The Band-Band, The (Classic Albums) (1997)

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Released 22-Mar-1999

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 74:46
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Bob Smeaton

Warner Vision
Starring Rick Danko
Levon Helm
Garth Hudson
Richard Manuel
Robbie Robertson
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI $39.95 Music The Band

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame German MPEG 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English MPEG 2.0 (224Kb/s)
French MPEG 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Italian MPEG 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Spanish MPEG 2.0 (224Kb/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

    This is now the third Classic Album disc I have reviewed, and I have come to a conclusion. It doesn't really matter who is being studied, this series is about music, and the feelings, inspirations and memories that members of a particular group in question can relate to us. The Band is another band whom I am not at all familiar with; sure, I know some of their classics but I have never actually taken the time to listen to them in isolation. Perhaps I would not be as impressed with them if I did listen without knowing something about them, and this disc is the perfect place to start, or if you are a fan, the perfect place to end!

    The members of the band are remarkably articulate in their recollections, and it must be the style of the interviews or the questions chosen, but they seem to be very personable and warm with telling us what they were feeling, and why they did certain things. Again, we have the master multi-channel recordings dusted off and put through their paces, which I happen to love! Nowadays, of course, a song will be spread across maybe 32 tracks or more, and it is a howl to watch Robbie Robertson look at an entire song held on 8 tracks and say with some glee "it's all there!" This is the charm of this disc, and I enjoyed it very much.

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Transfer Quality


    As is the norm with the "Classic Album" series, the video falls into two camps - brand spanking new, and archival!

    The presentation is full frame, with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and it is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The recent footage is (typically for this series) wonderfully clear, detailed and sharp. The archival material is, well, all over the show, but is no fault of this disc.

    Colours in the recent footage are as usual perfectly clean and well saturated.

    There were no significant MPEG artefacts during this movie. Film-to-video artefacts are present in some shots given the very high mastering quality - detail sometimes comes with a price on our interlaced TV system, but it only happens a few times. Archival material has all the film artefacts under the sun, but again this is not the fault of the mastering of this disc.


    There are five audio tracks on this disc, all of which are MPEG 2.0 Stereo - French, English, Spanish, Italian and Dutch. I listened to the English soundtrack.

    Dialogue during the interviews was always easy to understand.

    Thankfully, there were no audio sync difficulties at all.

    The music is typical of its era, sometimes thin, sometimes bass-heavy, but always perfectly authentic sounding. I must say that I have renewed appreciation for MPEG audio encoding from these discs, because it seems quite transparent even at such a relatively low bit-rate. There are no instances of compression which you might associate with low rate lossy encoding, such as sibilance problems and high-frequency distortion. I only mention this because they could have used PCM at least for the English soundtrack, but I doubt it would be worth it for this kind of documentary. Anyway, a fine sounding production.

    I listened to this disc in straight stereo mode for maximum quality.

    My passive subwoofer helped occasionally, but was otherwise still.


    This disc is in essence one big extra anyway!


    As usual for this series, you choose your language and hold on to your seat. No chaptering, textual notes or menu enhancement of any kind. I feel that the presentation needs to be turned up a good couple of notches, and if you want to know what I would like, try Sarah Brightman-In Concert on for size.

R4 vs R1

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

    Apart from the R1 using Dolby Digital instead of MPEG audio, both versions appear to be identical. The R4 version would therefore be the preferred choice given the superiority of the PAL system, though in this case only minimally.


    Another fine documentary of an apparently classic band! I am still waiting for one on Pink Floyd!! Anyone?

    The video quality is generally top-notch.

    The audio is of the same variable quality as the video, and is perfectly acceptable.

    No extras, not even chapters.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Paul Cordingley (bio)
Tuesday, December 28, 1999
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic A-350A, using S-Video output
DisplayPioneer SD-T43W1 (125cm). Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player.
AmplificationSony STR DE-525 5x100 watts Dolby Pro-Logic / 5.1 Ready Receiver; 4 x Optimus 10-band Graphic EQ
SpeakersCentre: Sony SS-CN35 100 watt; Main & Surrounds: Pioneer CS-R390-K 150-watt floorstanders; Subwoofer: Optimus 100-watt passive

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