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Image Entertainment presents
Roxy Music: Live at the Apollo (2002)

"There's a band playing on the radio
And itīs drowning the sound of my tears
They're playing 'oh yeah' on the radio"

- lyrics from Oh Yeah!

Review By: Rich Rosell  
Published: October 23, 2003

Stars: Bryan Ferry, Andy Mackay, Phil Manzanera, Paul Thompson, Chris Spedding
Other Stars: Colin Good, Zev Katz, Lucy Wilkins, Julia Thornton, Sarah Brown, Yanick Etienne, Lizzie Carlin, Sophie Pateman, Katie Turner, Anna Vollands
Director: Julia Knowles

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:48m:37s
Release Date: July 08, 2003
UPC: 014381008722
Genre: music

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ B+A-A- B

DVD Review

Art school hipsters Roxy Music, who somehow made the transition from the early 1970s glam rock period to become mature, rock mainstays, had not performed together live as a band since 1983. That is, until their 2001 reunion tour, which is captured here during a performance at London's Hammersmith Apollo Theater. The reunited band, led by vocalist Bryan Ferry, the man who oozes martini-swilling well-dressed cool, along with original members Phil Manzanera, Paul Thompson, and Andy Mackay—as well as a large onstage outfit featuring legendary British session guitarist Chris Spedding—seem to have emerged from a rock-and-roll time capsule completely unscathed.

Reunion tours often drip of desperation, and more often than not tie in to some uninspired new material that somehow never contains the same magic as good old fan favorites. Roxy Music didn't subscribe to that tired trick this time around, and instead wisely treated the 2001 tour as a simple "best of", and they effortlessly trot out 22 of their bigger hits (though the absence of personal favorites More Than This and Over You are minorly disconcerting). There's no new material to slow down the pace, and the band lays out the familiar stuff one after another, for nearly two hours.

There isn't much in the way of flashy, unneeded visual gimmicks on the part of director Julia Knowles, though there is an overused technique of running the camera back and forth quickly along a track at the rear of the theater that loses its dramatic impact after about the third or fourth time it is used. For the most part, we get the expected appropriate closeups of Ferry, Mackay, or Manzanera, accented by shots of the other band members jamming away happily. The editing comfortably matches the sometimes jazzy art-pop flow of the music, and is neither overly frenetic or painfully static.

There's a hip Vegas vibe to the whole performance, thanks to the frilly showgirl dancers who appear during the final few songs, and the band's prolonged closing For Your Pleasure, with its one-by-one musical goodbye from each member, plays out with a grown-up grooviness that lesser bands might not have been able to have carried with as much cool. For those curious, this is largely the exact same show that the band did on their brief 2003 tour, which I had the good fortune to see in July in Chicago. If you missed it, here's your second chance.

Set List:

Street Life
While My Heart Is Still Beating
Out Of The Blue
A Song For Europe
My Only Love
In Every Dream Home A Heartache
Oh Yeah!
Both Ends Burning
Mother Of Pearl
Dance Away
Jealous Guy
Editions Of You
Virginia Plain
Love Is The Drug
Do The Strand
For Your Pleasure

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Image has issued Roxy Music: Live at the Apollo in an absolutely gorgeous 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, the kind that rises way above the usual visual flaws seen on a lot of concert discs. Crisp, well-balanced colors, even under the assorted stage lighting scenarios, are the order of the day, devoid of any smearing or bloom, with image detail that is razor sharp. No grain, nicks or compression issues to be found here.


Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: For your listening pleasure, you have your choice of two mighty fine sounding audio mixes, in either Dolby Digital 5.0 or DTS 5.0, both of which are virtually identical. The absence of a dedicated .LFE channel is trivial, as both mixes provide enough deep, resonant bass to more than suffice. Bryan Ferry's vocals are clean and distinct, balanced evenly, and just above, the instrumentation. No fluctuating high end, no soggy bottom end, this is as good of a live recording as I've heard in a long while.

An adequate 2.0 surround track, decidedly less full than the other two mixes, is also included.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 23 cues and remote access
Music/Song Access with 22 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Documentaries
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: The included untitled backstage documentary (17m:03s), which is available with optional subtitles in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese, follows the band from rehearsals to a press conference to backstage, with no formal narration outside of soundbites from Andy Mackay, Phil Manzanera, and Bryan Ferry. Though there is a little Roxy history thrown in, it's not a particularly insightful piece, but it satisfies that fanboy desire to see a band going through the paces of getting ready for a show.

The disc is cut into 23 chapters, and include English subtitles to help you sing along with the band.

Extras Grade: B


Final Comments

One of rock's suavest acts proves that they still can deliver the familiar goods like the youngsters they once were. Bryan Ferry is still in great voice, and remains an enjoyably dashing and debonair frontman.

And if the music itself wasn't good enough for you, the image transfer is a beaut, matched by an audio mix that is outstanding.



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