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Secret Policeman's Ball: The Secret Policeman Rocks!

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

In June 1979, Pete Townshend gave a solo acoustic performance at Amnesty Internationals Secret Policeman's Ball benefit show in London, inspiring Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, David Gilmour, Sting, Bob Geldof, Phil Collins and many others to perform for Amnesty. It also helped inspire the unplugged of the 90s, and galvanized a generation of musicians to become involved in social and political causes: Sting, Peter Gabriel, Bob Geldof (who later founded Live Aid) and Bono all cite the show as the inspiration for their activism. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of that historic first show, Shout! Factory is proud to partner with Amnesty on this collection of the musical highlights from three decades of Secret Policemans Ball shows.

Program Listing:

Pinball Wizard - Pete Townshend

Farther Up The Road - Eric Clapton & Jeff Beck

Roxanne - Sting

In the Air Tonight - Phil Collins

Running Up That Hill - Kate Bush

Imagine - Mark Knopfler & Chet Atkins

On The Turning Away - David Gilmour

Amnesty - Dave Stewart

I Don't Like Mondays - Bob Geldof

Cause We've Ended As Lovers - Eric Clapton & Jeff Beck

Message In A Bottle - Sting

Won't Get Fooled Again - Pete Townshend & John Williams

Biko - Peter Gabriel

I Shall Be Released - The Secret Police


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Sting
  • Directors: Roger Graef
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Shout! Factory
  • DVD Release Date: September 29, 2009
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002ACKBUU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,251 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By 4-Legged Defender on September 10, 2010
I have several of these 'Balls' on VHS and was happy to hear that they were to be reissued on DVD, but was disappointed with the results for several reasons. First, the sound quality hasn't been updated - a definite drag in our digital era. Second, the selections leave a bit to be desired; it's like they went for the obvious rather than include the obscure - example: no Ian Anderson, Robert Plant being backed by a band that included Mick Karn and Phil Collins as a rhythm section (a smokin' first),along with Gary Brooker (Procol Harum) on keys. This band did an amazing version of 'Whiter Shade Of Pale', and also played behind Pete Townsend and Kate Bush (represented on a smaller scale here). And there's too much acoustic stuff to constitute real rock. Thirdly, the video itself hasn't been cleaned up let alone remastered, making this lackluster, lackadaisical and lacking true balls...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gis A. Bun on November 14, 2009
If you aren't a fan of [primarily] British comedy but love British music, this DVD is a compilation of the Secret Policeman's Balls [concerts]. You can't really use the term "Rocks" as most of the DVD is acoustic.

On the negative side, they didn't do much to improve the audio or video [still specs in the video] and maybe they had little choice but audio fades aren't great.

On the near positive side, there is also over an hour of interview footage with most of the musicians including a big chunk of recent interviews from Pete Townshend. The interviews are both old and new. What I didn't like much is the editing/splicing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Kepler on April 2, 2014
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The four stars are generous, and intended to encourage the release of archival rarities such as this. These are great and unique performances of great songs by great artists, but the sound quality and editing leave much to be desired in comparison to the original, still out-of-print, audio releases. This was clearly further editing of an already edited broadcast master, with a mono mix subjected to a fake stereo effect for the DVD. A release truly respectful to these performances would have taken the time and trouble to go back to original sources to achieve the best possible quality, and to repair the horrifying disembowelment of the historic Townshend/Williams acoustic duet performance of "Won't Get Fooled Again".
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By Walter Overton on May 24, 2013
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If you like live performances, you've got to check this out. Pete Townshend's acoustic version of Pinball Wizard is brilliant as is Jeff Beck and Clapton doing Cause We've Ended As Lovers. Bob Geldof's I Don't like Mondays is a highlight. Check out The Secret Policeman's Other Ball too.
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This really could use some remastering. The video is passable, but not knowing what source material is still available could make this a challenge. I wish they had more of the performers as well. TRB and Neil Innes come to mind.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Kerjman on July 29, 2009
A recent Australian edition concludes some this stuff under title "Secret Policemen's Music Edition".

Short of visual and audio special techno effects, performing presents a real class of musicians' natural skills and abilities.

Hopefully, the US production will be sharper on merits of technical DVD presentation as images are a bit blur.
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