All of the Warner Bros. albums are represented on this package, most of them very liberally, along with the best of the previously unreleased material that first appeared on "...And It's Deep Too!" (which is now out of print). In addition to that, much of the early material that was included on the 2-CD follow-up, "Evolution/Revolution: The Early Years (1966-1974)," appears here as well. On top of that, it's got almost two hours' worth of revelatory previously unreleased audio recordings, PLUS three concert films--"Live In Concert," "Live On The Sunset Strip," and "Here And Now"--on DVD. Add to that the deluxe packaging, which includes a 60-page book of liner notes, rare photos, etc.
Doing the math, there is nearly four hours' worth of audio material--half of which is previously unreleased--that is on this set, but is NOT on "...And It's Deep Too!," plus three concert films on DVD. There is also about three hours' worth of material that is on "...And It's Deep, Too!" that is not replicated here. To do a truly representative box set of Pryor, the overlap of material between this and "...And It's Deep Too!" and "Evolution/Revolution" is unavoidable. But "No Pryor Restraint" is far from a mere re-package.
Thank you R. Collins for a voice of reason, the initial assertion that this offering is merely a repackaging of WB's earlier Richard Pryor box set "...And It's Deep Too!", is a bit sensational in light of the added material not to mention that the earlier boxed set is out of print with current after-market prices that will not be able to compete with this newly minted boxed, or "repackaged set" which having read your explanation, is worthy of a purchase now for all of us who'd missed the earlier set. Richard Pryor was a Master of Humor, gifted with ability to present what many cannot see let alone be able to focus on, having reset the bar for gust-busting laughter up higher, for as times got socially and culturally harder to understand believing that we had begun on the road to enlightenment only to be disappointed and lied to, his gave back and gift to us was to grant us a deeper look at ourselves as humankind and to laugh at our struggles as a tool of coping as we continued the struggle in earnest, moreover when has more laughter coming from each of us from way down deep been anything but a blessing? Thank you Richard Pryor!!!
Has anyone received this set yet and watched the DVDs? In particular, I am wondering what the quality is like on "Live In Concert" which suffered from a very poor transfer in it's previous DVD incarnation. I hope this is a much better job as it's the best stand-up film I have ever seen and would love a good copy.
To be honest, none of the DVDs rate extra points for stellar picture quality, but I have yet to see any commercially released versions of any of these films that do. Having said that, "Live In Concert," though somewhat grainy picture-wise, is certainly serviceable and is a big improvement over the horrid DVD version that was released over a decade ago by MPI, in which the audio and video didn't even properly sync up. A few years ago, it was re-released by HBO Home Video. The picture quality was improved and the audio/video sync problem had been fixed--AND it was finally issued in widescreen. The version that is included in the box (which is also in widescreen) is certainly comparable to the improved HBO version. And "Live On The Sunset Strip" appears here in widescreen for the first time on any home video release. I know that it would seem that widescreen wouldn't matter much in the case of a one-man show, but Pryor is so physically animated that it does improve the viewing experience.
Just got my set No Pryor Restraint: Life In Concert (7 CD/ 2DVD) and have anxiously started to listen, CD disc-1 is fine, disc-2, track-30 the first 30-seconds reads like scratches, is this common or just to my copy? There are no surface blemishes so it leads me to believe a source or mastering issue. Anyone? I will probably ask Amazon if I can replace only discs with issue, rather than complete set. Thanks.
If you're referring to the two-or-three second noise that occurs from :23-:25 on Disc 2, track 30 ("Have Your Ass Home By 11:00"), it's a tape source issue. Actually, it's not really an issue. It's on the tape because there was something going on with Richard's microphone during the performance. Listen to an original vinyl copy of the "That N******* Crazy" LP, on which that track originally appeared, and you'll hear it there, too. Not a defect.
I appreciate your reply, it would have helped to know that in advance that there were and to list the technical difficulties, with respect to the source material and to those who would purchase knowing in advance; Shout Factory missed on the despite that they did a great job on presentation and that this remains a great value and treasured trove of goodies that I am still discovering and in some instances re-discovering. Thank you.
As the co-producer of the box set, you're welcome. But, in this particular instance, it's not technically considered to be a technical difficulty if it's a noise that was on the original record from almost 40 years ago, and has always appeared that way in all configurations--the original LP (1974), "Richard Pryor's Greatest Hits" (1977), "...And It's Deep Too! The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings (1968-1992)" (2000), "The Anthology (1968-1992)" (2002), and "No Pryor Restraint: Life In Concert" (2013). No amount of repair work could have fixed it because the sound of the microphone is part of the original recording, so it's not considered to be a defect.
Now, in the case of the bonus "Live At The Comedy Store, 1973" disc that is available exclusively from Shout! Factory for those who order the box set directly from them, the show is only about 95% complete because the original tape ran out during the performance. And on the back of the sleeve for that disc, that technical problem is explicitly mentioned, as well it should be.
Thanks for buying the set, and I hope that you enjoy it.
Not a defect, neither was the classic example of the Who's "Live at Leeds" original issue on vinyl, they noted the noise on the label, which was to add to the luster of the "bootlegged" value they purveyed. But whether added or not, as co-producer you take pride in presenting in original form, which is fine, but it was merely my seeking an answer, that you provided; though I seem to have placed you in the position of having to tell me it wasn't your fault - not my intention. I stand by my assertion if it should be, it could have been noted, why wait to point out to those who ask, that it isn't a defect nor is it anyone's fault. Ok, I hear Shout Factory's take. I have no doubt that I will continue to receive Richard's gifts despite it being the microphone's shortcoming. Thanks!
