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S.R.O. Entertainment presents
Pop Legends Live! Concert Collection (2007)

"It was never a struggle or a task to be in front of people. It was very comfortable."
- Gary Lewis

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: August 30, 2007

Stars: The Association, Gary Lewis and The Playboys, Gary Puckett
Director: Michael Macari, Bruce Colgate

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 03:41m:08s
Release Date: June 26, 2007
UPC: 032031425491
Genre: music


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C+ C+B-B- C

DVD Review

Here's a three-disc set of reminiscence featuring three separate "oldies" concerts, one each by Gary Puckett, The Association and Gary Lewis & The Playboys, all of whom had their fair share of chartoppers in the late 1960s. The concerts were recorded circa 2005 at the Stamford Center For The Arts in Connecticut, and none run over an hour in length, with Gary Lewis the shortest at just 43 minutes. Periodically the concerts will be interrupted by a brief interview segment with the artist recalling a relevant fact about their history, and then it's back to the music. It's a flashback dose of classic hits, presented in that disheartening way that has aging pop stars morphing into some sort of lounge act mutation of their former selves.

The crowds do sound appreciative, but the performances err on the side of being blandly jive, with really none of three coming anywhere near the vocal prowess or poppy spunk of the olden days. And that's why age is such a bitch slap to musicians, because where as an actor can adapt to "older" roles, the example of these three trying to vainly hold on to the glory days is kind of sad. Gary Lewis, as a well past middle-aged guy in leather pants singing that "this diamond ring doesn't shine for me anymore" now seems depressing, as much as an equally aged Puckett crooning "young girl, get out of my mind" has a To Catch A Predator feel nowadays.

The biggest headscratcher here is on Puckett's disc (minus The Union Gap), with a song selection that focuses a lot on other people's songs, often moreso than his own. There's a cover of Elvis Presley's American Trilogy and Crosby, Stills & Nash's Love The One You're With. His versions are neatly arranged, and serve as tolerable wedding band caliber performances—and while the variety is certainly surprising there isn't any fire here whatsoever.

The other two concerts split the difference, as The Association dig out matching white suits and spread across the stage, churning through no less than two versions of their big number one hit Windy. And for all the manpower the best moment comes from the syrupy Cherish, which like Puckett has a polished wedding band veneer to it. Gary Lewis & The Playboys finds frontman Lewis in a gaudy shirt and the aforementioned leather pants, coming across as a likeable guy who now owns a slightly whiny singing voice. He does get to take over on drums during Look Through Any Window, and while he seems to be genuinely having fun his vocals pull up way short.

Gary Puckett
58m:07sSet List:
Lady Willpower
Over You
Don't Give In To Him
Love The One You're With
This Girl Is A Woman Now
Runaround Sue/Oh Pretty Woman
Woman, Woman
American Trilogy
Kiss Him Goodbye
Young Girl

The Association
01h:00m:00sSet List:
Just About The Same
Windy
Everything That Touches You
Years Of Trying
Six Man Band
Never My Love
One Too Many Mornings
Walk Away Renee
No Fair At All
Enter The Young
Cherish
Along Comes Mary
Windy

Gary Lewis & The Playboys
43m:16s
Set List:
Count Me In
Without A Word Of Warning
Everybody Loves A Clown
This Diamond Ring
Save Your Heart For Me
Sure Gonna Miss Her
Little Miss Go Go
Green Grass
Look Through Any Window
Sealed With A Kiss
She's Just My Style

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: C+

 

Image Transfer

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


Image Transfer Review: All three concert discs are presented in 4:3 fullframe, though the concerts are actually letterboxed. Colors are warm and nicely rendered, though audience shots are quite dark. Some periodic grain and a bit of color smear in spots, but fair overall.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: Dolby Digital 2.0 is the sole audio option on all three titles. Presentation is not as widely nuanced as if this were issued in 5.1, but vocals are clean while instrument separation is modest. Not much in the way of any bottom end, but the vibe is pleasant without being overpowering.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 39 cues and remote access
Music/Song Access with 39 cues and remote access
2 Documentaries
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
3 Discs
3-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: This three-disc set comes packaged in three separate Amaray cases, inside of a flimsy top-loader slipcover. The artwork for each performer is nearly identical, with color themes being the primary difference. Bonus material on the Puckett disc consists of an extended interview entitled Gary Puckett: Unedited (29m:43s), while the Gary Lewis disc has A Conversation With Gary Lewis (19m:50s). The Association disc carries the same "Bonus Interviews!" blurb on the cover, but there is no supplemental material to be found.

Extras Grade: C

 

Final Comments

The price is a little steep on this oldies trilogy, and as much as I love the original hits by all three of these performers these concerts are kind of blandly Branson-ized. These don't necessarily taint the magic of those classic songs, but they largely lack the same kind of pop innocence they once had.

 


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