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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Music > Rock > Pop > England > Politics > Music Industry > The British Invasion 5 DVD Box Set (Dusty Springfield/Gerry & The Pacemakers/Hermanís Hermits/Small Faces/Reeliní In The Years Ė Voyage Digital Media DVDs)

The British Invasion 5 DVD Box Set (Dusty Springfield/Gerry & The Pacemakers/Hermanís Hermits/Small Faces/Reeliní In The Years Ė Voyage Digital Media DVDs)


Picture: C†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: B†††† Main Programs: B



The major record labels have made many bad decisions, but one of the worst is not knowing how to get great archive footage out on Blu-ray or DVD of their classic acts, leaving other companies to take advantage of this absence and sometimes deliver some amazing footage and solid releases.Voyage Digital Media and longtime compilation producer Reeliní In The Years have issued a five DVD box featuring four great artists of The British Invasion, all of whom we have covered before on the site.


The artists and the previous coverage is as follows:


Dusty Springfield Live At The BBC


plus Live At Royal Albert Hall 1979



Gerry & The Pacemakers in The T.A.M.I. Show



Hermanís Hermits in a Super Audio CD edition of their Retrospective hit set



Small Faces from the great Under Review documentary series




Though separate volumes from this set are being issued for sale, the bonus DVD with more on all four of them is not, which is why the whole set is recommended over the separate parts.So what do we get that is new and different in each set?


Dusty Springfield Ė One Upon A Time: 1964 Ė 1969 claims 20 performances, but seems to have more, plus vintage interviews with Springfield, rare clips and interviews with fellow collaborators that reinstates her greatness as one of the best vocalists of her generation and beyond.Early hits like I Only Want To Be With You, Wishiní & Hopiní, her Dusty In Memphis hits like Son Of A Preacher Man and her work with and on Burt Bacharach/Hal David classics like I Just Donít Know What To Do With Myself, A House Is Not A Home and The Look Of Love they wrote especially for her from the 1967 comedy version of Casino Royale are among the highlights.


Gerry & The Pacemakers Ė Itís Gonna Be Alright: 1963 Ė 1965 shows the band at their peak as part of the earliest wave of the Invasion.Outside of their many cover songs (maybe too many?), we get their hits like Donít Let The Sun Catch You Crying, Itís Gonna Be Alright and Ferry Cross The Mersey, along with interesting interviews and vintage footage.Even though they did not last as long as The Beatles, theirs is an interesting tale of success that is more substantial than most today and more than they got credit for at the time.


Hermanís Hermits Ė Listen People: 1964 Ė 1969 is the best program I have ever seen on the band.Besides the rarely seen footage and fine interviews, it does a great job of showing their rise and lead singer Peter Noone understanding he called it quits while they were ahead.All the major hits from the SACD are here and was a pleasant surprise overall.


Small Faces Ė All Or Nothing: 1965 Ė 1968 may have some overlap with the Under Review volume, but shows the highly underrated band in their peak years.Itchykoo Park may have been their biggest hit, but they had plenty of others, especially in the U.K. and on album rock FM radio.Co-writers Ronnie Lane and Steve Marriott also we co-lead singers on the bandís output.



The 1.33 X 1 image in all cases looks good and mixes new video with older analog video, film and even kinescope footage, but that also means the older footage can look dull and not great, but looks as good as it can here.Expect a good share of black and white footage in all cases, but there is also plenty of color footage to enjoy.The Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes on all DVDs tries to upgrade often monophonic sound, but his still sounds better than the Dolby Digital 2.0 mixes.


Extras include booklets in call the main program cases, playback of the performances minus any interview footage, Hermits adds a feature-length audio commentary track with Karl Green & Keith Hopwood, plus 15 more minutes of interviews.Gerry adds a Cavern Club 2009 return-to featurette with Gerry Marsden and Bill Harry Remembers: Liverpool & The Mersey Beat.Faces adds the last interview in 1988 with Ronnie Lane and a Photo Gallery.The Bonus DVD adds more great performances by Dusty Springfield and Hermanís Hermits, plus 90 extra minutes of bonus interviews.


The same makers intend to continue this DVD series.If they do, it will become a landmark and we should be so lucky.Donít miss it!



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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