30th Anniversary of Rock 'N Roll-All Star Jam with Bo Diddley (1985)
|Year Of Production||1985|
|Running Time||48:24 (Case: 50)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||None Given|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, Credits roll during the last song|
"Bo Diddley put the Rock in Rock 'n' Roll."
That's certainly a big statement and is actually a direct quote and song title from one of Rock and Roll's true legends. After listening to this disc I'd have to agree. The Bo Diddley beat is one of the mainstays of Rock 'n' Roll and has popped up in many a song over the last fifty years. You may not know too many Bo Diddley songs off the top of your head, but the sound is unmistakable. Think of any song by George Thorogood or perhaps even Desire by U2. They have that unmistakable Bo Diddley beat. That driving guitar beat that makes you tap your feet and whip out the air guitar. Well, Bo Diddley invented it in the 1950s and he's been pumping it out ever since..
This performance was filmed in October 1985 as a sort-of 30th anniversary of the birth of Rock 'n' Roll. It features a star-studded line-up. All Star Jam was the tagline, and the guests that showed up to lend support certainly earn that tag, with names such as Ronnie Wood from the Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys' Carl Wilson, Kenny Jones from The Who, Mick Fleetwood from Fleetwood Mac, and the legendary John Mayall amongst others lending support.
This is a relatively brief performance, with the show only running for forty-eight minutes. There are only six songs played and in between tracks we see some behind-the-scenes and backstage footage of the band rehearsing and attending an informal barbeque with Bo Diddley cooking ribs for the band!
The songs presented are pretty much the signature tunes that Bo Diddley is famous for. Songs such as I'm A Man, Who Do You Love, and Bo Diddley Put The Rock In Rock 'n' Roll. As such, you shouldn't expect a comprehensive and detailed look at the legend's life, but for those wanting an introduction to one of the great guitarists of all time, this is a worthwhile performance.
An interesting footnote: Bo Diddley had a cameo role in the Eddie Murphy/Dan Aykroyd comedy Trading Places. Can you remember where? A clue - it had something to do with a wristwatch.
The following songs are in the set list:
|1. I'm A Man|
2. Bo Diddley Put The Rock in Rk &Roll
3. Who Do You Love
5. Hey Bo Diddley
6. Have A Good Time Tonight
Unfortunately, the video transfer on offer here is not the greatest, being quite soft and fuzzy, no doubt a legacy of the source videotape from the mid 1980s. It is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.
This really isn't all that sharp to tell the truth. As a result of the lack of clarity, the usual number of problems with the video are hidden by the general fuzzy outlines on the band members, crew and the instruments. Shadow detail suffers frequently, especially when the camera is turned on the crowd. This may be attributable to the source but I can't really tell. Thankfully, these shots are not that important. There is heaps of grain throughout almost the entire show and it really does become quite annoying after a while. Fortunately, there is no low level noise, with the blacks being quite solid and true Colours are quite dull, with a real drab feel to much of the show and the background rehearsal material. While there aren't any real problems with the palette per se, it just doesn't really reach any lofty heights.
There are no MPEG artefacts. Other artefacts are present in various forms, with some obvious aliasing popping up throughout. An obvious example occurs on an amplifier grille at 6:48 and some keyboards shortly thereafter.
There are no subtitles
This is a single sided and single layered disc only, so there is no layer change to contend with.
Thankfully, the audio has scrubbed up much better than the video. There is only one audio soundtrack on the disc, this being a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at a bitrate of 224 Kb/s. This soundtrack offers a reasonable level of fidelity with the driving guitar-based rhythm that is so endemic to Bo Diddley's work shining through as a real highlight. While this is certainly no full bitrate dts soundtrack, it isn't half bad for what we do get. There is substantial separation between the left and right channels, and a reasonably clean sound to most of the show. Some of the behind-the-scenes dialogue gets a little lost in the cacophony of backstage and the BBQ thrown by Bo Diddley, but you will still be able to pick up most of it.
I had no trouble understanding most of the lyrics (though I think with R&B rock 'n' roll you aren't supposed to understand all of it!). There are no discernable audio sync problems.
The short running time and brevity of the performance is probably the biggest disappointment with this disc. There are only five songs featured in the actual concert, with the last song Have A Good Time Tonight as a sort of impromptu performance during the BBQ in the closing credits.
There is no surround channel or subwoofer use.
|Surround Channel Use|
Several static pages of text summarising Bo Diddley's life and times.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
I was unable to find any reference to this disc in Region 1.
If you can ignore the poor quality video, this serves as a very good introduction to a man who really did help shape the music world. Bo Diddley really did put the Rock in Rock 'n' Roll and this brief collection of his more well-known tunes offers a solid starting point for those wanting to experience more of this rock 'n' roll legend.
The video quality is fairly ordinary, being very hazy with lots of grain.
The audio is certainly nothing remarkable by today's standards, but it does the job and actually scrubs up quite well for a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.
The extra is limited to a biography only.
|DVD||Loewe Xemix 5106DO, using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Front - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10|