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Ed Sullivan's Rock 'n' Roll Classics Boxed Set

2.9 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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(Sep 24, 2002)
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$198.99 $175.99

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

On Sunday nights throughout the '50s and '60s, Ed Sullivan brought pop culture into America's living rooms with the most influential show of its kind. If you made it there, you had it made because for the first time, the entire county was at home watching. During the course of the show's run, many of the early rock and roll legends were featured in career-defining performances. These cultural milestones have been compiled for Ed Sullivan's Rock 'n' Roll Classics, along with archival footage and narration for insight on the artists, their eras, and their classic appearances. Now seen with half a century of hindsight , it's clear Ed Sullivan was right--his was a really big show.
-Chart Toppers Volume 1: Top Hits of 1965 (Sonny and Cher, Tom Jones, 4 Seasons, Lovin' Spoonful, Herman's Hermits), Top Hits of 1966 (Rolling Stones, The Animals, The Association, The Mamas and the Papas, Lou Rawls, The Supremes) , Top Hits of 1967 (Rolling Stones, The Association, Johnny Rivers, The Supremes, The Mamas and The Papas)
-Chart Toppers Volume 2: Top Hits of 1968 (Beach Boys, Chambers Brothers, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, Spanky and Our Gang, Tommy James and the Shondells), Top Hits of 1969 (Brooklyn Bridge, Smith, CCR, Oliver, The 5th Dimension), Top Hits of 1970 (Jackson 5, The Supremes, Carpenters, BJ Thomas, 5th Dimension)
-The Soul of the Motor City: Motortown Review (Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, The Supremes, Jackson 5, Temptations, Stevie Wonder), Sweet Sounds of Soul (The Supremes, Four Tops, James Brown, Righteous Brothers, Temptations), Motor City Magic (Four Tops, Jackson 5, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder)
-Elvis and Other Rock Greats: Elvis Presley (Songs: Don't Be Cruel, Ready Teddy, Hound Dog, Too Much, When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold, Peace In The Valley), Move to the Music (The Beatles: Twist and Shout, Jerry Lee Lewis: Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On, Martha and the Vandellas: Dancing In The Streets, Jay and the Techniques: Keep The Ball Rolling, Jackie Wilson: That's Why, Freddie and the Dreamers: Do The Freddie, Sly and the Family Stone: Dance To The Music)
-The Temptations & The Supremes: The Temptations (Songs: Don't Look Back, September In The Rain, You've Made Me So Very Happy, Run Away Child, I Can't Get Next To You, Just My Imagination), The Supremes (Songs: Come See About Me, Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart, I'm Living In Shame, Forever Came Today, No Matter What Sign You Are, Up The Ladder To The Roof)
-Love Songs: Classic Love Songs (The Beatles, Carpenters, Little Anthony and the Imperials, The Fifth Dimension, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Elvis Presley), Rock 'n' Roll Love Songs (Beatles, Lulu, Jackie Wilson, Little Anthony and the Imperials) Teen Idols (Bobby Rydell, Dino Desi and Billy, Tom Jones, Paul Anka, Bobby Darin)
-Rockin' the Sixties: San Francisco Scene (Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Janis Joplin, CCR, Sly and the Family Stone), Smash Hits of the Sixties (Beatles, Beach Boys, Petula Clark, 4 Seasons, Tommy James), Psychedelic Sixties (The Doors, Steppenwolf, Vanilla Fudge, Temptations)
-Legends of Rock: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Beach Boys, CCR, James Brown), Rock Legends - Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (Elvis Presley, James Brown, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Bo Diddley, Jackie Wilson)
-The British Invasion: The British Invasion Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (Beatles, Rolling Stones, Herman's Hermits, The Animals, Gerry and The Pacemakers, Freddie and The Dreamers)
Plus trivia tracks, selected discographies, interview with John Moffit (director), and a rare interview of Ed & Sylvia.

With a total of 144 songs (including repeats) and well over 500 minutes of playing time, this massive boxed set, whose nine discs each contain between 12 and 19 performances, truly is, as host Ed Sullivan famously said, "a really big show." With some 20 songs between them, the two most important rock acts of the 20th century, Elvis Presley and the Beatles, both of whom received huge career boosts from the Sullivan show (garnering a reported 80 percent audience share and 70 million viewers, respectively), are well represented; so are other genres, like Motown and '60s rock. And wonderful, galvanizing performances by, among others, the Jackson Five (especially "the little fella in front," as Sullivan calls Michael), the Animals, James Brown, Janis Joplin, Jackie Wilson, the Rolling Stones, and even the Association ("Along Comes Mary") are enough to counter the curious inclusion of the Brooklyn Bridge, Jay and the Techniques, and other obscure minor talents.

