Discs Are Rated
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I Want My DVD
review by Ren C.
Studio: Music Video Distributors
Running Time: 48 minutes
Retail Price: $19.99
Specs: 1.33:1 Full Frame, Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono,
Let me first say that I readily acknowledge that the
start of the 80s weren't particularly the greatest time in
music video history. All of the videos on this disc come
from right around the time of MTV's debut, when it was more
important to simply have a video than to have a good video.
Having said that, I think the "producers" of this went out
of their way to find the worst, least representative videos
of this time period that they possibly could.
The first video is by Juice Newton, who, unlike most of
the artists on this collection actually has a plot in the
video. The song, "Love's Been a Little" isn't actively bad,
but isn't something that you would tend to remember five
minutes after you heard it. Next up is Earth Wind &
Fire with "Let's Groove". The very brief copyright notice
at the end of the video says that it is from 1981, and I
don't think anyone had yet told them that disco had died
several years before. This was also right around the time
that people were starting to dabble in computer animation,
so it looks like the group was zapped into, and is now
jamming out in, a scene from "Tron".
Moving on, we come to Haircut 100 and a song named "Boy
Meets Girl." If you remember Haircut 100 at all, I'm
amazed. This video shows exactly why-a group of generic
looking white guys in a conga line does not make a good
video. Eddie Money contributes "I Think I'm In Love", and
watching this video, I think I'm in pain. There is some
sort of tenuous vampire plot that never really seems to go
anywhere, and the song is completely forgettable.
Men At Work give us a song that's not "Down Under",
instead giving us "Be Good Johnny." This song has a very
bizarre, almost mantra-like chorus, although that doesn't
save the video from being painfully trapped in the time
period. Come to think of it, has anyone heard from Men At
Work since the early 80s? Joe Jackson provides quite
possibly the most earnest song of the 80s with "Breaking Us
In Two" as a woman wanders around what looks like a war-torn
country looking for some kind of airplay.
Just to make the collection a little more painful, up
next is Hall and Oates, the most successful duo in rock
history. This is an impressive fact until you think of the
competition. Still, even for these two "One on One" is a
bad song and even worse video. Hall and Oates, along with a
majority of artists on this collection, never seemed
entirely comfortable with videos.
The Bus Boys are next with "American Worker", their
homage to the American worker. This group is another in the
seemingly endless stream of artists that made a video simply
to get airplay. In a very abrupt switch of musical
longevity, the next video is by Santana. Sadly, the song
"Nowhere To Run" is not fronted by Rob Thomas, but rather by
someone that seems to have stolen Steve Perry from Journey's
voice. In fact, the distinct guitar sound of Carlos Santana
is the only way to tell Santana apart from Journey in this
video. Standard concert performance clip here.
Up next, we have a video that I'm sure Billy Joel wishes
would have stayed buried, for the song "Pressure". Joel
seems to have been sucked into the bowels of new wave for
the song, and the video looks like someone has been having
way too much fun programming on the TRS-80. I'm amazed that
Joel did any videos after this, although the only place to
go was up. Ted Nugent contributes the next song, "Bound and
Gagged", which is again, a very straightforward performance
clip. The song could not be more 1981 if it tried, dealing
with the hostage situation in Afghanistan, in a very
The next video on the collection is probably the most
recognizable video in the collection, Fleetwood Mac's
"Gypsy". By this point in the '80s, Fleetwood Mac had
pretty much accepted that they would never be able to follow
the success of "Rumours" and proceeded to make fairly run of
the mill pop albums. "Gypsy" is apparently a journey
through what goes on in the mind of Stevie Nicks on any
given day. The final video on the collection is by Adam
Ant, for the song "Dog Eat Dog". Adam Ant is one of those
bands where we look back now and wonder exactly what we were
thinking. The song is punk crossed with new wave, taking
quite possibly the worst elements of both.
I have several very large problems with this collection.
Aside from the transfer itself, which I'll cover below, the
problem is that the videos are hacked to pieces. The videos
literally cut in and out at points that are nowhere near the
beginning and end. Also, these were probably taken directly
from a cable access show of some sort, so there are
fragments of host segments and annoying wipe and zoom
effects applied to the videos. If you are looking for
unadulterated video footage, look somewhere else.
Quite frankly, this looks bad for a VHS. This should be
a primer for everything that can look bad on DVD. The
videos are fuzzy and unclear, colors bleed and smear at
random, and it looks as though someone just transferred a
VCR tape that has been in the garage since 1983 onto DVD and
called it a day. The transfer is so horrible as to be
nearly unwatchable, and I think I've actually seen these
videos look better on cable. There were times when I had to
remind myself that I was actually watching a DVD, as the
quality is just that bad.
The quality of the audio is better here, although just
slightly. The case says that the sound is Dolby Digital,
although I have strong doubts about that. The sound often
sounds muffled and drops in and out. Clarity is never
consistent, and although it will generally vary from video
to video, the variances are extreme. While never sounding
like a DVD, the sound quality ranges from that of fuzzy FM
station to old VHS tape.
To be perfectly honest, I was surprised to get menus. I
think that this DVD probably took all of twenty minutes to
put together, so I don't think anyone had features in their
Run, run far away from this disc without looking back.
Had the videos been uncensored, I may have been able to
justify it, but with a list price of twenty dollars, and
quality that looks like a local cable access show, there is
no justification. None of the videos are groundbreaking or
even representative of the artists, and there is no
enjoyment to be derived from this set. Recommendation to
avoid at any cost.
(1.5/5 - NOT included in
NOT an average)