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  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.78:1
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
  Subtitles
    English, French, German
  Extras
  • Animated menus
  • Behind the scenes footage
  • Interviews
10 Years of Later...
Warner Vision/Warner Vision . R4 . COLOR . 137 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

On these shores, a few may remember Jools Holland from his days in the somewhat underrated Squeeze (you know, Cool For Cats, Up the Junction?) However, as none of our local networks have managed to demonstrate the smarts to have picked up Later... over its more than ten year run on Britain’s BBC to air here, the little guy who looks much like a humanised Beatrix Potter character will probably otherwise just draw blank stares. It may help to think of him as kind of an English Molly Meldrum, but one who didn’t completely sell out many years ago...

Each week, Later..., or “Top of the Pops with pubes” as Robbie Williams so delightfully describes it, sees Jools entertain musical visitors from all over the globe, playing completely live in an apparently acoustically sound studio. Much focus is placed on eclecticism – not only in the choices of acts, which may range from pop chart fodder to obscure (to some of us at least) African performers, but also in often getting those appearing to mix it up a bit, adding string or brass sections to their standard mix, or stripping it down to the barest of musical essences. While some may appear to bring their entire studio with them (we’re looking at you, Orbital!), others will pop along with but the barest of essentials, such as Nick Cave (those essentials being a piano and plenty of cigarettes).

Unlike a fabulous series of thematically compiled CDs which came out a few years back featuring performances from the show, 10 Years of Later... is a special featuring 30 appearances from what is a suitably eclectic bunch of acts. From the cream of indie and Britpop, to dance, soul, jazz and world music styles, they all get a look in here. And sadly it is this wide variety of styles which may put some potential purchasers off, which would be a great shame for there are highlights aplenty and not necessarily from those who, as a fan of a specific style, you may expect to tickle your personal funky bones.

For instance, Moby appears with his quite lovely Porcelain, which is followed on by the Blind Boys of Alabama covering his Run On, but in their own inimitable style which was pretty much the inspiration for the slapheaded one’s somewhat mega-successful Play album. Then there’s Robbie Williams drafting in country chick Bonnie Raitt to add some twang to his sweet Angels.

Even amongst those who do it pretty much as they normally would there are some absolute gems of performances. Radiohead before they went blah let loose a ripping take on Paranoid Android which is better than that on record, Pulp’s I Spy has the tension of its kitchen-sink drama heightened even more by the addition of a whole string section, Polly Jean Harvey (in the height of her drag queen phase) adds more slink and sleaze than ever to Down By the Water and those Swedish sensations, “genious” (sic) Rolling Stones wannabes The Hives prove they can more than well and truly cut it live, with their Hate to Say I Told You So providing yet another of the many highlights upon this disc.

Track listing:

The Verve - Bitter Sweet Symphony
Mary J Blige - No More Drama
Portishead - Glory Box
Ladysmith Black Mambazo - The Star and the Wiseman
Bjork - Hunter
David Gray - Babylon
Pulp - I Spy
Norma Waterson - There Ain’t No Sweet Man
Paul Weller - Woodcutter’s Son
The Hives - Hate to Say I Told You So
Jools Holland - Bloodsucker Blues
Massive Attack - Karmacoma
Blur - Parklife
Ibrahim Ferrer & Cachaito - Wahira
Oasis - Whatever
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - God is in the House
PJ Harvey - Down By the Water
Robbie Williams - Angels
Mariza - O Gente Da Minha Terra
Coldplay - Yellow
Baaba Maal - Jamma Jengii
Orbital - Satan
D’Angelo - Brown Sugar
Diana Krall - Peel Me a Grape
Morrissey - Suedehead
Moby - Porcelain
Blind Boys of Alabama - Run On
Primal Scream - Swastika Eyes
R.E.M. - Country Feedback
Radiohead - Paranoid Android

  Video
  Audio
  Extras
Contract

Despite being compiled from ten years worth of broadcasts, 10 Years of Later... comes to us in a 16:9-enhanced ratio of 1.78:1. This would lead us to assume that some of the footage originally shot in 4:3 has been cropped, however there are no glaringly obvious examples of severed heads or the like amongst earlier appearances. In general the visual quality is good without ever being super-superb, however the only obvious glitches which pop up are occasional examples of aliasing and shimmer, things regular viewers of music releases are more then accustomed to by now.

Only one audio mix is supplied, which is as broadcast – Dolby Digital stereo. Pump up the volume and it sounds pretty fab, without the need to call in surrounds or subwoofwoofs to boof it up. It’s all perfectly synched, and does great justice to what are, for the most part, superbly mixed tracks (the jury’s still out on The Verve’s little effort...)

A few modest extras are provided, the best of which is easily the series of interviews. Running in total for 20:34, brief chats with Bjork, Mary J Blige, Moby, Morrissey, the dorky dreamboat that is Jarvis Cocker of Pulp, Michael Stipe (R.E.M.) and Robbie Williams are on hand, each of which can be opted for separately. These often tend to explore more than just standard musical stuff like influences etc, and all have their own charms (although Morrissey still comes across as a prat, especially when espousing his love of pugilism). An option is also provided which will cause a little microphone icon to appear bottom right during the main programme when an interview is available for viewing. The Behind the Scenes featurette may sound intriguing, until you release it is a ludicrously brief 1:21 in “length”. Don’t blink folks... There is also a not very well thought out jukebox option which allows you to pick your six fave tracks for playback, however the selection screen just lists numbers with no titles, and the packaging doesn’t number the tracks – oops. Finally there are credits – whoopee.

If you’re a lover of any of the musical styles represented here there should be enough on hand to have you pretty much salivating at the prospect of picking up this release, and plenty more to entertain if you’re prepared to open your ears just a little bit. Although if you don’t dig Oasis this won’t be changing your opinion of them in a hurry...


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  •   And I quote...
    "30 highlights of live indie, Britpop, dance, soul, jazz, world music and more to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the “Top of the Pops with pubes”..."
    - Amy Flower
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-535
    • TV:
          Sony 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Onkyo TX-DS494
    • Speakers:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse RBS662
    • Centre Speaker:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse ECC442
    • Surrounds:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse ECR042
    • Subwoofer:
          DTX Digital 4.8
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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