30th Anniversary of Rock 'N Roll-All Star Jam with Bo Diddley (1985)

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Released 2-Dec-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Biographies-Cast-Bo Diddley
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 1985
Running Time 48:24 (Case: 50)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Bo Diddley
Ronnie Wood
John Mayall
Kenny Jones
Mick Fleetwood
Carl Wilson
Mitch Mitchell
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music Bo Diddley


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, Credits roll during the last song

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    "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:

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Track Listing

1. I'm A Man
2. Bo Diddley Put The Rock in Rk &Roll
3. Who Do You Love
4. Gunslinger
5. Hey Bo Diddley
6. Have A Good Time Tonight

Transfer Quality

Video

    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.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    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.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Biographies-Cast

    Several static pages of text summarising Bo Diddley's life and times.

R4 vs R1

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.

Summary

    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.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Wednesday, January 15, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5106DO, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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