Overall | The Angels-Live at Narara (1983) | The Angels-Beyond Salvation Live (1990)

The Angels-Live at Narara/Beyond Salvation Live (1983)

The Angels-Live at Narara/Beyond Salvation Live (1983)

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Released 10-Sep-2007

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Overall Package

    After emerging from the 1970's Adelaide pub scene The Angels gained national recognition for their brand of hard driving rock, catchy riffs, and their over the top manic front man Doc Neeson. Through various line up changes and personal difficulties The Angels remain today legends of Australian music and deserve their place alongside compatriots such as Cold Chisel, Australian Crawl, and others. Two of The Angels live performances previously available on VHS, Live at Narara from the famous Narara music festival of 1983 and Beyond Salvation from the 1990 Beyond Salvation tour, have now been brought together and released in this two disc DVD pack.

    It's a pity that we can't get better transfers from these recordings because The Angels deserve it. Video quality ranges from good to poor however the performances are excellent and the audio adequate. Assuming that this is the best you can get I'd advise all Angels fans and lovers of Australian classic rock to check it out.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Mike B (read my bio)
Monday, March 01, 2010
Other Reviews NONE
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Overall | The Angels-Live at Narara (1983) | The Angels-Beyond Salvation Live (1990)

The Angels-Live at Narara (1983)

The Angels-Live at Narara (1983)

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Released 10-Sep-2007

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Audio Commentary-Commentary by Doc Neeson
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1983
Running Time 47:26
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Robert Eagle
Studio
Distributor
Liberation Music Starring Doc Neeson
John Brewster
Rick Brewster
Jim Hilbun
Brent Eccles
Case Amaray-Transparent-Dual
RPI ? Music The Angels


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/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

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

Plot Synopsis

   

“this is it folks - over the top!”

     The Australian pub scene of the 1970's and 80's saw the emergence of classic pub-rock acts such as Cold Chisel, Australian Crawl, Hunters and Collectors, and the subject of this review - The Angels.

The core of the band was formed in 1970 by brothers Rick and John Brewster who were joined a year later by Belfast native Doc Neeson. Doc would arguably become one of the most charismatic rock 'n roll front men to ever front an Australian band. In 1975 after a number of years in the Adelaide music scene and on the recommendation of Bon Scott and Malcolm Young from AC/DC, the band was signed by the Albert recording label. At this point the band was named simply The Angels, and so began a musical collaboration that would continue under various iterations to this day.

    The Live at Narara concert was recorded on January 29, 1983 on the Central Coast of New South Wales near Narara in front of an estimated 40,000 fans. Unfortunately some songs from the concert were lost due to technical difficulties, however the surviving 46 minutes were edited together and simulcast on Channel 10 and Triple M radio. The concert was subsequently released on VHS and became Australia's highest selling music release - a distinction which continued for many years. This DVD with digitally re-mastered audio has been released as a special edition double pack with the Beyond Salvation Live DVD recorded during the band's Beyond Salvation Tour in 1990.

    Being a follower of Australian pub rock of that vintage but never having seen The Angels live I was keen to see them in action. From the opening track it is obvious that Doc is in top form and bouncing off the energy that is coming from the enthusiastic crowd - understandable energy given that the legendary Australian band INXS preceded them. Although a couple of classic tracks such as Am I Ever Going To See Your Face Again are missing, there are enough favourites remaining to make this a satisfying, albeit short set. Transitions between songs which have been edited together are usually seamless however inexplicably, following After The Rain, we are reminded that we are watching The Angels-Live At Narara by way of a transition slide. I found this intrusion unnecessary although it was only a minor interruption to the flow of the concert overall. Interestingly during the closing track of Marseilles there is a nod to AC/DC by way of a small sampling of Back In Black. Whether this was standard routine or ad-hoc I don't know, but it was a nice inclusion anyway. Doc then proceeds to climb stage scaffolding for a better view of the surroundings and for some crowd interaction. No OH&S issues in those days!

