on June 13, 2013
I just received the DVD today, and am wildly disappointed in the audio quality. There's a production problem here. At various times during the movie, the audio sounds like it gets really low. What's happening sounds like phase cancellation. Certain frequencies (usually low ones) suddenly go missing, or begin sounding like it's being played through a long tube. It happens enough to be bothersome and make watching this unenjoyable.
I got out my old VHS copy to confirm, and sure enough those audio problems aren't there on the original release. The music is nice and even all the way through.
So what's happening here is in the production process. Someone else here has reported the same problem on the BluRay version. I don't know enough about video mastering to venture a guess where it's happening in the process, but apparently it's there in both formats.
As much as I love McCartney (Hey, I still have the VHS version of this as evidence), I recommend holding off purchasing this product until you can confirm this problem has been resolved.
Hey Amazon! As soon as you hear anything, I'd like mine replaced.
on June 17, 2013
Watched my new DVD of ROCKSHOW last night. Although the picture quality is excellent, the sound has serious problems -- the bass frequencies mysteriously drop out at numerous places throughout the disc. I thought it was my setup until I started reading numerous similar comments on Amazon and another discussion group.
This product needs to be recalled by the manufacturer and replaced with non-defective units.
on May 21, 2007
Forget Wingspan, this is the Wings video to own, caught at their peak in 1976 on their U.S. tour. This is nothing like Paul McCartney's concert videos of recent years. There are few of his Beatles songs played, but the bulk of the show is Wings doing their own hits and album tracks. Paul sings classics like "Maybe I'm Amazed" (from his first solo album "McCartney"), "Rock Show", "Live and Let Die", "Band on the Run", and "Let Me Roll It"; Denny Laine sings "Spirits of Ancient Egypt", "Time to Hide" (from Wings' then current "Speed of Sound" lp) and his Moody Blues hit "Go Now"; lead guitarist Jimmy McCulloch is featured on his own "Medicine Jar", and is on fire throughout the show (IMHO, the best guitarist Wings ever had). Paul and Denny show their versatility, switching between bass, guitar and piano. Joe English is an animal on those drums! And Linda McCartney contributes her little bits on keyboards and sings harmony, preferring to let the guys in the band have the spotlight. Every concert video should be of this quality. No distracting voice overs, no unnecessary visual gimmicks, just Wings at their best playing for a packed house. I doubt you'll ever see this on dvd, so pick it up on vhs while you can!
on June 14, 2013
I love this man and have bought everything more than once. But these disks (Blu-ray & DVD) have big audio problems that must get fixed before anyone else buys this. The bass and drums drop out best described By Dwayne Takeda "Dwayne "What's happening sounds like phase cancellation. Certain frequencies (usually low ones) suddenly go missing, or begin sounding like it's being played through a long tube." I called MPL to let them know and they said some will call be back. I won't hold my breath. The Concert is GREAT and the film looks great. But it is a waste of money to keep it until they fix it. I will return both the Blu-ray and DVD. Wait for them to fix it.
EDIT 06/20: While I don't doubt that some people are experience audio problems with this release, I must point out that clearly not everyone is experiencing the bass drop-out problem. I, for one, did not - had I been anything less than satisfied with this, I would've been just as angry as anyone. Do a little research, read some forums on other sites concerning this disc, and see what is being said. I heard robust, full bass throughout while listening in 5.1 DTS-HD. The problem, whatever its cause, is clearly not being universally experienced. Think before click "not helpful" simply because a person had a good experience with Rockshow. (I received a review copy from the distributor, full release version, for the purposes of reviewing on a separate website - completely independent of Eagle Rock, I might add, and without compensation)
The full 129 minute concert is a blast from start to finish. What a show, back when McCartney could build it around solo material almost exclusively and not disappoint anyone. I enjoy the non-McCartney tunes for the most part too - especially Denny's "Time to Hide" (always thought it was a highlight of Speed of Sound) and his revisiting of his Moody Blues classic "Go Now." So much energy on stage, with McCartney's voice sounding incredible on numbers like "Call Me Back Again" and "Beware My Love."
Picture is framed at 1.78:1 - presumably representing (approximately) its theatrical aspect ratio. I think its a good transfer, but it must be pointed out that the footage is highly inconsistent. Close ups and medium shots generally fare best. the limitations of filming on 35mm in a dark, cavernous arena are all too apparent during softer focus (and grainy) shots.
