follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Warner Home Video presents
The Very Best of Cher: The Video Hits Collection (2004)

"Through the darkest nights,
We see the lights shine bright,
When heroes fall, in love or war, they live forever..."

- Cher, singing Song for the Lonely

Review By: David Krauss  
Published: July 07, 2004

Stars: Cher
Other Stars: Chrissie Hynde, Neneh Cherry, Eric Clapton, Winona Ryder, Christina Ricci
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (suggestive imagery, skimpy costumes)
Run Time: 57m:12s
Release Date: June 22, 2004
UPC: 603497018420
Genre: music

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A C+A-A D-

DVD Review

You may not love Cher, but you've got to respect her. In the trendy, fickle world of pop music, Cher has been a fascinating fixture for more than 30 years. Changing musical tastes haven't fazed her—like a phoenix, she rises from the ashes over and over, reinventing herself to adapt to current fads. No one would ever call her a great singer, but few, if any, pop divas can match her results: a string of notable hits in each of the past four decades, and the supreme distinction of topping the pop singles chart at the almost grandmotherly age of 52 (the oldest woman in history to do so)—quite an achievement in an industry that tirelessly promotes and celebrates nubile youth. Yet through it all, Cher's basic image has remained the same, and the outrageous style, ebullience, and energy that first put her on the map continue to seduce and enthrall audiences the world over.

The Very Best of Cher: The Video Hits Collection showcases that musical magnetism with 15 of the superstar's best loved and most identifiable performances. Like snapshots in an album, the slickly produced, often dazzling videos instantly identify the time, place, and social timbre of the day, and the non-linear presentation keeps the playlist fresh and interesting. There's the disco-infused techno-pop of Believe and Strong Enough; the hopeful message of Song for the Lonely, Cher's post-9/11 salute to New York City; and the screaming electric guitars, big hair, and omnipresent boy-toy Rob Camilletti that defined her late-'80s renaissance. Even her scantily clad, scorching rendition of Half-Breed from The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour in 1973 is included. By putting her musical career in perspective, the disc helps us appreciate its breadth and longevity, and recognize Cher as a true survivor.

Throughout this smorgasbord, Cher's smoky, throaty twang is always front and center, but she surprises with a few well-sung ballads to temper all the belting. One By One is especially affecting, allowing Cher to show off her wispy upper register, and though the singer projects a soulful passion on Main Man, the video's syrupy focus on boyish squeeze Camilletti dilutes the impact. Fans also will be delighted by the American debut of Love Can Build A Bridge, a Europe-only charity single exquisitely performed by Cher, Chrissie Hynde, and Neneh Cherry (with an instrumental assist from Eric Clapton).

For pure fun, check out the infectious, '60s-flavored Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss) (from Mermaids) or revel in the defiant independence of the revenge anthem Save Up All Your Tears. And for a real flashback, how about a rail-thin Cher in a flowing white Indian headdress (designed by Bob Mackie, no doubt) perched atop a horse singing Half-Breed. Is it really possible that memorable sequence was taped 31 years ago?

Visually, Cher's videos ooze with pomp and panache. The black-and-white Walking in Memphis intercuts Cher's effective Elvis impersonation with stylish shots of the star singing on the steps of a bus, while Heart of Stone takes a personal stab at the painful nature of tabloid journalism through home movies and news clips of husbands Sonny Bono and Gregg Allman, as well as Camilletti. The late-'80s selections may date poorly—even provoking titters (how long did it take, one often wonders, to tease Cher's mane to such voluminous degrees?)—but the driving music and Cher's full-throttle delivery make us forgive the frequent lapses in taste. So what if the woman who's a favorite subject of drag queens sometimes resembles one herself? Who cares if If I Could Turn Back Time is merely a multi-million-dollar glorification of her shapely 40-year-old ass? Cher relishes selling herself and we're eager consumers, hungrily devouring the images and egging her on to push the envelope further.

Although many Cher favorites didn't make the disc's final cut (I, for one, wish the cleverly animated Dark Lady video had been included as a companion to Half-Breed), Warner has managed to hit the highlights and provide a thoughtful overview of Cher's solo career.

Time has marched on, but thanks to talent, perseverance, and a little plastic surgery, Cher remains ageless. And this excellent video collection proves over and over there's no one on earth quite like her.

If I Could Turn Back Time
Save Up All Your Tears
Walking in Memphis
One By One (Dance Remix)
Main Man
I Found Someone
Strong Enough
Song for the Lonely (Almighty Remix)
We All Sleep Alone
Heart of Stone
The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)
Dov'e L'Amore
Love Can Build A Bridge
(with Chrissie Hynde, Neneh Cherry, and Eric Clapton)

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: C+


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: Crisp, smooth, and often possessing marvelous depth, the transfer earns high marks across the board. Colors are rich and well saturated, while the black-and-white videos benefit from a varied gray scale and striking contrast. Even the Half-Breed clip from 1973 looks fresh and vibrant. Nice work, Warner.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: The DD 5.1 audio is guaranteed to rock the room, with a pulsating presence, exceptional fidelity, and a warm surround feel. Bass frequencies are prominent, but never overwhelm the music, and even the older tracks sound as full, clear, and dimensional as the more recent songs. A little volume goes a long way, but it's hard to resist the urge to crank this track up.

Equally satisfying, the Dolby stereo option offers the same crystal audio with plenty of depth, range, and lack of distortion.

Audio Transfer Grade: A


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Music/Song Access with 15 cues and remote access
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Warner includes no extras on this disc.

Extras Grade: D-


Final Comments

No doubt about it, Cher is an American original, and this classy collection of video hits showcases her unique talent and appeal. With top-notch image and audio quality, and a slew of memorable tunes, this disc will leave her legion of admirers clamoring for a second volume, and might just convert a small army of new fans, too. Recommended.


Back to top

Microsoft Store

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store