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Image Entertainment presents
The Best of Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band So Far... (1989-1997)

"I get by with a little help from my friends."
- Ringo Starr

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: October 29, 2001

Stars: Ringo Starr, Dr. John, Levon Helm, Joe Walsh, Todd Rundgren, Randy Bachman, Peter Frampton, Felix Cavaliere, Jack Bruce, Gary Brooker, Simon Kirke
Other Stars: Clarence Clemons, Billy Preston, Nils Lofgren, Burton Cummings, Dave Edmunds, John Entwistle, Paul McCartney
Director: Michael Drumm

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (musical drug references)
Run Time: 01h:33m:26s
Release Date: October 23, 2001
UPC: 014381082821
Genre: rock


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A ABA+ D+

DVD Review

When I was a youngster, Ringo was always my favorite Beatle. Maybe it was the underdog, put-upon persona that he cultivated in the Beatles' movies and in the Saturday morning cartoons. Anyway, though not the most accomplished Beatle musically, Ringo certainly understood entertainment. In the years since the Beatles, he has surrounded himself with the best musicians in the business, and this disc brings forth a goodly number of the performances of his aptly named "All-Starr Band" over the last dozen years.

It's no surprise that the disc features nearly every song that Ringo did as lead vocalist with the Beatles, omitting only Octopus' Garden of the notable songs. His post-Beatles hits are also well-represented here.

But Ringo doesn't hog center stage either. His guest 'starrs' do quite a few numbers that they made hits, in the process producing a nice sampler of rock from the 1960s and 1970s, with Dr. John, Randy Bachman, Joe Walsh and Todd Rundgren taking the stage and running with it. Although Walsh's voice isn't what it was (suffering from a version of Roger Daltrey Range Reduction, he now can hit about one and one-half notes), but his guitar playing still more than makes up for it just fine. That's what they have backup singers for. Thankfully, Ringo's voice is just as good as it ever was, making his numbers quite enjoyable. One of the highlights is Jack Bruce's rendition of Cream's classic Sunshine of Your Love, complete with a fabulous guitar duel.

Culled from five different concert appearances in Los Angeles, Liverpool, Montreux, Japan and Pine Knob, Michigan, the photography is amazingly agile. In Don't Go Where the Road Don't Go, the camera is shifting angles constantly, giving the impression that there must have been dozens of cameras filming. The result is never boring and quite interesting at times.

It's nice to get a reminder that there are still people playing real Rock & Roll out there, elderly as they may be. And hey, if underdog Ringo can end up with this band and Barbara Bach, there's hope for the rest of us, right?

Songs (all with Ringo Starr as lead vocalist unless otherwise indicated):

Honey Don't
Iko-Iko
- Dr. John
The Weight- Levon Helm
Photograph
Don't Go Where the Road Don't Go
Rocky Mountain Way
- Joe Walsh
The No-No Song
Bang the Drum All Day
- Todd Rundgren
You're Sixteen
Yellow Submarine
I Wanna Be Your Man
Groovin'
-Felix Cavaliere
You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet- Randy Bachman
Boys
It Don't Come Easy
Sunshine of Your Love
- Jack Bruce
Norwegian Wood- Peter Frampton
A Whiter Shade of Pale- Gary Brooker
All Right Now- Simon Kirke
Act Naturally
With a Little Help From My Friends


Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Most of the program is 1.33:1, although the shot-on-video intros are framed at 1.66:1; the closing credits are also squeezed so that they appear properly on a 16:9 set, in order to put the credits at the right. Usually rock concerts look terrible, but this is much better than most. Colors are good and black levels are in general excellent. The source is clearly video, however, for there are quite a few incidents of jaggies and the like. The video intro is very much lacking in clarity, but the main program is outstanding for picture quality among concert films.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes
DTSEnglishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Well, DTS devotees are not going to be happy about this... the full-bitrate DTS sounds virtually identical to the 448 kbps DD 5.1 track. Pleasantly, both are mixed and presented at identical volume levels, making an A/B comparison very easy, and repeatedly switching from one to another I was at a loss to distinguish the two tracks. They are both excellent, with thumping bass, terrific presence, clear vocals and no distortion (except when intentional) or clipping. The sound makes one feel like you're right there in the hall with the massive speakers pounding at you. I didn't really notice much obvious directionality, but the audio is definitely immersive. There is a complete lack of hiss or extraneous noise. If you want a disc that makes all six of your speakers work hard, all the time, this is the disc for you. The 2.0 Dolby Surround track is mixed at a much lower level, but even after correcting for volume it lacks the expansiveness and depth of the 5.1 tracks.

Audio Transfer Grade: A+

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 23 cues and remote access
Music/Song Access with 21 cues and remote access
Packaging: other
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL
Layers Switch: 54m:13s

Extra Extras:
  1. Alternate 2.0 version of Yellow Submarine
Extras Review: The sole extra is an alternate version of Yellow Submarine, set to a compilation of numerous different performances of the song. Chaptering is appropriate, and the layer change is well-placed between songs. No subtitles or anything else.

Extras Grade: D+

 

Final Comments

A hard-rocking and highly enjoyable collection of some of the greats of the 1960s and 1970s, with a superb audio transfer and an acceptable video transfer. Not much for extras, but definitely a must for fans of music from this era.

 


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