    This concert is essential viewing for lovers of classic Australian rock.

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Track Listing

1. Comin' Down
2. Eat City
3. Mr. Damage
4. Stand Up
5. No Secrets
6. Tale A Long Line
7. After The Rain
8. Shoot It Up
9. Shadow Boxer
10. Is That You
11. Marseilles

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is acceptable given the age of recording and source material.

    As you would expect the aspect ratio is the same as the original source at 1.33:1.

    Considering that this video was shot over 25 years ago under less than optimal concert conditions the soft focus and grainy appearance is expected. Shadow detail is not good and colours outside of the stage spotlights are generally muted. On the positive side there are minimal film artefacts and no evident faults introduced in the mastering to DVD. I haven't seen the VHS video of this concert but imagine there were no significant improvements made in this transfer to DVD.
    

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

Audio

    A re-mastered Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track encoded at 448 Kb/s has been included which adds some ambience to the concert experience. Most sound comes from the front three speakers.

    Dialogue, both spoken and sung, was clear and easy to understand.

    Surrounds are not used aggressively and are really only noticeable in between tracks where the crowd reactions are emphasised. There is not much separation in content between front and centre speakers although often an opening guitar riff is directed from the front right sound stage. There are no significant audio synchronisation problems.

    The subwoofer is used effectively to emphasise the driving rhythm section and really pumps when the volume levels are increased.

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

Extras

   

Menu

    The menu was still and includes music.

Audio Commentary by Doc Neeson

    A supplementary Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192 Kb/s audio track is included featuring commentary by Doc Neeson. It runs for the entire length of the video and consists mostly of Doc explaining song origins or experiences during the concert. For example Doc notes that Comin' Down was placed as the opening track in reaction to the then Queensland State Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen's law forbidding general assembly and association. Overall Doc speaks intelligently and provides some interesting insights into the songs and concert itself.

 

R4 vs R1

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

    Region 4 is your only option.

Summary

    Live at Narara provides a great insight into why The Angels were one of the great Australian bands of the 70s and 80s, and why Doc Neeson is widely regarded as a legend alongside compatriots such as Michael Hutchence and Angus Young. It's unfortunate that the full concert recording doesn't exist as that would have earned a higher recommendation. Nevertheless The Angels-Live at Narara remains a must have concert DVD for all fans of The Angels, and a valuable library addition for all lovers of Australian rock.

    The video quality is good.

    The audio quality is good.

    The extras commentary is well worth a listen.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Mike B (read my bio)
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using HDMI output
DisplayPanasonic TH-58PZ850A. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationDenon AVR-3808 pre-out to Elektra Theatron 7 channel amp
SpeakersB&W

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | The Angels-Live at Narara (1983) | The Angels-Beyond Salvation Live (1990)

The Angels-Beyond Salvation Live (1990)

The Angels-Beyond Salvation Live (1990)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 10-Sep-2007

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1990
Running Time 59:28
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By John Jopson
Studio
Distributor
Liberation Music Starring Doc Neeson
Rick Brewster
Brent Eccles
James Morley
Bob Spencer
Peter Wells (guest)
Case Amaray-Transparent-Dual
RPI ? Music The Angels


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/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

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

Plot Synopsis

   

“am I ever going to see your face again? No way ....”

     It had been thirteen years since Rick and John Brewster, Doc Neeson, Chris Bailey and drummer Graham Bidstrup had their first album success as The Angels. The departures of Bidstrup in 1981, Bailey in 1982 (replaced by Jim Hilbun), John Brewster in 1986 and then Hilbun in 1989 saw The Angels enter 1989/90 with original members Neeson and Rick Brewster alongside Brent Eccles, Bob Spencer (ex Skyhooks) and James Morley. Although the band had reached near legendary status in Australia success in the U.S. had proved elusive. In November 1989 record label Chrysalis released the album Beyond Salvation into the U.S. market containing four new songs and re-recordings of several classics. To avoid confusion with similarly named bands in the U.S. The Angels billed themselves as The Angels From Angel City. Whereas success in the U.S. didn't eventuate the release in June 1990 of the Australian version of Beyond Salvation, containing all new tracks, was a huge success and gained the band its first number one album along with five successful singles.

