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on February 9, 2007
I have the "All-Star Tribute to Brian Wilson" on DVD and enjoy it very much. It featured mega-stars like Elton John, Billy Joel, David Crosby, and Carly Simon among others. I was a little hesitant on this DVD since, being an old geezer, I hadn't heard of half the performers. I needn't have worried. The performances are stellar and prove that Brian's music stands on its own merits regardless of who performs it or what decade it's performed in.

I agree with a previous reviewer that the Red Hot Chili Peppers' performance wasn't particularly inspired but things really take off after that. I enjoyed Richie Sambora's rendition of "City Blues" and Jamie Callum's version of "Sail On Sailer" was incredible. John Legend did a masterful job on "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times", even vocalizing the theramin part at the end of the song. The Backstreet Boys were a pleasant surprise with their performance of "When I Grow Up To Be A Man". Shelby Lynne was pretty low-key, but did a repectable job on "Surfer Girl".

Being a stickler for lyrics, it troubled me that Michael McDonald flubbed the lyrics to one of Brian's prettiest ballads, "Don't Worry Baby". But his vocal was very good as was Billy Preston's collaboraton on organ. Jeff Beck did a lovely version of "Surf's Up" on guitar and then proceeded to really rock out on "Surfin' USA" along with Jeffrey Foskett's lead vocal.

Earth, Wind, & Fire performed nicely on "Don't Talk, Put Your Head on My Shoulder", followed by Darlene Love's very upbeat version of "Wouldn't It Be Nice". Brian's band got to solo on "Pet Sounds", and then it was time for the big man himself to appear on stage.

Brian and his band played rollicking versions of "Heroes and Villians", "Good Vibrations (with SMiLE lyrics), "Fun Fun Fun", and Brian's normal show-closer "Love and Mercy".

It was great to see another video of Brian and his killer band. I saw them live in the summer of 2005 and they are amazing. The audio and visual quality of this DVD is very good. If you enjoy the music of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, you'll love this DVD and the refreshing versions of his music performed by very talented musicians.
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on February 7, 2007
This DVD was recorded in Feb 2005 when Brian was honoured as the Musicares Person of the Year.

After the Red Hot Chilli Peppers creditable rendering of "I get around" (ideally suited to Flea's bass guitar playing). the other members of the Brian Wilson Band take the stage to support many of the other performers. One of the real delights of this DVD is to see this band at work with other artists (as on the Radio City tribute from a few years back).

Richie Sambora tries his best to emulate Clapton and does a reasonable (if somewhat overblown) job.

Jamie Cullum does a good gospel tinged version of "Sail On Sailor. Barenaked Ladies incorporate "Til I Die" into their performance.

I hadn't heard John Legend before but he turns in a soulful performance along with Brian's band (Jim is listed as James T Hines on the DVD sleeve BTW!!!) .

Backstreet Boys (a group probably not taken too seriously, but who have, in fact, made a number of great pop singles) do an excellent version of "When I Grow Up" with terrific harmony work (with Probyn Gregory from the band, getting in on the act!).

Shelby Lynne looked pretty serious (miserable even) during her performance - she has a good voice though.

Michael McDonald has one of THE great voices and it's great to finally hear him doing a Brian song - he fluffs the lyrics a bit but his voice shines through -(I wish he'd record an album of Brian's ballads). He also acknowledges how great the band are. Billy Preston joins him for what must have been one of his last performances.

Jeff Beck, as you'd expect. turns in an instrumental performance of "Surf's Up" (apart from Jeff' Foskett's "Bygones"..and some group harmonies at the coda of the song) Jeff Foskett takes up vocal duties for "Surfin' USA" while Jeff Beck and the group rock out.

It seemed pretty strange seeing Earth Wind and Fire without a brass section (as to me that's a major part of their sound) so I was indifferent to their performance of "Don't Talk".

Darlene Love still has a powerful voice and I would imagine Brian would really have enjoyed her performance of "Wouldn't It Be Nice" which is a definite highlight.

Anyone who's seen the band play "Pet Sounds" live will already know what a great job they do of this one.

There's no MC for the evening (if there was, it's not shown), just one performance after another. Many of the artists say a few words to Brian before they begin and Neil Portnow, the president of Musicares makes an speech congratulating him. Brian says a few words and then lets his music speak for itself and turns in an animated performance with his band. The other performers join in for the obligatory encore of "Fun Fun Fun" and for once, we are spared yet another rendition of "Barbara Ann". Obviously, it ends with "Love and Mercy" - Brian being in good voice and it's a fitting song given the work that Musicares does to support musicians in need.

The sound quality is excellent throughout and the filming is adequate if not particularly imaginative. It's about 80 minutes long.

There's a nice "Behind the Scenes" mini feature as an extra on the DVD featuring the performers talking about Musicares as an organisation and about discovering and performing Brian's music. One of the nicest quotes is from Darlene Love; "The world always needs to see and hear Brian Wilson......always!"