Actually, it isn't Shout! Factory's take, as I don't work for the company. I freelanced the project, so I am speaking for myself. I also co-produced Rhino's Richard Pryor sets, "...And It's Deep Too! The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings (1968-1992)," "The Anthology (1968-1992)," and "Evolution/Revolution: The Early Years (1966-1974)."
Just for the record (no pun intended), I'm not seeking to escape blame. I'm just explaining the nature of the microphone noise. There was no mention of it on the packaging of original LP, or any other time that it has appeared in almost 40 years' worth of releases, and, to be honest, this is the first time that it's ever been brought to my attention as a complaint, either from a customer or a reviewer--and I've gotten TONS of feedback over the years. Sure, I noticed the noise when we mastered the "...And It's Deep Too!" box from the original tapes a dozen years ago, and we double-checked it against the original vinyl, and it was on there, too. And this time around, we made an extra effort to clean up the audio even further in order to provide you with the best listening experience possible. (I was physically present at all of the mastering sessions for CDs that are included in "No Pryor Restraint." And I can tell you that we were actually successful in removing some of the noise that had been present on the source material, making it sound better than ever. So, instead of attempting to escape blame, I take full responsibility for what's on there.) If the noise had been recurring (as it is with "Live At Leeds," one of my favorite albums), that would be an altogether different story. Or if there were technical glitches on the source we used that were not present on the original release, we surely would have noted that as well.
Once again, I hope that you enjoy the box despite the brief microphone noise on that particular track, and thanks for your input. All I was trying to do is save you the time and the expense of returning and/or exchanging the set. Happy listening.:)
I appreciate your reply, I am not upset, nor have I any intention of returning now that I know it was left-over from the source; I was merely checking from within the posting, a very nice feature, instead of improperly placing a complaint amongst the product reviews where so do when all they want to do is trash something or someone, haters, as they are referred. Also, the work done on the box was quality, after getting your info I didn't think it unreasonable for Shout Factory to indicate amongst the many notations, especially as they "tracked" the set, they could have taken the time to add a note about that original source flaw to for those of us who never heard the original, or were lucky enough to get a copy of the "It's Deep Too! . . . " boxed set to have that awareness. I do appreciate the time you've taken to post and reply to posts, especially with your background and experience with the earlier collated sets. No should be discouraged to own this hilarious boxed set showcasing many of best recorded live performances commercially released and then those released just for this boxed; the DVDs are gravy or frosting, where savory or sweet tops it off!!!
That's a question best addressed to Shout! Factory. The DVD vs. Blu-ray configuration decision was not mine to make. I would assume that it probably had more to do with budgetary considerations than anything else.
I micromanaged the audio, editorial, and package design content, but my involvement with the DVDs was as follows...
1) I had them all re-indexed, chapter-wise. I also re-titled many of the chapters (as compared to earlier DVD releases of the same material) so that the titles of the routines matched or lined up better with their audio/album version equivalents, even if the performances were different.
2) I made sure that the source that we received for "Live On The Sunset Strip" was the widescreen version as opposed to pan-and-scan. (Up until "No Pryor Restraint," "Sunset Strip" had only been commercially available in pan-and-scan on previous VHS/DVD releases. Not as huge of a deal for a one-man show, but it was important to me that it be presented in its proper aspect ratio.)
3) I made sure that "Live In Concert" didn't suffer from the picture quality and audio sync problems that had plagued the earlier MPI version. I also wanted to make sure that, like the HBO DVD reissue that came out a few years ago, the "No Pryor Restraint" version was presented in widescreen.
Yes, I agree that it would have been nice to have a Blu-ray version of those films, but it was out of my hands.
Mr Collins, It's great to get your in-the-loop comments about this release. I think you did a great job with it. From my perspective, I don't really think the higher resolution of Blu-ray would've added much to the set given the picture quality of the films to begin with. Sharper grainy images are still grainy images.
Thanks, Mr Collins. I ordered the set from a site that offers the bonus "Live at the Comedy Store" CD. I am really looking forward to it (especially after having recently watched the engrossing Showtime biographical documentary, "Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic").
As for the Blu-ray matter, I did not mean to suggest that you had any control over it, and I tend to agree with Mr. Michael about DVD being adequate for grainy source material (although I do enjoy the greater AUDIO fidelity that Blu-ray offers over DVD).
I'm as big a fan of Blu-ray as anyone on this forum. Even though the video configuration issue was beyond my control, I did my best to ensure that what I had to work with was up to par. I'm not deflecting "blame," but stating the reality. Actually, "blame" is way too strong of a word because I couldn't be happier with the final result. Shout! Factory gave me A LOT of creative latitude, and, for that, I will always be grateful to them. And I also thank them for giving me the opportunity to co-produce the box set in the first place. For decades I've been one of Pryor's biggest fans, so this was a passion project for me, and I hope that it shows.
I'm really enjoying this thread, and I appreciate all of your comments/questions/suggestions. I hope that all of you enjoy the set as much as I do.
have not read all the comments, folks here seem in the know, simple question: is the one about: "Ever meet a brother couldn't tell a joke?" I would get it just for that one, too bad we all got to go, for everyone who grouses about no new material? Keep that in mind, he has been gone a while and no new material has been produced of any quality, poor or otherwise. Rudy an Richard...
I co-produced the box set, Laura, and the bit to which you are referring, "Our Gang," has been included. Regarding "new" material, the box set contains nearly two hours' worth of previously unreleased audio recordings, spanning 1971 to 1992, that were gleaned from Pryor's personal archives.