Customer Review

28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ohh what could have been., July 6, 2008
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This review is from: Neil Diamond: Thank You Australia Concert - Live 1976 (DVD)
As a life long Neil Diamond fan, in fact I can remember being rocked to sleep as a baby to the echo's of Hot August Night, I was so excited to find this DVD and the era the it represented, the Mid-70's when Neil Diamond was the essential Singer-Songwritter of his generation. Nobody had yet heard of Billy Joel, Elton John or Bruce Springsteen. When it came to male singer-songwritters, Neil was the man. The song selection and concert presentation on this DVD is first rate a nice mix of his early classics and just released songs from Johnathan Livingston Seagull and Beutiful Noise recordings with an appropiriate amount of crowd interaction. In the Mid-70's Diamond's voice was still strong and he was singing his music, not talking it like he has progressed towards in the mid-80's and later. My biggest disappointment with this video is the sound mixing. Realizing this video is over 30 years old and there are serious sound limitations in the source tape, but still it does not appear to have been any effort or attempt to clean up the sound. There is no 5:1 suround sound offered and in portions of the DVD the sound has a repetative "hissing" that is either an poor dual layering of the disc or a source tape defect. I found this sound defect to be very distracting from an otherwise historical DVD presentation. It is a shame, the producers did not spend a few more dollars to clean up and present the audio in the first class presentation that it deserved. If the music from Woodstock/Jimi Hendrix and early Rolling Stones can be made almost prestine, then there is no excuse for the defects in this DVD's audio. So for the concert, songs, presentation 5 stars, for the audio 1 star, overall 3 stars, but ohh what it COULD have been.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 7, 2008 12:40:29 PM PDT
LuckyDan says:
I couldn't agree with you more. Video quality is pretty good considering the age of the original video tape source. The audio is another matter. While playing it for the first time I kept hearing an annoying high pitch "beep" every 10 seconds or so. Dropping the high end down on my sound equipment helped that aspect. If someone were to listen to this using the little 5 inch speaker on their TV set, they wouldn't notice the low quality audio.

Could it be that NO mastering WAS done to the audio?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 7, 2008 4:16:36 PM PDT
I agree No mastering was done, if so they would have made it a 5:1 sound mix, this is very common in todays HIGH QUALITY regeneration of old historic video. I run high level Marantz amps into Martin-Logan Loudspeakers and even with the sound mixed "flat" with slightly high deep end the "beep" was evident. It did get better in the last 1/4 of the program, with the walk off after Brother Love, the sounds was just amazing almost cyclic between my fronts and center speaker, this was when I realized it probably was not the mastering of the disc, but the actual no clean up of the audio. Disappointing that the producers went "the cheap" way with the sound. Thanks for the feedback.....but ohhh what this could have been

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 16, 2008 2:13:46 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 1, 2009 2:03:09 PM PDT
MDK says:
Any sound quality would be better than the one I had before I got the DVD. My folks recorded the concert on VHS while my wife and I were at the concert. Former Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and his wife were there, looking very bored - and next to them was 'The Fonz' (Henry Winkler) and Helen Reddy. Neil got them up on stage for "Song Sung Blue" and the Fonz did his own rendition, and it brought the house down. We sat on the grass literally 10 feet from Neil Diamond the entire time. Greatest concert I have ever seen. Neil sang "I've been this way before" and at the end he said, "Thank you Sydney, you've been fantastic" it is one of the most vivid memories of my life.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 4:13:42 PM PDT
First of all, by 1976, Elton John was already established as a mega-star. Not only with several hit albums, but a few years earlier with the "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" tour which broke records all over the planet. Billy Joel was also becoming well known, so your statement about no one hearing about Elton or Billy is hilarious, especially Elton John who hit gold in 1970 and never looked back. So please, if you're going to make statements, know what you're talking about. Another incorrect item in your posting concerns Jonathon Livingston Seagull. That boxoffice bomb but hit album was released a few years BEFORE the Thank You Australia tour and not at the same time as you proclaim. As far as the audio quality is concerned, it baffles me that so many old concerts are lovingly restored and sound pretty amazing with good equipment. However, with Neil's show, I'm not sure they could have done much more than they did, and I'm sure they did as much as they could. A lot of the problems that night was due to older, analog equipment and typical outdoor concert audio problems so typical of that era. I think it is amazing that the show sounded as good as it did. All of the noise, feedback and various imperfections simply adds authenticity to the era and time. As much as I would have loved for that complete show to sound half as good as Neil's "Greatest Hits Live" video, laserdisc or dvd or the bonus DVD in the "Stages" box-set, I was just thrilled that this was nearly a complete concert. NONE of the legally released shows on any format are a complete concert. Even "Live at the Greek" was a condensed show, and speaking of that, WHEN are we going to see that great show on DVD or the TV special "I'm Glad You're Here With Me Tonight." Something tells me that Neil and Columbia are preparing something truly special for Neil and his fans who have been clammoring for some concert releases.

Posted on Apr 29, 2012 12:01:35 AM PDT
Andrew James says:
To suggest that in 1976, Elton John, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen were relative unkowns is absolutely ridiculous. You shouldn't even be allowed to listen to music, forget about trying to make an intelligent comment on it. You are a musical MORON. Get your facts straight.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2014 8:14:21 AM PDT
That sounds exactly like "Love at the Greek" He brought them both up in the same manner as you described; which was recorded @ the Greek Theater in Los Angeles in September 1976; and released in February 1977. In addition it was broadcast on NBC and simulcast on FM stations nationwide and the Special also titled "Love At The Greek." was later released on VHS. No matter the city in which he was performing he always ended the concert in the same fashion, when I saw him that year it was, "Thank-You Cincinnati you've been fantastic, just as he did @ the Greek.
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