Oasis-...There and Then (NTSC) (1996) (NTSC)
|Year Of Production||1996|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, closing titles over pans across the audience|
Following on the heels of the Beatles and Rolling Stones, Oasis is a British rock band featuring a few young men (including brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher) with funny accents, catchy songs, and an appeal that goes beyond their country of origin. Their first album Definitely Maybe was released in 1994 and sold over 4 million copies in the UK but success across the Atlantic puddle had to wait until the second album (What's The Story) Morning Glory? which peaked at #4 on the Billboard charts and had two #1 singles. The band also had at least 15 minutes of fame through the off-stage antics of the brothers, which involved sibling rivalry, feuds with other bands and drug use. The band then went a bit quiet and there were rumours of a break-up, but they resurfaced in 1997 with a third album Be Here Now. The boys then calmed down a bit, got married and started families and got off the drugs and alcohol. Oasis is still around today (albeit with some changes in the band line-up), a few years and a few albums later - the latest being Standing On The Shoulder (sic) of Giants. Oasis has obviously retained a core group of loyal fans - as evidenced not only from their fairly comprehensive official web site but from fan sites as well.
The boys in the band are joined by Mark Feltham playing the harmonica and a brass section (mainly trumpets and saxophone) during track 9 (Round Are Way). Tracks 12-14 include a string ensemble. Live Forever seems to be a tribute to various (dead) icons such as Martin Luther King and John Lennon, whose images are projected onto the back of the stage. I Am The Walrus is a cover of the Beatles song and seems to be a tribute to them, including additional musicians acting as "bootleg Beatles" wearing uniforms similar to that in St. Peppers. The band is also accompanied by a brass section and various other instruments including harmonica and violin in this song. Finally, there's a stuck note at the end of track 18 (Cum On Feel The Noize) that I found intensely irritating.
To my surprise, I actually enjoyed some of the songs. They are a bit repetitive and monotonous, but curiously catchy. I particularly liked Noel's guitar solo in Champagne Supernova. Some of the songs are quite exhilarating, notably Champagne Supernova, I Am The Walrus and Cum On Feel The Noize. It's a pity the band members have no sex appeal whatsoever - the Gallagher brothers seem to have personalities like wet fish (well, that's a bit unfair - I have met some pretty interesting fish) and look really daggy in their grunge outfits.
I'm not sure I like the juxtaposition of various interview snippets between the songs. The snippets are too short to be meaningful and seem rather pointless. I would have preferred them to be included as a separate featurette.
|1. Program Start|
2. Swamp Song
6. Some Might Say
7. Roll With It
8. Morning Glory
9. Round Are Way
|10. Cigarettes & Alcohol|
11. Champagne Supernova
12. Cast No Shadow
14. The Masterplan
15. Don't Look Back In Anger
16. Live Forever
17. I Am The Walrus
18. Cum On Feel The Noize
There's quite a lot of aliasing present in the transfer, to the point of annoyance. This is particularly noticeable around the microphone, guitar strings and cables. There are also various instances of pixelization, mainly around the drums. I suspect the video transfer has been downconverted from PAL to NTSC (what a shame!).
This is a pretty basic disc - single sided single layered with no subtitles.
I found the dialogue in between songs to be rather hard to understand (mainly because of the strong accents) and it was also difficult following the lyrics of the songs. A subtitle track would have been most helpful.
The Dolby Digital track is mastered at a relatively loud level (about 3 dB higher than normal) and features rather aggressive use of the surround speakers. For instance, I can clearly hear audience noises in all speakers. I was initially quite impressed but then realized that this is not really a remix but a stereo track that has undergone some artificial surround processing, as some high frequency musical content (notably the cymbals) have also migrated to the surround speakers. The cymbals aren't very natural sounding, either. I Am The Walrus (track 17) in particular has most of the high frequency content of the brass instruments and violin migrating to the back surround speakers - very disconcerting.
The PCM audio track in comparison is mastered at a much lower level (at least 6 dB lower than the Dolby Digital track) but sounded terrible when I increased the volume - it seemed to lack dynamics and has rolled off top and bottom ends. It sounded like it was transferred off a film optical track or a bad video tape rather than from a digital source. I would have expected the PCM audio track to be roughly CD quality and I was really disappointed.
|Surround Channel Use|
I wasn't looking forward to reviewing this disc, but I have learnt to appreciate Oasis. However, I still wouldn't call myself a fan - the music is not really my cup of tea. Then again, a cup of tea is not really my cup of tea either, but that's another story.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-626D, using Component output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (203cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Front left/right: B&W DM603; centre: B&W CC6S2, rear left/right: B&W DM601|