44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Concert and Commentary blend well,
This review is from: Paul McCartney - Live in Red Square (DVD)
I was a bit surprised at first when I realized there would be commentary between each song. Having visited Russia (the U.S.S.R. then) in April, 1971 I understand how necessary the commentary is to impress upon the average viewer the importance this concert had for the Red Square audience, many who had grown up in the late 60's and early 70's and were looked upon at that time as the future of communism by the Soviet government. There were also many young people in the audience, their ages appearing to range from 40 to 10
The concert itself, the sound and picture quality are excellent. Seeing it performed in Red Square brought back many memories of my own visit. The prescence of the commentary between songs is extremely valid.
When we were preparing to visit in '71 we were told that if we could afford it we should take rock records with us, especially Beatles as their music was banned in the U.S.S.R., to give to Russian students. I presented the Beatles album I had taken to a student in Moscow. His eyes lit up immediately as he grasped it, turned and ran towards his friends, holding it high and shouting, "Beatles! Beatles!"
At a dinner with Russain students given for us in Moscow there was a Russian band performing. They played several Beatles tunes, including Can't Buy Me Love. When we were leaving St. Petersburg (called Leningrad then) we were fogged in for an hour, the majority of our group went to dinner but four of us stayed in the terminal playing chess and drinking Dark Eyes wine. Whoever was in charge of the airport speaker system took a great gamble and played the White Album for us, side 1, of course.
So the commentary is very essential and gives one a true sense of the impact of rock music, spearheaded by the Beatles, on the Soviet Union. I feel that if the commentary had been a separate added feature few people would have watched it and missed out on the true significance of this concert.
As a side note I also gave the Stones album Beggar's Banquet to a hotel maid in Czechoslovakia. Once again the bulging eyes syndrome as she ran down the hallway yelling Rolling Stones over and over again.
Paul's band is fabulous and all the songs are great. The commentary clips are brief between each song, a little dose of reality and history interspersed with the fun. I have to admit it choked me up at times too. It goes a little deeper than just presenting a concert for the entertainment value alone. This dvd shows how personal freedom can be communicated in a way that not even a strong, repressive government could suppress. It also demonstrates that the Russians can party as well as anyone on this planet!