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Morrissey
Who The Put The 'M' In Manchester?

review by Zach B.

 

 

Running Time: 99 minutes

Starring: Morrissey

 

 

 

Studio: BMG

Retail Price: $19.98

Features: LIve Performance from Move Festival, Music Videos, Meet Your Meat

Specs: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1, English Dolby Digital Stereo, Chapter Selection (21 Chapters)

Released: March 29th, 2005

 

 

Morrissey has had some pretty impressive longevity as a musician, and his popularity is more than evident in the enlongated intro with his new concert DVD "Who Put The 'M' In Manchester?'. Even though Morrissey has his fair share of North American fans, like many acts, he's always proved to be a mega star in his home country of England. After the demise of the incredibly popular and influential The Smiths, Morrissey has really proved to be a fabulous solo act without becoming pretentious or watered down. Many famed artists from popular bands that have disbanded and who have moved onto other things would kill to have the career Morrissey's had.

But anyway, back to Morrissey. This concert was filmed on May 22nd, 2004, which was right around when his album "You Are The Quarry" was released. What makes it such a noteworthy concert though is that it was filmed in Manchester, which is Morrissey's hometown. As evidenced with his performance, Morrissey still knows how to get a crowd really pumped up and is still quite the performer. This concert itself is well edited and shot, so you really get a sense of not only being in the crowd but being right up in front with Morrissey himself.

The song list for the concert is bound to please all of Morrissey's fans, as he belts out his solo tunes as well as Smiths classics: "First Of The Gang To Die," "Hairdresser On Fire," "Irish Blood, English Heart," "The Headmaster Ritual," "Everyday Is Like Sunday," "I Have Forgiven Jesus," "I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday," "How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?", "Rubber Ring," "Such A Little Thing Makes Such A Big Difference," "Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's Voice," "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores," "Let Me Kiss You," "No One Can Hold A Candle To You," "Jack The Ripper," "A Rush and A Push and The Land Is Ours," "I'm Not Sorry," "Shoplifters Of The World Unite" and "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out." If you're a Morrissey fan then you'll obviously be enjoying all this, but even if you're just familiar with The Smiths, this concert is worth catching on DVD anyway.

 

Presented in what appears to be 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, "Morrissey: Who Put The 'M' In Manchester?" looks pretty solid. Other than footage with the fans and exterior stuff at the beginning, there really isn't much visual flair to be found here &emdash; lots of red and blues. But that's okay, as the colors are well saturated and fleshtones look pretty good. While there is no edge enhancement, edge halos and noise are visable. Also, at times the concert seems a little grainy. A lot of the flaws are minor though, as this is sharp stuff overall.

 

Boasting a few sound options, this concert disc of Morrissey has English Dolby Digital 5.1, English DTS 5.1 and English Dolby Digital Stereo. The stereo track is pretty straightforward, and it's within the 5.1 tracks where a viewer is given the chance to intake the performance and overally experience. Each 5.1 track is really fantastic, and it's hard for me to give the edge to either since each has its strengths &emdash; I found the Dolby Digital to be a bit more broad and bombastic, but there's a bit more depth to the DTS sound. Nonetheless, each track is mixed well and really puts you in the heart of the concert: Morrissey's voice is quite crisp, all the instruments uniformly come together and the fans add to the ambience, but don't overpower the music. The subwoofer is used well too, and the rears are maximized pretty well. Nice job (and in case you're curious, there are no captioning options).

 

A nice bonus are five songs performed by Morrissey at 2004's Move Festival: "First Of The Gang To Die," "I Have Forgiven Jesus," "Everyday Is Like Sunday," "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" and "Irish Blood, English Heart." The performances are in stereo and are presented in sharp anamorphic widescreen.

There are also four Music Videos in anamorphic widescreen: "First Of The Gang To Die," "I Have Forgiven Jesus" and US and UK versions of "First Of The Gang To Die" (the last are billed as promos, and the footage is mainly culled from the Manchester concert).

Also included is a PETA video Meet Your Meat. This has nothing to do with Morrissey (other than the assumption he's an animal rights activist). This is rather disturbing and definitely not for those who get shocked easily. But if it's a subject you wanted to know more about or feel passion for, go ahead and enjoy this montage of brutality narrated by Alec Baldwin.

 

Like many music DVDs, this one is meant for a niche market &emdash; those who love Morrissey. Needless to say, fans of the musician won't be disappointed. The extras included with this concert disc are a nice little touch, the anamorphic presentation looks terrific and the concert itself sounds excellent. So if you're a fan, you'll find this DVD to be worth your dough.