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Tony Bennett - MTV Unplugged: The Video


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

World-renowned vocalist and all-around cool guy Tony Bennett brings a touch of old-school class to MTV's Unplugged . Includes guest performers Elvis Costello and k.d. lang and the songs It Had to Be You, Fly Me to the Moon, They Can't Take That Away from Me, Rags to Riches and more. 1994/color/74 min/NR.

Amazon.com

This blue-toned, straightforward visit with a mellow Tony Bennett is a grown-up rock video complement to the CD, with a small, cabaret-style intimacy that gives the illusion that Tony's in the living room, singing only to us. The casual, languid Bennett style is omnipresent as Bennett croons and skats his way through some of the greats, including "Body and Soul," "A Foggy Day," and of course that old standby, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." Old and new styles collide in the second half when Bennett introduces his guest k.d. lang, whom he adds to his list of personal bests Billie Holliday, Edith Piaf, and Andy Williams. They duet on an undistinguished version of "Moonglow" that makes us wonder if Tony might not be mistaking lang for someone else. Fortunately Elvis Costello arrives to kick things into a higher gear and as the lights dim red, Costello and Bennett heat up the track with a nice, spirited rendering of "They Can't Take That Away from Me." Bennett then encores with "Autumn Leaves/Indian Summer" and dedicates the whole ball of wax to Duke Ellington. It's a smooth, practiced affair that has little sense of spontaneity, though Bennett tries hard to imbue it with his trademark throwaway ease. Of course, it helps immeasurably if you watch this entertaining DVD in full surround stereo. --Paula Nechak

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Tony Bennett, Elvis Costello, k.d. lang
  • Directors: Beth McCarthy-Miller
  • Format: Multiple Formats, 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: Columbia Music Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 2, 1997
  • Run Time: 72 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 1573306894
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,228 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tony Bennett - MTV Unplugged: The Video" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

This is what Super Audio is all about!
William J. Harper
You owe it to yourselves if you think of yourself as a Tony Bennett fan already or you've had thoughts about getting into the 'standards' and who sings them best.
Morris Zwerman
The audience is ebullient and keeps the energy high all the way through.
"jdpedersen"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Morris Zwerman on February 8, 1999
Format: DVD
Tony Bennett has performed in every major city in every important country around the world, but there hasn't been a live documentation of his unique abilities until MTV:unplugged recorded him in 1994. I have the videotape and the laser disc of this same concert and they do not compare to the DVD! The seperation ,frequency response and front-to- back imaging are in a class by themselves; not to mention the performances from his 'sidemen' which are SOTA! But it is Tony Bennett who at his prime chose to do a concert that is in a class by itself. You owe it to yourselves if you think of yourself as a Tony Bennett fan already or you've had thoughts about getting into the 'standards' and who sings them best. Tony Bennett often refers to Frank Sinatra as the king of the balladeers, but he is being respectful to a national legend; when it is he who has got the musicians, recording engineers, MTV together to combine forces in a once-in-a-lifetime chance at performing. Some people have said that his small inclusion of K.D. Lang & Elvis Costello was a form of selling out, but I say it's to let the "MTV crowd" know that his music cuts across all generations and will continue to grow in attecptance with young people. What are you waiting for? This is the BEST jazz recording you will ever own! . . . Morris Zwerman
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. E. Miles on July 19, 2000
Format: Audio CD
About six years ago I had the pleasure of seeing Tony Bennett in concert at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis. Man, what a show he put on, backed by the Ralph Sharon trio. After that concert I ran out and purchased the "Unplugged" cd that Tony recorded while taping for MTV. I have never been a real fan of live recordings, but this one is exceptional. Tony has really flourished since young people have re-discovered his work, and even though he is getting older his work is still terrific.
The opening track "Old Devil Moon" gets the mood swingin' and the rest of the album fly's by until you find yourself wishing there was one more track. Of course Tony covers his signature tune "I left my heart in San Francisco" but he also adds duets with k.d. Lang and Elvis Costello. He also proves he still has what it takes by belting out "Fly me to the Moon" without the aid of a microphone.
Like all of us, Tony is getting older, but he still puts on a great show and sings every song with the same emotion he did years ago. I guess what I like about this album is that you can tell that Tony is enjoying what he's doing. He loves singing theses great old songs to a brand new audience. If you want a Tony Bennett album this is a very good one, and I definitely recommend it. No, it's probably not the best, but it is a lot of fun no matter how many times you listen to it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Antonio Robert on April 20, 2003
Format: Audio CD
To win the Album of the Year Grammy for an MTV Unplugged two years after Eric Clapton did with his classic unplugged album, to win the Grammy when acoustic shows were not near that much in vogue -- it must indicate something. And it does. Tony Bennett's comeback in 1990's could not have a better place to solidify.
Second only to Frank Sinatra on the all-time list of standard 'crooners', Bennett (67 at the time) was here singing his signatures and favourites accompanied by efficient Ralph Sharon trio, of which especially the pianist Sharon deserves special attention (listen to "I Love A Piano" or his glorious solo on "Steppin' Out With My Baby").
Bennett's shoes fit best on ballads, like "It Amazes Me", "It Had To Be You" and his signature "I Left My Heart In San Francisco". k.d. lang and Elvis Costello offer guest vocals on two subtle duets. Probably unrehearsed, as a nice misstep with Elvis shows.
Intimacy between Tony and the audience is almost tangible on this record. Tony sings, the audience cheers. Oh, what a night it was. Billie Holiday was right when she predicted a career for the young Italian-American Bennett back in 1950's.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By tim camas on August 24, 2000
Format: Audio CD
he gets better with age. i have 3 cd's by mr. bennett: steppin' out, greatest hits and unplugged. the enthusiasm of the crowd and mr. bennett's method of treating the audience like an old friend makes it all worth while. some may say his voice isn't what it used to be but i totally disagree. his voice has the character of a seasoned pro who has made his mistakes and learned his craft to perfection. i envision mr. bennett as a long-time companion telling a story by the fireplace on a cold winter's night, a drinking buddy at your favorite watering hole or your grandfather bouncing you on his knee. there are few artists who can make even the gaps between words seem like a part of the experience but you will savor every fluctuation in tone from one of the masters.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By audiophilesdream on November 4, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This recording has many redeeming qualities. The music, the artist and even the recording quality get very high marks except for one thing. The frequent applause is 20-30 decibels too loud and interrupts what would be one of my favorite recordings far to often. The hot crispy frying egg applause every two minutes really gets me reaching for the volume control. The cd is worth having, but it could have been great! It is a shame the recording engineers don't pay more attention to such things..
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Tony Bennett - MTV Unplugged: The Video
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