B-/C



In our latest look at DVD releases on Bob Dylan, we get two unique titles from Music Video Distributors.  Both Ends Of The Rainbow has Dylan’s self-destructive Born Again Christian period that almost ended his career altogether, while drummer Wilson Watson tells about his interesting career playing with the top names in the business including Dylan in his Never End Tour Diaries.


Both Ends Of The Rainbow is the better of two, spending an amazing amount of time (over two hours) dissecting how out of nowhere, Dylan finds Jesus and goes on a spree of insulting people, recording some of the worst music he’ll ever make and falling off of the music map starting with hardcore fans (who wondered if he could survive after his motorcycle accident) who found it more than a bit ironic that he made this switch as the rise of The Religious Right was on the way.  Then the show goes chronologically from incident to music release to controversy and everything in between documenting what a mess his career and legacy became.


Little discussed for whatever reasons, it is the ugliest chapter of his life and art, not even addressing Live At Budokan as a mess of a live album, but shows he only had one solo hit in this period (1979’s Gotta Serve Somebody, which caused appropriate reaction from John Lennon) and when the program ends, you realize even with his current comeback and #1 albums, it is one of Rock’s darkest chapters.  It is also the final nail in the coffin of the counterculture movement he helped create.  Can’t wait for the next installment.


Never End Tour Diaries may feature Dylan, but Watson toured with so many people that using Dylan’s name seems a bit of a cheat.  As well, his story is very interesting, but undermined by some bad and dated ideas of how to use analog videotape tricks.  The result is a fair program that could have been better if it was more straightforward.  Still, if you can tolerate the dated bells & whistles, it is not bad and Watson comes across well.


The image on both are from analog sources, but the 1.33 X 1 on Ends is PAL video, while the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 on Tour is from denatured NTSC video that looks softer than it should.  Both have Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, but Ends is not bad, while Tour is muffled, compressed and monophonic at times.  Extras include text contributor bios and interviews with Dylan on Ends, while Tour has Soundtrack MP3s, Tour Laminates and stills.  A newer version of Ends comes with an all-audio CD that features various interviews with Dylan in the period running over an hour and is the preferred version of that release.  It also verifies the sad, angry, inexplicable turn Dylan took that still remains a mystery.  It is his personal business, but making it so public makes it fair game to discuss.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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