Dancin' In The Street

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Details At A Glance

Category Music Main Menu Audio and Animation
Biographies - Cast
Interviews - Cast
Gallery - Photo
Year Released 1999
Running Time 86:04 minutes
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 2,4 Director
Warner Vision
Warner Vision Australia
Starring Mary Wells
Martha Reeves
Eddie Kendricks
David Ruffin
Case Transparent Amaray
RPI $39.95 Music Various

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 224 Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio No
16x9 Enhancement No
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking No
Subtitles None Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, in credits

Plot Synopsis

    Well this is a monumental disappointment indeed. The thought of seeing some of the great names of the Motown label performing some of their great songs was much anticipated. But the reality of seeing some has-beens trying to recapture their glory days was truly depressing indeed. About the only one of the four great names to walk away from this disappointment with any credit is Martha Reeves. The rest really are best forgotten. In fact it was almost distressing to see Mary Wells trying to sing songs with a voice that clearly was not just past its prime but almost non-existent. You know that a DVD has a serious problem when you are checking out the time remaining repeatedly in the first thirty minutes of the programme. You would have to be a really, really, really hard core Motown fan to find anything of real value to enjoy here.

    The songs on offer on the DVD are as follows:

  Mary Wells     David Ruffin & Eddie Kendricks
1. You Beat Me To The Punch   12. Get Ready
2. Two Lovers   13. Keep On Truckin'
3. The One Who Really Loves You   14. My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)
4. Medley with Curtis Womack:   15. Statue Of A Fool
  Wonderful World   16. Just My Imagination
  He Will Break Your Heart   17. Ain't Too Proud To Beg
  Chain Gang   18. My Girl
5. My Guy   19. The Way You Do The Things You Do
6. Bye Bye Baby/Shout (with Curtis Womack)   20. (I Know) I'm Losing You
  Martha Reeves     The Cast
7. I'm Ready For Love   21. Dancin' In The Street
8.  Nowhere To Run      
9.  I'll Have To Let Him Go      
10. Jimmy Mack      
11. Heat Wave      

    The opening collection with Mary Wells is definitely the low point here and starts the DVD off on the distinctly wrong foot. Thankfully the next set from Martha Reeves redresses the balance somewhat but the remaining set from the two former members of The Temptations sets the general tone back again. Overall, there is not an awful lot to get excited about here and the venue probably does not help much either.

    This is not a release that generates much enthusiasm in me, and I am a huge Motown fan and was brought up on the music of the likes of Mary Wells, Martha Reeves and The Temptations. In many ways I wish I had not seen the video as in some respects it has lessened my opinions of some of the cast.

Transfer Quality


    This is a live recording, recorded at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles in 1987 and is reputedly the last video recorded of Mary Wells, Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin on the same stage. Whilst that might give the video some historical worth, that does not necessarily overly justify the average quality of what is on offer here.

    The transfer is presented in Full Frame format and it is not 16x9 enhanced.

    Generally the transfer can be summarized as average: average sharpness, average definition, average clarity, average shadow detail. Given that it is fourteen years old, that perhaps is not too inexcusable. There are certainly problems in the source material that are carried over into the video transfer. There did not appear to be any significant low level noise in the transfer.

    There are not much in the way of colours here - a distinct lack of saturation is very common here, and when the saturation does pick up a tad it lacks any decent depth to the tones. Part of the problem is as a result of the stage lighting whilst another part of the problem is a result of the actual source material. Overall, you are not looking at anything special as far as the colours go. The black tones seemed in general to lack depth. There are a few instances of oversaturation on evidence here and some colour bleed seems to be apparent.

    There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer. There did not seem to be any real problems with film-to-video artefacts, with just the odd instance of aliasing here and there. It should be noted that the intense stage lighting does create the usual problems here. There are no real problems with film artefacts in the transfer, other than the fake ones used in certain portions of the menus and introductions.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-to-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There is just the one soundtrack on offer on this DVD, being an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

    The vocals come up reasonably well in the transfer and there are no real problems understanding them. There did not appear to be any problems with audio sync in the transfer.

    The soundtrack simply lacks any real distinctiveness and is quite an ordinary effort. Naturally lacking any surround and bass channel usage, the overall soundscape is rather frontal and a little congested at times. It barely conveys the music in any real sense and adds to the overall disappointment of the programming. A pity that something better could not have been made out of the source material.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    Whilst it might look impressive on the packaging - moving menus, photo gallery, artist biographies and interviews - it actually is not much in the flesh (so to speak).


    Nothing special and with minor audio and animation enhancement.

Biographies - Cast

    Comprising efforts for the four performers plus for The Temptations, these are quite extensive other than for Eddie Kendricks.

Interviews - Cast

    It might sound impressive on paper but it is actually just three very shortish efforts - 0:54, 0:39 and 0:43 - and are short efforts from Mary Wells, Martha Reeves and The Temptations respectively played over a still photograph of the performer. Not exactly worthwhile, it may as well have been forgotten in the overall scheme of things.

Gallery - Photos

    Another impressive effort on paper but in reality the thirty second, automated scroll comprises the wondrous total of 12 photographs. Ho hum?!

R4 vs R1

    Apart from a discography, there does not appear to be any significant difference between the Region 1 release and the Region 4 release. If you really have to have the DVD then Region 4 would be the way to go owing to PAL formatting, but I doubt that even this source material would look that much worse in NTSC.


    Dancin' In The Street is a hugely disappointing effort in my book and really there is nothing here to raise any sort of enthusiasm over. I reckon I must have checked the how-long-to-go readout about fifteen times in the first hour, which probably indicates how boring and disappointing I found this to be. Real fans of Motown probably would want to avoid this and await something better - for surely something better could be done to celebrate one of the most enduring sounds in music.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ian Morris (have a laugh, check out the bio)
8th March, 2001.

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-515; S-video output
Display Sony Trinitron Wega 80cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Built in
Amplification Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Speakers Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL