The Scorpions-Acoustica

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Released 6-Aug-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Making Of
Music Video-When Love Kills Love
Music Video-Send Me An Angel
Music Video-Hurricane 2001
Featurette-When Love Kills Love Rehearsal Edit
Featurette-The Early Days
Featurette-Career Highlights
Featurette-The Songs
Featurette-The Acoustic Flying V
Featurette-The Voice
Featurette-Looking Back
Featurette-The Future
Discography
Biographies-Cast
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production ?
Running Time 113:03 (Case: 157)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Klaus Meine
Ralph Rieckermann
James Kottak
Rudolf Schenker
Matthias Jabs
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $39.95 Music The Scorpions


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles German Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    If you are anything like me, you will remember the early 90s and the haunting sounds of the "Wind of Change". The Scorpions released this song in a time of political turmoil and the re-uniting of what was then East and West Germany, a time of change that was close to the heart of this German band. The Scorpions have an excellent combination of emotion and power in their songs - be they sorrowful ballads or jaunty rock classics. In their outstanding 30 year career they have sung most genres and, more importantly, they have sung them well.

    Unfortunately not a lot of the Scorpions excellent material has made it to Australian shores, which is very surprising given the quality of tracks presented on Acoustica. The songs that most of us will be familiar with, whether or not you have attributed the singing to the Scorpions, would be the aforementioned "Wind of Change" and "Send Me An Angel". I must admit that I was not a "fan" of this band at all, in fact the only song that I had credited to the Scorpions was "Wind of Change". With my limited knowledge in hand I was very surprised to find this band had a 30 year history and had released 19 albums.

    Acoustica was recorded live in Lisboa, Portugal. In fact the concert was performed in an ancient Portuguese monastery. Acoustica is a single live performance that was recorded and released in both DVD and CD format (just my opinion - get the DVD). The performance lasts for nearly two hours and covers songs from the entire career of the Scorpions. Moreover, all songs were given new arrangements for the live (unplugged) performances, incorporating additional musicians and instruments for a full-bodied sound. Klaus Meine has a very powerful, and unique, voice that rises above the music and lays the lyrics out for all to hear. The performance of the ensemble band is excellent throughout and is captured superbly by this DVD.

    The Scorpions are a very well-known band throughout Europe, the U.S, and (apparently) Portugal. It is unfortunate that their material has received limited airplay in Australia. Hopefully, this DVD can raise their profile somewhat. If you want a refreshing rock performance then don't hesitate, buy this DVD.

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Track Listing

1. Loving You Sunday Morning
2. Is There Anybody There
3. The Zoo
4. Always Somewhere
5. Life Is Too Short
6. Holiday
7. You And I
8. When Love Kills Love
9. Tease Me, Please Me
10. Dust In The Wind
11. Send Me An Angel
12. Under The Same Sun
13. Rhythm Of Love
14. Back To You
15. Catch Your Train
16. I Wanted To Cry
17. Hurricane 2001
18. Wind Of Change
19. Love Of My Life
20. Drive
21. Still Loving You

Transfer Quality

Video

    On initial examination this appears to be a superb video transfer. Under closer scrutiny, it lapses into merely being very good. Not that very good is bad - far from it in fact. This transfer is marred slightly by MPEG artefacts and interlacing problems.

    The video is presented in the 16x9 enhanced ratio of 1.78:1. This would appear to be another DTV recording judging by the lack of film artefacts.

    The sharpness of this transfer is a mixed bag. Close shots and most mid-range shots show a high level of detail. The same cannot be said for long shots - they are often quite poorly detailed. This is most noticeable in long shots of the audience where it is difficult to discern individual people. Long shots of the stage also have limited detail on display. Shadow detail is generally good, although in some of the long shots shadow detail does drop a little. I am uncertain if this is a fault of the transfer or the recording. I suspect that the transfer is at fault as some scenes have excellent levels of detail on offer.

    There are some problems with colour bleed evident in this transfer. Klaus Meine's feet are lost in a blue haze at 26:30 and 40:45 when the stage is illuminated by powerful stage lighting. Apart from the few instances of colour bleed, the remainder of the transfer has nicely saturated colours - just don't expect them to leap out of the screen.

    MPEG artefacts are fairly numerous throughout the transfer. Pixelization is obvious mostly in the audience (9:15 on a young lady's face is a good example) and a swinging stage light also causes fairly nasty pixelization at 71:26. Posterization is evident on Klaus Meine's face at 8:40, 10:39, and a few other occasions throughout the feature.

    Aliasing and interlacing problems occur frequently throughout this transfer. Aliasing is obvious on cymbals, instrument stands and even Klaus Meine's jacket. Interlacing artefacts are also obvious in some boom shots of the stage. These overhead shots show all the performers on stage and there are noticeable interlacing artefacts on legs, instruments stands and even a cello. One example of this can be found at 34:19 for a few seconds.

    There are limited subtitles available with the extras presented on this disc. However, they are only in German so I could not verify their accuracy.

    This disc is RSDL formatted. It is quite noticeable, occurring during applause, but not distracting.

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

Audio

    There is not a lot to say about the audio transfer on this disc, because it is close to reference quality. The only thing preventing a reference quality rating is a somewhat low bass presence in the DTS mix and VERY minor dialogue distortion in the Dolby Digital 5.1 and Linear PCM tracks. This DVD is one where it can be safely said that the DTS mix is better than the Dolby Digital. The DTS mix offers a very immersive soundfield and exceptional instrumental clarity and is very impressive indeed. It is soundtracks like this that make me very happy I have a 5.1 sound system.

    The bass presence actually decreases as you move through soundtrack options. The PCM track has very impressive bass presence, the Dolby Digital a little less so, and the DTS less again. Be aware that the bass in the DTS mix is not poor, in fact the bass is very sharp, well defined, and makes it's presence felt. It just could have been a little better.

    There are three audio tracks available on this disc. A Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 track at 1536kbps, a Dolby Digital 5.1 track at the higher bitrate of 448kbps, and a DTS 5.1 soundtrack. I listened primarily to the DTS mix, sampling a number of tracks in Dolby Digital and briefly listened to the PCM track.

    I previously mentioned the slight distortion in the vocals on the Dolby Digital and Linear PCM tracks. I must emphasise that this is very minor and only made obvious by the crystal-clear DTS mix. Audio sync is fine throughout - there is no miming here.

    The music is what this DVD is all about and it is superbly presented. The 5.1 mix engineers have done an excellent job with an open soundfield, providing constant surround activity. You are placed right in the middle of the concert experience. The surround presence is well-suited to the music. Generally, percussion is placed in the surround channels, but it is done subtly. This is one transfer where switching to the PCM track really disappoints as there is simply no comparison to the 5.1 mixes.

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

Extras

    There are a decent selection of extras presented on this disc. All extras are 16x9 enhanced with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and 224kbps Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. The quality of the audio and video of the extras is very pleasing, comparable to the main feature.

Menu

    The menu is nicely themed and 16x9 enhanced. The menu system is quick and responsive with no long pauses for overly long animation.

Live | Songs Only

    This option allows you to play the concert, without any chatter between songs. This cuts about 15 minutes off the running time of the feature

Featurette - Making Of (13:55)

    Outlines why the Scorpions chose Portugal for their concert performance. There are also some rehearsals as well as general band information presented. There is some interesting content here and it is well worth the inclusion.

Music Videos (17:48)

    A selection of Music Videos that have audio taken from the concert and video that shows various montages of the concert, countryside and other such things. The songs presented are "When Love Kills Love" (4:04), "Send Me An Angel" (5:07), "Hurricane 2001" (4:23) and "When Love Kills Love" (Rehearsal Edit - 4:14). Nothing really exciting here.

Featurette - Interview Bites (11:09)

    An interesting selection of interviews with assorted members of the original band. Some very interesting stuff in here and well worth a look. The titled interviews are "The Early Days", "Career Highlights", "The Songs", "The Acoustic Flying V", "The Voice", "Looking Back", and "The Future".

Discography

    The usual listing of albums and hit singles.

Biography

    I guess you could call this a Scorpions timeline. Outlines all the important dates and the turning points the band have been through.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     This DVD is not available in R1. 

Summary

    The Scorpions-Acoustica is an outstanding concert performance presented on an exceptional DVD. I would recommend it to everyone who enjoys rock music, and especially for fans of the band.

    The video quality is a little disappointing

    The audio quality is excellent, coming ever-so-close to a reference quality rating.

    The extras are very good but there is a little room for improvement.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Nick Jardine (My bio, it's short - read it anyway)
Tuesday, August 14, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayRCA 80cm. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS787, THX Select
SpeakersAll matching Vifa Drivers: centre 2x6.5" + 1" tweeter (d'appolito); fronts and rears 6.5" + 1" tweeter; centre rear 5" + 1" tweeter; sub 10" (150WRMS)

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