Judas Priest-British Steel (Classic Albums) (Warner Vision)

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Released 6-Aug-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Rock In Rio (1991): Grinder
Featurette-Living After Midnight
Featurette-Breaking The Law
Featurette-Rapid Fire
Interviews-Cast-Scott Travis (Drums)
Featurette-Early Gigs
Featurette-Naming Of Album / Artwork
Featurette-White Room Story
Featurette-Rock 'n' Roll Stories
Discography
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production ?
Running Time 49:40 (Case: 110)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Tim Kirkby
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Rob Halford
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $39.95 Music Judas Priest


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Dutch
French
German
Italian
Portuguese
Spanish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    For those who need some historical background on this band, Judas Priest were in a nutshell one of the bands that followed in the footsteps of Black Sabbath. In 1975, punk and pop were becoming all the rage, and thus any album with as many layers to it as Sabotage, the album Sabbath released during that year, was bound to be dismissed as self-indulgent. So, the race was on to find bands that could be considered Sabbath-related, but also had a poppy, minimalist sound which would fit into the new, narrower-ranged music business that was emerging. Judas Priest had all the necessary ingredients to make an adequate successor to a band that, dark and scary as their music might have been, were hitting serious internal troubles.

    The appearance of Rob Halford, Judas Priest's original vocalist, in this documentary in spite of the fact that he has been more-or-less a solo artist since 1993, brings shades of John Lydon's comment about the Sex Pistols reunion tour to mind. You half-expect Halford to burst out with a very nasal accent, saying "I knew where all the real talent lay - me!" or something very much like that.

    Anyway, what is interesting about this documentary is the number of simple tricks that were used for the sound effects that were used in some of the songs. The simple use of cutlery or bullwhips made for a nice contrast to such "artists" as Nine Inch Nails, where you've basically got a million dollars worth of sound effects and production in search of a song. Other amusing tidbits include the guitarists talking about what a different thing it was then to have two guitarists.

    If you want to see some of the quirkier aspects of producing a singular album, then British Steel is well worth checking out.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    The source materials on this DVD range from very recent to about twenty-six years old. With that in mind, this is an excellent transfer that leaves me with no hesitation in recommending the disc to fans.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and is 16x9 Enhanced.

    The sharpness of the contemporary footage is excellent. The studio interviews with Rob Halford in particular have such a lifelike appearance that it is hard to believe there's only five hundred or so vertical lines of information in the picture. The sharpness of the stock footage of Judas Priest playing on various shows and at various stages is of more variable quality, with the Rock In Rio footage being particularly abysmal in this regard. The shadow detail is also very good, although not really anything to write home about when it is needed, such as during the concert footage. There is no low-level noise.

    The colours in the contemporary footage are excellent in quality, having plenty of definition and balance. As the material ages, the quality of the colour gets a little worse, but the surprise here is that the Rock In Rio footage, which is only ten years old, is worse in terms of colour than some of the material that is getting close to three decades old. Aside from this section of the transfer from 34:25 to 34:35, the colours are excellent.

    MPEG artefacts are not a problem in this transfer. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some minor aliasing on scaffolds and on the lines on Marshall amplifiers, which are notorious for having plenty of areas that cause problems for interlaced displays. Film artefacts were not found during the interview footage, but they come up with a vengeance during the older footage, with plenty of black and white marks to pepper the archival footage.



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

Audio

    There is only one soundtrack on this DVD: the original English dialogue in Dolby Digital 2.0 with a bitrate of 192 kilobits per second.

    The dialogue is very clear and easy to understand once you adjust to the very British accents of the cast and crew, so there's little to complain about in this regard. There are no discernable problems with audio sync. The only real problems with the audio at all came during the Rock In Rio footage, with background hiss making itself a big nuisance from 34:25 to 34:35.

    The music in this documentary is all the work of Judas Priest.

    The surround channels are not specifically used by this soundtrack. The subwoofer was not specifically used, either, but received a great deal of redirected signal to support the bass and drums.



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

Extras

Menu

    The menu is heavily animated and accompanied by Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. It is 16x9 Enhanced.

Featurette - Rock In Rio (1991): Grinder

Featurette - Living After Midnight Featurette - Breaking The Law

Featurette - Rapid Fire

Cast Interview - Scott Travis (Drums)

Featurette - Early Gigs

Featurette - Naming Of Album / Artwork

Featurette - White Room Story

Featurette - Rock 'n' Roll Stories

    Contrary to what the chapter listing under the extras menu might imply, these little bits and pieces are all encoded as the one featurette in the aspect ratio of 1.78:1, with 16x9 Enhancement, and Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. Again, the sound and video quality that plagued the small segment of footage from Rock In Rio is a major issue with the Rock In Rio chapter here. Even when the thirty-six minute and ten second length of this featurette is taken into account, the contents of the disc still fall well short of the claimed 110 minute running length.

Discography

    A listing of every album Judas Priest have released, from 1974's Rocka Rolla to 2001's Demolition.

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 have been able to determine, this disc is identical all over the world, save for the usual PAL and NTSC differences.

Summary

    Fans of Judas Priest will be interested in this DVD.

    The video transfer is excellent, save for some less than optimal archival footage.

    The audio transfer is very good.

    The extras are comprehensive.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Dean McIntosh (Don't talk about my bio. We don't wanna know.)
Monday, July 30, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using S-Video output
DisplaySamsung CS-823AMF (80cm). Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationSony STR DE-835
SpeakersYamaha NS-45 Front Speakers, Yamaha NS-90 Rear Speakers, Yamaha NSC-120 Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Active Subwoofer

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