DVD. A rather tight arsed 47 minute 'best of' two 1991 VHS video
releases, 'The Essential Steve Morse', and 'The Complete Styles
Of Steve Morse'.
Steve has previously released three one-hour tutorial videos,
which are worth cataloguing before looking at the DVD version.
Power Lines REH Video / Warner Brothers,
REH816. 1989. All music performed solo by Steve. Came with booklet.
The Complete Styles Of Steve Morse DCI Music Video Productions,
VHO102. Released with book and audio-cassette, or book and cd.
The Essential Steve Morse DCI Music Video, VHO101. Released
with book and audio-cassette, or book and cd. 1991.
about Highlights seems cheap... the fact that it's a very
short feature based on a 1994 VHS video compilation, that the
bonus footage doesn't even feature Steve, that BB King's liner
notes are re-used without changing names, and so on, right down
to the shoddy card case that it's housed in.
I'm glad I bought it. The sleeve notes contain familiar looking
hyberbole such as: "The Steve Morse Band is featured in several
burning performances." But they're right. The Steve Morse
Band performances, recorded in a New York TV studio in 1991, do
burn. They are brilliant, and can be sequenced to run consecutively
in a 'performance-only feature' which omits Steve's tutorials.
In all they come in at just 12 minutes, with the jawdropping jazz-rock
work-out 'Cut To The Chase' playing over the opening titles, the
insanely wonderful 'Simple Simon' and blue-grass styled 'Gina
Lola Breakdown' , and finally 'Cruise Control' sadly faded after
the end credits, just as it's getting going.
The dvd is
largely aimed at intermediate level guitarists, so Steve's tuition
pieces make up the bulk of the feature. Though I enjoy his demonstrations,
he's a rather
unfocused speaker. In his
narrative to camera he plainly struggles to describe his guitar
watching guitarists wishing to learn something the most useful
sections are the band performances, with camera
angles suited to watching Steve's hands at work.
In the end
it's one for completists only (like me, hello,) especially as
the new 'Sects Dregs
& Rock'n'Roll' dvd offers so, so much more. It does
score points for the well filmed live action, and for featuring
the current Steve Morse Band line-up with Dave LaRue and Van Romaine.
(Van evens gets a short drum solo!!..) If it compiled all three
VHS tuition videos together in their entirety, I'd heartily recommend
it. (They're still available, but very expensive). Really, it's
an opportunity missed.
picture quality is for the most part fine,
though it could be sharper. It is unsurprisingly in regular
4:3 aspect. The sound is sharp, though bog standard Dolby
disc is multiregion NTSC, so if you're in a PAL area you
may still be able to view it.