Hard Vision

November / December 2010


Leonard Cohen’s “Lonesome Heroes” (Pride)

This release is an “independent review” that is not licensed or authorised by Leonard Cohen or his record label. In other words, it’s not an official product. Now, I’ve had the unfortunate task of having to review a number of releases such as this. Most of the time, these unofficial products are nothing more than a series of interviews with people who have some sort of connection to the artist in question. They don’t usually amount to much. It’s just something that’s thrown together to make a quick buck off an already established name. To my suprise, that’s not the case here. This release goes into great detail on Leonard Cohen’s career as a poet and as a musician. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no expert when it comes to Leonard Cohen’s career. But, after viewing this release, which has a run time of 110 minutes, I think it’s safe to say that everything was covered. I couldn’t find a website address anywhere on the package. So, I’m not sure where you can pick this one up. But, if you’re a fan of Leonard Cohen’s work, I can honestly say that it’s worth the effort to seek this DVD out and add to your collection.

America’s Music Legacy “Rock ‘N Roll” (MVD Visual)

I just spent the last 120 minutes watching this DVD and, in all honesty, I can’t even begin to describe just how great I thought it was. Now, I believe the concert that’s featured here was recorded in the early 80’s and I’m not sure if it’s ever been released before or not. But, it’s here now and it’s available on DVD and, without a doubt, it’s a MUST HAVE addition to your music collection because this is what rock ‘n’ roll is all about. Today, we call this music “golden oldies,” which is a term that I don’t really agree with because, when I hear that term, all I really hear is the world “old” and, when it comes to music, I don’t believe it becomes “old.” Good music doesn’t grow old. It doesn’t age. It’s timeless. I will admit that there’s a few tunes on here that didn’t really age all that well and they didn’t do too much to excite me. As far as performance goes though…WOW…are you in for a music lesson. You get to see some good stuff here like The Coasters doing “Charlie Brown” and “Yakety Yak” and The Crystals doing “Then He Kissed Me” and “Da Doo Ron Ron.” But, the real highlight here comes during the middle of the show when Chubby Checker goes through a collection of material that includes “Blueberry Hill,” “Good Golly Miss Molly,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’,” “Shake Rattle & Roll,” “Hound Dog,” “I Saw Her Standing There” and, of course, “The Twist.” Watchin’ Chubby tear up the stage…and tear it up he does…is worth the price of admission alone. Well…wait a minute…I could say thing about Bo Diddley’s performance because it was a real thrill watchin’ him rip it up with tracks like “Hey Bo Diddley” and “I’m A Man.” I was in a different world when I was watching his performance. I totally forgot about any of that “modern” music that I happen to listen to on a regular basis. Throw in performances by Fabian, Lou Christy, Leslie Gore, The Diamonds and Little Anthony…and you have a viewing experience that’s just…ah…there’s no way to really put it into words. Let me just repeat myself by saying that this is a MUST HAVE addition to your music collection. This is a DVD that you will watch over and over and over again. I guarantee it.

I have another DVD here from the same series. So, we might as well mention that one as well. Now, the “Rock ‘N Roll” DVD was a stage performance in front of a very large crowd. The performance that’s featured on “Rhythm & Blues” is a bit smaller in scale. It’s a small club with a small audience. So, it’s more up close and personal. It’s a good release for what it is. It didn’t do much for me personally because I wasn’t really into the artists that were featured here. The best performance, in my opinion, was Sam Moore doing “Soul Man.” Scatman Crothers was also fun to watch. Other artists include Billy Eckstine, Ruth Brown, Billy Preston, Gloria Lynne, Sheer Delight, Brook Benton, Mary Wells and O.C. Smith. If you’re a fan of any of these artists, you’ll enjoy this release. For me, I’ve gotta go with “Rock ‘N Roll.” I just can’t seem to get enough of that one.

The Sacred Triangle – Bowie, Iggy & Lou 1971-1973 (Sexy Intellectual)

You would think that a DVD that features David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed would be something worth watching, right? Well, think again. I lost interest about 35 minutes into the program because it just seemed to drag on and on. Maybe it’s just me, but, I didn’t feel any excitement in the viewing experience, which I thought was kind of odd because, let’s face it, these three men aren’t exactly boring subjects to talk about. They have a history and they have all left a mark in the music world. The interviews seemed kind of…I don’t know…BLAH! The only time I found myself interested in the program was when they would switch to old video footage of Bowie, Iggy or Lou. I found myself thinkin’ that I wish there would have been more of that (the old footage) and less talking. My opinion, well, I don’t think this release is for the casual fan. You might have to force yourself to sit through the entire program. It was a bit of a struggle for me. Now, if you’re a hardcore fan…the one who has to have everything that’s ever released…this release will probably float your boat.

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