Part of the profits from sales of the DVD go to Musicares - well worth purchasing.
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on February 11, 2008
This tribute wasn't as strong as the 2001 tribute held at Radio City Music Hall. Having said this, it's worth purchasing just for John Legend's mesmerizing performance of the Pet Sounds track I JUST WASN'T MADE FOR THESE TIMES. Even though Brian Wilson's band backs up Legend on this version, and the original arrangement is left more or less intact, this most excellent band does bend the arrangement ever so slightly, giving it a bit of a groove so as to cradle Legend's soulful voice and delivery. Legend obviously understands the material implicitly, which is surprising considering his youth and the fact that the material is over 40 years old. His performance showcases how timeless Brian's music can be as long as the artist understands the musical complexity and emotional directness Brian was such a genius at creating with his songs.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon February 4, 2007
Every year the MusicCares charity division of the Grammy Foundation honors a living music legend with a "tribute concert". While the 2006 concert - honoring James Taylor - was issued in December, the 2005 one - honoring Brian Wilson- was just issued on DVD by Eagle Vision. And it was worth the wait. Though the editing of this 66-minute concert makes it look like it was edited down from a cable TV broadcast it appears - from the credits - that this was produced by Eagle Vision solely for home video. It's edited tightly and we go from performer to performer, except for one speech near the end. (All the backstage talking, and background on what MusicCares does, is included as a separate 12-minute supplement).

What we have here is a concert performed in front of a "black-tie" audience of donors at a fundraiser. So you won't see anyone from the audience yelling or standing up. This was sure a conservative audience. But it's what's captured on stage that counts. All the performers are backed by Wilson's "Smile" band and these musicians are great!

The show starts off with the weakest performance, in my opinion, with the Red Hot Chili Peppers doing "I Get Around". Maybe it was because it was early in the concert but no sparks flew. By the third number, when the amazing "twentysomething" Jamie Cullum rips through "Sail On Sailor" with Fred Martin & The Levite Camp (who got the only standing ovation of the evening for their soaring gospel vocals), thinks start to boil. The most interesting pairing is Michael McDonald and Billy Preston Performing "Don't Worry Baby" with McDonald on vocal and piano and Preston on organ. Shelby Lynn sings "Surfer Girl" without changing the gender in the lyrics, which makes for an "interesting" arrangement. The most riveting part of the evening - other than Wilson himself performing a 3 song finale - is watching a restrained Jeff Beck pick out Wilson's vocal lines on his guitar for "Surf's Up" - followed by Beck playing guitar on "Surfin' USA" with the lead vocal from the guitarist in Wilson's band.

Others on the stage include Darlene Love, the Backstreet Boys, The Barenaked Ladies (doing the only non Wilson-penned song of the evening: their song titled "Brian Wilson"), and John Legend. Camera work is excellent, especially on Beck's solos.. This is a must DVD for Wilson fans and a great tribute to a true music legend.

Steve Ramm "Anything Phonographic"
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on August 1, 2011
A nice tribute but for the most part half-hearted. Aside from The Brian Wilson band the only song I truly felt was Jeff Beck's Surf Up, those notes bleed soul. Since they are all Wilson's songs no performance is truly bad oh wait Richie was awful but the rest is enjoyable enough. If you are a Beach Boys and Wilson fanatic chances are you will be better off listening to these songs performed by the original artists.
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on February 23, 2007
Participants backed by BW band are outstanding, Michael McDonald and Billy Preston (Don't Worry Baby), Jaime Cullum with Fred Martin and the Levite Camp (Sail on Sailor), John Legend (I just wasn't made for this time), Backstreet Boys (When I grow up to be a Man), Jeff Beck (Surf's Up and Surfing USA), Darlene Love (Wouldn't it Be Nice), Richie Sambora (City Blues). Brian and the band really rocked (Our Prayer & Heroes and Villains, Good Vibrations, Fun Fun Fun and Love and Mercy)plus the band played Pet Sounds. Those who were not backed by the band like Red Hot Chilli Peppers(I Get Around), Barenaked Ladies (Brian Wilson), Earth Wind and Fire (Don't Talk Put your head in my shoulder) were quite good. The beautiful Shelby Lynne(Surfer Girl)backed also by Brian's band was absolute delightfull . Some of the participants definetly outdid the 2001 Radio City Tribute. Phil Ramone produces again and believe me you'll get more than your money's worth
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on March 31, 2007
I originall purchased this dvd for Jeff Beck`s performance, and was pleasantly suprized by the entire show. Everyone does a good job bringing their unique styles to Brian`s music. Great versatility!

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on November 21, 2013
I saw this show on TV and taped it. It has been the inspiration for me to learn of Brian Wilson's tragic life and be grateful that he survived and is having a happy ending. We can still enjoy his compositions and his new 'Brian Wilson Band' is outstanding. I was so happy that they made this into a DVD.
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on September 21, 2012
I'm a big Brian Wilson fan and was expecting a mix of better performances. Please understand that I am typically not very fussy but this was a let down for me. Probably explains its low price tag.
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on February 21, 2007
The Chili Peppers were, what else, HOT! The Backstreet Boys, nailed the Beach Boys sound, with "When I Grow Up to Be a Man". Jeff Beck was amazing.
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