B.B. King-Live at the Apollo (1991)

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Released 10-Sep-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Discography
Trailer-Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Ray Charles
Trailer-Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 1991
Running Time 49:25 (Case: 52)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given

Umbrella Entertainment
Starring B.B. King
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None 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 No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, last song continues through credits

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    I have had the great pleasure during my time as a reviewer on this site to review one DVD each from the three Kings of the Blues, FreddieAlbert and now B.B. King. I have thoroughly enjoyed all three, all of which have been live performances. This one is the newest of the three and features a performance by B.B. King and the Phillip Morris Big Band at The Apollo Theatre, New York in 1991. Despite what the case says, the Apollo Theatre in question is not in Manchester and this show was not recorded in 1981.

    B.B. King is in fine form from both a voice and guitar playing perspective and the band is a star studded affair including many jazz greats such as Kenny Burrell, Urbie Green, Harry ' Sweets' Edison, Plas Johnson, Ray Brown and Australia's own James Morrison. To my mind B.B is better backed with a straight blues band rather than a full jazz orchestra but others may disagree. I felt that the band were slightly out of sync with him tempo-wise once or twice. Having said that they are certainly a group of great musicians and their playing cannot be faulted.

    The tracks included are:

  1. When Love Comes To Town (4:52) - The song he did with U2, which was a major hit in the late 1980s. A fiery, bluesy version of the song.
  2. All Over Again (7:41) - A lesser known B.B. King song but a great slow blues nonetheless.
  3. Nightlife / Please Send me Someone to Love (4:20) - A medley of two famous numbers. Features some great guitar.
  4. Since I Met You Baby (3:57) - Another B.B. King standard featuring an excellent sax solo from Plas Johnson.
  5. Paying the Cost to be the Boss (2:37) - A B.B. King concert standard.
  6. Ain't Nobody's Business (3:54) - Great version of this standard.
  7. Sweet Sixteen (7:42) - An extended reading of another of BB's most famous songs.
  8. The Thrill is Gone (5:02) - Another great tune featuring some excellent interplay between BB and Ray Brown on bass.
  9. Guess Who (5:13) - B.B. King returns for an encore.
  10. Peace to the World (4:02) - A rollicking tune to end the show.

    A great in concert performance from BB King, featuring a jazz backing orchestra. Recommended for blues fans and especially for fans of B.B. King.

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Track Listing

1. When Love Comes To Town
2. All Over Again
3. Nightlife/Please Send Me Someone...
4. Since I Met You Baby
5. Paying The Cost To Be The Boss
6. Ain't Nobody's Business
7. Sweet Sixteen
8. The Thrill Is Gone
9. Guess Who
10. Peace To The World

Transfer Quality


    The video quality is good but no more. The program is preceded by a warning about the video quality.

    The feature is presented in a 1.29:1 aspect ratio non 16x9 enhanced which is most likely the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was reasonably clear and sharp throughout, with some minor evidence of low level noise especially in backgrounds. The sharpness was affected by some colour bleeding and was obviously taken from a video master. Some very light grain was in evidence.

    The colour was nothing special. The colour was quite dull and despite only having mostly black and white to show others colours were in evidence with blacks sometimes showing as purple or green in patches. There was also some colour bleeding, especially from white shirts, and some bits and pieces of chroma noise.

    Other than the colour artefacts already mentioned, there was some minor aliasing in the form of jagged edges especially around collars and some tape tracking artefacts at 4:50, 18:27 & 36:40.

    There are no subtitles or layer change.

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


    The audio quality is quite good.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s. It was originally recorded in Dolby Surround and has been remixed into 5.1. The sound is very front and centre focussed and B.B's singing and guitar come through strongly. The backing band is a little muddy and undefined. Considering the age and live nature of the recording, I would say that the best possible has been done with the sound.

    The surround speakers add atmosphere to the music but don't really stand out in any specific way.

    The subwoofer gives a nice layer of bass to the music without overwhelming it.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The menu is very simple allowing for song selection and access to the extras. The main program autoplays once the disc is inserted.

Selected Discography

    A two page text list of some of B.B. King's many albums.

Umbrella Propaganda

    Short highlights from four other Umbrella music disc, all of which I would love to review. They are Muddy Waters (2:55), Willie Dixon (1:15), Ray Charles (2:42) and Screamin' Jay Hawkins (2:07). The first two are live performances and the other two are excerpts from documentaries.

R4 vs R1

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

    I cannot find any evidence that this disc has been released outside of Region 4. It is coded for all regions.


    B.B. King in an excellent concert performance. You can't go far wrong.

    The video quality is good but nothing special.

    The audio quality is quite good.

    The disc has very little in the way of extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Sunday, June 19, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, 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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