Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band-The Best of: So Far... (2001)

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Released 8-Feb-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio
Music Video-Yellow Submarine (Alternate Version) (2:58)
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 93:32
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (54:16) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Michael Drumm
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Ringo Starr
Dr. John
Levon Helm
Joe Walsh
Todd Rundgren
Felix Cavaliere
Randy Bachmann
Jack Bruce
Peter Frampton
Gary Brooker
Simon Kirke
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $39.95 Music Various


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (1536Kb/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 Yes, during credits

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

Plot Synopsis

    Probably the most underrated of the former members of The Beatles, Ringo Starr actually made at least one album that to my mind was one of the best to come from the solo Beatles. Unfortunately, one album does not a solo career make and that is perhaps why he pursued the concept of The All Starr Band. The concept was simple enough - get a few mates together and have a bit of a blast doing a tour playing a mix of Ringo Starr numbers and numbers from the members of the band. So when you see the names that formed the four incarnations of The All Starr Band thus far, the mouth would be salivating in anticipation of some great music from some very big names.

    Of course, the reason why these big names from the past are available to play in the band is simply because they are just a tad past their use by date, and the result is not what you would call an enthralling concert experience. Indeed, this actually is quite a dull affair in general and is definitely strictly for serious fans of the man, rather than the broader music fan. If truth be told, the concerts illustrate the reasons why Ringo Starr did not have a wholly successful solo career - simply, his solo material is simply not of a strong enough standard to drive a concert.

    Overall this is not one of the great concert experiences on DVD. Musically the concerts are not exactly brilliant with some decidedly obvious fillers in the tracks, and the presentation does nothing to aid the situation. Strictly for fans only in every way.

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Track Listing

1. Honey Don't
2. Iko-Iko (Dr John)
3. The Weight (Levon Helm)
4. Photograph
5. Don't Go Where The Road Don't Go
6. Rocky Mountain Way (Joe Walsh)
7. The No-No Song
8. Bang The Drum All Day (T Rundgren)
9. You're Sixteen
10. Yellow Submarine
11. I Wanna Be Your Man
12. Groovin' (Felix Cavaliere)
13. You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet
14. Boys
15. It Don't Come Easy
16. Sunshine Of Your Love (Jack Bruce)
17. Norwegian Wood (Peter Frampton)
18. A Whiter Shade Of Pale (G Brooker)
19. All Right Now (Simon Kirke)
20. Act Naturally
21. With A Little Help From My Friends

Transfer Quality

Video

    Like most concert videos, this one has its problems. Unfortunately, they are a little more obvious than usual owing to the nature of the source material and the fact that it does cover an eight year period. Most of the program is presented in a Full Frame format that is not 16x9 enhanced. However, the excerpts from the 1992 tour filmed at the Montreux Jazz Festival are in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, although still not 16x9 enhanced.

    Whilst generally quite reasonable in the definition stakes, it is by no means the most visually presentable concert video I have ever seen. There just seems to be an underlying softness to the image. Detail is about what you would expect from concert videos of these vintages, as is shadow detail. Clarity is pretty decent and there is a noticeable lack of any grain issues.

    The colours are not exactly thrilling and have a generally muted look to them. This is only an issue with Dr. John's lurid attire and Ringo Starr's occasional penchant for slightly brighter gear. In general though you really do not notice this at all. There are the usual wash outs from stage lighting but otherwise colour is quite decent with no real issues. The blue stage lighting does create a ghostly look at times.

    There were no apparent MPEG artefacts in the transfer. There are only a few instances of film-to-video artefacts in the transfer, notably the usual problems of aliasing in strings, leads and keyboards: the obvious examples are at 9:23, 35:06 and 75:42. There is also one instance of what appears to be moiré artefacting in the transfer at 12:13. There were no obvious film artefacts in the transfer.

    This is an RSDL formatted DVD with the layer change coming at 54:16. The usual problem with concert videos is obvious here but at least the change is not that intrusive nor disruptive.

    There are unfortunately no subtitle options on the DVD, so our hearing impaired readers will be in a little difficulty here.

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

Audio

    There are three soundtracks on the DVD, being an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack and an English dts 5.1 soundtrack. I listened to the dts soundtrack, extensively sampled the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and basically ignored the Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

    The vocals and limited dialogue comes up quite well in the transfer and are easy enough to understand. There appeared to be no audio sync problems with the transfer.

    Regrettably, the dts 5.1 soundtrack is not a good example of the art and is probably the worst such soundtrack I have heard. Aside from the fact that the rear channels seem to go AWOL around the 31:52 mark, the biggest problem is the very poor balance in the soundtrack at times. The No-No Song is especially bad with a gross over-emphasis of the bass which makes the track virtually unlistenable. The whole soundtrack is mixed in such a way as makes the sound a tad unusual - aside from too much bass, there is a preponderance of vocals out of the rear channels that gives the whole sound an unusual feel. Basically, the way the sound has been mixed makes you feel as if you are more at the back of the stage than in front of it. Overall, quite a disappointing soundtrack in many ways.

    If you were hoping or expecting some relief from the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, unfortunately you are going to be disappointed. If anything, the bass mixing on this soundtrack is even worse and without plenty of mucking about with the relative levels of the various channels, it is extremely difficult to get the soundtrack into anything approaching proper balance with the vocal track not being overpowered by the bass track. All in all another disappointment.

    This basically means that the Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack is the best on the DVD, and that is in no small part due to the extra air created by the higher bit rate of the soundtrack. Sure it is a tad wimpish in comparison to the 5.1 soundtracks, but at least the balance is miles better and it is very listenable at higher volumes.

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

Extras

    Nothing much on offer here.

Menu

    A minor introduction followed by some minor audio enhancement that plays once and then no more.

Music Video - Yellow Submarine (alternate version) (2:58)

    Sounding as if it combines the vocal track from the 1997 tour with a montage of all four incarnations of the band doing the song, it is hardly a great bonus. Presented in a windowboxed Full Frame format, it is not 16x9 enhanced and comes with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. Basically they could have forgotten about it.

R4 vs R1

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

    As far as we are aware, there are no substantial differences between the Region 1 release and the Region 4 release. Funnily, the Region 1 reviews seem to praise the audio for exactly the same reason that I am damning it - the bass.

Summary

    This is a concert experience that you certainly can afford to miss. There are plenty better than this to indulge in and this is certainly for serious fans of Ringo Starr only. Audio-wise this is very disappointing and not up to the standards we expect from this source.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Morris (Biological imperfection run amok)
Thursday, January 31, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-515, using S-Video output
DisplaySony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-795
SpeakersEnergy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL

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