Simply Red-Greatest Video Hits (2002)

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Released 15-Oct-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Animation & Audio
Programmable Track Selection
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 108:38
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (57:31) Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Mick Hucknall
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI ? Music Mick Hucknall


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Bursting onto the music scene with the stunning debut album Picture Book in 1985 that featured the hits Money's Too Tight (To Mention) and the sublime and soulful Holding Back The Years, Simply Red have produced some truly memorable hits over the last 17 years. Flamboyant front man Mick Hucknall knows how to write a great song and this was certainly evident during the next 10 years. Following Picture Book came Men and Women in 1987 featuring the songs Infidelity and The Right Thing. 1989 saw Mick Hucknall and Co. truly hit the big time with the phenomenally successful album A New Flame, which, in addition to the fantastic title track, included such gems as It's Only Love, If You Don't Know Me By Now, and You've Got It. Stars came along in 1991 with another title track gem, and other hits like Something Got Me Started, Thrill Me, and Your Mirror. Mick could do no wrong and even garnered further publicity for having a ruby in a tooth in place of a filling (I believe he currently has a diamond in said cavity!). Another album, Life, released in 1995, saw the songs Fairground and So Beautiful get airplay. A "greatest hits" compilation in 1996 and slightly less successful albums Blue (1998) and Love and The Russian Winter (1999) rounded out the decade. Simply Red's songs are smart, with splendid love ballads that are never corny or overly sentimental. They exhibit a certain sassy, exuberant quality that leaves you wanting more of the same. This collection delivers that in spades.

    This collection of Greatest Video Hits mirrors much of the 1996 Greatest Hits CD release. The packaging is very similar, with the dominant red colour, and the same photo of Mick Hucknall on the cover. Of course, one of the great advantages that DVD enjoys over CD is the greater capacity, which translates to longer running times. This collection sees the 15 songs contained on the CD joined by another 11, giving a total of 26 music videos. Great value all round.

    This superb collection contains the following music videos:

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Track Listing

1. Money's Too Tight To Mention
2. Come To My Aid
3. Holding Back The Years
4. Open Up The Red Box
5. The Right Thing
6. Infidelity
7. Maybe Someday
8. It's Only Love
9. A New Flame
10. If You Don't Know Me By Now
11. You've Got It
12. Stars
13. Something Got Me Started
14. Thrill Me
15. Your Mirror
16. For Your Babies
17. Fairground
18. Never Never Love
19. Remembering The First Time
20. So Beautiful
21. We're In This Together
22. Angel
23. Say You Love Me
24. The Air That I Breathe
25. Ain't That A Lot Of Love
26. Your Eyes

Transfer Quality

Video

    With a career that started out in the early 80s, there is a wide variety of video quality on offer here. Thankfully, most of it is better than average.

    A couple of various aspect ratios pop up here. Although the earlier songs are shown in 1.33:1 full screen, several of the later videos are letterboxed widescreen (Never Never Love 1.66:1, Remembering The First Time 1.78:1, The Air That I Breathe 1.78:1, Ain't That A Lot Of Love 1.78:1, and Your Eyes 1.85:1). There is no 16x9 enhancement. Generally the sharpness level is quite good, with no real edge enhancement noticeable. The earlier videos suffer from excessive grain and some poorer shadow detail. There is no low level noise.

    Colours  are well saturated. Again the later and newer material is better represented, with some really bold and vibrant shades, especially on Angel. The earlier videos, and some of the live performances, are a little washed out, with poorer shadow detail affecting the colour as well. I saw no MPEG artefacts. There were few other artefacts of any note, though I did see some obvious aliasing during So Beautiful at 79:33, on some wires; on the floor during The Air That I Breathe around 99:00; and on some railings at 100:58 during Ain't That A Lot Of Love.

    Subtitles! Yes, there are English subtitles for all the songs. Want to have a sing-a-long? It's easy, and these are presented in nice easy-to-read typeface. The only criticism I would make is that they sometimes appear on screen just a fraction of a second too late to join in properly.

    This is a dual layered disc, complete with RSDL formatting. The layer change occurs at 57:31, right between Thrill Me and Your Mirror. Music video discs usually offer the best chance to hide layer changes, and this is no exception, with a change that is almost invisible.

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

Audio

    There is only one audio soundtrack on the disc. It is a very nice Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 soundtrack. Naturally enough, this is the track of choice.

   A quality soundtrack all round, it is perhaps a tad conservative for those of us fed on a healthy diet of 5.1 surround mixes. It really doesn't seem to matter all that much. The music is sheer quality and the PCM track will allow you to enjoy it just how it was meant to be listened to. It is clean and powerful, offers a wide dynamic range with clear and concise vocals.

   There is no discrete surround or subwoofer use.

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

Extras

Menu Animation & Audio

    Audio of the track The Air That I Breathe.

Programmable Track Selection

    Now this is a neat feature. Just as a CD player allows you to program any number of tracks in any order for a personalised playback, so does this feature. It allows you to select up to six songs and have them played back in that order, without having to touch another button. Neat - though a shame it's only six.

R4 vs R1

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

    I couldn't find any references to this disc being available in region 1. The Region 2 disc is identical to this one.

Summary

    This is a classic example of precisely how a music video collection disc should be packaged. Sure, the lack of meaty extras is disappointing, but the sheer volume of videos, the quality of the soundtrack, and the neat programmable track selection feature more than make up for that. Fans of Simply Red will find the decision to pick this disc up a certain no-brainer.

    The video is as expected given the age of some of the source material. The newer material is excellent.

    The PCM soundtrack offers a restrained and somewhat conservative audio experience.

    Highly recommended for even a passing fan of the talented Mick Hucknall and Simply Red.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Monday, October 21, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5106DO, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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