Music DVD Gift Guide at the Ready

by Robert Kinsler

Looking for some perfect gift ideas? A number of bona fide classic rock legends are featured in new releases available on DVD and Blu-ray.

rolling-stones_from-the-vaultsArtist: The Rolling Stones
Title: From the Vault: Hampton Coliseum – Live in 1981 (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
You might like if you enjoy: The Rolling Stones, Ronnie Wood, Mick Jagger

Tell me more: The recent release of The Rolling Stones’ outstanding 2-1/2 hour concert “From the Vault: Hampton Coliseum – Live in 1981” serves as a celebration of the Rolling Stones’ ever-growing legacy. Restored footage and the newly remixed audio by Bob Clearmountain, the title is available on DVD (reviewed here), Blu-ray, as well as on audio CD and vinyl. Mick Jagger’s strong vocals and Ronnie Wood’s blistering guitar on a cover of Eddie Cochran’s “20 Flight Rock,” an infectious “Miss You” and the extended sax work from Bobby Keys (who died earlier this month at age 70) on a rollicking “Brown Sugar” are among the many highlights across the concert film. Information: eagle-rock.com

big-star_live-in-memphisArtist: Big Star
Title: Live in Memphis (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: Big Star, Cheap Trick, Matthew Sweet

Tell me more: Twenty years after the surviving members of power-pop outfit Big Star joined forces with several members of the Posies to perform in Big Star’s hometown of Memphis, a stellar DVD release of the farewell Oct. 29, 1994 concert has been released. The original concert was captured with four cameras, and includes singer-guitarist Alex Chilton and drummer Jody Stephens leading the quartet through some of the band’s greatest songs.  An enthusiastic crowd roars as the band performs genre-defining songs such as “In the Street,” “Don’t Lie to Me” and the “September Gurls.” “Live in Memphis” is also available on audio CD and as a 2-LP release on vinyl. A must-have release for the power-pop faithful. Information: OmnivoreRecordings.com.

eric-clapton_planes-trains-and-ericArtist: Eric Clapton
Title: Planes, Trains and Eric (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
You might like if you enjoy: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Cream

Tell me more: Inter-cutting behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with 13 full-length performances of many of his best-known songs, Eric Clapton’s “Planes, Trains and Eric” was filmed on Slowhand’s tour of his Far and Middle Eastern leg earlier this year. At 69, Clapton is still on the top of his game with his guitar playing and vocals capable of thrilling large audiences, and the strong performances are enhanced by a that band includes bassist Nathan East, drummer Steve Gadd, keyboardist Paul Carrack and other outstanding musicians. Highlights include the blues-heavy version of “Crossroads,” an acoustic version of “Layla” and a tender “Tears in Heaven.” Information: eagle-rock.com.

the-doors_feast-of-friendsArtist: The Doors
Title: Feast of Friends (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
You might like if you enjoy: The Doors, the Zombies

Tell me more: Although it has been more than 43 years since the death of singer Jim Morrison, interest in The Doors is seemingly as strong as ever. Now fans of the legendary L.A. rock quartet can get their hands on “Feast of Friends,” a self-produced Doors film that is widely available for the first time. The first (and only) film produced by the band itself, filming on “Feast of Friends” began in April 1968. Not only is the original feature restored and soundtrack remixed, but the release (available on DVD and Blu-ray) also includes the British documentary “The Doors Are Open” and rare footage as bonus features. Perhaps the most anticipated prize on the collection is “The End,” a feature that was filmed in Toronto in August 1967 and is widely considered among the best performance of the band ever captured on film (and not seem in the U.S. since its broadcast on “The Now Explosion). Information: eagle-rock.com.

wonderwallTitle: Wonderwall (Shout! Factory)
You might like if you enjoy: George Harrison, The Beatles’ “Magical Mystery Tour”

Tell me more: “Wonderwall” is one of the more interesting films of the psychedelic era, primarily because the Joe Massot-directed flick saw its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 1968 and the film’s score was composed by George Harrison and recorded by an impressive ensemble of musicians including Harrison, Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton. The music reflects the Quiet Beatle’s interest in Indian classical music, with sections both experimental and beautiful in support of the film’s creative arc. The 2014 collector’s edition of the restored film includes the original theatrical version of the movie as well as a re-edited Directors Cut with music from the original “Wonderwall” sessions never included in the original release, and other bonus material.  Information: ShoutFactory.com.

vinylTitle: Vinyl (Shout! Factory)
You might like if you enjoy: Mike Peters, The Alarm, Big Country

Tell me more: Modern rock insiders know well the story of The Poppy Fields, a fictitious teenage group invented by ’80s hitmakers The Alarm. The Alarm scored a hit titled “45 RPM” in 2004 but used a young band called The Wayriders as the face of The Alarm in a music video. During a BBC broadcast in 2004, Alarm frontman Mike Peters revealed the hoax himself and ultimately helped showcase the industry’s discriminatory emphasis on youth. That real-life story proved to be the inspiration for a great 2012 British comedy titled “Vinyl” now available on DVD. Starring actor Phil Daniels as a washed up rocker who recruits a bunch of young lads to hookwink deejays and record industry types, the story itself in heartwarming while the stirring soundtrack was written and performed by The Alarm.  Information: Shoutfactory.com.

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