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The Old Grey Whistle Test, Vol. 1 (2003)

Bob Harris , Anne Nightingale  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bob Harris, Anne Nightingale, Steve Howe, Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • 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: BBC Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 16, 2003
  • Run Time: 190 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009RDHK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,357 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Old Grey Whistle Test, Vol. 1" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 28 performances
  • Interview with John Lennon, Elton John, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Bruce Springsteen
  • Commentary by producer Mike Appleton
  • Gallery

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

For better and for worse, The Old Grey Whistle Test was probably the most resolutely serious music program ever broadcast on television. During its 16-year run it showcased only the most earnest exponents of whichever musical style was currently popular, and given that the program's heyday coincided with the early '70s, some of the footage included here (e.g., the prog noodlings of the Edgar Winter Group) will provide humor as exquisite as only unintentional comedy can. However, the good stuff collected here is very good, both in terms of performance (Tom Petty snarling "American Girl", a pre-irony U2 whooping up "I Will Follow") and historical interest, notably a shockingly youthful Elton John crooning "Tiny Dancer." The 180-minute DVD offers remarkably pristine picture and extraordinarily vivid sound, regardless of vintage. However, the menu won't allow direct access to the individual songs other than through the artist gallery (and there is a "Random play" option), and the track listing itself is unhelpfully hidden in the packaging. --Andrew Mueller and Mark Walker

Product Description

Legendary live music show from the UK recorded from 1971 - 1987. Long list of major artists have performed on this program over the years. Cover, disc and insert in mint condition. Region 1 (USA & CANADA)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
135 of 136 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great collection of 70's and 80's performances September 21, 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
The British are way ahead of us when it comes to release vintage performances on DVD. The Old Grey Whistle Test got its name from a Tin Pan Alley test; it was said that agents would have the doormen for the building come in, listen to a song and see if it was worthwhile. The test was whether the "old grey" folks could whistle the tune. The Old Grey Whistle Test had a variety of different types of performers over the years. While rock did dominate it wasn't the only type of music presented.

This DVD presents the following performances and performers:
Alice Cooper-Under My Wheels
Elton John-Tiny Dancer (solo)
Curtis Mayfield- We Gotta Have Peace
Randy Newman - Political Science
Bill Whithers - Ain't No Sunshine
Rory Gallagher - Hands Off
Bob Marley & the Wailers - Stir It Up
Roxy Music - Do The Strand (with Eno but lipsynched)
The Edgar Winter Group - Frankenstein
Captain Beefheart-Upon the My O My
Little Feat- Rock 'n' Roll Doctor
John Lennon - Stand By Me
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Freebird
Emmylou Harris - Amarillo
Bonnie Raitt - Too Long At The Fair
Tom Waits - Tom Traubert's Blues
Talking Heads - Psycho Killer
XTC - Statue of Liberty
Blondie - I'm Always Touched By Your Presence, Dear
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - American Girl
The Police - Can't Stand Losing You
Bruce Springsteen - Rosalita (filmed concert performance)
Iggy Pop - I'm Bored
The Specials - Message to Rudi
The Damned - Smash It Up/I Just Can't Be Happy Today
The Ramones - Rock 'n' Roll High School
U2 - I Will Follow
REM - Moon River/Pretty Persuasion

