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on September 20, 2007
For all you Johnny-come-lately's out there (of which I was one until very recently) Stereophonics are band from the UK. They sell millions of records in Europe and Asia, but haven't gotten their due state-side until now. This is a two disc set, and the first disc is a feature-length, retrospective documentary film about this little band from Wales. They are such a sensation that the film REWIND screened theatrically in the UK and in Japan. The last concert film I remember seeing in a US theater is U2 - Rattle and Hum, so that should tell you just how big these guys are. It's very interesting, and incredibly well shot. It immediately stimulates memories of the great music documentaries from the 70s; films like Sympathy For The Devil or The Last Waltz. It traces the history of the band, who have had their share of ups and downs, but also interviews some very famous fans including bands who have toured with the Stereophonics. Among those interviewed are Bono, Keith Richards, Jools Holland, The Black Crowes, Oasis, Tom Jones and a bunch of others. There's a ton of bonus features, too. There's an entire second disc comprised of lengthy portions of gigs from multiple tours, which if you added it all up would make this set 4 hours long. This is seriously one of the best collections of live footage I've ever seen. I'd compare it perhaps to Cliff 'Em All! from Metallica, but this footage is much higher quality, and there's a whole lot more to see. I bought the other Stereophonics DVD after seeing this as well, Language. Sex. Violence. Other? which shows the band in studio recording the album of the same name, features all the promo videos from that record and contains a whole live concert from that tour. I was happy to see that this was entirely different footage than that represented on REWIND. Some of the songs appear on both, but the performances are different, making each release entirely unique. The set lists vary considerably, so I was especially pleased to see that they included "I'm Alright (You gotta go there to come back)" which recently turned up on an episode of the TV show South of Nowhere. These guys really rock, and it's evident that they are true musicians' musicians. I can't believe that I was so unaware of them for so long. They are definitely for fans of Manic Street Preachers, Oasis, Blur, Radiohead and even bands like the Rolling Stones and U2, but different and entirely original. Anyway, I can't recommend this DVD highly enough. I'm glad it's finally come out in the US, and it even comes with a 32 page tour booklet. It's a pretty hefty package, too -it weighs more than any DVD I've purchased in recent memory!
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