The 5.1 DTS-HD MA sounds terrific. It's not fancy (the rear speakers are generally just crowd noise/applause) but the instruments and vocals are punchy and clear (great way to take in McCartney's bass work, which really thumps).
The only extra is a 10 minute montage (called "A Very Lovely Party") of home movie-type footage and some enthusiastic (and sometimes amusing) fan reaction footage. The time listed on the back of the package is 139 minutes because it includes this 10 minute piece (Eagle Rock does that with all their concert DVD/Blu-rays).
Digibook package has a good new liner notes essay. The disc is slid into a cardboard pocket - which I hate because I don't like touching the disc surface and sliding it against cardboard every time I take it in or out. Relatively loose fitting at least.
Can't recommend this more highly to see McCartney at his live performance peak.
on June 17, 2013
I hate to harp on what so many have already pointed out, but it deserves repeat mention until this problem is resolved. I expected the video quality to be what it is, which is grainy but acceptable for a concert recorded so long ago. What I cannot tolerate is the awful problem with bass (guitar and drums, but mainly guitar). When it is good, it is very, very good, but when it is bad, it is simply GONE. I can't believe Sir Paul McCartney, one of the best musicians in the world on just about any instrument, and a jaw-dropping virtuoso on bass, would attach his name to this project. These audio issues don't exist on the 2013 CD reissue of Wings Over America, so it's odd that the Blu-ray version from the same show has such horrible bass problems. I have already purchased this DVD, and find it highly unlikely that Amazon or MPL will do anything to satisfy early adopter purchasers, but I would advise anyone else considering buying this DVD, at least in Blu-ray, to wait for a Version 2 or a re-remastered copy.
Update 07/01/2013: Went ahead and asked Amazon for a replacement DVD and it is on its way. I will "stare and compare" the two DVDs before I send the one with the bass dropouts back. I am cautiously optimistic that the new DVD will have some improvement. Unbelievable that Amazon has jacked up the price of this DVD since it was first available considering all the complaints about the bass. Stay tuned for what the replacement DVD sounds like...
Update 07/09/2013: Received replacement disk from Amazon. Sorry to say there is no improvement - bass keeps dropping out at the same points in songs that it did before. Guess I'll keep it anyway, since it is still an archive of a pretty good tour. But I have a hard time believing that Sir Paul (executive producer) has actually heard the "finished product" that has been foisted upon us.
on September 24, 2013
* UPDATE - November 7, 2013 - I am glad that I WAITED until after October 6, 2013 to "re-purchase" this release DIRECTLY from Amazon.
* Yesterday I spent almost four hours watching and re-watching "Rockshow," checking and re-checking everything. Cut to the chase - everything now sounds awesome. The bass drops and audio phase "echo chambering" aggravations are gone. All of the sound mastering errors scattered across the first consumer release of this product in June 2013 - have been FIXED.
* The odd thing - which is EXPECTED - is the audio on "Rockshow" is now BETTER than the video, in both Blu-ray and DVD formats. The reasons why this is so - have already been covered by previous reviewers. Simply put, the original negative used to digitally re-master "Rockshow" - was high speed color film stock shot during the Wings Over America tour in May and June of 1976. As a result, this footage is purposely very grainy in dark areas of the frame - and the primitive spotlighting effects used at live concerts during the 1970s gives "Rockshow" a mostly red-orange-pinkish color cast - which tends to wash out details you normally see in movies that are shot today with high definition cameras.
* This is, in my view, how it should be. I hate when vintage films are morphed into things that look like "Avatar." When older films are re-mastered, I want dirt and debris removed, but I don't want "kids armed with computer toys" to over-enhance the original colors and contrast that audiences saw in theaters when they were first projected brightly onto a big screen.
* Meanwhile, I had forgotten that Wings - that is, the band that performed on stage - was, in some ways, modeled like the Beatles in that its major players like Denny Laine ("Go Now") and Jimmy McCulloch ("Medicine Jar") were given vocal solos, e.g., like how George Harrison and Ringo Starr got to sing at every Beatles concert despite being in the shadow of Lennon and McCartney. Some songs on "Rockshow" have not aged very well, e.g., if you never liked the lyrics to "Silly Love Songs," your opinion won't change today, even though that song still boasts a kick-ass bass line performed by Paul. But other songs, such as "Picasso's Last Words (Drink to Me)" - sound better performed live in "Rockshow" - than what was recorded in a studio.
