Case Number 25091: Small Claims Court

GREGG ALLMAN: I'M NO ANGEL

MVD Visual // 1988 // 52 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Clark Douglas // January 9th, 2013

The Charge

One of the most celebrated musicians of all time.

The Case

In most DVD and Blu-ray reviews, I primarily focus on the content of the feature presentation, and talk about the technical virtues and weaknesses of the disc later on. However, I feel that the technical problems of Gregg Allman: I'm No Angel need to be addressed upfront, as they're so prominent that they more or less ruin a potentially enjoyable concert disc. Man, this thing looks rough.

I'm No Angel is a presentation of a concert Allman and his band performed in Nashville during the fall of 1988. Allman had firmly established himself as a strong solo artist and had moved outside the considerable shadow of The Allman Brothers Band, and at the time of the concert he was enjoying the modest victory of "I'm No Angel" landing a spot on the Billboard Chart. It's not quite Allman at his peak, but he's still in fine form as he jams through a brief (52 minutes) but satisfying set of tunes:

"Don't Want You No More"
"It's My Cross to Bear"
"Sweet Feeling"
"Just Before the Bullets Fly"
"Fear of Falling"
"Demons"
"I'm No Angel"
"Statesboro Blues"
"Slip Away"
"One Way Out"

The numbers are solid (particularly the blazing cover of "Statesboro Blues"), but the disc quality frequently makes it difficult to appreciate that fact. The full-frame presentation makes the concert look as if it were transferred from a weathered VHS tape -- during some long shots, the image is so blurry that one could convincingly argue that we were looking at old footage of Billy Preston or Elton John. Still, it's the audio that really matters on a concert disc. Too bad that's awful as well, delivering a concert which often sounds tinny, muffled and messy. The mix is all over the place, somehow managing to make some rather potent performances sound like music from an old local access television commercial. Even more laughable is the fact that the disc offers a 5.1 surround option, which allows the bland mono track to play on all of your individual speakers simultaneously. There are no extras on the disc.

I like Allman and had been looking forward to seeing this concert. There's absolutely nothing wrong with his performance or the numbers he chooses, but the disc does the man and his band a huge disservice. Only diehard Allman fans who simply feel a need to own every available concert discs should even think about checking this one out.

The Verdict

Guilty.

Review content copyright © 2013 Clark Douglas; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 70

Perp Profile
Studio: MVD Visual
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)

Subtitles:
* None

Running Time: 52 Minutes
Release Year: 1988
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* None

Accomplices
* Official Site
http://www.greggallman.com/