The Neville Brothers-Tell It Like It Is (1989)

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Released 16-Jul-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Animation & Audio
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 1989
Running Time 58:32
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Stephanie Bennett
Len Dell'Amico

Warner Vision
Starring Aaron Neville
Art Neville
Charles Neville
Cyril Neville
John Hiatt
Bonnie Raitt
Gregg Allman
Dennis Quaid
Daniel Lanois
Jimmy Buffett
Buckwheat Zydeco
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.29:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, last song continues through credits

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Plot Synopsis

    I was very happy to see The Neville Brothers finally come to DVD here in Region 4. I have been a fan of their music for about 15 years since a review I read prompted me to buy their first widely released album, Yellow Moon, in 1989. I found out later that they had been performing together and either solo or in other groups since the mid 1950s when they first scored a local hit in New Orleans, their hometown. The Neville Brothers have been a mainstay of New Orleans music in all of the intervening decades.

    This concert is of approximately the same vintage as the Yellow Moon album and features a number of tunes from it. It was recorded in 1989 at the Storyville Jazz Hall in New Orleans, which is a famous Jazz, Zydeco, Creole and Blues music venue. The show features the four brothers, Art on Saxophone, Aaron on Vocals & Keyboards, Cyril on Vocals & Percussion & Charles on Keyboard and Vocals with their normal backing band including guitar, bass & drums. Aaron is probably the best known of the brothers due to his fantastic singing voice - one of the best in contemporary music. He also recorded a successful duet album with Linda Ronstadt in the early 1990s. Songs he is famous for include Tell It Like It Is (which appears here) and the theme song from the Mel Gibson film, Bird on a Wire.

    In addition to the brothers and their band, this concert features many well known guests including Bonnie Raitt, Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band, Herbie Hancock (also Musical Director), John Hiatt, Jimmy Buffett, US 60 minutes presenter Ed Bradley, Actor and sometime musician Dennis Quaid and New Orleans favourites including Buckwheat Zydeco, Daniel Lanois, The Dixie Cups & The Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Also featured are various members of the extended Neville family including many talented children of the brothers.

    The concert is very enjoyable and features some excellent singing and playing. Aaron & Art Neville are the standouts. I would have preferred to have more of just the Neville Brothers and less of the special guests as I believe they dilute what makes the Neville Brothers a great band - their internal chemistry. The highlights for me were the version of Yellow Moon and Aaron doing his signature tune Tell It Like It Is. Dennis Quaid is not completely untalented as a singer, however he should really leave it to the professionals around him. At the time of this concert he was appearing in the film The Big Easy which featured Aaron Neville. On the other hand, Ed Bradley cannot sing at all and luckily he doesn't do it for too long.

    Overall, if you are a fan of the Neville Brothers, this is well worth checking out especially as there is nothing else from them currently available on DVD.

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Track Listing

1. 30 N x 90 W
2. Yellow Moon
3. Falling Out of Love
4. Closer to You
5. Midnight Rider
6. Tell It Like It Is
7. My Blood
8. Sixty Minute Man
9. Sister Rosa
10. Fire and Brimstone
11. Middle of the Night
12. Ya Ya
13. Brother John / Iko Iko
14. Fire on the Bayou

Transfer Quality


    The video quality is very good especially considering the age of the recording. It has been transferred at a very high bitrate which would help in this regard.

    The feature is presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was generally clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was reasonable with crowd scenes showing some details.

    The colour was very good throughout with all colours being well saturated and free from colour bleeding. The skin colouring was very natural.

    The only artefacts I noticed were a couple of minor instances of aliasing on some shutters at 17:40 and 53:30.

    There are no subtitles.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio quality is very good.

    This DVD contains two audio options, a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s and a Linear PCM 48/16 Stereo soundtrack encoded at 1536 Kb/s. The 5.1 track is very good and makes some use of the surround speakers but mostly focuses on centre, front and LFE channels. The Linear PCM track sounds quite thin by comparison but would be fine if you cannot reproduce Dolby Digital 5.1.

    Vocals were clear and easy to understand.    

    There were no problems with audio sync.    

    The music comes across very well and all instruments are clearly distinguishable in the mix. Art Neville's saxophone sounds particularly good.

    The surround speakers were used to add surround ambience to the music.

    The subwoofer was used throughout adding bass to the music.


Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The menu included song & audio selection functions, music and scenes from the concert.

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 available in exactly the same format in Region 1 except for PAL/NTSC differences.


    This disc contains a good quality concert by a great band, with a few too many 'special' guests.

    The video quality is very good considering the age of the recording.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The disc has no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

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