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  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 57:54)
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English: DTS 5.1 Surround
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ELO - Zoom Tour Live

Image Entertainment/Warner Vision . R4 . COLOR . 98 mins . G . PAL


ELO has had a bit of resurgence lately. Perhaps the 70's are more in vogue. Certainly ELO songs have made their impact on films that have the 70's as a backdrop. I loved "Boogie Nights". Besides the subject matter that attracted me, I felt that the soundtrack to that film made the 70's songs sound better than I've ever heard. There was a strong bounce and impact to these songs that I've never heard before.

ELO was one of the bands that contributed to that film and they are the subject matter of this music DVD. They are an odd melange of electronica and orchestra. And like their name implies, they are a grand sounding band with an impressively distinct sound. They are a favourite of the audiophile brigade as their music lends itself well to expensive setups.

This DVD is a 23 track slice of their recent 'Zoom' concert at CBS Television City in Los Angeles. It is lead by Jeff Lynne who looks like he's still in the 70's with his afro style hairdo and wrap-around sunnies. His easy-going interaction with the audience sets the tone for what is an easy listening slice of the 70's. The performance is impeccable with not a single misplaced note.

The concert is presented expertly by long-time music director Larry Jordan - plenty of professional and leisurely cuts and pans of the rather psychedelic stage. This concert runs 98 minutes and it feels short with the high production values that tends to make things fly along.

Track Listing:

It is mainly a mix of slower tunes and some of their classic big orchestra pieces like 'Livin' Thing' and 'Evil Woman', both of which really go off.

  1. Do Ya
  2. Evil Woman
  3. Show Down
  4. Strange Magic
  5. Livin' Thing
  6. Alright
  7. Lonesome Lullaby
  8. Telephone Line
  9. Turn To Stone
  10. Just For Love
  11. Easy Money
  12. Mr Blue Sky
  13. Ma-Ma-Ma Belle
  14. One Summer Dream
  15. Tightrope
  16. State Of Mind
  17. Can't Get It Out Of My Head
  18. Moment In Paradise
  19. 10538 Overture
  20. Ordinary Dream
  21. Shine A Little Love
  22. Don't Bring Me Down
  23. Roll Over Beethoven


The picture is anamorphic 1.78:1 and of excellent quality. I could only nitpick some glaring blue lighting that tends to wash out pale details, maybe some isolated aliasing on keyboards and some greyish blacks. The band is all in black and they are well defined. There is also some border bleeding on say black on blue sections. This isn't the sharpest transfer with some loss of detail on certain instruments but it's a consistent issue with many music productions.

It is a very cool looking transfer due to the lighting so warm tones like skin takes on a paler hue. However... that's just the start!

The lighting changes to yellow-orange and sometimes green and then the dominant palette changes to a warmer hue. The overhead lights and the large projected images are solid, colourful well captured by the transfer. There is even a Matrix-style waterfall of characters in the background and the symbols are easily discernible. In any case, there is nary a problem with the transfer and clearly I prefer 16x9 1.85:1 as my chosen aspect.


There are three tracks, a 448k/s Dolby Digital 5.1, a 1,536k/s dts 5.1 and a 192k/s Dolby Digital 2.0 track. I'm going to ignore the 2.0 track as it's a travesty imparting nothing more than a cardboard cutout image of the concert. The Dolby 5.1 is a bit better but it too does little to convey a serious soundstage. The only thing I'd say in defence of the Dolby 5.1 track is that it does not display the same 'flamboyance' as the dts track, that is the imaging stays rooted to the front channels with the surrounds limited to audience. However let's get onto the main action...

ELO is a big sounding band with layered vocal and harmonies and strong reliance on orchestra. In this case there is a brace of electric cellos. dts serves them well with a strong sense of individual instruments and synthesisers. The complexity of the band is no problem for this dts track with every instrument showing clear enunciation. The vocals from every singer are clear and distinct although they also sometimes come from the rear channels.

The electric cello is a strong pointer here. It's an odd sounding instrument at the best of times and it sounds its best on the dts track with a strong sense of timbre and space. In the Dolby tracks there's less of that 'oddness' that tells you it isn't a normal cello. Pity they manifest themselves so well in your rear channels...

Is there something bad about the dts track? The biggest issue I have is that the instruments are sometimes present strongly in the rear speakers. I mean there’s a lot in the rear channels, backup, main and orchestra, electronica. Bass is reasonably strong in the rears as well. This is like the famed 'Eagles' dts DVD again. It's severe enough that you're wondering if you're facing the right way. A set of timbre matched fronts and rears would help (perhaps on the lines of Steve's brace of I91's) because in this day and age one must get used to a swirling maelstrom of surround activity, even in music.


The extras included are a credit to the producers. There is a general lack of extras on music DVD in general however the small amount of extras here helps to fill in the background here. There is a short essay on ELO and lead Jeff Lynne who is also the subject of a short video interview. The goes far into examining the long break between the breakup of ELO and the current 'Zoom' reunion. There is also an odd piece entitled 'the Fan Club' which is a short TV style interview of the various fans who went to 'Zoom' in LA. They're from around the world and it's a fluffy type piece but still, it's a nice inclusion.


This is a music DVD with very high production values. Besides that one issue I have with the dts track, I suggest fans should buy this DVD for their 70's collection. The 'ping pong' sound is not enough to deter the fans I'd imagine as I've never heard ELO sound bigger or better.

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=1152
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      And I quote...
    "Another great sounding, great looking dts music DVD from Warner Vision..."
    - Tony Lai
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Rom:
          Pioneer 105(s)
    • MPEG Card:
          Geforce2 32MB AGP
    • Decoder:
          Sony TA-E9000ES
    • Amplifier:
          Parasound HCA-1206THX
    • Speakers:
          Mission 763
    • Centre Speaker:
          Mission 75c
    • Surrounds:
          Mission 760
    • Subwoofer:
          Mission 75as
    • Audio Cables:
          rca coaxial SPDIF
    • Video Cables:
          VGA connector
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