PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Earth, Wind & Fire-Live at Montreux 1997 (1997)

Earth, Wind & Fire-Live at Montreux 1997 (1997)

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

Released 9-Oct-2005

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Bonus Track-Bonus tracks from 1998 Montreux Festival concert
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 93:03 (Case: 106)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Gavin Taylor
Eagle Eye Media
Rajon Vision
Starring Philip Bailey
Sheldon Reynolds
Verdine White
Ralph Johnson
Sonny Emory
Morris Pleasure
Mike McKnight
David Romero
B. David Whithworth
Gary Bias
Ray Brown
Reggie Young
Robert Brookins
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Linear PCM 48/16 2.1 (1536Kb/s)
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

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

Plot Synopsis


“say do you remember - ba de ya - dancing in September ”

    Earth, Wind & Fire during their classic period in the 70s and early 80s epitomised the disco era – big hair, big heels, big clothes and big songs. Founded in 1969 by Maurice White, Earth, Wind & Fire went on to release classic hits that combined funk, jazz, R&B, soul, & pop into an infectious beat that also blended effortlessly into the disco dance floor mix. No baby boomer's party tape is complete without a selection of Earth Wind & Fire standards such as September, Let’s Groove and Boogie Wonderland amongst others.

    This concert recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1997 features many of the Earth, Wind & Fire favourites delivered by a very accomplished selection of musicians including three original members in Verdine White (brother of Maurice), Philip Bailey and Ralph Johnson. Sadly however Maurice White, who was probably the most recognisable face and voice of the band, stopped touring in the early 1990s due to health problems and is not included in this line up.

    Those who remember the old film clips will notice that the costumes and colours have been toned down considerably – perhaps in deference to age and waist lines. Nevertheless the band members still exhibit the energy, choreography and spark that was their trademark for decades. Earth, Wind & Fire has refused to rest on their laurels and demonstrate here that the passion hasn't died. From the feel-good disco tempo hits September and Boogie Wonderland, to the harmonies of R&B classic After The Love Has Gone, Earth, Wind & Fire maintain performance levels that belie their age. The falsetto of Philip Bailey is as clear as ever and we could only wish that Maurice White’s distinctive tenor was also on show. Verdine White on bass and Sonny Emory on drums command attention while the brass, keyboards and percussion section provide a solid backing to the front men (and bootylicious dancers).

    A closing suggestion is to skip past the extremely annoying introduction by Claude Nobs who seems to be padding for time (from 0.00 to 1:33), and also his closing contribution from 90:30. Claude may be the founder and general manager of the Montreux Jazz Festival but his voice would clear rodents from a university student squat.

    This DVD is highly recommended as a display of R&B, pop, disco, and funk fused together in an energetic and professional performance by a legendary band.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Track Listing

1. Rock That
2. Jupiter
3. Saturday Nite
4. Revolution
5. Gratitude
6. September
7. Let's Groove
8. Rock It
9. Sun Goddess
10. Can't Hide Love
11. That's The Way Of The World
12. Drum Solo
13. Reasons
14. Fantasy
15. Mo's Solo
16. Boogie Wonderland
17. After The Love Has Gone
18. Sing A Song
19. Shining Star
20. Devotion

Transfer Quality


    The main feature 1997 concert video is presented in a letterboxed 1.33:1 format which means that you would normally have black borders around all four sides on a 16:9 display. Zooming will eliminate the borders at the expense of picture sharpness and may be preferable for those who don’t like to see large expanses of their display real-estate going to waste. There was evidence of uneven shades of black displayed in background sections of the video creating an effect similar to very faint vertical blinds. I did notice them on a large screen display and computer monitor however they were very faint and probably wouldn't bother most people. Non black areas were not affected by this issue. My review ratings have been downgraded because of these issues which is a shame because the overall video quality is otherwise excellent.

    There was no evidence of video or film artefacts, colour was vibrant and sharp without smearing, and there was no noticeable macro blocking.

    The picture detail was comparatively sharp for a concert video when not in zoom mode and acceptable when expanded to eliminate the black borders.

    The bonus tracks comprising seven selected songs from the 1998 concert are of a similar quality to the main concert video and presented in a full frame 1.33:1 without letterboxing. There is no evidence of the uneven black shading on display.

    This is a dual layer disc but I could not detect the layer change using my equipment.

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


    The default audio track is LPCM 2.1 at 1536Kb/s. I listened to the entire concert using the DTS 5.1 (754 Kb/s) audio track and sampled the Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kb/s) and LPCM tracks periodically. Output from the DTS track was slightly louder and more punchy than the Dolby Digital track with the subwoofer also more prominent. In comparison the LPCM stereo track sounded weak and lacked the concert atmosphere.

    The front sound stage was fairly uniform with little discernable separation in content between centre, front and left speakers. I would have preferred the vocals to have been mixed slightly louder and more centre channel orientated than is offered here.

    Surround channel use was limited to crowd responses and was used appropriately.

    The subwoofer was excellent and prominent without overshadowing the other channels.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The menu featured looping video and audio.

Bonus Tracks

    A set of seven tracks from the Earth, Wind & Fire concert at Montreux in 1998 are included as an extra. These are presented in a 1.33:1 video aspect with three audio options available as per the main feature.

   The tracks available are:

    Kalimba Funk Intro, Medley: Pride/Mighty Mighty, In The Stone, Solo Percussion, I'll Write A Song, Love's Holiday, Getaway.


R4 vs R1

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

    This release appears identical to the region 1 offering apart from using the PAL 4 format.


    Earth, Wind & Fire-Live At Montreux 1997 is a worthy library addition for fans of Earth, Wind & Fire and lovers of classy R&B, pop, disco, and funk.

    The video quality is good and would have been excellent if not for 1.33:1 letterboxing and slight variations in black shading in the backgrounds.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    The extra tracks from the 1998 concert were excellent.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Mike B (read my bio)
Monday, March 22, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910 and Panasonic BD-35, 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 LCR600 centre and 603s3 mains, Niles in ceiling surrounds, SVS PC-Ultra Sub

Other Reviews NONE