Image Entertainment presents
Phil Collins: Live and Loose in Paris (1998)
"I can feel it coming in the air tonight."- Phil Collins
Stars: Phil Collins, Daryl Stuermer, Nathan East, Brad Cole, Luis Conte, Ricky Lawson
Other Stars: Arnold McCuller, Amy Keys, Harry Kim, Ronnie Caryl, Arturo Velasco, Daniel Fornero, Andrew Woolfolk
Director: David Mallet
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01hr:28m:01s
Release Date: 2003-05-20
DVD ReviewTo see a picture of the initial incarnation of Genesis, one would never have guessed the group's pudgy, bearded co-drummer would go on to become one of the 1980s most unlikely hitmakers. With eclectically entertaining solo albums (Face Value, No Jacket Required) that combined jazz (The West Side), soul (I Missed Again), radio ready pop (Don't Lose My Number, gentle ballads (One More Night), and instant FM faves (I Don't Care Anymore), Phil Collins joined the ranks of Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen as one of that decade's most likeable and dependable performers. Additionally, his musical moonlighting brought a huge crossover audience to his day gig; latter-day Genesis long players like Abacab and their self-titled 1983 album sold more copies than any of their previous efforts, multiple times over.
Thanks to his newfound front man status following Peter Gabriel's departure, Collins developed an energetic, vibrant stage personality that reached its full potential on his first solo tours. As an attendee during the 1985 No Jacket Required jaunt, I can say without hesitation that it remains one of my favorite concert experiences, not just because of the quality of the show, but for creating quite an unusual bonding experience: Due to a friend bailing on me at the 11th hour, my (then) 65-year-old father volunteered to take my spare ticket. Since he thought Sussudio and One More Night were two of the few respectable pieces of music in my library o' vinyl, who was I to say no?
Phil Collins: Live and Loose in Paris, a 15-song collection recorded during a December 1997 stop on the Dance Into the Light tour (and smoothly directed by ace music video director David Mallet) captures the singer/percussionist on a creative high after the melancholy, ill-received Both Sides album of a few years earlier. Marking a return to the more accessible sounds of his most popular solo material and predicting the tribal catchiness that would color his well received Tarzan score for Disney in 1999, fresh tunes like Lorenzo and Wear My Hat reside comfortably with old warhorses (In the Air Tonight; Something Happened on the Way to Heaven). Despite a somewhat overly slick backing unit employed this time out (guitarist Daryl Stuermer is the only holdover from the early days), this lacks the tight but loose feel of earlier tours (the Phoenix Horns of Earth, Wind & Fire fame are especially missed), Collins' propensity for showmanship remains intact. Whether it be new arrivals or tested favorites, the level of energy he dispenses throughout proves so ingratiating, it's impossible to resist the urge to sing or dance along (just ask my Dad).
Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A-
|Aspect Ratio||1.33:1 - Full Frame|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: A brightly lit stage combined with a band of musicians mostly clad in white doesn't make for ideal video transfer material. Except during slower numbers under more sedate (and different colored) lighting, there's a bit of bleeding, occasional pixelation and edge enhancement, but not to the point where you'll be starting a bulletin board discussion thread in response; I have seen much worse. Still, I think despite the limitations of the time of filming, Live and Loose could look considerably better than it does.
Image Transfer Grade: B
Audio Transfer Review: Two mixes are provided: a newly created 5.0 track and the 2.0 PCM original. Both have their pros and cons; while the updated Dolby Digital revamp recreates that enveloping arena sound, it's wanting in the bass department. In a curious reversal, the original, while naturally limited by its two-channel setup, possesses not only a much smoother low end, but a more natural listening experience. Too bad they didn't include a third option that combined the best elements of the two; for once, I have to steer my thumb toward purist mode and go with the original.
Audio Transfer Grade: B+
Disc ExtrasStatic menu with music
Music/Song Access with 15 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Extras Review: I recently came across the original set list that comprised many of the gigs on the Dance Into the Light tour. Since a handful of songs didn't make the final cut, it would have been nice if the could have been included as bonus tracks.
Extras Grade: D-
Final CommentsIn light of his recent retirement from touring owing to hearing difficulties, Phil Collins: Live and Loose in Paris is now more than just an archival offering from the Warner Music making a digital debut. It's permanent evidence of a versatile artist at the peak of his performing career.
Jeff Rosado 2003-09-11