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Image Entertainment presents
Three Dog Night: Live With the Tennessee Symphony Orchestra (2000)

"The ink is black, the page is white
Together we learn to read and write..."

- lyrics from Black and White

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: May 30, 2002

Stars: Cory Wells, Danny Hutton
Other Stars: Jimmy Greenspoon, Michael Allsup, Paul Kingery, Pat Bautz
Director: Sandra Harris

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:24m:52s
Release Date: May 21, 2002
UPC: 014381137729
Genre: music

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ A-A-A- D

DVD Review

1974 was the year I attended my first rock concert, at the age of fourteen, and it was Three Dog Night. Cory Wells, Danny Hutton and Chuck Negron had a seemingly endless string of hit singles in the 1970s, and the only time their albums left my turntable was when I was listening to my other favorite at the time—Elton John. To say that Three Dog Night have remained one of my guilty pleasures well into adulthood would be a very true statement, one that resurfaced after watching this concert disc from Image.

Time has splintered the original lineup, with the departure of Chuck Negron, and his well-documented descent into near-fatal drug abuse that was revealed in his openly honest autobiography Three Dog Nightmare (a recommended read if you're a fan). This concert, from 2000, features only Hutton and Wells from the original three, with nary a mention of Negron whatsoever, which I found kind of unsettling. Guitarist Michael Allsup and keyboardist Jimmy Greenspoon, also from the group's heyday, are joined by drummer Pat Bautz, bassist Paul Kingery (who joined the touring band in the 1980s), and most unusually, the Tennessee Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Larry Baird.

Recorded at Tennessee's Renaissance Center, before a generally enthusiastic (if not slightly aging) crowd, just about all of the Three Dog Night classics are trotted out here, with the added thematic boost of having the orchestra give some of the songs a fresher, more mature sound. Liar, for example, gets a whole new intro, reminiscent of Holst's The Planets Suite, and it gives the song a lift.

In between songs there are occasional snippets of pre-recorded interviews with Wells and Hutton, typically offering some type of lead in to the next song. Production values are strong during the concert segments, though there are a few cheesy video effects that are pretty much unnecessary.

Hutton and Wells still sing the material exceptionally well, and if you were ever a fan of their music, then you won't be disappointed.

Set List:
Black and White
Eli's Coming
Brickyard Blues
Mama Told Me Not Come
Out in the Country
Never Been to Spain
Sault Ste. Marie
Old Fashioned Love Song
Try a Little Tenderness
Family of Man
Easy To Be Hard
Joy to the World

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: A-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Presented in 1.33:1 full-frame, the concert performance looks exceptionally good. Colors are deep and rich, with dead-on black levels. Some of the audience shots show a bit of grain, but the footage of the band looks excellent. Clean and blemish-free.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: Woo-hoo! Three Dog Night in DTS! If I had to pick one selling point of this disc, it would have to be the DTS audio transfer, which is big and booming. Instrument separation is very pronounced (listen to the orchestral Liar overture if you need proof), and there is a real spatial fullness to the track that isn't there on the included 5.1 mix. Audience sounds fill the rear channels, with the songs dominating the fronts.

A tepid 2.0 mix is also provided, and should be avoided if you have the choice.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 18 cues and remote access
Music/Song Access with 18 cues and remote access
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Photo gallery
Extras Review: Each song is its own chapter stop, which is nice, but other than that the only extra is a 01m:40s automated photo gallery of images from the night the concert was recorded.

Extras Grade: D


Final Comments

Fans of Three Dog Night, and I know you're out there somewhere, will find plenty to like on this disc. Hutton and Wells sound good, and the orchestra really fills out some of the songs. A strong DTS mix and a fine blend of classic 1970s radio hits make this the ideal pop flashback.

A no-brainer recommendation for Three Dog Night fans.


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