Let It Rock (2002)

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Released 18-Jun-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Main Menu Introduction
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 102:52 (Case: 105)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Robert Garofalo
Studio
Distributor
Classic Pictures
Stomp Visual
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $26.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/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

    The 70s may have been an era dominated by disco, but there was still a lot of hard-edged rock happening. While disco got the headlines, the folk/hippy influence of the 60s was still very much alive, glam-rock was on the ascent and the t-shirt and jeans style of plain old rock still rolled on through it all.

    Let It Rock contains 22 tracks by artists that read like a who's who of 70s rock. No disco here. Names like Meat Loaf, Jethro Tull, Alice Cooper, The Doobie Brothers, The Who and Deep Purple grace the track listing of this disc. If you have to ask who these guys are, you're just too young.

    The blurb says this DVD is "a superb collection of rare TV recordings by some of the biggest acts in rock history performing their classic hits". Unfortunately, while the names were big, I didn't find the collection superb. The song selection was a little too obscure for my taste. I grew up through the 70s and 80s, but I only recognised 6 of the 22 tracks here. Of course, this is a very subjective area and avid fans of these bands will probably recognise many of the tracks here, but a song has to have a more broad-stream longevity about it to be truly a "classic hit". Not being heavily into many of these acts I did not relate well to a number of the songs chosen.

    Of course, the rarity of these TV appearances may well compensate for the songs not being as well known as the term "classic hit" implies to me, but only if you are a devotee of this genre and era.

    More offputting still was the continued use of an animated white on black Let It Rock logo at the start and end of each clip. This quickly became very irritating and actually overran the start and end of each clip's video. Surely if you buy this disc to view "rare TV recordings" you will want to see ALL of the clip, not have 10 seconds or so of the start and finish obscured.

    On a more positive note, it was amusing to be reminded of what passed for fashion back then. Variety wasn't lacking, ranging from the big frilled shirts of Meat Loaf, to the cut-to-below-the-navel jumpsuit of a rakishly thin Alice Cooper, to the very earthy folk/hippy Jethro Tull (watching the eccentric quasi-ballet movements of the flautist was extra-amusing) and on to the basic t-shirt style of the Doobie Brothers. It was all there in the 70s, and thankfully that's where it stayed.

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Track Listing

1. Free - All Right Now
2. Deep Purple - Highway Star
3. Meat Loaf - You took the words...
4. Mountain - Don't look around
5. Alice Cooper - Under My Wheels
6. Motorhead - Ace of Spades
7. Steppenwolf - Born to be Wild
8. The Who - Pinball Wizard
9. Jethro Tull - The Witches promise
10. Family - The Weaver's Answer
11. Ginger Baker's Air Force-Eary in...
12. Nazareth - Morning Dew
13. Spooky Tooth - That was only yester
14. The Doobie Brothers - China Grove
15. Bachman-Turner-Overdrive-You ain't
16. Heart - Barracuda
17. Stone the Crows - Danger Zone
18. Joan Jett... - Crimson and Clover
19. Deep Purple - Hallelujah
20. The Grease Band - Wild side of life
21. Man - Daughter of the Fireplace
22. Yes - Yours is no disgrace.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This disc consists of TV footage from the 70s and the video quality is limited by this source material. The full gamut of artefacts you would expect from video of this vintage is exhibited on this disc.

    Microphony is present is many locations. You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth suffers from this artefact throughout, as do You Ain't Seen Nothin' YetThat Was Only Yesterday and Barracuda, where it is particularly obvious at 65:16.

    Many of the tracks use blue-screen effects that are, by today's standards, very poor and suffer from harsh edges or a noisy look at the transition to the blue-screen. The Who's Pinball Wizard is particularly bad.

    While most of the clips are in colour, 6 tracks are Black & White. Colour quality is usually very good considering the source, and the Black & White is also good, if a little grainy in some instances. The Who's Pinball Wizard has some very washed out highlights, with facial features almost non-existent in some places. Posterization and high contrast is present in a number of clips, but often is used artistically rather than being an artefact.

    Despite these problems the transfer is actually very good. It has a high bit rate and makes the most of material that was good in its day, but is far short of the quality we would expect today. There are no MPEG artefacts to be found and I doubt a better transfer to DVD could be achieved.

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

Audio

    This is no Hell Freezes Over so don't expect a reference disc for DTS audio. DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 are offered and I had trouble finding any difference between them. The DTS may have been a little brighter, but the difference was negligible.

    Audio is generally clear and centred. Very little panning can be heard and the rears provided some fullness to the sound, but not what you would call surround. The subwoofer was only lightly used. This is, of course, to be expected from 70s TV video sources which are most likely mono.

    There were a couple of problems with the audio. Bachman-Turner-Overdrive's You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet was very flat with limited dynamic range, sounding almost muffled, and Man's Daughter Of The Fireplace suffered a distinct audio level drop at 91:16, which then rose and fell a couple of times before returning to normal. Both of these are present on the Dolby 5.1 and the DTS tracks, so are most likely inherent in the source material.

    There are no audio sync problems, although some of the bands do show some lip-sync shortcomings.

    As with the video, this is a good audio transfer when the quality of the raw material is taken into account.

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

Extras

Menu

     The menu is animated while the introduction to Free's All Right Now plays in the background. It then becomes static.

    There are no extras.

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 region free, but a Region 1 version is available and appears to be identical except for being an NTSC transfer.

Summary

   If you like these bands or the music of this era, you will probably love this disc. These are some rarely seen performances by some truly classic bands. As a slice of rock history this is an excellent disc.

    For those with a passing interest in these groups or the era, this is a disappointing collection. Many of the tracks are not well remembered after all these years and I found myself looking at the artist and thinking "If only they had included this hit or that hit".

    Video and audio are both generally good within the limitations of the source material.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Glen Randall (If you're really bored, you can read my bio)
Saturday, March 12, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba SD-1200Y, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig M84-210 80cm. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V596
SpeakersRichter Wizard fronts, Richter Lynx centre, Richter Hydra rears, Velodyne CT-100 sub-woofer

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