on March 29, 2005
I just finished watching this DVD. This is great early Sting, taking a risk; Post Police. I really enjoyed the music, from a cast of excellent musicians. This is a documentary, so there are interviews over some (not all) of the music. Within the 25 chapters, there are maybe 12 full concert songs. The rest is rehearsal, with breaks in songs and interviews. Even a few of the concert songs, are split with rehearsal footage. There is the option in the special features to set your favorite song list that I have not tried yet.
The transfer to DVD is superior in widescreen. The .1 bass is great. The 5.1 surround sound is good, but it does not have the obvious separation of the instruments - like a Sax sound from the surround speakers only (As in the Sting DTS DVD music discs).
Overall, this is Sting in the early years and well worth the price of admission.
on March 14, 2005
Finally, those of us who have waited for the better part of a decade will have the great satisfaction of seeing and hearing one of the best inside-view videos on DVD. This is a landmark video - a reality video before the genre took off- and a very telling effort that relates the drama that unfolds behind the curtain for one of the most influencial rock musicians of the last couple of decades. An all-star line-up that features some of the jazz world's greatest young lions of the time: Omar Hakim (drums), Kenny Kirkland (piano), Darryl Jones (bass) and the venerable Branford Marsalis (sax). A truly stellar band playing some of the most progressive music of the time. The cd features different versions of the songs from the video release, which, most people who have seen the video will agree, was one of the most heinous crimes in the history of soundtrack releases. Be sure to check out the blazing solos in many of the songs; Kenny Kirkland's solo in the title track, Omar Hakim's drum solo - which seems to disrupt the fabric of time and space - in "I Burn for You," and Branford's smoldering-to-full-on-scorching solos throughout.
on August 27, 2005
I was very pleased to see "Bring on the Night" released on DVD. I remember seeing this movie in the theaters many years ago and always wondered why it hadn't made it to digital, but no more!
The viewer can ignore the "dramatic" subtext of the movie ("Can Sting, risking his career, make it as a solo artist playing with jazz musicians?"; I think that the answer was never in that much doubt)that they try to establish through a series of interviews with Sting and others. Sting is overly stiff and didactic (and, frankly, boring!); the only guilty pleasure is seing Miles Copeland (his manager) run roughshod over evryone who is not Sting.
This movie is about the band and the music that they create. All of the band members are exceptionally strong; you can see and feel the pleasure that they get from playing with each other (check out Omar Hakim's smile as he solos in the middle of "Burn for You"). The set list draws from (for me) Sting's best solo work and some tasty new arrangements of Police hits (the plaintive "Message in a Bottle" stands out). But the best thing in this movie is the FUNKY jazz groove that the band adds to Sting's compositions. Check out the extended jams on "Consider Me Gone" and "Bring on the Night."
In short, if you want to see and hear musicians playing great songs WITH, not against or over, each other (listen to Branford Marsalis' sax support the melody and the message of "Fortress Around Your Heart"), check out this movie.
on October 26, 2005
I purchased the "soundtrack" to this when CDs first came out in the 80s... now finally I have the DVD and am able to watch this great movie... It is the story of how a band and album are created... The performances are great... the documentary is great... Definite re-playability... Plus it has been mixed in 5.1 and also has some bonus videos... If you have listened to the CD, buy the DVD!
on January 7, 2006
Gigantic as Sting is, for me, he is still in the TDWR category. This exceptional DVD provides an insight into the genius of Sting as a star, songwriter, singer, musician, guitarist and actor. (And I think he knows a bit about bass too) This is Sting "bridging the chasm", showing his incredibly rich colours as the greatest jazz rock musician ever. Whoa! That's a big claim! Or is it? Does anyone else come close? Well i love Steely Dan, but they don't have the incredible reach of this living legend who has reached ears and hearts in every crevice of the world. And if you count looks, voice and charisma too, then there is no one even remotely close.
This is a promotional film for the "Dream of the Blue Turtles" album and also a documentation of a historic concert tour with a band that is made up of some the finest Jazz players of the 70-80 fusion era. Each one plays within Stings unique version of this genre and excels. It would be hard to compliment any one of these musicians, as each is playing at a mind blowing level. Omar Hakim certainly gets a chance to show his awesome prowess, as does everyone else in varying degrees.
The song line up is the entire DOBT album plus some, ending in what may well have been the first solo version of "Message in a Bottle" that was to become a Sting concert signature. The transfer is well up to Sting's very high standards, in particular, the DTS audio track. Hey! This film was made in 1985 in stereo, on film! The extras are good fun too!
