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  Directed by
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  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
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Cliff Richard - The 40th Anniversary Concert
Warner Vision/Warner Vision . R4 . COLOR . 0 mins . E . PAL

  Feature
Contract

E - "It also carries with it a spiritual dimension. I mean there’s a history of celibacy in greatness. You look at Da Vinci, Joan of Arc, Isaac Newton..."
A - "For all we know they could have been so ugly that they had no choice in the matter."
E - "Cliff Richard, Cher – she was celibate for a while."
Evan (Samuel Johnson) and Alex (Claudia Karvan) from The Secret Life Of Us

So on the point of looks and The Secret Life of Us, is it just me or does Sir Cliff Richard look like Ritchie (Spencer McLaren)? Hmm but that aside, here we have a spiritual and celibate 63 year old (at the time of the recording, 58) strutting his stuff on stage for over two hours – a real feat for anyone, regardless of age. And while his dancing screams "old man", his singing ability makes up for that. But just stop flapping that wrist about or people will get ideas...

Sir Cliff Richard, originally Harry Rodger Webb, was born in 1940 in India, and started his pop music career as Cliff Richard in 1958 at the ripe age of 18. Over the past 45 years in the industry, Richard has had over 65 Top 10 singles, 14 of which made it to number one, and just to make the point stronger, he holds the record for the most Top 10 singles. From the late ’50s he had a stint at acting, including popular films including The Young Ones and Summer Holiday but still returned to a life of music, even a few appearances at the Eurovision song contest just to top it off. So he has had a heap of singles, a heap of movies, and a heap of success, and still managed to remain reputable and classy, as well as providing a mountain of tracks that can fit in the you'll-know-it-when-you-hear-it category.

This DVD catalogues a portion of this “pop star”’s catalogue, but does miss out on some of his bigger hits from the ’60s. Backed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Cliff Richard gives a passionate and well-rounded performance to a huge appreciative audience over two nights, in what is a fantastic example of a concert on DVD. Also featured are some "special guests" for some duets and solo performances. OK, the artist may not be suitable for everyone, not mentioning this reviewer’s name, but still it could be worse. No, it couldn’t, oh wait... yes it could be Britney Spears – phew!

Track listing...

From a Distance
Do You Wanna Dance?
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
Softly As I Leave You
All That Matters
Daddy’s Home
Real As I Wanna Be
Barratt Waugh - I Will Always Love You
Miss You Nights
The Twelfth of Never featuring Michelle Wolf
Michelle Wolf - Through The Fire
Some People
Wired For Sound
Move It
Even If It Breaks My Heart
Can’t Keep This Feeling In
Every Time We Say Goodbye
Hope Faith and You
We Don’t Talk Anymore
She Makes Me Feel Like A Man
The Miracle
Butterfly Kisses
Vincezo La Sola - Nessum Dorma
Vita Mia feat. Vincenzo La Sola
Devil Woman
Ocean Deep
It’ll Be Me
Peace In Our Time

  Video
  Audio
  Extras
Contract

This concert is presented in a full frame aspect, and is therefore not anamorphically enhanced. And if you’re looking for faults with this transfer, stop here because that is the only one. For a live concert, this transfer is technically stunning, capturing the vivid nature and electricity given off by a lengthy live performance without compromising quality. Surely fans will get a kick out of this DVD, giving them a magnificent rendition of Richard’s concert. Colours are luminous and vivid, showing no posterisation and just leap off the screen. Blacks too are mastered with such precision, giving deep and solid depths, these are free from posterisation, even during some of the complexly lit scenes. For a concert, these sorts of things are of paramount importance due to the larger number of static scenes and extended cuts which give the audience longer periods of time to absorb the picture. Being over two hours in duration, a layer change is somewhere on this disc, but that is just the thing – it’s somewhere and that is as precise as this reviewer could get. While the content may not try to push the technical bounds of the format, it does a fantastic job at mastering a length feature with so little to whinge about. Ah yes, every reviewer’s dream!

So even with such a classy video transfer, we are still given the Royal treatment, yes Sir, we sure are. Haha, see what this has done – made me go delirious. And I thought the radiation from the computer screen was making me sweat...

But anyway, two tracks are on offer here, and if you have a 5.1 setup, listen to the Dolby Digital 5.1 track, and if you only have your television speakers then the Dolby Digital 2.0 track will do you nicely. Both tracks offer faithful renditions of the concert, and really too have very little wrong with them.

In terms of the 5.1 track, the front end of the soundstage dishes out the main mix of the audio, with very little in the way of three-channel separations. The surrounds carry the usual concert ambience to provide a more enveloping effect. These do have a constant presence, and not an invasive one either – so suitable for this type of concert. The subwoofer graciously supports the music with a gentle rumbling but offers very little in the way of thuds and bumps, still, with this style of music who cares? The depth provided is fulfilling enough so let’s just leave it at that.

Now for the 2.0 track, which sounds very similar to the 5.1 track, funnily enough. A crystal clear sound is projected from the front left and right speakers, giving a rich sound with a high fidelity. Bass levels are defined enough for a 2.0 track, but it does lack the depth of the 5.1 mix. Still, depending on your setup, whichever track you choose offers a great aural experience for Richard’s concert.

And while we may not have been given anything in the way of extras, this DVD does give a superb catalogue of one of the 20th century’s most respected solo male artists (of course open to interpretation), but Cliff Richard’s 40th Anniversary Concert documents his love of music over 40 years in the industry – a 135 minute “thankyou” to all of his fans over the years. So for a top-notch video as well as a great 5.1 mix, grab this one, which fans would have already done, but content-wise this really is one for the fans, and the fans alone.


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  •   And I quote...
    "...it could be worse. No, it couldn’t, oh wait... yes it could be Britney Spears – phew!"
    - Martin Friedel
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Philips DVD 736K
    • TV:
          TEAC EU68-ST
    • Receiver:
          Sony HT-SL5
    • Speakers:
          Sony SS-MSP2
    • Centre Speaker:
          Sony SS-CNP2
    • Surrounds:
          Sony SS-MSP2
    • Subwoofer:
          Sony SA-WMSP3
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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