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Click above to purchase "I Want My DVD Volume 2" at amazon.com

 

I Want My DVD
Volume 2

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, Chapter Search

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 everything.

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 succeeding.

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 80s.

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 enjoy transfer.

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 final score)

(1/5)

(1.5/5)

(0/5)

(1/5, NOT an average)

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