Freddie King-Live in Europe (Blues Legends)

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Released 11-Nov-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music None
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production ?
Running Time 66:53
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Freddie King
Case ?
RPI $34.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/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

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Plot Synopsis

    This DVD, Freddie King : Live in Europe, is another release in the Warner Vision series called Blues Legends. I have previously reviewed Albert King: Live in Sweden from the series. This release has a different format to that one but can certainly sit comfortably alongside it as an excellent release for Blues fans. The disc contains footage from three different live performances in Europe in 1973 & 1974.

    Freddie King was a great blues guitarist from Texas. He was born in 1934 and died of heart failure in 1976 less than two years after the last of these shows were recorded. He has had a great influence on other guitarists, including Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Eric recorded Freddie King's tune, Hideaway while with John Mayall in the 1960s and included another of his songs on his 1990s album, From The Cradle. Initially, Freddie King's repertoire consisted mostly of instrumentals such as the aforementioned Hideaway, but by the time of these shows he was also singing. He was not the greatest blues singer ever born but on many of the tracks included here his singing is very heartfelt and soulful.

    The shows presented here are as follows:

    Overall, this disc contains three different important historical performances of a blues great, of which two are excellent performances and one is weaker but still enjoyable.

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Track Listing

1. Have You Ever Loved A Woman
2. Look Over Yonders Wall
3. Ain't No Sunshine
4. Woman Across The River
5. Ghetto Woman
6. Blues Band Shuffle
7. Sweet Home Chicago
8. Big Legged Woman
9. Have You Ever Loved A Woman
10. Blues Band Shuffle

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality of this disc is different for each show. The first show is quite poor, afflicted by many and varied artefacts. The second show is the best of the three and the third is somewhere in between. All timings mentioned below are the time within the individual show as the shows are presented as separate titles on this disc. The quality issues all seem to be related to the source material rather than the transfer.

    The concert is presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio which according to the case is how it was originally recorded. 

    With the exception of the first show, most of the footage here is fairly clear and sharp considering the age of the footage. Shadow detail is not an issue because all shows are recorded on brightly lit stages.

    In the first show, colour was an issue. The show was performed on a very bright yellow stage and some of the performers were also dressed in bright colours. There was significant colour bleeding such as around Freddie's head at 0:40 and 13:36 , around the organ player at 4:51 and the Montreux sign at 8:30.There was also chroma noise in the yellow wall such as at 18:50 and in a blue background at 19:25. Additionally a patch of white cloud appeared over the bottom left hand corner of the image at 1:15 - 1:20 and 6:40 - 6:57. As if all of that wasn't enough, at 25:22 - 26:26 a line of yellow dots run across the middle of the picture. Colour was much better in the second show with the only issue to mention being flaring of the guitar (10:13) and lights causing comet trails. In the third show, colour was again a problem, but not to the extent of the first show. The biggest problem here was that one of the cameras was pointing towards the big stage light and accordingly whenever they pulled back for a wide shot, the picture became over-exposed causing either green or pink colouration of the entire frame. Examples of this can be seen at 4:35 - 4:40, 5:36 - 5:46, 7:04 - 7:10 and 14:50 - 15:03. Additionally, chroma noise can be seen on the stage wall at 4:20 & 7:28.

    Artefacts are also present on this disc, all seemingly due to the source material rather than the transfer. In the first show, some noticeable microphony is present. Examples can be seen at 2:28, 3:04 - 3:10, and 7:14. In the second some white flecks appear occasionally and there is a slight tape tracking artefact at 6:46. In the third show, some tape tracking artefacts are visible from 5:05 - 5:50.

    There are no subtitles on this disc.
    

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

Audio

    The sound quality is again variable. In the first show the band sounds quite muffled but the guitar and vocals are clear. The sound in the second and third shows is generally good.

    This DVD contains only one audio option, a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s. Despite being encoded in two channels the sound seemed to be mono, which is all one could expect from 1970s live music footage. The other disc in the series mentioned above had a Linear PCM soundtrack which would have been preferable.    

    The vocals were clear throughout except for the first song of the third show where the mixing desk seemed to get it wrong during the original performance. On this track, the vocals were too low in volume and you can see Freddie glaring angrily offstage during this song. It is rectified for the following songs.    

    There were no problems with audio sync.    

    Considering that the sound was only in mono, the music came across extremely well with all instruments easy to distinguish (except as noted in the first show) and the guitar tone clear and loud throughout.    

    Due to the mono sound, there was no surround activity.    

    Using Dolby ProLogicII allowed the subwoofer to add bass to the music, which was a welcome addition.

    

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

Extras

    There are no extras on this disc. The menu was static and allowed for tracks to be selected individually or the entire program to be played.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 version of this disc seems to be identical except for being in NTSC.

Summary

     This disc contains three concert recordings of blues great Freddie King and is highly recommended for Blues Fans.

    The video quality is variable, from poor to good.

    The audio quality is generally good despite being mono.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, May 13, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

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