    On the back of this recording success The Angels embarked on their Beyond Salvation Tour with Cheap Trick as support band. Their performance over two nights at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney in 1990 was captured on film and released in VHS format by Mushroom Records. This performance has now been made available in DVD format as a twin pack along with the Live At Narara performance of 1983.

        Having recently reviewed The Angels-Live At Narara DVD release I was interested to see how this later performance and recording would compare.

    Leaving aside the transfer quality for the moment I'd reluctantly have to say that Doc is not quite at his manic best but he's still better than most front men you'll have the pleasure of seeing. There's lots of trademark jumping up and down and a wry smile as he fluffs the lyrics momentarily at 37:15. The band however are in top form with Spencer and Morley providing a dynamic and driving performance anchored by the solid drum beat of Eccles and the statue like Rick Brewster. The set list presented here only includes songs from the Beyond Salvation album and so may disappoint those hoping for some earlier Angels classics. Included however is a very nice performance of Rose Tattoo's Rock 'n' Roll Outlaw, with Peter Wells from Rose Tattoo lending a hand on slide guitar and Morley belting out the vocals with some aplomb.

    Overall this is a strong performance by a classic Australian band which complements, if doesn't quite match, the Live At Narara concert.

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Track Listing

1. Pushing And Shoving
2. B****
3. Love Waits
4. Rock 'n' Roll Outlaw
5. Bleeding With The Times
6. Rythm Rude Girl
7. Jump Back Baby
8. Back Street Pick Up
9. Beyond Salvation
10. Dogs Are Talking
11. Let The Night Roll On

Transfer Quality

Video

    Well what can I say. The video quality is poor - presumably because of the original source. I haven't seen the VHS recording but can't believe this DVD version could be an improvement. The Live At Narara presentation was superior in almost every way.

    The aspect ratio is 1.33:1.

    Colours were bright but very smudged with excessive bleeding and lots of spotlight flare.

    The picture quality was soft with little shadow detail and noticeable grain.

    One camera did have a piece of fluff or hair in the bottom left corner however it wasn't particularly irritating due to the darkness of the image.

    Thankfully film artefacts were minimal.

    The closing credits in red font were almost unreadable due to the colour bleed and lack of sharpness.
    

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

Audio

    The only audio track available is Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo at 192 Kb/s and as such there was no discrete surround or subwoofer activity.

    After sampling the audio using Dolby Pro Logic surround processing I decided that the direct 2.0 source sounded better with only front speakers operating and with bass directed to the subwoofer. With the volume turned up and the subwoofer kicking the audio experience was good - if not thrilling.

    Dialogue, both spoken and sung, was clear and easy to understand.

    There are no significant audio synchronisation problems however there was a very brief audio dropout at 0:34.

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

Extras

   

Menu

    The menu was still and without audio.

        

 

R4 vs R1

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

    Region 4 is your only option.

Summary

    Beyond Salvation Live would only appeal to die-hard Angels fans or those interested in maintaining a comprehensive library of Australian classic rock music. Doc Neeson seems a little flat compared to other live recordings however he and the band still manage to rock the house down. My suggestion is to hit the play button, turn the volume up, shut your eyes, and suck up some Angels rock 'n roll.

    The video quality is poor.

    The audio quality is acceptable.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Mike B (read my bio)
Friday, February 26, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using HDMI output
DisplayPanasonic TH-58PZ850A. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationDenon AVR-3808 pre-out to Elektra Theatron 7 channel amp
SpeakersB&W

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE