Alison Moyet: Essential Alison Moyet, The (2002)
Menu Animation & Audio
Music Video-Cry Me A River
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
|Year Of Production||2002|
|Running Time||58:18 (Case: 60)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Various|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/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||No|
Alison Moyet is an indisputably talented singer/songwriter. I had forgotten just how good she was until picking this DVD for review. She started her career as the vocalist in the UK pop duo Yazoo, formed in 1981 with synthesizer player Vince Clarke (formerly of Depeche Mode). They churned out a number of pop hits in the 80s, including the massive hit single Only You.
Despite the huge popular success of Yazoo, Moyet soon headed off down the solo performer route, and created some truly excellent music by herself. Initially pouring out a stream of pop songs, she briefly switched into Jazz mode during 1985 releasing the highly successful That Ole Devil Called Love. By 1987 she decided to take a break from the music industry after her hit single Love Letters, although she returned in 1991 and produced the album Hoodoo and subsequently the 1994 album Essex.
This DVD unfortunately does not include any of her work as part of Yazoo (which are present on the equivalent 20 track CD release), but does cover the singles releases from all of her solo albums between 1984's Alf and 1994's Essex. The later videos generally feature Alison looking sultry and pensive as she sings, but some of the older ones feature her larking about a bit more, including with old mates French & Saunders. There is a lot to be enjoyed on this DVD, and for me it brought back some very happy memories of the mid 1980s. My favourite track has to be one which I had not heard before - This House - in which Moyet's voice is at its very best, and she looks, frankly, stunningly pretty. This collection really showcases the marvellous vocal range of Alison Moyet - and her quite striking beauty - and for her fans it will be an essential purchase.
|1. Love Resurrection|
2. All Cried Out
4. That Ole Devil Called Love Again
5. Is This Love?
6. Weak In The Presence Of Beauty
7. Love Letters
8. It Won't Be Long
9. Wishing You Were Here
|10. This House|
13. Whispering Your Name
14. Getting Into Something
15. Solid Wood
16. Our Colander Eyes (Bonus)
17. My Right A.R.M. (Bonus)
18. Cry Me A River (Bonus TV footage)
The overall video transfer of this disc is somewhat variable, perhaps unsurprisingly given the age and nature of the source footage.
The footage is presented full frame at 1.33:1 which, given the age and intended broadcast medium of the material, is almost certainly the original (televised) aspect ratio. It is not therefore 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer varies a bit depending on the age of the footage. These videos span over 10 years, and the most recent of them is now getting on for ten years old - that's a lot of time for dirt and dust to work its magic on the prints. Understandably therefore, there are numerous specks, flecks and the occasional scratch evident on the older footage. In general the videos are fairly soft and there is some significant grain present at times - for example during Invisible. It's possible that some of this is intentional (as in the case of It Won't Be Long), but in general I suspect it is not inserted for dramatic effect.
Shadow detail is pretty good and whilst blacks can be quite deep, low-level noise is often evident. Colours, too, vary according to the age of the footage, and range from being rather washed out (All Cried Out) to fairly strong, vivid and solid (Whispering Your Name).
The transfer does suffer from some MPEG artefacts, with signs of macro blocking in some backgrounds which can be a little distracting on larger displays - on a 68cm television screen they are not bad. Film-to-video artefacts appear in the form of occasional mild aliasing (for example the blinds at 4:30 on All Cried Out). Edge enhancement was generally not a major issue, but there can be quite significant halos present occasionally - for example on Whispering Your Name.
There are, pleasingly, subtitles available for all the song lyrics. These are easy to read and well timed.
This is a single-sided single-layered disc (DVD 5) and does not have a layer change.
The overall audio quality of this disc is good.
The audio menu allows you to select either a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 kbps, or a slightly less impressive Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track encoded at 256 kbps.
The sound is generally clean and clear with no significant distortion present on either track. There are no major drop-outs or pops to be noticed, but there is occasionally some minor hiss evident during quieter moments in the rear speakers. Audio sync was fine throughout.
The 5.1 audio track is vibrant and immersive. Understandably, the stereo track makes use of the front speakers only, and lack the immersion of the surround mix. The 5.1 track makes full use of the surround speakers. Although the mix is not one of the best I have ever heard, it does a pretty good job. Backing vocals come across nicely from the surround speakers but there does also seem to be a bit of leakage from the main vocals, which probably would be better if they were anchored more firmly to the front soundstage. The subwoofer is used to carry some bass which rounds out the soundstage rather pleasantly, but it is never particularly powerful.
|Surround Channel Use|
There are some worthwhile and quite unusual extras on this disc:
The menu is a very nicely put together collection of small video images which animate as you scroll through the options. It allows for playing all the videos or selecting individual songs, audio and subtitle set-up and access to the following extras:
Unusually for a music video compilation, Alison Moyet provides a commentary track (Dolby Digital 2.0 encoded at 256 kbps) to the videos, which is very conversational. She is joined by an unspecified friend named Deb, and it sounds like they are watching them whilst chatting over a cup of tea and a slice of cake. Moyet is very self-deprecating, and it is evident that she feels embarrassed by her appearance in several of the videos. Some of the press commentary she attracted due to her relatively large (for a pop star) figure is mentioned - and you can only admire her ability to continue to produce videos despite the sometimes cruel snipes she endured. Whilst having plenty of silent pauses, this is still a very nice addition for fans.
Recorded live in 2001 for The Leslie Garrett Show, this is presented 16x9 enhanced in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The audio is LPCM 2.0 encoded at 1536 kbps and it runs for 5:20.
This is a complete discography for Alison Moyet as a solo artist - it does not include her releases with Yazoo. It is presented as text-based screens (1.33:1) accompanied by sound bites from the respective album (LPCM 2.0 encoded at 1536 kbps).
A nice use of this feature for once. Full screen (1.33:1) photographs of "Alf" scroll by as a slideshow while bonus audio tracks play in LPCM Stereo encoded at 1536 kbps. This feature runs for 4:36 (My Right A.R.M.) or 3:33 (Colander Eyes) depending on which of the two bonus audio tracks plays whilst viewing it - these tracks are not user-selectable.
A simple, silent screen which tells you that www.alisonmoyet.com exists.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This DVD does not seem to be available in Region 1, but the Region 2 release appears to be the same as the Region 4 release. Buy whichever can be found more cheaply.
The Essential Alison Moyet is a really nice Sunday morning listen. Alison has a superb voice and strong song writing skills. It is pleasing to learn that she has released an album very recently - 2002's Hometime - and I am sure that fans will be enjoying it as much as her superb earlier works. Recommended for purchase by fans of Moyet, or fans of really strong female vocalists.
The video quality is a little variable, but never terrible.
The audio quality is good with no major flaws.
The extra features are few, but worthwhile.
|DVD||Harmony DVD Video/Audio PAL Progressive, using Component output|
|Display||Panasonic TX-47P500H 47" Widescreen RPTV. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-SR600 with DD-EX and DTS-ES|
|Speakers||JensenSPX-9 fronts, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 surrounds, Jensen SPX-17 subwoofer|