DVD Talk on Amazing Journey

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 31 06:08:39 CDT 2007


Too long to post in its entirety so here's some highlights: 

This DVD is super-duper in terms of image quality. Amazing Journey: The Story of the Who was made to be seen widescreen, and the anamorphic transfer is at a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. It looks great, and the directors even thought ahead as far as the old footage. They created an unobtrusive, stylish frame for the fullscreen performance footage that allows them to integrate it into the newer widescreen material. Also, whenever possible, they cleaned up the archival items so they look brand new. 

Naturally, the sound here needs to be as good as the picture, and the 5.1 Dolby Digital mix is good and loud without distorting the music. There are also English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired. 

DVD 1 has the main feature on its own, while DVD 2 has two more hours of extra material, keeping the same sound and video specs of the main disc. The main portion of the second disc is titled Amazing Journey: Six Quick Ones, a collection of six more mini documentaries, giving each band member more individual air time and delving into specific elements of the Who's artistry. Together, these run close to 90 minutes (you can watch each segment alone, or all at once). The compact biographies of Roger, John, Pete, and Keith are all from the same pool as Amazing Journey proper and contain more performance footage, but with a specific intention of getting to the heart of what made each individual player sound the way they did. I was particularly pleased to see a more recent acoustic version of "Real Good Looking Boy" that showcases Roger's more aged voice.

"Real Good Looking Boy" is also the subject of D.A. Pennebaker's Quick One, "Who's Back." The recording of the song for the Who's most recent greatest hits compilation (2004) was captured by the director who chased Dylan in Don't Look Back and filmed the Who for Monterey Pop.

Lastly, "Who Art You" explores how the band joined the mod movement and its pop-art leanings. It includes bits of the commercial they did for Coca-Cola, which then lead to The Who Sell Out. This features commentary from Richard Barnes, author of many a Who-related book, including the quintessential photo book on the youth movement, simply titled Mods.

21 more minutes are given to "The Scrapbook," deleted and extended stories from the documentary. These are in five segments: 
1. "Dinner With Moon" - Manager Bill Curbishley's story of an extraordinary Keith Moon bender and John Entwistle's response to it. 
2. "A Legal Matter" - Shel Talmy and Glyn Johns recall the contractual fight between Talmy and the band. 
3. "Won't Get Fooled Again" - Peter Townshend relates the real inspiration behind one of his more popular numbers. 
4. "Cincinnati: The Whole Story" - Curbishley relates in full his perception of what happened when concert-goers got trampled at a show in 1979. 
5. "Royal Albert Hall 2000" - Noel Gallagher's amusing anecdote about being invited to play with the guys at a charity gig. 
Finally, "The High Numbers at the Railway Hotel" is nearly 8 minutes of the recently unearthed footage of the band in 1964, playing two R&B covers uninterrupted. This very early film was shot for a proposed movie Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp wanted to make, a chronicle of an up-and-coming rock band that never happened. 

-Brian in Atlanta 
The Who This Month! 

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