Def Leppard-Visualize/Video Archive (1993)

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Released 29-Aug-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Animation & Audio
Interviews-Cast-3
Discography
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1993
Running Time 201:25
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (21:32) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Phil Tuckett
Duncan Smith
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Def Leppard
Joe Elliot
Rick Allen
Phil Collen
Vivian Campbell
Rick Savage
Steven Clark
Case ?
RPI $29.95 Music Def Leppard


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame 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 French
German
Spanish
Italian
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

    For fans of Def Leppard, the release of this disc along with its companion title Def Leppard - Historia / In the Round In Your Face and the earlier disc Def Leppard - Hysteria (Classic Albums) offer a quite comprehensive history of the band from their early days to the mid / late 90s, when the band started to re-evaluate what they wanted to do. This disc is not only an addition to the wealth of information available about the band, but a glimpse at what the band was (and is) evolving into. Much comment is made during this disc by the band members about how, following the Adrenalize album, what was to come later was the beginning of the second life of the band. Perhaps this was due to the fact that influential producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange was not producing as much of the material and the band had gained the services of guitarist Vivian Campbell who started with Def Leppard after the untimely death of guitarist Steven Clark. Whatever was happening to the group, things were most certainly changing and much is documented on this disc.

    What we have presented here are two separate titles that are basically divided into four major sections. These are:

Visualize:  87:23

    This portion is a collection of short interviews and snippets of various television appearances along with several music videos from the Adrenalize album. Also included and first up in the running order is the video for Rocket, which strangely was missing from the first video compilation (Def Leppard - Historia / In the Round In Your Face). After catching up on the Hysteria material, the program begins to cover the music of the Adrenalize album, incorporating short interviews with the band members and other archival material. The interviews were recorded in or around 1993 and the band looks at the songs and videos in fairly retrospective fashion. Overall, this is a good start to proceedings and sets up the direction of the programming to come. Some of the material in this section overlaps the following portion of the programming on this disc, that being the live concert footage included in this program. Because this was originally a stand-alone title, it would be nit-picking to criticize the disc's producers for doubling up this material, but doubled up it is.

Video ArchiveLive at Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield England - June 6, 1993: 54:07

    This is an edited live concert with the band playing a triumphant return concert in their home town of Sheffield. This would have been a doubly sweet return for the band, because not only was it an affirmation of their success (the band was not hugely popular in the UK in their early days while they had a huge following in the US after the release of the album Pyromania), but a literal homecoming as well. The band play to a packed stadium and belt out a good list of their major hits from Foolin' to Two Steps Behind (from the The Last Action Hero soundtrack). A good concert with all the band members looking like they're having the time of their lives.

Video ArchivePromotional Videos : 25:11

    This portion of the disc presents more videos from the group with some later music post Adrenalize. These include the videos for Two Steps Behind, Miss You in a Heartbeat and both versions of When Love and Hate Collide. More good music from the boys.

Video ArchiveAcoustic Set - The Wapentake, Sheffield England - October 5, 1995: 35:24

    This is a sit-down set in a very intimate venue in Sheffield, a place that the band had played in their youth (apparently for 15 quid). Much like an unplugged session, the band have a bit of fun in a very different setting to that which they would be used to. Still, the energy is not restrained and the guys do some very credible versions from their ever-growing catalogue of songs. These include Armageddon It, Sugar (of course) and an interesting version of the David Bowie classic Ziggy Stardust. This is a short but sweet glimpse of the band proving that their music is not the sole product of slick production, but of hard work and musicianship as well.

 

    For any fan of this ever-popular band, this is the completion of a fine collection of material on the music and life of Def Leppard. Along with the aforementioned companion title and Classic Albums disc, all bases are covered so far, but probably not for long. With the band releasing an album in mid 2002 called X, we are probably destined to see a disc of material from this work as well. All I can say is "Bring It On!".

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

Track Listing

1. Rocket (video, live)
2. Let's get Rocked (video, live)
3. Make Love like a Man (video)
4. I Wanna Touch U (video)
5. Have You Ever Needed Someone..(vid)
6. Tonight (video)
7. Heaven Is (video)
8. Stand Up (Kick Love..) (video)
9. Two Steps Behind (vid,live,acoustc)
10. Love Bites (live)
11. Photograph (live)
12. Foolin' (live)
13. Armageddon It (live, acoustic)
14. Pour Some Sugar on Me (live,acustc)
15. Rock of Ages (live)
16. When Love and Hate..(vidx2,acoustc)
17. Action (video)
18. Miss You in a Heartbeat (video)
19. Animal (acoustic)
20. Ziggy Stardust (acoustic)

Transfer Quality

Video

    Because of the fact that this disc actually contains two programs and the quality varies quite a bit between various portions of both, I'll do 2 separate Video Transfer Quality sections to cover each title. The Audio Transfer Quality section will be for both titles.
 

Video:  Visualize (video collection and interviews) 87:23

    A number of different sources for the video material in this section are utilized, so the quality varies quite a bit. For the most part, the video is eminently watchable, but it is nowhere near any sort of reference standard. Most of the video contained is presented full frame 1.33:1 and as such there is no 16x9 enhancement.

    The level of sharpness seen on this disc varies quite a bit from section to section. Most of the music videos are reasonably clear, but there are quite a few things wrong with some of the video of the live concerts. The result is that the image ranges from clear to hazy from song to song. Shadow detail is okay within the limitations of the original source materials. Much of the material was shot at night and in darkened rooms, so expecting huge amounts of shadow detail may be demanding too much, but what we do get is fair and completely expected given the conditions in which the footage was shot. Low level noise didn't seem to be a real problem.

    Colour use is fairly natural and quite acceptable during the majority of this title with the exception of the live concert portion of the programming where there are so many artefacts as to render the accurate portrayal of colour an almost impossibility.

    MPEG artefacts are a minor problem at times with some fairly minor pixelization seen at times, but macroblocking is present as well and can be seen at 82:56. Aliasing is visible during most of the live concert footage as well as other places with examples at 56:03 and 65:51. Sadly, edge enhancement seems to be a fan of the band as well and couldn't bear to stay away. It can be seen at 67:59 as well as in numerous other places during this feature. There are numerous analogue tracking errors visible with the main problem not so much a tracking error as analogue tracking 'evidence' as is visible at 47:47 and 82:56. There is also some fairly ordinary source material used as on display at 50:49. This is not too much of an issue as this may have been the only available copy of the material (as is the case with much of the archival footage used in these titles). Cross coloration is a real problem with this title and can be seen in abundance during the live concert videos (67:34 for example) as well as in background footage (see 24:59). There is some film grain seen at times during some of the footage used. The video for Rocket (from 2:30) displays a bit of grain, but this is no real problem.

    There are four subtitle options for this feature; French, German, Spanish and Italian. Bear in mind that these only are useful during the various interview portions on the disc and are not visible during each video feature, which is unfortunate for those fans of the band whose first language is not English as well as the fans that may have long since lost their hearing (thanks, Ed).

Video: Video Archive (live concert, promotional videos and acoustic set) 114:02

    This portion of the disc is split into 3 sections, these being a live concert section, a promotional video section and a live acoustic set. The transfer quality of these various parts varies greatly.

    While much of the material presented on this disc is full frame 1.33:1, the live concert section is matted into what looks to be 1.85:1, however there is no 16x9 enhancement.

    The level of sharpness of the image is quite ordinary during the live concert section (as stated before). This is due to some fairly ordinary source material. As is the case with the first part of this DVD, shadow detail is dependant on the origin of the footage. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad and with such a large range of source footage, in the end what we do get is okay considering the circumstances. Low level noise (despite all the other problems with the video on this DVD) is not a real problem here.

    Colour use and portrayal is okay during this section of the programming with the main issue being some fairly poor quality images seen during the live concert section where the colour seems to be exaggerated at times and false colours come through.

    There are some MPEG artefacts to be seen at times during the program including some pixelization at 6:04. The ever-present edge enhancement is visible many times during the program and can be seen at 5:59 and 58:30 amongst other places. The main issues with the video quality of this disc is viable during the live concert portions of the material. This looks to be the result of a reasonably poor transfer to this DVD from a VHS master tape. Not all the material available on this disc looks to be affected by the myriad of artefacts seen during the concert section, but the concert portion is a real problem as is the acoustic set. The main issue affecting these sections is overabundant aliasing (7:53). Huge amounts of cross coloration (5:43, 79:47 as examples) are also present which, when combined with the aliasing present offers a image that shimmers, is lacking in sharpness, features non-accurate colouring (rainbow colouration everywhere) and, to be blunt, looks terrible. Thankfully, the rest of the disc is not affected by these problems and despite these problems, the subject matter to my mind overrides the transfer flaws. Also, bear in mind that the transfer problems affecting the live concert portion of the programme are also visible in the Visualize section where the same footage is used in the video section. As is seen at other times during the program, analogue tape tracking errors are visible and can be seen at 79:50, 81:19 and 99:00 as well as during the interviews in the Special Features portion of this title.

    The four subtitle options (French, German, Spanish and Italian) are the same for the whole disc and are not visible during the songs.

    This disc has one of the worst layer changes seen by this reviewer...ever. Want to put your player through its paces and see how good it is? Try this disc on for size and see if your player can render this horrendous layer change (seen at 21:32) invisible. It takes place mid song during the live concert section and stands out like the proverbial. If your can miss this change, then you're either blind or have the best DVD player known to man. Of all the places to put a layer change, this is most assuredly not it.

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

Audio

    There is only one audio track available, that being an English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded track. Considering the bit rate used on this title (192 kb/s), what we have in the end is adequate for the programming on this disc. While bands lip synching their own songs can sometimes be fairly obvious and at times flawed, the footage seen here seems to be quite good.

    The music is, of course, by Def Leppard who this time around set out to do things just a bit differently to what we've seen them do before. Perhaps one thing that hinders some of that experimentation by the band is the fact that for so long their music has been extremely consistent, both in terms of style and of production quality. With the boys thinking somewhat outside their usual square of style, the results may take a bit of getting used to. What isn't any different is their trademark impossible harmonies (which they make possible) and the unmistakable guitar style of Phil Collen. With this disc, we see the band starting on a re-evaluation of their style while still just a few steps away from the Pyromania / Hysteria sound.

    The audio for this disc is in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded, therefore any rear action that you'll get will have to be derived from your receiver's matrix processing. This being the case, what we do end up getting is a fairly weak atmospheric surround signal that is not overly audible. Perhaps Pro Logic II or NEO 6 or Logic7 or whatever you may have can do something with this 2 channel track, but in the end I listened to the disc in straight 2 channel mode with no surround effect.

    The level of low frequency sound in the material presented is well integrated and natural and complements the music well without being overly bass heavy.

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

Extras

    After the start-up menu which offers the viewer a selection of language options (which are for subtitles for the interview material only, not including English), the main menu is presented. This offers the choices of Visualize and Video Archive along with Special Features. This menu is animated and features audio in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded that loops every 54 seconds.

Visualize (video collection)

    The menu for this section offers the viewer a list of available songs and interviews which can be selected individually via the menu for instant viewing or you can select the Def Leppard - Visualize logo at the top of the screen to play the entire programme from beginning to end. This menu is animated and features audio in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded that loops endlessly every 1:09.

Video Archive (live concert, promotional videos, acoustic set)

    The menu for this section is the same as above with either individual tracks or the entire program selectable. The menu divides the three sections (live, videos, acoustic) so it's easy to pick the track you want as there are some multiple song versions available. This menu is animated with audio in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded and it loops endlessly every 60 seconds.

    The Special Features menu offers the following options:

Interviews: 9:19

    There are three different interview topics selectable here, these being:     These interviews are from the same interview that is featured in the Special Features on the Historia / In the Round disc. It is a shame that this total interview has been chopped up so much as it may have presented better if it was offered as a whole as it is the most up-to-date material on either of the discs. Be that as it may, it does still offer some interesting insight into the band and their past and future.

Discography:  9 Pages

    This feature presents the full list of albums by the band from their first LP through to their later work up to the album Euphoria. This disc was produced too early to include any details of their album X, which was released mid-2002. This is the same discography included in the companion title Historia / In the Round disc.

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 I am able to ascertain, this title is the same as that offered in Region 1. A PAL transfer and local affordability would make the R4 disc the version of choice.

Summary

    This disc completes quite a trilogy of titles concerning this interesting and influential band. Here we see the group beginning to rethink their style and sound and we have some different material from them while still maintaining a link to their highly popular past song list. As is the case with the first title in this series (Historia / In the Round) as well as the Hysteria (Classic Albums) disc, this is must-have stuff for any fan of the band. Highly recommended.

    The video is okay with some material suffering from some fairly glaring transfer problems, especially the live concert and acoustic sections, while other material fares better.

    The audio is reasonable and is easily listenable whilst not being anywhere near reference standard.

    The extras...well, really this whole title is one big extra with a wealth of material about the band on offer including videos (some with multiple versions) as well as a stack of live performances, interviews and archival footage. It is all a fan could want, and you will want it.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Sean Bradford (There is no bio.)
Tuesday, October 08, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic A300-MU, using S-Video output
DisplayHitachi CP-L750W LCD Projector. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V2090
SpeakersVAF DC-X fronts; VAF DC-6 center; VAF DC-2 rears; LFE-07subwoofer (80W X 2)

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