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The Complete Monterey Pop Festival The Criterion Collection
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On a beautiful June weekend in 1967, at the beginning of the Summer of Love, the first and only Monterey International Pop Festival roared forward, capturing a decade's spirit and ushering in a new era of rock and roll. Monterey featured career-making performances by Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Otis Redding, but they were just a few performers in a wildly diverse lineup that included Simon and Garfunkel, the Mamas and the Papas, the Who, the Byrds, Hugh Masekela, and the extraordinary Ravi Shankar. With his characteristic verite style and a camera crew that included the likes of Albert Maysles and Richard Leacock D. A. Pennebaker captured it all, immortalizing moments that have become legend: Pete Townshend smashing his guitar, Jimi Hendrix burning his, Mama Cass being blown away by Janis Joplin's performance. The Criterion Collection is proud to present the most comprehensive document of the Monterey International Pop Festival ever produced, featuring the films Monterey Pop, Jimi Plays Monterey, and Shake! Otis at Monterey, along with every available complete performance filmed by Pennebaker and his crew.
DIRECTOR-APPROVED THREE-BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
- New 16-bit 4K digital restoration of Monterey Pop, supervised by director D. A. Pennebaker, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack
- Restored high-definition digital transfers of Jimi Plays Monterey and Shake! Otis at Monterey with uncompressed stereo soundtracks
- Alternate soundtracks for all three films featuring 5.1 mixes by legendary recording engineer Eddie Kramer, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio
- THE OUTTAKE PERFORMANCES: Two hours of performances not included in Monterey Pop, from the Association, Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Blues Project, the Byrds, Country Joe and the Fish, the Electric Flag, Jefferson Airplane, Al Kooper, the Mamas and the Papas, Laura Nyro, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Simon and Garfunkel, Tiny Tim, and the Who
- Audio commentaries by Pennebaker and festival producer Lou Adler, and music critics and historians Charles Shaar Murray and Peter Guralnick
- New interviews with Adler and Pennebaker
- Chiefs (1968), a short film by cameraman Richard Leacock, which played alongside Monterey Pop during its inaugural theatrical run
- Interviews from 2002 with Adler and Pennebaker and with Phil Walden, Otis Redding's manager
- Audio interviews with festival producer John Phillips, festival publicist Derek Taylor, and performers Cass Elliot and David Crosby
- Photo-essay by photographer Elaine Mayes
- Monterey International Pop Festival scrapbook
- Trailers and radio spots
- PLUS: Essays by critics Michael Chaiken, Armond White, David Fricke, Barney Hoskyns, and Michael Lydon
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First, you get the original Monterey Pop film, remastered. I am fairly certain everyone here has seen it..............it's only about an hour and ten minutes long, but just Janis doing Ball And Chain would be quite enough. But I'm just getting started. You get Hendrix and Otis Redding's entire performances in this package. I already had them both, but if you don't............where ya been?
Then we come to the expanded Monterey Pop disc, two hours of never before released footage from the Festival. I'm spellbound by this, and have watched it once a week for the last several weeks. It opens with a great vocal group that I'd completely forgotten about, The Association, doing a stunning Along Comes Mary. Then a two song segment that absolutely melts me and brings tears to my eyes every time I see it: Simon and Garfunkel, so impossibly young and in their prime, do deliciously beautiful renditions of Homeward Bound and Sounds Of Silence. This is nothing short of classical music folks; it'll be played 100 years from now.
As if that weren't quite enough: The Byrds do three tunes, including a most stunning Chimes Of Freedom (Dylan), He Was A Friend Of Mine (very political tune about President Kennedy), and a rockin' Hey Joe. This DVD would be worth the price just to hear Crosby and McGuinn's twin guitars and harmonies almost 50 years after the fact. Then you get Buffalo Springfield (For What It's Worth), Crosby subbing for a recently departed Neil Young. You get Electric Flag featuring Michael Bloomfield on guitar, some jumpin' upbeat blues, Drinkin' Wine. Then there's the great Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Elvin Bishop on guitar, without a doubt one of the most influential 60's blues outfits doing Driftin' Blues. Janis w/ Big Brother get another tune, this time Combination Of The Two, from Cheap Thrills, very fun R&B tune. The Mamas and The Papas get an entire set..............yeah, no less than six tunes! The Who get three tunes.............remember this is pre-Tommy. Powerful stuff, as anyone would expect. Throw in a Jefferson Airplane tune, Somebody To Love...........damn, talk about a righteous 60's feeling.
If I were trapped on a desert island, had a DVD player and a TV and only two DVD's............I think it would have to be this one and Woodstock. But remember, Monterey Pop by D.A. Pennebaker is the one that started the whole rock Festival film thing..............it was the first. And with this expanded version, it's every bit right up there with Woodstock. Priceless just to have video documentation of this groundbreaking Festival from 1967. And what they've done with the sound is just phenomenal.
This version has a couple changes from the previous Criterion issue. On the "Outtake" br there is an additional song from Moby Grape and one from Grateful Dead. Other than that it is the same top quality and the same songs. The "Outtake" disc is separate in this collection. Again it has a decent booklet that list everything but the songs!
If you have the earlier blu-ray I wouldn't bother with this one unless you have to see the Moby Grape and Grateful Dead songs.
This three disc set comes with some terrific bonus features including outtakes and interviews and a fantasic little book about the making of the Monterey Festival along with rare photos. This three box set is great for old Babyboomers like myself to anyone who just enjoys great classic rock 'n' roll. Film students and artists will enjoy this too!