Robert Kinsler’s Music DVD Gift Guide – Part 1

by Robert Kinsler

With Christmas just around the corner, now is the time to pick up some outstanding music-minded multi-format releases new in 2015.

Here are some highly-recommend titles available on DVD and Blu-ray (and in some cases as a multi-format deluxe set).

rush_r40Artist: Rush
Title: R40 Live (Rounder)
You might like if you enjoy: Rush

Tell me more: For fans of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame trio Rush, the new release “R40” is an audio-visual keepsake of the highest order. The four-disc collection (featuring three audio CDs and 1 DVD)┬áis truly a celebration of more than 40 years of top-tier progressive rock. With the 2015 R40 tour reportedly marking the Canadian band’s farewell tour, “R40” is an excellent showcase for a band captured while still at the top of their game.

What’s more, the audio and video quality of the audio/video discs are amazing. Recorded over two nights in the hometown of singer-bassist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart, the concert film was caught via 14 cameras and really immerses the viewer in the moment. Information: concordmusicgroup.com.

beatles_1-plusArtist: The Beatles
Title: 1+ (UMe)
You might like if you enjoy: The Beatles

Tell me more: Even life-long fans of the Fab Four have not necessarily ever seen the full range of live performances and mini-movies featured on the Beatles’ “1+” CD/DVD (also available as a CD/Blu-ray version). The collection features a remixed version of the “1” greatest hits compact disc collection originally released in November 2000, as well as the accompanying videos for all 27 number one hits.

A second disc has an additional 23 videos that astound with their inventiveness and display of the Beatles’ obvious charisma (just watch the whimsical takes of “Day Tripper” and “Rain,” and the studio footage of “Hey Bulldog”). Not only is the restored video quality and remixed stereo and 5.1 audio amazing, but anytime you can gain an expanded appreciation of the greatest ever rock band of all time, take it. Information: thebeatles.com.

queen_a-night-at-the-odeonArtist: Queen
Title: A Night at the Odeon (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
You might like if you enjoy: Queen, Muse

Tell me more: A seminal performance from Queen at London’s Hammersmith Odeon on Christmas Eve in 1975 marked the first time the rock quartet ever performed a full-length concert live on television; now the concert first broadcast over BBC TV has been carefully restored to its full splendor and is available via DVD, SD Blu-ray, on audio CD and 2 LP vinyl. The DVD version reviewed by this writer is an incredible feast for the ears and eyes.

One of the highlights of the fast-moving performance is a flawless medley where the band opens with the beginning section of their now-classic song “Bohemian Rhapsody” before going into the shining “Killer Queen” and heavy metal-styled “The March of the Black Queen” before closing with a reprise of the final section of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Bonus features on the DVD include three tracks recorded in Budokan, Tokyo in May 1975 and a 22-minute documentary. Essential for Queen fans. Information: QueenOnline.com.

rolling-stones_roundhay-parkArtist: The Rolling Stones
Title: From the Vault – Live in Leeds 1982 (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
You might like if you enjoy: The Rolling Stones

Tell me more: The latest title in the Rolling Stones’ exciting “Live From the Vault” series of live performances from the band’s archive features their official release, “Live in Leeds 1982” that was filmed and recorded at Roundhay Park in Leeds, England on July 25, 1982.

The band is seen in a freewheeling 26-song set that includes beloved ’60s nuggets (“Under My Thumb,” “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” “Time Is On My Side”), timeless ’70s hits (“Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Miss You,” “Brown Sugar”), an inspired Eddie Cochan cover (“Twenty Flight Rock”) and even a rousing take of their blues gem “Black Limousine.” The collection features the performance across 2 audio CDs and also on a DVD (or Blu-ray) too. Information: eagle-rock.com.

martha-davis_the-motels-liveArtist: Martha Davis and The Motels
Title: The Motels Live (Vesuvio Entertainment)
You might like if you enjoy: The Pretenders, Concrete Blonde

Tell me more: When the legendary West Hollywood nightclub Whisky a Go Go wanted to celebrate their 50th anniversary in January 2014, the Sunset Strip venue booked Martha Davis and The Motels to perform. That special concert is now on DVD/Blu-ray, and fans of Davis’ groundbreaking rock will be thrilled when the singer-songwriter-guitarist and her band deliver an energetic set featuring favorites such as “Mission Of Mercy,” “Take The L,” “Suddenly Last Summer,” “Total Control” and “Only the Lonely.” This is a must have for fans of Davis. Information: TheMotels.com.

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