Neil Young

Silver & Gold

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Details At A Glance

Category Music Theatrical Trailer(s) None
Rating Other Trailer(s) None
Year Released 2000 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 62:22 Other Extras Web Link
RSDL/Flipper Dual Layer
Cast & Crew
Start Up Movie
Region 2,3,4,5,6 Director L.A. Johnson
Warner Reprise Video
Warner Vision
Starring Neil Young
Case Super Jewel
RPI $39.95 Music Neil Young

Pan & Scan/Full Frame None MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement
Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s)
English (Linear PCM 48/20 2.0, 1920Kb/s)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking No
Subtitles English Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, credits roll during the closing song

Plot Synopsis

    Neil Young has been around a long time. This particular programme was recorded very recently, during a solo tour, and when I say solo tour, I mean solo. On stage along with Neil Young are assorted acoustic guitars, a piano, an organ and a couple of harmonicas. That's it. No backing band, no backing singers, nothing. This is intimate Neil Young and Neil Young alone.

    Neil Young is not particularly animated during this program. In fact, he remains more or less static unless he is moving between instruments. The audience clearly loves him, although the repartee between himself and his audience is extremely limited indeed. He just basically sits there, plays his guitar and harmonica and sings. I guess that's his style, however it does mean that in order to really enjoy this program, you would need to be a die-hard fan of the man to begin with - casual fans need not apply.

    One particular thing that I found a tad odd about this programme was the fact that one of the camera operators seemed to have an unnatural fascination with Neil's harmonicas, as we get lots of close-up shots of Neil wetting and cleaning them. Still, I guess it's better than being in the front row and being covered in spittle.

    The tracklisting is as follows;
1. Intro
2. Looking Forward
3. Out Of Control
4. Buffalo Springfield Again
5. Philadelphia
6. Daddy Went Walkin'
7. Distant Camera
8. Red Sun
9. Long May You Run
10. Harvest Moon
11. The Great Divide
12. Slowpoke
13. Good To See You
14. Silver & Gold

Transfer Quality


    This DVD is very unusually presented. It is presented on a dual layer DVD. One layer contains a 1.78:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced version of the transfer. The other layer contains a 1.78:1 aspect ratio non-16x9 enhanced version of the transfer. They're both widescreen - it's just that one is 16x9 enhanced and the other is not. This is an unusual formatting decision to say the least. Still, at least the disc is widescreen and it is 16x9 enhanced. It pretty much goes without saying that I watched the 16x9 enhanced version of the transfer.

    The transfer is very sharp and very detailed. In fact, it is often too sharp, giving this transfer a very harsh look. Edge enhancement has been used a little to excess in this transfer, and in combination with the very stark and basic lighting scheme employed, the resultant look is often quite harsh and unpleasant. Having said that, the upside of this is that there is a great deal of detail revealed in the foreground of this transfer. Shadow detail is essentially non-existent, with everything but the starkly lit foreground being more or less completely black. This is clearly a deliberate design choice on the part of the lighting designers of this live show, but it does get a bit much on the eyes at times. There is no low level noise in the blackness, fortunately.

    The colours were generally very basic, with only a few examples of extreme blue, purple and red lighting on offer. Generally, Neil Young was lit in white, so the foreground image generally was quite natural-looking colour-wise. There was a very small amount of chroma noise evident when the rear cyclorama was completely blue-lit, but generally the transfer was free of this artefact. In fact, the definition was remarkably good when monochromatic lighting was used. Notable in this regard was Out Of Control, a heavily red lit song which is nonetheless extremely well-defined. No colour bleeding was apparent at all.

    There were no MPEG artefacts seen in this transfer. Aliasing was a minor problem, mainly as a result of the excessive sharpness inherent in this transfer, and many objects shimmered subtly throughout the transfer. There were a number of disappointing momentary lapses of focus throughout this program, and one jump in the image at 19:54 which looked like it occurred because the offending camera had been hit accidentally.


    There are two audio tracks on this DVD; an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and an English Linear PCM 48/20 2.0 soundtrack. I listened to the 5.1 soundtrack but sampled the 20-bit PCM track as well, which sounded fundamentally the same as the 5.1 soundtrack.

    The 5.1 soundtrack was encoded at a very high level, and I listened to it at 5dB below my normal listening level. It was very bright and somewhat harsh sounding.

    Neil Young's vocals were always clear and easy to understand, within the limitations of his laconic style of delivery. There were no audio sync problems. There was, however, a considerable amount of hiss to be heard in the soundtrack, which significantly distracted from it at times.

    The surround channels had little to do. This was very much a front hemispheric mix, with even crowd noises predominately mixed into the left and right front channels rather than into the rear channels. As such, it was not at all an enveloping soundtrack.

    The .1 channel also had little to do during this transfer other than during one song involving the organ, where it contributed a little support to the bottom end of the soundtrack.


    There are essentially no extras on this DVD.


Web Link

    Merely a screen giving the URL of Neil Young's web site.

R4 vs R1

    This DVD appears to be identical in both Regions.


    Neil Young-Silver & Gold is definitely one for Neil Young fans. Others may not find this all that accessible.

    The video quality is passable, albeit a little harsh and oversharpened.

    The audio quality is acceptable.

    There are virtually no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Michael Demtschyna (read my bio)
27th July 2000

Review Equipment
DVD Lenoxx DVD-725B, using S-Video output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Hsu Research TN-1220HO subwoofer