Sting's acting skills are on display as well, for the 'rehearsals' shown here are probably after the DOBT album was released, which would mean that all these musicians, not exactly amateurs, know the music by heart already. Knowing this titbit however, takes nothing away from this film or the music. In fact, it highlights one more facet of the immense talent of Sting. And some of the script, the interviews, well, this is a movie and it looks like a well made documentary. Congratulations here to Michael Apted on an amazing job.
There is even a section showing the actual birth of Stings child, set to a haunting backdrop of "Russians". And a glimpse into the photography of 'Mad' Max Vadukul. I mean, how much more could you possibly ask for?!! The whole concert perhaps. But then you may not buy the cd, which is a 'must have' for any Sting fan. And between the 'rehearsals' and the concert, everything is pretty much covered here. Incidentally, the rehearsals are set in a old and stunning Chateau in Paris. Btw, the concert's in Paris too. (!)
To think that this was just the beginning of a beyond extraordinary career, makes it even more staggering. If you consider that this was his first "solo" tour, so to speak, this is Sting at his musical and theatrical best. If you are a Sting fan, then you already own this dvd. If you aren't...buy it and you will be a Sting fan instantly. And he released 7 more brilliant albums after DOBT! Plus 3 more. Staggering?!!! This Englishman's all over the globe!!
on December 23, 2012
This is a true classic early rockumentary (or I suppose jazz-rockumentary). Younger kids of today may think everything was always shot in "reality" style, but it was not. That said, it is quite amazing how pretentious it is compared to something you'd expect to see today. Sting came up from a humble background to create a persona that developed into that of a modern day self made Prince or Lord of sorts and self proclaimed Champion of Worthy Causes. So why not have a vanity piece for your new project shot in a French chateau? Thankfully, his musical brilliance made this precious behavior tolerable and this video covers his best solo album (his first), which was a very bold and brave departure from his starring role in the biggest band in the world just before this (The Police). It is fun to watch the powerhouse band develop songs during practice jams and the self importance of the between segment chatter (including Miles Copeland's frenetic rants, themselves worthy of a Spinal Tap style parody) is all forgiven as soon as Sting hits the stage and belts out fantastic versions of his songs in concert.
Any Sting fan must have this! I find the audio and video quality of the DVD to be excellent, and from looking at the reviews here, it doesn't seem like the Bluray version represents much of an improvement, so I am content. This is Sting at the height of his creativity and in a great period of discovery, something fans will watch again many times over the years.
on September 6, 2014
This is a wonderful film plus concert that show a young Sting in perhaps the second phase of his career after The Police. It takes place in Paris where Sting introduces a new group of African-American musicians he's put together for this special film, achieving a new, unique sound.
For anyone who's followed Sting's career, this is an important look into his musical evolution. He sings many of his well know classics, but reinterpreted. And all are great.
There's lots of humor in this film/concert. And also included are several very personal segments with his wife Trudy Styler. But I don't want to give the best part of it away.
on November 13, 2015
I have owned this video on VHS for years! It is such a great video, I decided to upgrade to the DVD! The bonus features are exactly that: A bonus! This is one of the all-time best music documentaries, including lots of concert footage and complete song performances.
on November 20, 2015
Even though this has been out for a while, I just recently found it. My only frustration is that it doesn't have concert video of the first track. I would love the see the pianist and the singers in action.
on July 27, 2006
This is a documentary movie and the notes in the back of the DVD say it all. In 1985, after quitting a highly well succeeded pop outfit, The Police, a band that really managed to merge reggae and rock without plastering any style, Sting, a former jugg-band and of course jazz musician, sought how to expand the boundaries of his compositions, this an item that suffered restrictions within that band. For that, during the period of his first solo work was being done ("The dream of the blue turtles" album), Sting gathered in Paris one of the finest collection ever of musicians, all black and all of a jazz background, horn man Branford Marsalis, keyboardist Kenny Kirkland, drummer Omar Hakim, bass player Darryl Jones (now a Rolling Stone) and singers Janice Pendarvis and Dolette McDonald. "Bring on the night" focus on the birth of not only a new band and a new perspective in music (represented too by Trudy Styler giving birth at one of hers and Sting's children) showing without criticism or apology statements from Sting (where some of his insecure is evident), band members (a clever one by Marsalis) and the tense manager Miles Copeland, all well structured by director Michael Apted in a comprehensive, didactic way. Rehearsals in a stupendous castle together with some smart cuts joining creation and stage performances are worth the price of this movie although too short for concert fans and today patterns of footage. Police material is shown just in fragments and performance centered in new songs, as "Shadows in the rain", "Consider me gone", "Fortress around your heart" and "We work the black seam" - with a wonderful solo by Marsalis - and all are breath taking. As a bonus, views of Paris are always refreshments, and the wonderful quality of the picture must be praised, as well as the carefully mastered sound. A must for music fans of all kinds.