Tom Jones

35 Classic Ballads

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Details At A Glance

Category Music Main Menu Audio
Year Released 2000
Running Time 98:57 minutes
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 1,2,3,4,5,6 Director Perry Rosemond
Warner Vision
Starring Tom Jones
Case Brackley
RPI $39.95 Music Assorted

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

Plot Synopsis

    Just as I ended up reviewing two Roy Orbison DVDs as a pair of sorts, so have I ended up similarly checking out two Tom Jones DVDs. This time, however, they represent a much closer pair, as the contents are pretty much a ballady corollary of the the R 'n' B songs on the previous DVD (Tom Jones - Classic RnB & Funk). So, in the best modern practices of recycling wherever possible, and because I am feeling very lazy after a week of officiating at a national basketball championship, this review will be a recycled version of the previous effort. That is how similar in style and content the two DVDs are! The track listing on this effort is:     Just like the earlier DVD, the presentation of the material leaves something to be desired, and the overall result is decidedly lukewarm. As a result, what should have been a ripping experience ends up being once again something of a mild slaughter of good songs. Again, take the year of 2000 shown above with a very large pinch of salt: the music would appear to be excerpts taken from the same television shows that the previously-reviewed DVD's material came from, and that aired during the 1970s. That unfortunately is the main problem here, as the demands of the television production tend to submerge the voice and thus emasculate the songs.

Transfer Quality


    "Superb Digital Picture and Sound Quality - Dolby AC-3 Stereo"? Hardly. Although to be fair, I am presuming that this is indeed sourced from the television shows and therefore the problems are source-related and not transfer-related.

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

    On the presumption that the excerpts are sourced from various television shows, the somewhat inconsistent nature of the transfers are to some extent explainable. The overall result is a program that is rather short on sharpness and detail, although overall it seemed a little better than the earlier DVD. However, individual clips vary from being curiously flat in appearance with a quite appalling lack of depth of field to being actually quite decent, considering the origin and the age of the source material. The main problem is the lack of detail in the transfer, most especially the lack of shadow detail, which really does not aid the viewing pleasure at all. This is anything but a clear transfer, which compounds a general problem of what seems to be grainy source material. There did appear to be some problems with low level noise, but this may of course be a reflection of the inadequacies of the source material rather than the result of any mastering issues.

    There is something slightly less variable in the colours presented here, but this is still a decently inconsistent collection of excerpts from the individual episodes. There is nothing here that you would confuse for stunning depth of tone and vibrancy of colour. Indeed, this is as riddled with lack of tonal depth as you are likely to find in a DVD I would suspect. At their best, the colours are decent and nothing more, with a richer tone to them that at least produces some form of depth to the image. At their worst, the colours are very indistinctive. It does not aid the situation either that certain clips display some rather obvious colour saturation problems. Colour bleed does not appear to be a problem at all in the transfer.

    There are no apparent MPEG artefacts in the transfer. There were no real problems with film-to-video artefacts in the transfer. Film artefacts were not much of a problem here. The main issue is the inherent flaws in what I am guessing would be a video tape source.


    At least the audio seems to be a little bit better than the earlier DVD. This does not necessarily mean that it makes it that much of an improvement, though.

    There is only the one audio track on this DVD, being an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. The style is very much the same as the earlier DVD except that the sound is perhaps a little better, reflecting the higher bit rate of the transfer.

    Dialogue and vocals were reasonably clear and reasonably easy to understand.

    There did not appear to be any real problems with audio sync in the transfer.

    The big problem here is that there are some fluctuations in the volume level of the source material, but unlike the video which really you cannot do too much about, I would have thought that by some judicious mastering that they could have at least got the different clips to an equivalent sort of volume level. As it is, there is a widish range in the audio levels between clips: nothing that will have you diving for the remote to prevent the house rocking itself to pieces mind, but just a rather annoyingly noticeable difference. The better clips are reasonably decent with a reasonably present sound that at least conveys some sort of emotion. However, the poorer clips really suffer from a sound that is terribly recessed. In these instances, you certainly feel no emotion whatsoever from the vocals, and that is what so badly lets down the DVD: his vocal style, as well as the choice of songs, really needs to have a very present recording to let the emotion out. As it is, Tom Jones singing into a paper bag is still not guaranteed to get anyone up out of their chairs. Obviously, we are not talking about any sort of surround channel or bass channel use here at all. Overall, this is an inadequate soundtrack for a vocalist of this style.



    The big difference here is that there is some menu audio, but nothing that is that much to rave over.

R4 vs R1

    This appears to be identical around the world, so there is no essential difference to favour this version over any other.


    Tom Jones-35 Classic Ballads is a DVD flawed by the source material, to the extent that there is little here that lets Tom Jones shine. Again, strictly for the very serious fan only.

    A barely adequate video transfer, but the source material does not permit better.

    A poorish audio transfer.

    No extras to speak of.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ian Morris (have a laugh, check out the bio)
25th August 2000

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-515; S-video output
Display Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm. 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