This review is sponsored by
Featurette - The Pretenders: No Turn Left Unstoned
(not 120 minutes as stated on packaging)
Warner Vision Australia
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English (Linear PCM 48/16 2.0, 1536 Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||
|Subtitles||English||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Mind you defining exactly who The Pretenders are is a little difficult, as the band has been through more incarnations than Prince. The only constant through those changes though is the very essence of The Pretenders and her name is of course Chrissie Hynde. This American moved to England and set herself on the road to a pretty good career in music. The Pretenders might have had a long gestation, but in 1979 they pretty much burst into public consciousness the world over on the strength of one song - Brass In Pocket, pretty much the antithesis of the punk rock movement which was then enduring its death throes in the face of what had become the New Wave and then a whole new range of music highlighted by individual bands such as The Pretenders. The band might have gone through many changes, some forced and some unforced, but they remain to this day a beacon of remembrance to real music.
Broadly speaking the DVD equivalent of the album
of the same name, The Pretenders: Greatest Hits provides
the following songs as an insight to the career of one of the better bands
of the New Wave, spanning the period 1979 to 1999:
|1.||Brass In Pocket||1979||11.||Stop Your Sobbing||1979|
|2.||Message Of Love||1981||12.||Hymn To Her||1986|
|3.||Don't Get Me Wrong||1986||13.||2000 Miles||1995|
|4.||Kid||1979||14.||Breakfast In Bed (with UB40)||1988|
|6.||I Go To Sleep||1981||16.||Sense Of Purpose||1990|
|7.||I Got You Babe (with UB40)||1985||17.||Middle Of The Road||1984|
|8.||Night In My Veins||1994||18.||Thin Line Between Love And Hate||1984|
|9.||State Of Independence||1991||19.||Back On The Chain Gang||1982|
|10.||Talk Of The Town||1980||20.||I'll Stand By You||1994|
Okay, so technically two of the songs are not The Pretenders but rather are Chrissie Hynde with UB40, and one is Chrissie Hynde with Moodswings. We will definitely excuse these on the grounds that Chrissie Hynde IS The Pretenders! Sharp-eyed readers will also notice that the above listing is not the same as the song listing provided on the DVD slick and detailed in the booklet. Forever Young, which is listed in the DVD packaging, is actually not included in the DVD whilst Sense Of Purpose is actually included in the DVD but is not mentioned on the packaging. Tsk, tsk!
It has been many years since I have seen most of these videos and it is great to see them again. I shall never forget the earlier songs in particular and I must have seen the video for Brass In Pocket so many times on television back in 1979 and 1980 that I pretty well knew the whole thing back to front. Plenty of memories then here, with the standout tracks (other than Brass In Pocket obviously) being Talk Of The Town, Hymn To Her, 2000 Miles, Sense Of Purpose and the wonderful I'll Stand By You. And for a delightfully apt commentary on the appalling state of recorded music, just check out Popstar!
Highlighting the great voice of Chrissie Hynde, The Pretenders created some great music over the years and it is great to be able to return to these videos again after all this time. Fans of the band will need no urging to indulge in this DVD but even if you have only a passing interest in the music of the late 1970s and early 1980s in particular, this is something you should get a hold of for a view.
With the oldest video dating back twenty two years, you would rightly be expecting the transfers to not exactly be the sharpest you are ever likely to see. Quite correct - they aren't. But in the main, they are quite decently sharp with reasonable amounts of detail on offer in general - or at least as much as I would be expecting in a promotional video designed to sell records. Some of the earlier videos have a distinctly flat look to them, lacking any great depth to the image. Clarity leaves a lot to be desired on occasions, not counting some of the artistic choices in this regard either, although in general I would have little real complaint about the amount of grain present in most of the videos. Shadow detail is not much of an issue here, since the videos are generally shot in such a manner as to avoid such issues. There did not appear to be any serious low level noise issues in the transfer.
The colours are not the most distinctive collection that you will ever see and display the sort of variance that would be anticipated in a collection of videos covering twenty-odd years. Some are decidedly muted and lacking in naturalness whilst others are quite saturated. Even the best videos though do not display much solidity in the colours. Overall, I would not consider this to be an especially vibrant collection. There did not appear to be any real problems with oversaturation. Colour bleed did not seem to be too much of an issue either.
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, other than a rather noticeable shimmering in Talk Of The Town - but since this is broadly a black and white video with plenty of alternating horizontal stripes thanks to lighting, this is perhaps not unexpected! The earlier videos are rather blessed with some obvious film artefacts, but overall the transfer is not too shabby in this regard.
This is a Dual Layered
DVD - I did not notice any layer change during the programme.
The vocals come up very well in the transfer and there are no problems understanding them. There did not appear to be any problems with audio sync in the transfer.
The soundtrack is a fairly typical example of a Linear PCM soundtrack which means that it
a. sounds very much like the sound of a CD, andWhilst I would love to have heard this in a well-mastered Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 5.1 soundtrack, what we have got is not that bad at all. There certainly is nothing inherently wrong here and the soundtrack is quite free from distortion or other problems. Decent enough sound overall.
b. has no use for surround and bass channels.
|Surround Channel Use|
© Ian Morris (have
a laugh, check out the bio)
6th March, 2001.
|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|