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Alchemy: Live

44 customer reviews

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(Jun 08, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

The eagerly anticipated release from Dire Straits - Alchemy Live - will be released on June 8th, 2010. Restored to pristine high definition visual clarity, Remixed in PCM Uncompressed Stereo and Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Available on DVD for the very first time.

Featuring the seminal hits `Sultans Of Swing' and `Romeo and Juliet' plus a unique encore performances of the Ivor Novello Award-winning `Going Home' from the soundtrack to the film `Local Hero'. Demonstrating faultless musicianship, this is a true recording of excerpts of one dire straits performance, containing no re-recording or overdubs of any kind.

The video has been painstakingly restored from the original film by archive restoration specialist and acclaimed live concert director Dick Carruthers (Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney). Audio remixed by Chuck Ainlay, winner of the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Surround Sound Album for his surround production on `Brothers In Arms'.

Track listing: 23rd July 1983, Hammersmith Odeon, London 1. Once Upon a Time in the West 2. Expresso Love 3. Romeo & Juliet 4. Private Investigations 5. Sultans of Swing 6. Two Young Lovers 7. Tunnel of Love 8. Telegraph Road 9. Solid Rock 10. Going Home - Theme from 'Local Hero'

BONUS FEATURES [79 mins] Live TV Performances * Tunnel Of Love [8:53] The Old Grey Whistle Test 29/11/1980 * Sultans of Swing [9:43] The Old Grey Whistle Test 16/05/1978

Documentary BBC Arena: Dire Straits [58 mins] 22/12/1980

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Dire Straits
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French, English, Italian, Spanish, German, Portuguese
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Universal Music
  • DVD Release Date: June 8, 2010
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003C1SPX8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,171 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Robert I. Hedges HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 15, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I couldn't be happier that "Alchemy" is on DVD at last! Over the years I have worn out two VHS copies, and the CD is among the most played in my library, so I'm thrilled to finally have a shiny new DVD in my hands. Some have criticized the DVD for having imperfect picture quality, and it's true that there are imperfections, the notorious "hair" on one of the cameras' images towards the end of the show is the most objectionable artifact, and I too wish the picture had been cleaned up a bit, but it is certainly not as onerous as some make it sound. Remember that this DVD is from a single show that occurred at the Hammersmith Odeon in London on July 23, 1983, and was shot on 16 mm film: given the vintage of the footage, I think the image is more than acceptable (though I'm not sure it's worth the extra for the Blu-ray disc) and any imperfections are more than made up for in the quality of the audio track, which is superb.

I have always been a huge fan of Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler, primarily because of their musicianship. It's pretty amazing that the musical craft was so highly prized that there was a point made to put a note on the cover reading "This is a recording of excerpts of one Dire Straits performance, it contains no re-recordings or overdubs of any kind." It is not uncommon for live albums to be tweaked in the studio, and given the complexity of the material here, it's astonishing that the concert is musically flawless.

This concert was done at the heights of pre-"Brothers in Arms" fame, and contains much of their best material.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Richardson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 8, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Hi Folks,

this just arrived and while claims its run time is 60 minutes its actually 1:30 for the concert another bit for a couple of classic TV appearances and another hour for a very cool documentary which is archival quality not something produced I feel pretty darned happy for my 12 dollar investment indeed!!

Whether I would upgrade to blu-ray is debatable....the picture is not poor but its of its age and not something perhaps benefited by that format...

Jump on this one folks!!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Resident Skeptic on November 23, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have never experienced a DVD where the bonus material completely changes my perspective about th! That is, until I experienced Alchemy. But I am getting ahead of myself ..

The 10+ songs on the list here are a mixed bag, some excellent, some deserving to be on the 'B-side'. Knopfler shines through via his wizardry with the strings, however, his vocals are nothing to write home about. The other two guitarists seem to be on a mission to burn 1000 calories in some weird stepping sequence. Argh! The material was not Dire Straits like at all. The remastered sound was sub-par and the video quality, as others have reported, was from VHS era.

Then on a lark, I checked the bonus material. Two studio songs - 'Tunnel of love' and 'Sultans of swing' were rendered in true DS fashion, and the mood begins to lift. Following these is the BBC documentary, Arena, which torques it up higher. 'Where you think you're going', 'Down to the waterline' and 'Making movies' are re-discovered here, the last one as a work in progress, and provides an insight into DS in a creative phase. Viewers are treated to Pick Withers on the drums, and realization dawns that the drummer in the main segment is not PW, but an ersatz one.

For DS fans, the bonus material obliterates the folly of the main segment, which was rather disappointing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Scarillo VINE VOICE on June 13, 2010
Format: DVD
REVIEW OF THE REGULAR DVD Version (not the blu-ray) : WAY overdue on DVD, and despite its flaws - namely, limitations of the source film and the famous stray 'hair' in front of one of the cameras, that was just as annoying in the mid-80's as it is now), Dire Straits' "Alchemy" is really an essential concert film that any fan of real/honest-to-goodness TALENT should see. What a novelty in today's music scene - a band that could actually PLAY their instruments. This should be required viewing/listening for today's young bands. The main concert runs around 90 minutes or so, and looks better than I remember it looking on MTV & my beat-up videotape from the 80's. Plus, there are songs here that were not on the one-hour edited tv version (Telegraph Road, Solid Rock). There's really not a bum note played here, and hilights are many - Knopfler's playing, Terry Williams' drumming, some excellent sax from Mel Collins, great keyboards from the very underrated Alan Clark, the closing "Going Home", among others. Sound is excellent, and nice extras here too - two early BBC appearance clips and an hour-long BBC documentary I'd never seen before, that appears to have been filmed around 1980 or so (during the rehearsals and recording of "Making Movies" while Pick Withers and David Knopfler were still in the lineup; there is a fair amount of live performance footage in this, from earlier shows). The blu-ray is pretty expensive, so if you're going to have a conniption over grain/etc. vis a vis the pricey cost of the blu-ray, then you should probably consider at least getting the regular version while it's relatively cheap, because this concert belongs in any serious rock collection. Accept the limitations in the interest of having this available to view again (though, it's too bad they didn't digitally remove that stray lens hair.......).
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