* Keep video quality expectations realistic and you'll love "Rockshow." It was Wings at their peak - when McCartney was still a titanic force in the music industry, racking up a string of #1 hits, selling millions of records and tapes after the Beatles broke up. Now in his 70s, McCartney is a genius who's no longer a prolific #1 hitmaker - but who can still sell out stadiums around the world. Even if you don't like ALL of the songs on "Rockshow," it remains an important historical record of Paul as he was at age 34, still vigorously energetic with a monster voice. That's why it's in my library.
(ORIGINAL PRODUCT NOTES THAT WERE POSTED EARLIER THIS YEAR ARE BELOW.)
* For what it's worth, perhaps because of the avalanche of complaints about audio problems associated with both the Blu-ray and standard issue DVDs of "Rockshow," Eagle Rock Entertainment has just updated its website.
* Eagle Rock now says "Rockshow" - which was first released on June 11, 2013 - will have an official "re-release" (though it refuses to call it a re-release) - on Blu-ray and DVD on October 6, 2013.
* You can check this out yourself by going to the Eagle Rock Entertainment site and enter the words, "Rockshow Wings Over America" into Eagle Rock's search engine.
* Note that the new October 6 re-release date for "Rockshow" falls on a Sunday, which is a freakish thing in relation to most DVDs being issued on Tuesdays. Nevertheless, this is the information that appears on the manufacturer's website.
* By October 6, 2013, I anticipate the "mixing" of defective vs. corrected discs in Amazon's inventory will have been purged en masse, to be replaced by corrected products in both Blu-ray and DVD formats.
* It's not quite a "recall" because you still have to be "proactive" if you purchased "Rockshow" before October 6 and find yourself stuck with a defective disc, but to me, the manufacturer's "new release date" is VERY telling.
on July 3, 2013
As others have pointed out, this BluRay (as well as the DVD version) has a serious, serious audio problem. Throughout the disc, virtually all of the bass drops out for several seconds, and then suddenly reappears. And by "bass" I don't mean just the bass guitar. I mean the lower frequencies of the entire sound mix (vocals, drums, guitars, etc.). The effect is the same as if someone grabbed the bass control on your receiver and quickly dialed it down to zero for several seconds, then dialed it back up to a normal level .... again and again.
Obviously, people who are listening to the BluRay or DVD on a system that doesn't have good bass response might not notice the defect. But I think most people with good home-theater set-ups will find this to be a serious defect. And of course, once you notice the defect it becomes glaringly obvious on all subsequent plays.
I'm not a very particular person when it comes to sound quality. I'm certainly not an audiophile with extremely high-end equipment, but I do have a pretty decent set-up and to me this problem is supremely annoying. It's obvious not only on my home-theater system, but also when I play the disc through my computer's little outboard speakers. It's too bad, because this is NOT a cheap disc and the performance on it is truly wonderful.
I had very high hopes for this release, but it sounds like the distributor, Eagle Rock, is refusing to even acknowledge the problem.
on January 14, 2014
What a fantastic show! I will provide this disclaimer: This tour focused on the album Venus and Mars, which is one of my all time favorites, so I have a strong positive bias towards the music. That is one of the things that makes this concert so great. There are a lot fewer Beatles songs than most of McCartneys other tours. This concert allows McCartney to step out of the monstrous shadow that is The Beatles and show the merits of his work both solo and with the Wings. The other good thing about this show is that while Paul is the focus, he doesnt hog the stage. He gives front and center to every bad member, several times during the show. This is also a great chance to see the musical skills of Denny Laine, he was fantastic. As far as the transfer to BluRay, considering the source material the video was far better than I had expected. I watched this on a High Def home theatre Projection system using an 6' x 9' widescreen. This type of system exposes flaws quite nicely and I had no complaints with the video at all. Musically, the transfer was top notch. I used a 9.2 surround system and it felt like I was at the show live. If you like McCartney at all you owe it to yourself to own this wonderful piece of history.
on June 24, 2013
My copy was woefully out of sync. I know this was not an issue with my system, as everything else plays perfectly on it. It seems there were a lot of glitches on the first pressing of this release. That's a shame, as I was very much looking forward to it. Hopefully they get it sorted out quickly.