Cliff Richard-Live in the Park (1999)

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Released 29-Jan-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Animation & Audio
Rating ?
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 93:46
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Hamish Hamilton
Studio
Distributor
Video Collection Int
MRA Entertainment
Starring Cliff Richard
Keith Hayman
John Clark
Steve Stroud
Pete May
Mike Haughton
Stuart Brooks
Pete Beachill
Pete Howarth
Keith Murrell
Mick Mullins
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/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 No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, The last song finishes during credit roll

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

Plot Synopsis

    Way back in 1958, a guy by the name of Harry Rodger Webb changed his name to Cliff Richard. Together with a new name he formed a band called The Drifters and when it became apparent that there was already a Drifters in the US it was changed to The Shadows.

    After signing with EMI in August of that year, he released his first song on August 29th, entitled "Move It", whereupon it raced to the Number 2 spot on the British charts. A few months later when classic hits such as "Living Doll" and "Travelling Light" hit Number 1, EMI knew they were on a winner. The fans knew it too and they flocked to anywhere Cliff was appearing to cheer and scream at this new star.

    Now some 45 years on, Cliff Richard is a household name to numerous generations and boasts more than 250 million record sales, a record that very few entertainers can come close to, let alone match.

    It seems like every great band has played at least once in Hyde Park. This particular concert was filmed in July 1999 specially for video and also includes brief comments from Cliff played in between songs. He discusses his fans and his on-stage performances in snippets from an interview that was recorded earlier in the day. There are a total of 20 titles played during the concert, most featuring the Brian Rogers Dancers, and two being duets with Elaine Paige (Let It Be Me and Miss You Nights). The tenor Russell Watson, who is now a star in his own right, also makes an appearance and sings Vita Mia with Cliff and does an absolutely smashing job of singing Nessun Dorma. I must admit that I am not a fan of opera music - if I can't understand the words, then forget it, but Russell performs this song with a truly amazing and incredible degree of passion and power.

    The concert is full of life and Cliff barely stops for the entire performance, putting on a show that was clearly enjoyed by everyone that attended - you just need to look at the people in the crowds to see everyone dancing and cheering. Whilst there is a very broad spread of ages represented, there is one thing they all had in common and that was a smile from one ear to the other. In fact, the way his music brings people from all ages together is one thing that Cliff often mentions and for this concert he dedicated Track 9 "Living Doll / The Young Ones" to all people under 60. This truly is a fantastic concert and one that is a must for not only all Cliff fans but for anyone that enjoys music that is fun and enjoyable to listen to.

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Track Listing

1. On The Beach
2. In The Country
3. The Minute You're Gone
4. Dreamin'
5. Human Work Of Art
6. Power To All Our Friends
7. Medley: Congratulations, Do You ...
8. Can't Keep This Feelin In
9. Living Doll / The Young Ones
10. Summer Holiday
11. Move It
12. Vita Mia (with Russell Watson)
13. Nessun Dorma (Russell Watson)
14. We Don't Talk Anymore
15. Daddy's Home
16. A Little In Love
17. Let It Be Me (with Elaine Paige)
18. Miss You Nights (with Elaine Paige)
19. Wired For Sound
20. The Miracle
21. It's In Every One Of Us

Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

    The transfer is clear and relatively sharp up close but then softens on long shots which are most often when the camera pans across the entire crowd. This is more likely due to the camera and video techniques used rather than a transfer issue. The level of detail is clearly evident at 48:28 or 48:47 where you can see the individual fibres in Russell Watson's suit jacket. Shadow detail is handled precisely, which is just as well because the stage lighting does not extend deep enough to offer complete lighting coverage across the entire stage. This results in objects or people placed between the band at the rear and Cliff out front not receiving the ideal amount of lighting. While this lighting was fine during the day, as the concert progressed into the night it was clearly not coping without assistance from sunlight. This was most noticeable when the dancers were moving around the entire stage and running between full light to a slight shadow. Take a look at Track 19, Wired For Sound, for numerous examples. The transfer has resulted in the video performing just as you would expect as if you were actually there. That is, the amount of detail I would expect to be seen clearly was visible and the stage lighting could have done with one more down light in each corner at least while the dance group was on. Being sourced on video, I was paying particular attention to such problems as low level noise and I am pleased to report that there were no instances to be found.

    Colours were bright and lively especially when the dancers were on stage with their individual coloured shirts. Cliff usually wears either white or black so there is nothing to report there. Skin tones were realistic, both for on-stage performers and those that were focused on in the crowd, with nothing appearing out of place. The band was often draped in bright colourful lights which were not only effective but well-handled by this transfer.

    There were no MPEG artefacts to report but aliasing was unfortunately very common and at times quite irritating. This artefact is clearly evident on Cliff's jacket, especially in the shoulder region. Film artefacts are non-existent (as is to be expected for video sourced material).

    There are no subtitle tracks so you will have to sing along from memory and hum the rest.

    This is a single sided, single layered disc and therefore there is no layer change.

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

Audio

    There are two audio tracks on this DVD. The default is a Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded track with an optional Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. I listened to the latter track and sampled the stereo version for comparison.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand.

    Audio sync was a problem in numerous places and, dare I say it, but I think Cliff may have been miming on Tracks 1 (On The Beach), 4 (Dreamin') and 5 (Human Work Of Art). All other songs appeared to be fine and there were no other instances of missync that I noticed.

    The music was well mixed and sounded like a live concert with the peaks and troughs sounding clearer than other recordings I have heard from this artist. Admittedly these were studio CDs, not an ideal medium to be using for audio comparison, but I have yet to hear Cliff singing via another medium.

    The soundtrack is mostly focused towards the front soundstage but there is still noticeable ambience and effects provided via the rear channels. This provided a very realistic sound with the full force coming from the front stage speakers which then fades out as it progresses beyond the position of the rears.

    The subwoofer was used for quite a number of songs but was very evident for tracks 1 through 3, 7, 8 and 19. In all instances, the channel provided a nice bottom end to the sound and gave the tracks the depth they required.

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

Extras

Menu Animation & Audio

    The menu consists of clips taken from the live show and runs for 50 seconds in an endless loop. The audio is a Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded track.

Extras

    There are no other extras included on this disc.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This is a multi-region release and I was unable to find any special editions or extras included in other regions. I was also unable to find a specific Region 1 version, merely a Cliff Richard Collection set.

Summary

    This was a great concert with plenty of life and a great variety of songs. The inclusion of Elaine Paige meant nothing to me, but as I mentioned, Russell Watson's singing was magnificent.

    The video was presented at 1.33:1 and had way too much aliasing.

    The audio will not disappoint fans.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Peter Mellor (read my bio)
Monday, February 24, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1600, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Aconda 9381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersWhatmough Audiolabs Magnum M30 (Mains); M05 (Centre); M10 (Rears); Magnat Vector Needle Sub25A Active SubWoofer

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