John Farnham-One Voice: Greatest Hits (2003)
Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-From The Vault
Featurette-50th Birthday Concert Opener
Featurette-Making Of-The Age Of Reason
Featurette-The Last Time Launch Presentation
|Year Of Production||2003|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (78:58)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Various|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/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|
Few can dispute the impact John Farnham has had on the popular music industry in this country. Since the mid 1960s, the undisputed five-time King Of Pop has wowed packed concert crowds both young and old with his unique blend of passion, down-to-earth good humour, super squeaky-clean image, and marvellously powerful voice. Starting out as baby-faced Johnny Farnham and along the way garnering a collection of nicknames such as The Voice, Farnsey, and Whispering Jack, John Farnham has done very little wrong in the 36 years since he first appeared singing about the delights of Sadie (The Cleaning Lady). He's come a long way since then, had his share of downs among the many ups and gained a legion of adoring fans. Since starting out he has racked up an amazing 8 Mo awards, 9 Logies statuettes, 17 ARIAs, and the 1988 Australian of The Year award - a fair effort in anyone's book. Add to these stats the fact that he is the only Australian artist to have scored a number one album in five consecutive decades and we're certainly talking about someone who obviously knows his stuff. He recently announced his retirement from major concert touring and staged The Last Time tour around the country as part of his farewell. This DVD is a collection of 30 music videos spanning his entire career.
The full gamut of material is here, with his mega-hit You're The Voice from 1986's Whispering Jack album leading the way. Two other tracks from what is still the largest selling Australian album of all time follow, with Pressure Down and the delightfully soothing Touch Of Paradise both coming complete with the prerequisite 1980's big hair fashions.
From here it is a virtual step through the life and times of John Farnham's musical career, with tracks such as Age Of Reason and Two Strong Hearts from the 1988 album Age Of Reason joining the likes of the Farnham classics Sadie (The Cleaning Lady) and Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head. Even the couple of duets he recorded in the 1990s are here with the Jimmy Barnes screamer When Something Is Wrong With My Baby and 1997's Every Time You Cry with Human Nature both making the list. The one major omission I could think of was the Brian Cadd penned Don't You Know It's Magic from 1972.
Anyone with even only the slightest passing interest in the music of John Farnham will find something to like in this compilation, as it covers such a wide period of time and is an easy reminder of the longevity of one of Australia's all-time music legends.
The following are the 30 video clips that appear on this disc:
|1. You're The Voice|
2. Pressure Down
3. A Touch Of Paradise
4. Two Strong Hearts
5. Age Of Reason
6. That's Freedom
7. Chain Reaction
8. Burn For You
9. Seemed Like A Good Idea(AtTheTime)
10. Talk Of The Town
12. Have A Little Faith In Us
13. A Simple Life
14. Hearts On Fire
15. When Something Is Wrong WithMyBaby
|16. Every Time You Cry|
17. Please Don't Ask Me
18. All Kinds Of People
19. Trying To Live My Life Without You
20. Man Of The Hour
21. Don't Let It End
22. Beyond The Call
23. Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
24. Sadie (The Cleaning Lady)
28. In Days To Come
29. No Ordinary World
30. Only Women Bleed
With a career that started out in the 1960s, there is a wide variety of video quality on offer here. Thankfully, most of it is better than average.
A couple of aspect ratios pop up here. Mostly shown in 1.33:1 full screen, there are several of the later videos that are letterboxed widescreen. There is no 16x9 enhancement on any of the clips. Generally the overall sharpness level is quite good, with no real edge enhancement noticeable. The earlier videos suffer from excessive grain and some poorer shadow detail. There is no low level noise.
Colours are well saturated. Again the later and newer material is better represented, with some really bold and vibrant shades. I saw no compression artefacts. Film or video artefacts are present in the older material, especially the grainy and quite grubby old black and white clips.
Subtitles. Alas, there are none.
This is a dual layered disc, complete with RSDL formatting. The layer change occurs at 78:58, right between All Kinds Of People and Trying To Live My Life Without You. Music video discs usually offer the best chance to hide layer changes, and this is no exception with a change that is almost invisible.
Rather than opt for a remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, or even an LPCM stereo 2.0 soundtrack, what we have got here is a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack, encoded at the quite low bitrate of 224 Kb/s. This is a little disappointing as I felt the soundtrack lacked a little of the shine and gloss that would have been evident with a higher bitrate track. It is still more than acceptable for the task, but it just doesn't seem to showcase the material as well as a CD might.
Despite my reservations, the audio is still clear and solid throughout with no hiss or distortion at all, except for some mild hiss in the older tracks Sadie (The Cleaning Lady) and Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head. There is excellent fidelity, with decent low end and plenty of stereo separation across the left and right channels.
There is no surround or discrete subwoofer use.
|Surround Channel Use|
17:20 minutes of black and white footage from what appears to be a television special from the late 1960s or very early 1970s. John performs several songs on the television show, none of which I am familiar with.
This is a 4:06 series of photos and other video images from John Farnham's life, as shown before his 50th Birthday series of concerts. There are lots of old black and white photos and Super-8 home movie footage of a young John presented here, in addition to some 1960s television footage.
1988's Age Of Reason album was the follow-up to the mega-selling Whispering Jack. In this 12:25 making of featurette, John Farnham explains the process behind the making of the video clip to the title track. Quite interesting and succinct enough to get the point across without becoming dull.
A quick-fire 3:33 promo piece starring John and his manager Glenn Wheatley, made for the launch of The Last Time series of concerts.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This disc is not available in Region 1.
There can be no mistaking the impact that John Farnham has had on the Australian music industry. Any artist that still packs the audiences into venues around the country nearly forty years after he started must be doing something right. Regardless of whether you think of him as being slightly uncool or more suitable listening for the over-fifties brigade, this collection of some 30 videos is a fantastic record of the man's output and contribution to popular music in this country.
The video is of variable quality, but given the age of some of the source material this is hardly surprising.
The audio has scrubbed up quite well, obviously with most of it having been sourced from quality masters. The older songs such as Raindrops and Sadie exhibit some mild distortion and noise, but on the whole this is a solid collection of clips.
The extras are of mild interest, but I'm sure fans will enjoy them immensely.
|DVD||Loewe Xemix 5106DO, using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Speakers||Front - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10|