The interviews are fairly good as well. The John Lennon interview was a treat for me as a long time Beatles fan.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome collection of music September 17, 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
In regards to a previous review, you ARE able to play individual songs. You simple go to the special features section of the disc and you can scroll through the individual performances and choose at your own will. This set is awesome. It includes the following:
Alice Cooper, Under My Wheels
Elton John, Tiny Dancer
Curtis Mayfield, We Gotta Have Peace
Randy Newman, Political Science
Bill Withers, Ain't No Sunshine
Rory Gallagher, Hands Off
The Wailers, Stir It Up
Roxy Music, Do the Strand
The Edgar Winter Group, Frankenstein
Captain Beefheart, Upon the My O My
Little Feat, Rock 'n Roll Doctor
John Lennon, Stand By Me
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Freebird
Emmylou Harris, Amarillo
Bonnie Raitt, Too Long at the Fair
Tom Waits, Tom Traubert's Blues
Talking Heads, Psycho Killer
XTC, Statue of Liberty
Blondie, Presence Dear
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, American Girl
The Police, Can't Stand Losing You
Bruce Springsteen, Rosalita
Iggy Pop, I'm Bored
The Specials, Message to You Rudi
The Damned, Smash It Up/I Just Can't Be Happy Today
The Ramones, Rock 'n Roll High School
U2, I Will Follow
REM, Moon River/Pretty Persuasion
There are also interviews with Elton John, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Robert Plant, John Lennon, and Bruce Springsteen. There are commentaries and tidbits about each act. I wish we were given the two disc set, but hopefully if this sells well, perhaps in the future.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic selection of 70s performances October 3, 2004
Format:DVD
Pop is the music of the rebel. But it's also the music of the non-rebel, and with the OGWT, from the heart of the BBC establishment, non-rebellious, thinking-person's pop reached its zenith. Of course, punk knocked it all down in 1977, and with the help of Saturday Night Fever disco, pop suddenly became physical again. The OGWT never really recovered, and once Bob Harris had gone, competition from other TV programs such as Channel 4's 'The Tube' etc meant its days were numbered.

Which was a great pity, as all three OGWT compilation DVDs illustrate. The OGWT was a superb, must-see programme scheduled late on Tuesday evenings. You had to watch every show, firstly because there was no other TV programme showcasing 'album' music, and secondly because the Radio Times (the UK's TV listings magazine) never told you who would be appearing.

In the early 1970s I was at a boarding school, and our house was rationed to a TV maximum of three hours per week. Which programmes we watched were decided by the prefects (which brought them much undeserved popularity), and it says much about the quality of OGWT that this programme was always chosen.

These two DVDs have something of the feel of the TV programmes, except that they don't contain any interview material nor any of the wonderful animations chosen to accompany some tracks. (I never cease to be surprised at the number of occasions when I discuss OGWT with friends and they mention the 'Skiers' video chosen for Mike Oldfield's 'Tubular Bells'.) The introductions are, by and large, marvellous, if only to see how the artists and DJs look 30 years on.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Old Grey Whistle Test, Vol. 1
Very nice mix of music videos from a diverse bunch of groups from the late 70's early 80's. Attractively priced.
Published 2 months ago by MusicLover
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Collection of music videos ever!
This is the best collection of music videos I've ever seen. It's a great collection of 70's and 80's movers and shakers. Get it!
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome performances.....
Very impressive performances by some of my favorite artists. Very candid one on one with no audience, so its really cool to see them performing songs for no one and they still rock... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Paul Leopardi
5.0 out of 5 stars I forgot how awesome this dvd is!!
...a time before lip synching & lame electronic aids. England's response to "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert". Read more
Published 14 months ago by Michelle R.
3.0 out of 5 stars Audio Problems, Video Problems
I love the content, but when played in my laptop it freezes up sometimes and the disc just spins in the drive. That hasn't happened in my DVD player. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Sam Hamill
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best in my collection.
This dvd is one of the finest collections of live classic rock performances from the 70's. It contains masterpieces from an innocent Elton John playing solo Tiny Dancer, a crazy... Read more
Published on September 8, 2009 by George Angel
5.0 out of 5 stars LYNARD SKYNARD/FREE BIRD
WOW! GREATEST VERSION I EVER SAW OF FREE BIRD....THEY WENT OFF ON IT THAT NIGHT IN 1975! WORTH THE PRICE FOR FREE BIRD ALONE!
Published on July 17, 2009 by Joseph M. Craner
4.0 out of 5 stars my sometimes cranky review
I jotted down some impressions whilst I watched this and the program begins with Under My Wheels by the REAL Alice Cooper-prior to his "oh that's right-I must go SOLO!" brainstorm. Read more
Published on January 21, 2009 by Paul Beauparlant
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb musical memories
This double DVD of the BBC's music show from the early 70's to the 80's is a fabulous compilation of the best stuff from the show. Read more
Published on November 28, 2007 by S J Buck
4.0 out of 5 stars Great clips,but......
I love the clips of some of the artists and the interviews(though some of them could've been a little bit longer),but do we really need the hosts introducing each clip? Read more
Published on November 14, 2006 by Bart Fargo
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