Cliff Richard-The Countdown Concert (2000)

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Released 29-Jan-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Animation & Audio
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 145:22
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (73:48) 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
Russell Watson
Hank Marvin
Vincenzo La Scola
Barratt Waugh
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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. With his 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.

    Like Cliff's concert from the year before entitled Live In The Park, we again get to see him sing his heart out live in front of a massive audience. This time, though, the venue is not the world renowned Hyde Park, but instead indoors at the 13,000 capacity NIA (National Indoor Arena) in Birmingham.

    There are also individual performances from Hank Marvin (Cliff's guitarist) who plays Apache, Don't Cry For Me Argentina and Riders In The Sky. You may remember Russell Watson who featured in the Live In The Park event by singing the powerful opera track Nessun Dorma. Well, he sings it again during this concert along with a more mainstream song entitled I Believe.

    The Countdown Concert is in fact a misnomer as the concert starts with tracks from the 50s and works its way up to modern times. I guess the marketers decided that 'The Count-up Concert' didn't have the same name appeal and went with the title we have now.

    Oh, one last thing. You may have already guessed that there are a lot of songs that are from other artists listed here. This is true and there are a great number of Cliff's personal favourites that he sings. If you are after a DVD which features more of Cliff's own songs then Live In The Park is more for you. If on the other hand you just want to hear him sing and perform, then get this title as it's a winner!

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Track Listing

1. Move It
2. Living Doll
3. Rock Around The Clock
4. Be Bop A Lula
5. When
6. Elvis Medley TeddyBear/All Shook...
7. I Believe
8. The Young Ones
9. I'm In Love With You
10. Needles And Pins
11. She Loves You
12. Apache
13. I'm Nearly Famous
14. Miss You Nights
15. Bright Eyes
16. We Don't Talk Anymore
17. Dont Cry For Me Argentina
18. Sci Fi
19. I Just Don't Have The Heart
20. Medley: Some People/A Little ....
21. It's In Every One Of Us
22. Mistletoe and Wine
23. Riders In The Sky
24. Can't Keep This Feeling In
25. Nessun Dorma
26. I Do Not Love You Isabella
27. Everything I Do
28. Vita Mia
29. Lucy
30. Human Work Of Art

Transfer Quality

Video

    This transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is clear and relatively sharp up close but there are sections which contain softer images, particularly evident for long camera shots. This is more likely due to the camera and video techniques used rather than a transfer issue. The generally high level of detail is especially evident with the output from the smoke machine which operates for most of the concert and outputs a smog that hangs in the air and is so real you can almost run your hands through it. Shadow detail is carefully handled with a good level of detail on the performers and dancers on stage which then fades away to an absolute black. The lighting issues from Live In The Park are not an issue with this concert and the light covers the stage with more uniformity. There is no low level noise.

    Great colour is visible everywhere, from the stage lighting draping across the stage floor to the dancers' costumes. However, the best example would have to be Hank Marvin's jacket, visible at 25:16, which contains most of the colours of the rainbow. 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 performers were often draped in bright colourful lights which were not only effective but well handled by this transfer.

    There were no MPEG artefacts to report. Aliasing was also something that was not apparent and makes a good change from the previous concert which had quite a lot of this artefact. Film artefacts are non-existent.

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

    The layer change is at 73:48, towards the end of Chapter 19. At this point, the crowd is roaring at the end of a song, and the layer change will cause a noticeable dropout of audio on slow players. From the disc author's point of view, a few seconds later Cliff is straight into dialogue and then the next song so there was the potential to have a drop-out of his voice. This is the best placement considering the options.

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 at all times.

    Audio sync was not a problem at all on this disc.

    The music was well mixed and sounded like a live concert should with clear peaks and troughs of sound combining together to make a magical mix.

    The soundtrack is predominantly focused towards the front soundstage, but there is still noticeable ambience and effects provided via the rear channels. The audience roaring and applause is always directed towards the rears for added effect and a good example of this can be heard at 42:20. Russell Watson's voice penetrates through all speakers as he uses his powerful voice to roar Nessun Dorma. The song Sci Fi on track 18 also calls on all the speakers due to the special effect used for the song.

    The subwoofer was used for quite a number of songs, but was very evident during Track 8 (The Young Ones). It's added inclusion really made this a punchier version than I had heard before. For the other songs, it 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

    The menu consists of still images taken from the live show. There is no audio.

Extras

    There are no 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.

     So far I have been unable to find any reference to this title in any other Region.

Summary

   

    This is another good concert performance from Cliff Richard and guests.

    The video quality is better than the previous concert of his that I reviewed, and it is in widescreen as well which is always preferable to full-frame.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Peter Mellor (read my bio)
Monday, October 06, 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 Classic Series C31 (Mains); C06 (Centre); M10 (Rears); Magnat Vector Needle Sub25A Active SubWoofer

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