Peace. It's just a word.
Taped on December 6th 1999, this performance closed out the Eurythmics "peacetour." All proceeds from which went to Greenpeace and Amnesty International.
The songs performed on this DVD are:
I Want It All
Rightly or wrongly I always thought of the Eurythmics as the ultimate '80s techno-pop band. I enjoyed their music but often found it to be on the chilly side. Well, the year is now 1999, at least at the time of this concert, and things have changed. Gone is the sterile aspect of the band, being replaced instead by an almost joyous kind of warmth to the music. Working together as they have for over 20 years, Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox make a formidable team. They well understand the other and the work they produce together is seamless. It is truly a case where the one needs the other to produce their best work.
Together on the "peacetour" the two have gone and reinterpreted some of their biggest hits. Just about everything heard clicks with some of the highlights of the show being new versions of "Missionary Man," "Would I Lie To You?," " I Love You Like A Ball And Chain" and "Sweet Dreams." Newer songs that impress are the hits, " Peace Is Just A Word" and "17 Again." It's a solid mix of songs that make the 96-minute running time fly by.
With Annie Lennox you get one of the purest voices in all of musicdom. A prodigious range is matched with an amazing physicality, simply letting her rule the stage. Forget Houston, Carey and Madonna, with Lennox you get a true pop diva. Her musical phrasing is flawless. She is able to convey both happiness and pain in the same moment. Her rendition of "Why " had me in tears.
She is matched onstage by her longtime partner, Dave Stewart. While never considered a guitar master, his performance here will surprise many. His string work is soft when it needs to be but show stopping when the opportunity is presented. He has always had a great sense for the ear-catching tune that mixes easily with a sense of the relevant. Songs off the new "Peace " album are no different. The new stuff mixes well with the old and it all sounds fresh.
First thing I need to mention about the disc itself is the sound. I chose to listen to the 5.1 Dolby Digital option and the first thought I had was, wow! The sound has a great sense of presence, putting me in the center of the aural action. Everything was clear and it is the kind of mix that once cranked up, well let's just say your neighbors will know what you are listening to. The mix also refuses to sacrifice warmth for clarity and in doing so maintains a great blend. This disc sounds great and for me, approaches reference quality.
The image on this disc was shot on videotape and for what it is, its pretty good. Colors are well represented; flesh tones come off as natural and the picture has loads of detail. Also working to its favor, the image never comes off as being too hot and there is no bleed to be found. Camera work is pretty solid at capturing all the action onstage. All in all, its a pretty solid package.
The biggest surprise of the disc to me was the inclusion of an hour-long documentary titled " PeaceTalk." While not the most revealing of segments, it does offer a pretty good look at the duo of Lennox and Stewart. Much to my surprise, especially based on their stage personas, I found Stewart to be the gregarious, talkative one while Lennox is the quiet, introspective part of the team.
There really is an easy kind of comfort between the two long time friends/lovers/workmates that comes shining through the proceedings. The short film also highlights the purpose of the tour and features performances of five songs off their current album. There is also a multi-angle feature on the disc and its nice to see this feature being used more often.
The features on the disc are closed out by a picture gallery, some web links and lyric screens.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
I suppose if the Eurythmics are not your favorite band, then this release may well not be for you. Personally I like the 1999 incarnation of this trend setting '80s band quite a lot. If you have not heard the Eurythmics lately, I would give this disc a spin.
As a general rule, I am not often a big supporter of causes and entertainment mixed together. Usually finding the involvement of "celebrities" to be both false and pretentious. Here however I found the level of commitment, especially on Lennox's part, to be totally believable and understandable and I support her for the depth of her convictions. As a disc I've got no real complaints. Everything looks and sounds marvelous.
Eurythmics: Peacetour is a great disc. The band sounds great, the production of the disc is topnotch and the causes for which the proceeds go to are just. Bearing this in mind, I recommend this release without reservation.
Eurythmics, BMG and Arista records are all acquitted. Welcome back Dave and Annie, this court is glad to hear from you both again. That is all I have. Court now stands in recess.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: BMG Music
• Peacetalk: A 60-Minute Documentary Featuring Five Tracks from the "Peace" Album
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