new EMI DVD is the third video release of the 1969 Concert
Sadly it doesn't contain any more footage than either of
its predecessors, but it is certainly worth buying again.
The Concerto was originally filmed by British Lion Films,
and edited down to a 52 minute programme eventually broadcast
by BBC2 in April 1970 as "The Best Of Both Worlds".
This DVD is not taken from the 35mm film footage but is
actually the edited television video master. Therefore it
misses an orchestral chunk from the First Movement (just
before Blackmore's guitar work out), and part of Paice's
drum solo. The film masters (most probably complete) were
unfortunately stored in colour separated reels, and as a
consequence restoration was well beyond EMI's budget for
the project. Still, let's look at what we have got..
though it's a little soft in places, the picture quality
is actually very clear, a big improvement on the video tapes,
though the format differences may account for a lot. What
really hits you is the incredible sound quality, extremely
sharp. For me it was like hearing and seeing the show for
the first time, which is what I would want from any DVD
of already familiar material. So rather than gathering snippets
for a detailed review, I ended up just sitting back and
becoming engrossed in the whole thing.
attended the 1999 Concerto, the differences between the
two nights are striking. In 1969 the (mostly young) audience
downstairs are standing, much as at Proms concerts, making
for a very close atmosphere in the hall. The orchestra for
the most part seem unimpressed by the view in front of them,
both of the virtually unknown young band letting rip, and
beyond them the tightly packed ranks of teenagers dancing
to the rockier parts of the music.
band themselves all play extremely well, and it's interesting
to see just how integrated the two newcomers from Episode
Six are. Personally I much prefer the band's contribution
in the 1969 Concerto to the 1999 repeat, particularly the
fabulous sound from Blackmore's Gibson. The supposedly duff
performance of the orchestra has never bothered me, and
already mentioned, the DVD contains the full "Best
of Both World" TV broadcast, including a fascinating
opening three minute introduction. (Not listed in the package...
more about that later..) After the opening titles (drunkenly
letracetted at some wacky angles) this shows clips of the
afternoon rehearsals; conductor Malcolm Arnold chatting
with Jon Lord, and Deep Purple running through 'Child In
Time'. If only more existed.
Sadly we don't get to see Deep Purple's 'More Shades..'
Concerto support slot at all, it simply wasn't filmed.
for extras, we get an audio commentary by Jon Lord, recorded
in 2001. It's an interesting listen. The photos are ok,
though I still don't really see any use for them.
the packaging. I quite like the acid mock poster cover,
the front of the original programme reproduced for the internal
leaflet, and the Harvest logo on the disc. Unfortunately
attention to detail is lacking elsewhere, with Gillan's
photo missing from said leaflet. Not good.
apart, I know I'll be playing this DVD more than I ever
played the videos and previous audio releases; it has never
looked or sounded better.