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I Want My DVD
review by Ren C.
Studio: Music Video Distributors
Running Time: 40 minutes
Retail Price: $19.99
Specs: 1.33:1 Full Frame, Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono,
The age of MTV brought about radical changes in the
entire music business, chief among them being that artists
now had to make music videos in order to thrive within the
industry. Sadly, this meant that many artists who really
weren't comfortable in front of the camera were making very
bad music videos. This disc serves as a sort of time capsule
of some of these unfortunate choices.
Case in point is Rex Smith and Rachel Sweet doing
"Everlasting Love." This looks like someone won a talent
contest at the local VFW to make a music video. The singing
is one step above horrible and there should be a moratorium
put on covering "Everlasting Love." Apparently there's a
wedding or something going on, although even in the
paper-thin plot world of the music video this is fluff. Next
up is the J. Geils Band. Anyone with even a passing
familiarity with 80s music will recognize "Centerfold", and
the video still stands up as a lecherous standpoint even in
the year 2001. Definitely one of the early gems, especially
the classic milk in the drum shot.
"Abracadabra" is the contribution from the Steve Miller
Band, and while the song is passable, the video looks like
someone was trying way too hard to incorporate effects.
Steve Miller, for the brief moment that he appears in the
video, looks quite awkward and out of place amongst the
myriad of effects. The Police are up next, and even they are
willing to admit that their video efforts were not the best.
"Spirits of the Material World" looks as though they just
kept shooting when they finished the video for "Every Little
Thing Is Magic", with practically the same outfits and
Devo contributes the song "Peek-A-Boo" and I am literally
frightened by this video, with Devo surfing Atari graphics
and laughing maniacally. As eclectic as "Whip It" looked,
that was nothing compared to this. Rod Stewart, the anchor
of MTV in the early days, gives us "Young Hearts". It would
have been much better had he kept this video to himself.
This is bad, even for a Rod Stewart video, ostensibly
stealing something out of "West Side Story", but not quite
The band War contributes the video "Outlaw", and there is
nothing groundbreaking here, just a typical early 80s song,
with the typical early 80s video clip. War is better known
for the song "Spill The Wine", and "Outlaw", well, sounds
nothing like that song. Santana is up next, with their
Journey-esque lead vocalist, and give us the song "Winning".
Without the Carlos Santana signature solo, this could be any
song by any group of the early 80s.
"Ebony and Ivory" by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder has
somehow made its way onto this disc. While I understand and
appreciate that the song was trying to promote racial
harmony, the song is unbelievably sappy, and the video is
even worse with the two men sitting on piano keys. OK, we
get it, the piano represents racial harmony. Rick
Springfield gives us something a little less thoughtful with
"I Get Excited." I'm just amazed at the fact that the man
was able to sell out arenas. I spent the whole video waiting
for him to break into "Jessie's Girl", so that should be
some indication of how good the song is.
A Blue Oyster Cult video for "Born To Be Wild" is billed
as being next, but the footage provided looks like the last
few notes of the song, and the word "Born". That's it, and
the "video" lasts less than a minute. Next up is another of
the classic early 80s songs, "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor.
I think anyone in the 20-50 age group is able to recognize
this song by the first four notes, but the video is slightly
less spectacular with the guys walking down a street, and
that's about it.
Wrapping up the set is Kenny Loggins with "Heart To
Heart". About ninety-five percent of Loggins' songs are
sappy ballads, and this one is no exception. The video finds
Joanna Kerns wandering along the street on the way to
somewhere. Where? We never find out, as the video cuts out
before we can get to that point.
That represents my main problem with the way these videos
are presented. The videos do not begin and end where they
are supposed to, rather cutting in somewhere after the
opening notes, and out way before the end of the song. I
think these videos were culled from a television show, and
as such, there are annoying effects added to some, like
"Abracadabra." In a perfect world,these videos would be
representative of the early 80s, but the way they are, they
are representative of portions of the videos from the early
For a VHS, this looks pretty bad. For a DVD, it looks
absolutely deplorable. It looks like someone taped a local
cable access show in the early 80s and transferred the
videos directly to DVD. Grain, tracking errors, and even
skips show up in the picture. The clarity of the picture is
all over the place, and overall, this is a very hard to
The audio isn't much better in this instance. I think the
Dolby Digital was put on the case simply to draw people in,
as some songs sound fairly good with sound coming across
well, while others sound like listening to a cassette tape
from 1985. Overall, I found myself thoroughly unimpressed
with the mix.
No features to be found, unless the privilege of a menu
with plain text options is a feature.
While some of the songs on this volume are quite
memorable, the videos are still played on occasion by VH1
and MTV2. Seek them out there, as wasting the twenty dollars
that this costs would be far to painful a decision.
Recommendation to avoid at any possible cost.
(1.5/5 - NOT included in
NOT an average)