Eagle Rock Entertainment // 1981 // 53 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Dennis Prince (Retired) // December 6th, 2008
Still crazy...after all these years.
If you're in the mood for some laid back pop rock music, slip this disc into your DVD player and enjoy the soulful and serene sounds from one of music's greatest talents. Captured live in 1980 at the famous Tower Theater in Philadelphia, Paul Simon delivers a fun and fulfilling performance to a packed house. Sure, many in attendance were likely hopeful to see the other half of the original bill step onto stage but such a feat never materialized. Even so, the backing band flanking Simon is talented and tight, making for a perfect ensemble behind the man's now-legendary collection of hits. Largely a further assertion of his solo standing, Simon sings from his One-Trick Pony release and also mixes in a few Simon & Garfunkel renditions to satiate the crowd that nevertheless stands hopeful of a miracle.
Eagle Rock Entertainment presents this repackaged disc (it has been available before), now part of its "Greatest Hits Live" series. It's a short presentation -- only 53 minutes -- and can be argued as not containing the artist's "greatest" hits. In fact, this is a condensed version of the actual concert, that which ran for a couple of hours and contained many other top hits from his There Goes Rhymin' Simon smash release some seven years prior. Still, there is some excellent material here, the song list as follows:
* Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard
* Still Crazy After All These Years
* Ace in the Hole
* Something So Right
* One-Trick Pony
* 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
* Late in the Evening
* American Tune
* The Boxer
* The Sound of Silence
Paul Simon: Live from Philadelphia, the newest DVD incarnation of the former videocassette, delivers the image in a 4:3 full frame format, as originally captured. Unfortunately, the video quality betrays the material's VHS and Beta roots, the picture looking soft with a bit of visible video pull throughout. Color is rather lackluster and contrast is dull (this comparative to the image quality we've grown accustomed to seeing today). The audio fares much better, though, with three variations of the soundtrack from which to choose. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 Surround options are decent but skip ahead to the DTS 5.1 track for the best experience. The enhanced mix delivers a fully enveloping soundstage that is perfectly balanced and provides faithful preservation of all musical elements, including a very well rendered vocal from Simon.
Unfortunately, there's nothing else to be found on this disc except the 53 minutes from the accomplished songsmith. Just the same, this is a great disc to relax to or to slip in as a nice audio/video accompaniment when visitors drop by.
Review content copyright © 2008 Dennis Prince; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
* Full Frame
* DTS 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 53 Minutes
Release Year: 1981
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Paul's Official MySpace page