Roxy Music-The High Road (1983)
|Year Of Production||1983|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||None Given|
Universal Pictures Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||None||Smoking||Yes, Bryan smokes during the last two songs.|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
Spanning nine studio albums in only 10 years from 1972 to 1982, Roxy Music were one of the true greats of contemporary rock. To this day, their music sells in large numbers, attested to by the recent re-issue of all their albums in glorious HDCD format (whilst we wait for the inevitable DVD-Audio and/or SACD remasters). Whilst comparing their first album (Roxy Music) with their last (Avalon) is literally like comparing chalk with cheese, avid followers will have no problem reconciling it against a bank of continually evolving music anchored firmly by a keen and witty observational narrative from the ever-suave Bryan Ferry. It should also be noted that the earlier albums are not for the cloth-eared, and some time needs to be spent before they can be appreciated. Judging from the size of the audience at this concert in 1983 (promoting the album “Avalon”), it is apparent that many have taken the time.
A good mix of songs from Do The Strand to The Main Thing are performed more or less album fashion, with little improvisation from Ferry, though the musicians are allowed a wander here and there. Having said that, Ferry manages, with some facial and bodily contortion here and there, to reproduce all pitches with impunity, something rare during live concerts. He even manages to run over to a keyboard and belt the keys during “Editions Of You.” Fantastic stuff.
|1. The Main Thing|
2. Out Of The Blue
3. Both Ends Burning
4. A Song For Europe
5. Can't Let Go
6. While My Heart Is Still Beating
|8. My Only Love|
9. Dance Away
10. Love Is The Drug
11. Like A Hurricane
12. Editions Of You
13. Do The Strand
14. Jealous Guy
This is a somewhat disappointing transfer, and looks to have received very little care. Perhaps some simple modern magic would have tidied the presentation slightly, but what we have is an image that is decidedly bested by the audio.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.
Immediately upon pressing play, the age of the film material is evident, with little in the way of sharpness or clarity; it has the look of film material that has “done the rounds” so to speak. Blacks are inky, and generally shadow definition is barely adequate. There is quite a lot of grain and low-level noise in the image, doubtless due to small format camera work.
The concert is certainly colourful, although there is a lot of chroma noise throughout the entire palette.
There were no MPEG artefacts noticed, and in truth they would be hard to spot with all the noise in the image to begin with. Film-to-video artefacts were not apparent, save for the very soft transfer. Film artefacts were initially quite abundant, but soon settled into just the odd speck now and then.
There are two soundtracks for this concert; a most welcome 16-bit 48Khz PCM 2.0 track and secondly a Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track.
Vocals were superb, both from Bryan Ferry and the backing singers. I noted some misfires with the audio sync, but on the whole it was close enough so as not to be distracting.
The recording quality of the concert is superb for the most part, and is definitely one that can be turned up nice and loud! I listened to the PCM soundtrack, and dipped into the Dolby Digital for comparison now and then. The PCM was much louder, and after volume matching somewhat snappier than the relatively benign Dolby Digital counterpart, and I can see no reason to want to choose the latter over the former. I listened to the concert in pure 2 channel mode.
Although ever-so-slightly harsh in the upper frequencies (especially from the well-chuffed crowd) , the recording had a very balanced tone. Individual instruments were easily picked in their various locations in a soundstage which had nice width and some depth. Bass guitar was particularly impressive, going nice and deep at times and always having bite and clarity. The drum kit was also very clean, though at times the skins did vibrate in sympathy with the higher frequencies of the bass guitar, probably due to fold-back speakers given the close proximity of the two artists on stage. There is some tape hiss to be heard in quieter passages.
Both soundtracks are presented as stereo, though should you engage pro-logic you will find crowd noises and some instrument spill into the rears.
|Surround Channel Use|
There are no extras.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
I am not aware of the availability of this title in R1.
This is a very good Roxy Music concert, and fans will not need my recommendation to grab this. A good set, fine performances and a certain je ne sais quoi that pervades their music make this a must-have. It is a shame that the video quality is second rate, but it is more than compensated for by the fine audio. Recommended.
|DVD||Toshiba SD-900E, using RGB output|
|Display||Pioneer SD-T43W1 16:9 RPTV. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DB-930|
|Speakers||Front & Rears: B&W DM603 S2, Centre: B&W LCR6, Sub: B&W ASW500|