Pop: Never Looked So Good (2003)

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Released 7-Jul-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Main Menu Introduction-Sony Music Video
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 78:16
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Various
Studio
Distributor
Sony Music
Sony Music
Starring Various
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Various


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/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 No

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

Plot Synopsis

     Pop - Never Looked So Good is another in series of six newly released video compilations from Sony Music. These discs feature some of the artists in their catalogue, and in this case, it obviously has a pop feel to it. I've already looked at the Aussies - Never Looked So Good title, while EdwardM has reviewed R&B - Never Looked So Good. Check out those reviews if you wish.

    Again, this disc is certainly not flash in terms of high quality transfers, extras, or fancy menus. Just pop it in the player and select play all or select the clips individually. That's about it.

    Again, various years and styles are covered here, from the early 80s with the likes of Cyndi Lauper's mega-hit Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, through the mid 80s with Aussie hits such as Heaven by the Eurogliders, and on to the 90s with the likes of D*** I Wish I Was Your Lover by Sophie B. Hawkins and Tellin' Everybody by Human Nature.

    I grabbed this disc because I noticed it contained a track by the Time Bandits. These guys from Holland were among my favourites in the early to mid 80s and their big Australian hit Endless Road rates as a personal favourite. Alas, we get I'm Only Shooting Love on this compilation, but it was still fun to check it out again, as was Stimulation from the Australian version of Wham, Wa Wa Nee.

     I said in my review of the Aussies - Never Looked So Good title that it appeared at first glance that the whole compilation was a bit of a mish-mash, with no real pattern to either the selections or the track order. Again, this disc looks like someone said "let's make a compilation of our pop artists", and these are the first 20 that popped up.

    Still, while some may question the value of a compilation such as this, with its seemingly random selection of tracks and artists, I find these discs a simple way of building up a collection of music videos quickly and cheaply. I spotted this disc at my local retailer for less than $17, so you certainly can't complain about the price.

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Track Listing

1. Anything
2. C'est La Vie
3. When Will I Be Famous?
4. Gonna Make You Sweat
5. Let's Groove
6. Girls Just Want To Have Fun
7. Heaven ( Must Be There)
8. Tellin' Everybody
9. Jump
10. I've Got A Little Something For You
11. Step By Step
12. Feel Like Making Love
13. Over And Over
14. Only To Be With You
15. D*** I Wish I Was Your Lover
16. Wishing Well
17. Voices Carry
18. I'm Only Shooting Love
19. Break My Stride
20. Stimulation

Transfer Quality

Video

    It does seem a little pointless going into too much detail in terms of the video quality, since as you can well imagine, there is a significant variety on offer. Clips ranging from most years between the early 1980s to quite recent are going to offer up varying degrees of colour, grain, artefacts, and other assorted nasties. As long as you don't purchase this disc expecting pristine miracles for each clip, then you won't be disappointed. None of the problems with the video can be attributed to the mastering of the disc itself, rather the poorer quality of the source tapes.

    Almost all the videos are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. There are a couple that feature widescreen ratios, but none of them are 16x9 enhanced.

    Bros' When Will I Be Famous is incredibly grainy throughout, while Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Wanna Have Fun contains quite a bit of noise and some other artefacts.

    Colours are not really a problem. There's a mix of vibrancy and depth across the videos. C'est La Vie from B*witched is very colourful and vibrant, while others such as Roachford's Only To Be With You is mostly filmed in black and white (and isn't really a pop song when you think about it - in fact neither is Jump by the little brat Kriss Kross).

    Nasties such as aliasing or compression artefacts are absent.

    Unfortunately there are no subtitles for the lyrics

    This is a single layered disc only, so there's no layer change with which to contend.

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

Audio

    There is only one audio soundtrack on this disc. It is a Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at a bitrate of 448 Kb/s. Much like the video, there is a range of quality on offer as a result of the source material, but the remastered tracks perform more than adequately, with some of these songs sounding about as good as they ever will.

    Vocals are prominent, though again the audio sync is problematic at times due to the original video source and the use of re-dubbed and better quality audio.

    There is no surround channel or subwoofer use.

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

Extras

Main Menu Introduction-Sony Music Video

    A one minute overview (or ad if you like) of some of the titles in the Sony Music catalogue.

R4 vs R1

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

    This disc is unlikely to be available in Region 1.

Summary

    Pop - Never Looked So Good continues the series of video compilations from Sony Music, and again while this is not the greatest video compilation I have ever seen, there is substantial variety on offer here such that everyone should at least find one or two songs they are fond of. Remember, these discs are incredibly cheap. I have seen them retailing for less than $17 in many places, so you certainly can't complain about the cost.

    The video quality is all that can be expected from a diverse range of styles and ages.

    The audio quality is actually quite good, although the sync is a little dodgy at times.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Monday, August 25, 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

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
I don't remember Wham doing any funk-metal? - gRANT (Read my bio, mmm... uncompressed surround audio) REPLY POSTED