Prince - Rave Un2 The Year 2000

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Details At A Glance

Category Music Booklet
Menu Audio and Animation 
Featurette - Innerviews
Featurette - Bonus Groovez
Notes - Freedom Newz
Featurette - Peep This!
Year Released 1999
Running Time
113:25 minutes 
(Not 132 minutes as stated on the packaging) 
RSDL/Flipper RSDL (55:30)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 1,2,3,4,5,6 Director Geoff Wonfor
Eagle Rock Entertainment 
Warner Vision Australia
Starring The Artist Formerly Known As Prince

New Power Generation

Larry Graham
Lenny Kravitz
Maceo Parker
George Clinton
Morris Day and The Time
Rosie Gaines

Case Black Amaray
RPI $39.95 Music how's that symbol go again?

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kb/s)
English (DTS 5.1)
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, of sorts during credits

Plot Synopsis

    When it came to celebrating the arrival of the false millennium, one thing was always going to be certain. A little song by the Artist Formerly Known As Prince called 1999 was going to be given a huge number of spins around the world - and did not Warner Brothers who owned the rights to the song know it? Of course, that song more than any symbolized the ongoing battle between the aforementioned Artist Formerly Known As Prince and that record company, and in the broader scheme of things the ongoing battle between all artists and most record companies over who actually owned their creative expressions. This ongoing battle has at times been quite nasty in many ways and has continued in the United States at least as far as a somewhat contentious amendment to the 1976 Copyright Act. If you want to know the Artist Formerly Known As Prince's view on this subject, well you will get the chance on this DVD. However, back to the task at hand. With 1999 bound to be such a money spinner for the false millennium, the Artist Formerly Known As Prince organized a concert bash at Paisley Park Studios in Minneapolis to bring down his own celebration of the arrival of the false millennium. And so we see here the result of that evening.

    The track listing for the event, bearing in mind that some of these tracks are in truncated form or otherwise in forms that you have probably never heard before, is as follows:

1. Let's Go Crazy   12. Everyday People (Cynthia Robinson and Gerry Martini)
2. She's Always In My Hair   13. Higher
3. I've Got The Look   14. Purple Rain
4. Kiss   15. The Christ
5. Jungle Love (Morris Day and The Time)   16. Blues Medley (Maceo Parker and Johnny Blackshire)
6. The Bird (Morris Day and The Time)   17. Nothing Compares 2 U
7. American Woman (Lenny Kravitz)   18. Take Me With U/Raspberry Beret
8. Fly Away (Lenny Kravitz)   19.  Greatest Romance 
9. Get Off   20. Baby Knows
10. Medley (Rosie Gaines, Mike Scott and Maceo Parker)   21. Baby I'm A Star
11. It's Alright   22. 1999

    Given the extensive repertoire built up by the Artist Formerly Known As Prince over the years, I suppose that it is somewhat inevitable that a lot of personal favourites did not make the gig. Still, in the overall scheme of things this is not a bad show at all, even allowing for some of the excesses indulged in and the truncation of some of the songs. The presentation is a little off-putting at times, with a fair degree of artistic use of freeze frame throughout the video presentation. You should note too that Greatest Romance actually starts as the pure promotional video (even presented in a non-16x9 enhanced 1.85:1 aspect ratio) before segueing into and out of the concert performance. Whilst I would have preferred a straight concert presentation, these artistic uses do not distract that much from the overall concert experience.

    I don't really know where this falls in the scheme of presenting a musical insight into the Artist Formerly Known As Prince. It is not the greatest concert I have ever seen and for me highlights the fact that the New Power Generation is not a patch on The Revolution with whom I once saw him perform. Real fans of the man will probably lap this up, but I am a bit ambivalent overall. Certainly it has drawn me back a little to his music, as none of the foul language music that seemed to pervade some of his earlier stuff with the New Power Generation gets a gig here.

Transfer Quality


    This is definitely one of those occasions where the inherent problems of concert videos must be mentioned. It is really difficult to know how to rate the video transfer, for at times it is very good but at others is very marginal. The worst excesses of blue and red stage lighting are here and at times it really overpowers the video and washes out quite a lot of the detail that we would expect to see. Obviously this is a concert problem and not a mastering issue, but it does nonetheless detract somewhat from the visual experience.

    Apart from the aforementioned promotional video presentation of Greatest Romance, the transfer is presented in what is presumably a Full Frame format (definitive information is not easy to come by in this regard) and it is not 16x9 enhanced.

    This is quite an inconsistent transfer as far as the video transfer is concerned and runs the whole detail gamut from wonderfully clear, sharp and detailed to slightly murky, softish and washed out. Most of the transfer falls within the good area, with ample sharpness and definition, but just be aware that it is quite wide-ranging. Overall, I felt that there could have been more detail on offer and wished that the stage lighting had been better designed given the fact that this was, I believe, done live-to-air on television in the United States. Shadow detail is generally on the below average side of the scale, but again reflecting the stage lighting situation. Clarity was good to excellent - some sections being sublimely superb and others demonstrating just an inkling of some grain. Thankfully there did not seem to be any issues with low level noise in the transfer, despite the presence of the often deadly red and blue backgrounds that manifest this problem. Similarly flare in those same backgrounds did not seem to be much of an issue.

