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The Old Grey Whistle Test, Vol. 2

3.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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(Jan 17, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

From the great to the near great to the not-so-great, from legends to obscurities, it's all here on The Old Grey Whistle Test, Vol. 2, an entertaining compilation of pop music performances from England's seminal live music TV program (well, mostly live--in some instances, the musicians are clearly miming to pre-recorded instrumental tracks). The show aired from 1971 to 1987, and the thirty complete songs occupying this lengthy (about 150 minutes) disc cover virtually every style that was in vogue during that period, along with some that weren't. When Whistle Test (so named for the notion that if a certain grey-haired doorman whistles your tune, then it's a hit) started, singer-songwriters were much in vogue, and that brigade is well represented by already-were or soon-would-be stars (Loggins & Messina, Jim Croce), others who never hit it quite that big (Joan Armatrading, Suzanne Vega), and still others whose legends have since eclipsed what they actually accomplished at the time (cf. Tim Buckley, whose "Dolphins" from '74 is a highlight). Glam rock was popular as well, so we get Roxy Music and the New York Dolls (the riotous "Jet Boy"), who bridged the gap to punk; the latter is represented by bands little known in the States, like the Adverts and the Undertones. The dubious virtues of New Wave are represented by the likes of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and Siouxsie and the Banshees, hard rock by Montrose (featuring a very youthful Sammy Hagar), and classic rock by the Who, Argent, and Meatloaf (whose "Paradise by the Dashboard Light," featuring singer Karla DeVito, is a sweaty, salacious, over-the-top delight). Add to that the pop-cum-soul of the Average White Band, Hall & Oates, Simply Red, and the Style Council, and you've got something for pretty much everyone. Brief artist profiles and some amusing audio commentary by a Whistle Test presenter (i.e., host) and "archivist" are among the extras. --Sam Graham


Special features

  • Tracks: Warming Up the Band (Heads, Hands & Feet), Ladytron (Roxy Music), House on Pooh Corner (Loggins & Messina), Relay (The Who), The Kiss (Judee Sill), God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You (Argent), Put It Where You Want It (Average White Band), Bad Bad Leroy Brown (Jim Croce), Jet Boy (New York Dolls), Dolphins (Tim Buckley), Bad Motor Scooter (Montrose), Disney Girls (Bruce Johnston), Goin' Back (Nils Lofgren), She's Gone (Daryl Hall and John Oates), Love and Affection (Joan Armatrading), Bored Teenagers (The Adverts), Because the Night (Patti Smith Group), Paradise by the Dashboard Light (Meat Loaf), Metal Postcard (Siouxsie and the Banshees), Jimmy Jimmy (The Undertones), Stop and Tickle (Squeeze), Dancing (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark), Walk Out to Winter (Aztec Camera), Hyperactive (Thomas Dolby), Walls Come Tumbling Down (Style Council), Marlene on the Wall (Suzanne Vega), Skiffle Jam (Andy Kershaw, John Walters, Ro Newton, John Peel), Holding Back the Years (Simply Red), When Love Breaks Down (Prefab Sprout), Dirty Old Town (Pogues)
  • Random-play option
  • Contributor profiles
  • Artists gallery
  • Enhanced performance option
  • Commentary from presenters Mark Ellen and David Hepworth
  • Old Grey Squirrel Test animation

Product details

  • Actors: Bob Harris, Kevin Ayers, Roger Daltrey, Roddy Frame, Jools Holland
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Warner
  • DVD Release Date: January 17, 2006
  • Run Time: 145 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000CBG5Q0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,615 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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