Still, the boxed set (whose DVD bonus features include "trivia tracks" and limited discographies) has serious flaws. Audio and video (color and black and white) are good, but far too many songs are repeated (the Jefferson Airplane's "Crown of Creation" appears twice on the same disc!), while others are obviously truncated; and there's no excuse for programming two songs each by the likes of Dino, Desi and Billy, and Freddie and the Dreamers. In the end, the good music saves the day, but the set's drawbacks keep Ed Sullivan's Rock 'n' Roll Classics from being an essential purchase. --Sam Graham

Special Features

  • Discs 1-9:
  • Chart Toppers Volume 1: Top Hits of 1965, Top Hits of 1966, Top Hits of 1967
  • Chart Toppers Volume 2: Top Hits of 1968, Top Hits of 1969, Top Hits of 1970
  • The Soul of the Motor City: Motortown Review, Sweet Sounds of Soul, Motor City Magic
  • Elvis and Other Rock Greats: Elvis Presley, Move to the Music, The Temptations & The Supremes, The Temptations, The Supremes
  • Love Songs: Classic Love Songs, Rock 'n' Roll Love Songs, Teen Idols
  • Rockin' the Sixties: San Francisco Scene, Smash Hits of the Sixties, Psychedelic Sixties
  • Legends of Rock: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Rock Legends - Vol. 1, Rock Legends - Vol. 2
  • The British Invasion: The British Invasion Vol. 1, The British Invasion Vol. 2
  • Trivia tracks
  • Selected discographies
  • Interview with director John Moffit
  • Rare interview with Ed & his wife, Sylvia

Product Details

  • Actors: Ed Sullivan, Beatles, Elvis Presley, The Supremes, Jackson 5
  • Format: Box set, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 9
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Sofa / Rhino Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 24, 2002
  • Run Time: 520 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006ADZZ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,764 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on October 30, 2002
Format: DVD
Let me start by saying this could have been one of the great DVD sets ever released but Rhino really dropped the ball.
Some reviewers seem to think they are viewing the complete performances or the performances as "originally aired". Lets clear that up right now. These are the edited performances that aired on VH1 and in no way are they as originally performed on the Ed Sullivan Show in the 50's, 60's and 70's. Anyone who believes they are viewing the original performance need only compare the Beatles Ed Sullivan appearances from "Beatles Anthology" or "Beatles First US Visit" to the same performances contained in this DVD set. You will then see and hear exactly what you are missing. All songs suffer a similar editing done so skillfully that anyone unfamiliar with the songs or original broadcasts might be fooled. Don't think for a second that a group fortunate enough to appear on Ed Sullivan's show would have chosen to perform a "shortened" version of their songs. It just didn't happen. Sorry folks, but if you think you are viewing the original performance as aired you are just plain wrong.
Because of the price I was convinced that we would now see the full versions of these songs and not the hatchet job we saw on VH1. But Rhino really fooled us. One reviewer felt that the high price may be due to royalty payments to so many artists. Maybe, but I doubt it. The Hullabaloo DVD series has many artists but the set is very affordable and you get the complete performances as aired. As for groups like the Dave Clark Five being absent (they made 18 appearances on the Ed Sullivan show) it's possible that Dave Clark was able to avoid being part of this project. He was and is very protective of the usage of the DC5 material.
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I saw this coming a mile away ... I've seen those network "Ed Sullivan" retrospectives and have cringed all the way through as songs were cut in half (or worse). They are so carved up and edited down, it's really a shame.
When I saw this set advertised, I was hoping that MAYBE, just maybe, the folks who run the Ed Sullivan estate and the company which puts his footage out had finally "got it." Oh, how wrong I was.
Oh, yeah, there are about 144 performances, but not one song is complete. Adding insult to injury, each DVD runs a scant 60 mins. Meaning this 9 DVD set could easily have fit on 4 disks - and cost the consumer a lot less money.
One day - hopefully in my lifetime - the powers that be will come to their senses and release "Ed Sullivan: The COMPLETE Beatles Performances" and a similar volume contining FULL LENGTH versions of the Doors, Rolling Stones, and other essential groups of the 60s.
Until then, we will continue to get very little value for our money. This box set is a perfect example of consumers being taken.
Don't you find it strange that the edited songs or 60 minute running time per disk are nowhere to be found in the official description of this item? I'd think that would be rather pertinent information.
This is a set for casual TV viewers only. There are some historic moments... but for the price being charged, one would expect to see/hear the songs in their entirety. That's not too much to ask for, and once the word gets out about this set, should prove to be the "deal breaker."
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Buyers beware! Most of the performances on this Ed Sullivan DVD box set have been cut. How in the world can you take a 2 minute song and cut it? Well, Rhino found a way. This would have been a great set if all 144 songs were complete. Surely they had enough space on each DVD (60 minutes per disc? Come on). I'm sending my set back for a refund.
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When I first saw the DVD set in the stores, I thought this was a no brainer to buy. Like many of you, I often look up the reviews first. I was really taken aback buy the poor ratings which made me think twice. Anyway, I had a chance to buy the set new for [a good price] this past week. I've watched 5 of the first 9 DVDs so far. Yes, some of the performances are cut short (not all verses sung). First of all, who cares if Sonny and Cher don't drag out I Got You Babe. I was more saddened at the short versions of Sly's Dance to the Music. Most of those abridged versions were due to programming at the time.
Overall I was quite pleased. I thought the sound and pictures were pretty well mastered. Yes, there is some song duplication, but it didn't kill me. No, I wouldn't pay full price, but I'm really quite pleased. Actually , the most annoying thing is getting the DVDs out of the package. They are in there tight and you have to be careful pushing the middle ring to get the discs out. I can live with this compilation. At least it's not put together by some self indulgent producer who has to put interview footage in the middle of live performances like many do...that's the worst sin of all. Bottom line is this was a rush to watch. Really enjoyed the young Tom Jones and the Association. FYI, one of the Association's hidden harmonies was the Hawaiian singer's brother, who was always off stage with a microphone. Buy it, but get it on sale.
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