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Image Entertainment presents
Roy Orbison Live From Australia (1972)

"I love you and I'm dreamin' of you, but that won't do / Dream baby, make me stop my dreamin', you can make my dreams come true" 
- Roy Orbison, singing Dream Baby

Review By: Jon Danziger   
Published: April 29, 2005

Stars: Roy Orbison
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 00h:50m:46s
Release Date: April 05, 2005
UPC: 014381076127
Genre: rock

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ B+B-B+ C

DVD Review

The hits just keep on coming from Image for us Roy Orbison fans. This disc features a 1972 Orbison concert held in Melbourne, and broadcast on Australian television the following year; unless you were tuning in down under thirty-two years ago, you haven't seen this. And if you're an Orbison fan, it's certainly worth a look—Orbison puts his greatest hits through their paces, and there are couple of notable additions to the set that make this particularly memorable.

Everybody's got a little Elvis in them, and here Roy is showing off his—he's wearing a white jumpsuit, has the big sideburns, and on the back of the stage is a huge electric sign screaming out ROY ORBISON that's on for pretty much the whole show. His backing band is decked out in tux jackets and big hair; there's a full orchestra, heavy on the strings, in on the action as well. The shoot itself is pretty pedestrian, but Orbison is in great voice, and seems to be having a good time; he just goes from song to song, without any banter or chit chat with the crowd. But he's got the set list to back this up—Dream Baby is especially perky here, and Orbison shows off his guitar skills particularly on Mean Woman Blues.

What may be most interesting about this concert are a couple of covers that Orbison performs, songs we don't associate with him. His rendition of Wilson Pickett's Land of 1000 Dances rocks, and his high falsetto and delicate tones make him especially well suited to sing Bridge Over Troubled Water, which sounds lovely. He has a fine time on Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline, and of course the inevitable conclusion and the encore are Orbison's signature song, Pretty Woman. And when the running time is up, here are the sixteen reasons to watch it again:

Only the Lonely
Dream Baby
In Dreams
Mean Woman Blues
Too Soon to Know
Penny Arcade
Blue Bayou
Land of 1000 Dances
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Running Scared
Sweet Caroline
It's Over
Oh, Pretty Woman
Oh, Pretty Woman

What's this I see? She's walking back to me.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: The video quality is certainly subpar; there's lots of contrast from the source material, which seems to have been sitting on a shelf in Melbourne for three decades. The transfer is adequate, given those constraints.

Image Transfer Grade: B-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: Your home theater setup will determine which of the available audio tracks is right for you; Roy sounds fine on all of them, though the 5.1 track seems a little overmixed.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Music/Song Access with 16 cues and remote access
1 Documentaries
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. photo gallery
  2. DVD credits
Extras Review: An accompanying documentary (21m:28s) features new interview footage with members of Orbison's band, consisting principally recollections from the road, and of the huge crowds that swarmed Roy all over the world. A video restoration demonstration (02m:24s) gives side-by-side comparisons; the picture may not be crystalline, but it's a whole lot better than it was. There's also a photo gallery, which is little more than two dozen images of Orbison backstage, drinking, smoking, smiling, and just generally being a rock star.

Extras Grade: C


Final Comments

A vintage Roy Orbison performance, the highlights of which may be a couple of especially inspired covers of songs we don't usually associate with him.


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