    The colours naturally enough are also all over the place. The stage lighting had a predominant light and dark spot throughout such that there were plenty of areas that inherently were not really brought to attention and had quite dark tones to them. The colours nonetheless tended to be very vibrant even if the stage lighting sometimes robbed them of their ultimate bloom. A slightly less intense lighting across the stage would perhaps have aided the revealing of the colours here a lot more. Oversaturation was just hinted at in a couple of the shots involving large red and blue expanses in the background, but nothing really came of it. There did not appear to be any problems with colour bleed in the transfer.

    There do not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer. There did not appear to be any significant film-to-video artefacts in the transfer either, just the odd indications we tend to expect on strings, microphones and instruments. There was, however, one weird effect during a strobe-lit portion of the concert around the 37:00 mark. I do not know whether this is an inherent source material issue or whether it is a mastering issue (although I feel more inclined to accept it as the former), but mention it anyway. At times during this sequence, there is a distinct ghostly banding around the performer which is not present during a later, albeit less intensely strobe-lit, sequence. There did not appear to be any film artefacts in the transfer.

    This is an RSDL formatted DVD with the layer change coming too obviously at 55:30. This is during a song and really is quite poorly placed. At 56:10 there is a black scene fade between songs that could have hidden this layer change so much better and been much less disruptive. You sometimes have to wonder...

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


    There are three soundtracks on offer on the DVD, being English efforts in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1. I listened to all three soundtracks.

    There did not appear to be any audio sync problems in the soundtracks.

    The Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack is a wonderful effort and by far the best option on the DVD. It has a bright open sound that conveys the music and especially the vocals so much better than the other two soundtracks. There is not a huge amount of surround encoding here, but what there is is very good so that whilst the sound is nicely presented in a slightly forward way, it does not blast out straight from the centre channel. It is a slightly more enveloping sound than say a straight CD style recording. It is quite effective and does not suffer any noticeable problems at all.

    The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is actually quite poor. It is quite a close mix that really sounds a little murky throughout. There is virtually no separation of the channels in the mix and the result is a vocal track that sort of blends into a somewhat recessed instrumental track, and that is sometimes a little difficult to hear. Surround channel use is relatively poor and there is very little, if any, noticeable use out of the rear channels. The bass channel is there but it is really wimpish, when I would have expected a far more pulsating effort given the style of music that we expect from the Artist Formerly Known As Prince. Indeed, the entire soundtrack really lacks any sort of liveliness to it and overall detracts enormously from the concert in my view. I had a lot of of problems listening to this effort after listening to the Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

    If anything, the DTS 5.1 soundtrack is even worse. Having got so used to having to turn the volume down on such soundtracks because of the wonderful all-encompassing bass-enriched sound, this one was a shock. I found myself having to turn the volume up to try and capture that feel and never succeeded at all (at least not at volume levels conducive to maintaining my hearing). There is the same murky sort of mix that pervades the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and in many respects it is difficult to tell the two apart. There is a distinct lack of bass in the DTS soundtrack and it really results in this being a very emasculated sound indeed. The vocals are again quite recessed in the overall mix. A major disappointment indeed.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue (DD 2.0)
(DD/DTS 5.1)
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    Another reasonable if not exactly brilliant package on offer here, even if some of it is perhaps a little too much in the way of political raving.


    Quite decently done with some decent audio and animation enhancement. Unfortunately, they are not 16x9 enhanced. A bit of variety in the audio enhancement could have helped, but I suppose that Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic is appropriate enough.

Featurette - Innerviews (8:34)

    Basically a bunch of interviews with the various artists appearing on the DVD, a fair chunk being along the vein of "ain't he a great guy". Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, it is not 16x9 enhanced and comes with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. Technically the video ranges from exquisite to "what happened" - the latter usually due to the presence of grain following some extraordinarily clear video. The material has clearly been matted in letterbox format as it includes concert material that in the main programming has distinctly more top and bottom information.

Featurette - Bonus Groovez (10:21)

    Basically a selection of four pieces excised from the overall concert where soloists George Clinton, Cathie Jensen, Timmy Russell and Larry Graham and the New Power Generation get to strut some of their stuff. Personally, I feel that this should have been left in as part of the overall concert if it was needed at all (George Clinton's contribution was not in my view). Presented in the same format as the main feature without the audio selections - you get plain old Dolby Digital 2.0 sound only.

Notes - Freedom Newz

    This comprises two political raves - Work 4 Hire (about the amendment to the 1976 Copyright Act) and What Would Be Souled (about the unfairness of the current system in the music industry). Each comprises eight pages of notes. Interesting, especially if you are aware of the dispute between the Artist Formerly Known As Prince and Warner Brothers, who hold the rights to much of his music.

Featurette - Peep This! (3:19)

    Which is nothing more than an advert for the 7 CD samplers that NPG Records is selling to people for the once-only fee of $700 US. This allows you lifetime use of various samples from the music of the man, including some of his biggest songs.


    As far as we have been able to ascertain, there are no censorship issues with this title.

R4 vs R1

    This appears to be identical to the Region 1 release, so the only substantial difference is NTSC formatting as opposed to PAL. That is, unless the sound is distinctly better, but unfortunately there seems to be something of a dearth of reliable reviews of this DVD online.


    Prince - Rave Un2 The Year 2000 is a decent if not especially memorable concert experience, let down by some rather poor 5.1 audio. I cannot in all honesty say that it moved me enough to recommend it wholeheartedly as a purchase but you might want to check it out as a rental.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ian Morris (have a laugh, check out the bio)
20th May, 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