Archive for December 20th, 2012





Every year I consistently use Music Blu-Rays and DVD’ s as my chief form of  entertainment.

As readers know I have been reviewing Blu-Ray product DVD from it’s inception from all major labels

While many labels offered great releases in 2012 it’s no stretch to say Eagle Rock Entertainment continues to offer amazing quality in both video and audio resolution as well as a variety of titles that no other company does. 

Briefly here are my blu-ray/dvd pics for 2012.

Freddie Mercury-The Great Pretender-An absorbing, unique and no holds barred look at Mercury’s music and his life. Great interview segments, tons of special moments I had never saw at any point, studio footage and above all in depth personal stuff no one can resist.

Neil Young-Journeys-Blu-ray- This is the most natural recorded, mixed blu-ray I have heard all year. Introspective footage.  A joy to watch and good performances to boot. 

Coldplay-Live 2012-I don’t think it’s a stretch to say Coldplay is one of the most important bands of the last 4 or 5 years. What impresses me about the this blu-ray is the inclusion of the interview segments while the concert is being  shown. It works big time because the essential songs are left to proceed. Hell these guys are pretty down to earth and honest about what they have achieved. As others have noted, Chris Martin’s voice is a bit buried sometimes in the 5.1 mix.

Led Zeppelin-Celebration Day-Buy the deluxe version with the cd’s folks. The audio quality on the cd’s is excellent. The film itself shows that this legendary band (with Jason Bonham) is better 30 years later then most live acts today.

Santana-Greatest Hits-Blu-Ray-This is the best looking blu-ray I watched all year. Stunning to say the least. Gorgeously recorded, killer 5.1 mix..and special guests. A must have

The Jeff  Healey Band-Live in Belgium-1993-This show has a few audio and video issues. But for whatever reason it remains a fave which I have played for a lot of my friends. People are starting to wake up to the fact that original Jeff  Healey Band (in this case augmented by more players) was one of the most important blues rock acts of their time. Love it.

Styx-Pieces of 8/The Grand Illusion Live-How good were these albums when they were released in the late 70’s? Very good.

It’s mindblowing to watch the  band recreate this from a  201o concert song for song. In fact, Larry Gowan comes up big as the new vocalist while Tommy Shaw and and James De Young remain as passionate as ever. Get It.

Muddy Waters/Rolling Stones-Live at The Checkerboard Lounge 1981-Bob Clearmountain has done an amazing job restoring the sound on this. I remember watching old clips of this 15 years ago and it never sounded this vital. Muddy and Stones?  Cmon. another fave for my friends and fellow musicians.

here are some other titles that I received which make a big impression.

Beatles-Magical Mystery Tour-blu-ray-Check the interview section for candid macca and Ringo interviews.

George Martin-Produced By-Dvd- Extensive and at times absorbing footage of his career and recording techniques

Bachman/Turner/Live at The Roseland Ballroom-Excellent Show. Solid performance.

More to come..JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, radio host

and musician..check out the blues rock of THE SHAFTMEN

December 2012