A Tribute to Brian Wilson (2007)

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

Released 16-Mar-2007

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Audio
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2007
Running Time 69:57 (Case: 77)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Hank Lena
Rajon Vision Starring Red Hot Chili Peppers
Richie Sambora
Fred Martin & The Levite Camp Jamie Cullum
Barenaked Ladies
John Legend
Backstreet Boys
Shelby Lynne
Michael McDonald & Billy Preston
Jeff Beck
Wind, & Fire Earth
Darlene Love
Brian Wilson
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music The Beach Boys
Barenaked Ladies

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English dts 5.1 (1536Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 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

"I’m pickin up good vibrations. She’s giving me excitations."

     It is sometimes a bitter-sweet event to be honoured in a tribute by the MusiCares organisation. Formed in 1989 as a resource to help musicians who have fallen on hard times due to health, financial, or personal problems, MusicCares routinely organises events to honour outstanding service to the music industry. The associated profits are then channelled back into its charitable activities which benefit the music community. In 2005 it was Brian Wilson's turn to be the subject of a MusiCares tribute as the "2005 Person of the Year". Wilson's greatness as one of the Beach Boys will be forever documented in the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”, but it is his personal demons and mental illness which surfaced in the early 1970s which dominated more recent media attention. The intervention of his family in employing the unconventional therapist Eugene Landy proved to be a double edged sword in pulling Wilson out of his malaise, but also perhaps contributing to his mental insecurities. The all-encompassing presence of Landy was eventually removed by court action, and Wilson's mental state began to improve in the late 1980s after his antipsychotic medicine intake was limited. By 2005, when this DVD was recorded, Wilson had returned to recording and public appearances and, although still a shadow of his former brilliant self, retains enough of that genius to continue as a contributor in the music world.

     The Tribute To Brian Wilson was recorded in Los Angeles in 2005 and featured a star studded troupe of artists performing predominantly Wilson songs with backing by the "Brian Wilson Band". There are seventeen performances in all with Brian featuring on the last five songs and a range of performers from The Red Hot Chili Peppers to Jeff Beck contributing one song each. The concert opens with an unfortunately lacklustre Peppers rendition of I Get Around. This should have been a great start to the night but I thought it was a bit flat and the Peppers didn't do it justice. Fortunately this was the only miss of the night with Richie Sambora upping the ante next with City Blues. The following artists ranged from Shelby Lynne to Backstreet Boys to Earth Wind and Fire – each contributing their own unique style on proceedings. The only non-Wilson song was written and performed by the Barenaked Ladies and was appropriately called Brian Wilson. One performance I thought was really outstanding featured Michael McDonald with Billy Preston on keyboards. McDonald's vocal interpretation of Don't Worry Baby was terrific but embarrassingly I had to find out who he was (because to my shame I'd never heard of him before even though, as I found, he was lead singer of The Doobie Brothers). Beck did a couple of instrumental works which displayed his guitar prowess followed by Earth Wind and Fire and then a fine closer to the "tribute" portion of the show by Darlene Love covering Wouldn't It Be Nice. The fabulous Brian Wilson Band then performed Pet Sounds followed by Brian joining the stage to complete the final four songs accompanied by the band. He was joined by the other performers on the night (but strangely enough not the Chili Peppers) for the concluding two songs and then accepted a well deserved standing ovation.

     Overall this "concert" presentation is a blast with the added pleasure of seeing the great man perform some of his own songs. Although Wilson did not seem entirely at ease in front of the audience he did eventually warm up and sounded great in vocals (with a little help on the high notes). He is obviously not 100% physically well with stilted actions and a strangely blank face at times (possibly due to concentrating on reading the prompts), but it is still a pleasure seeing him in front of an audience and staying productive. Because this tribute was filmed at a fund-raising dinner there are minor distractions in the form of waiters with food and beverage deliveries, however overall the standard and presentation of performance is excellent. If the content had been a bit longer I would have rated this at five stars.

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

Track Listing

1. I Get Around
2. City Blues
3. Sail On Sailor
4. Brian Wilson/Til I Die
5. I Just Wasn't Made For These Times
6. When I Grow Up To Be A Man
7. Surfer Girl
8. Don't Worry Baby
9. Surf's Up
10. Surfin' USA
11. Don't Talk
12. Wouldn't It Be Nice
13. Pet Sounds
14. Heroes And Villains
15. Good Vibrations
16. Fun, Fun, Fun
17. Love And Mercy

Transfer Quality


     This film is presented in its original 1.78:1 aspect. This is an excellent concert film – probably one of the best I've seen on DVD. Blacks were excellent and colours strong and vibrant when required without oversaturating the stage. There are the usual issues associated with concert video such as flaring and a bit of aliasing (especially evident in guitar close-ups) but these are only minor and not distracting. There was no evidence of film artefacts and the overall image was clear and detailed including the final credits.

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

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


     There are three audio tracks included in the DVD - Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448Kb/s, Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192Kb/s and DTS 5.1 at 1,509Kb/s. I listened to the DTS track in its entirety while sampling the two Dolby Digital tracks randomly. As usual the DTS offering is superior in all ways with a fuller sound and more encompassing surround presence. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is not far behind in quality but the 2.0 version is a lot quieter and not a choice you'd take given the other options. The subwoofer and surrounds are used effectively at all times to enhance the front sound stage and are never intrusive. One pet hate of mine is poorly mixed concerts with voices or particular instruments being overshadowed. It is therefore pleasing to report that this is not the case here with all instruments and voices being clearly defined and complementing each other. It's probably needless to say that there are no clicks, pops, hisses or dropouts, and no synchronisation problems.

     This audio track is definitely one of the better concert offerings available on DVD.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The menu featured looping audio with static background.

Behind The Scenes (12:21)

     Dolby Digital 2.0 192 Kb/s with 1.78:1 video aspect. Features brief interviews with performers, celebrities and MusiCares representatives taken at the tribute. Quite interesting but not overly illuminating.

Photo Gallery (3:37)

     Dolby Digital 2.0 192 Kb/s with 1.33:1 video aspect. Selection of photos from the event with musical backing. For some reason these appear to be mostly widescreen snapshots of video footage presented in a 1.33:1 frame which renders the subject narrower than they should be.

R4 vs R1

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

    All releases appear to be identical apart from Pal and NTSC formatting so the local version is recommended.


     A Tribute To Brian Wilson is a fabulous music DVD and a wonderful addition to any music lover’s collection. The audio, video and content are all excellent making it a must get for Wilson fans and lovers of fine pop music. Overall I'd class this DVD as highly recommended even if it is slightly short at around seventy minutes. For a bit of an insight in Brian's mental decline and subsequent treatment by Landy I heartily endorse watching the Prime Time Live feature presented by Diane Sawyer in 1991. It gives a great summary of how far he fell and the subsequent controversial intervention.

     The video quality is excellent. The audio quality is excellent. Extras are good.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Mike B (read my bio)
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
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
Comments (Add) NONE