Friday, December 09, 2016

Holiday Gift Guide: Blu-ray and DVDs bring music aplenty

Great pop music gift ideas abound for that favorite someone this holiday season. Here is a wide range of recommended Blu-ray and DVD titles available now.

Title: T.A.M.I. Show / The Big T.N.T. Show Collector's Edition (Shout! Factory)
Artists: The Rolling Stones, James Brown, Chuck Berry, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, more
Tell me more: The Collector's Edition of T.A.M.I. Show / The Big T.N.T. Show features two essential rock 'n' roll films on the same must-own Blu-ray release. Prior to its release on DVD in 2010, the concert film "T.A.M.I. Show" hadn't been widely seen since its theatrical release in late 1964. Now for the first time ever on Blu-ray, that amazing film and the 1966 sequel "The Big T.N.T. Show" are available via a two-disc presentation that looks as glorious as it sounds. The performances featured on these films were captured live, and the list of bona fide Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performers who shine includes the likes of The Rolling Stones, James Brown, Chuck Berry and The Beach Boys (on "T.A.M.I. Show"); and Ike & Tina Turner Revue, The Byrds, Ray Charles, Bo Diddley and Petula Clark (on "The Big T.N.T. Show"). The Blu-ray release includes a companion 36-page booklet filled with rare photos, an essay and more. Information:

Title: Blindman (ABKCO Music & Records)
Tell me more: Even long-time fans of Ringo Starr might be forgiven if they haven't caught the drummer-actor in the edgy 1971 Italian Western Blindman. The normally-lovable Beatle may be less-than-likeable but he is truly compelling in every scene as a fierce bandido named "Candy" in the stylish and surprisingly big-budget Spaghetti Western directed by Ferdinando Baldi. Starring Tony Anthony in the memorable title role, Blindman was filmed on location in many classic Spaghetti Western locations in the Tabernas desert in Spain. Released in U.S. theaters only briefly in 1972, the newly-reissued and glorious-looking Techniscope color print restored from the original 35mm negative, Blindman really does offer a glimpse into Starr's strong acting chops. "Blindman" is available on standard DVD and via digital formats. Information:

Artist: The Beatles
Title: Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years (Apple / Universal)
Tell me more: Time has not dimmed the power, magic and mystique of The Beatles. Academy Award winner Ron Howard's acclaimed 2016 documentary feature film Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years highlights the first half of the Fab Four's incredible career (1962-1966) with love, affection and a filmmaker master's touch. Using a combination of interviews and performance footage (much previously unseen), Howard is able to chronicle the meteoric rise and lasting influence of the Fab Four via highlighting how the four unique personalities of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr gelled into the most significant and earth-shattering force in rock. The title, available on both DVD and Blu-ray, includes the 106-minute documentary Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years and more than 100 minutes of additional concert footage including five rarely-seen full length performances. A wonderful 64-page informational and illustrated booklet is also included. Information:

Artist: Heart
Title: Live at the Royal Albert Hall (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
Tell me more: Heart made the most of their first-ever live performance at the Royal Albert Hall, with the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's June 2016 concert filmed and recorded for a multi-format release (Live at the Royal Albert Hall) that also marked the first time Heart was ever captured performing with a full orchestra. On the DVD version (reviewed here), Ann and Nancy Wilson lead drummer Ben Smith, bassist Dan Rothchild, guitarist Craig Bartock and keyboardist Chris Joyner through a rocking "Magic Man" before being joined by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for the Led Zeppelin-styled "Heaven," Renaissance-flavored "Dreambot Annie" featuring Ann Wilson playing flute, as well as audience favorites such as "Alone" and "Kick It Out." Available on DVD, Blu-ray, audio CD and via digital formats, the release comes with a full color 16-page booklet. Information:

Robert Kinsler

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