The American TAMI rock and pop concert of 1965, directed by Steve Binder, and the 1966 TNT concert directed by Larry Peerce, have long been held as sensational remembrances of the greatest era of rock and pop.
Here, side by side, were the Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones, the Ronettes and the Supremes, Tina Turner, Bo Diddley, even Donovan - the list runs on. The filmed TAMI concert ran for 123 minutes; the TNT show for 93 minutes. Priceless stuff.
But this DVD gives us, instead of those complete shows, an anthology of only 90 minutes, drawn at random order from both shows, omitting way more than half the material. This compilation appears to have been presented on video in the 1980s, and it splices in between the concert footage some cheesy, embarrasingly bad and totally unecessary introductions for each act from Chuck Berry.
To cut the shows from 216 minutes to 90, The Beach Boys have been eradicated completely - also sent into electronic oblivion are Donovan, The Byrds, The Lovin' Spoonful and Joan Baez, amongst others.
There are some great moments, especially from the so-spunky Ronettes (led by Ronnie Ronette, who became Phil Spector's wife for a short while) and the Rolling Stones. But while the music is great, the constant go-go dancers become a tad repetitive.
Look hard and amongst those dancers you'll spot a young Toni Basil, an accomplished and industry-respected choreographer who achieved a full three-minutes of solo fame in the early 1980s with her song Mickey. Such delights are few - the loss of so much footage can't be easily assuaged.
Image quality is mainly in the grey-scale, with the video showing very little quality definition. Chuck Berry's interruptions are in good condition colour. But for historical footage of this sort, the video would be acceptable if it was accompanied by decent sound.
Sadly, however, the mono sound is atrocious. I doubt if any effort was made to go back to original elements, since this seems to be just a repackage of a 1980s compilation. The sound is decidedly low-fidelity, and the music really struggles to rise above the continual jet-airplane level audience screaming.
Judging by the audio track used on this presentation, more effort seems to have been spent capturing the screaming than the music. There seems to have been no effort made take sound from a mixing desk; it's more as if a hand-held audio cassette has been used in the middle of the auditorium.
The only extras are average-quality promotional trailers for four other music DVDs from Umbrella: Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Legends of Rock & Roll, Gene Vincent and Marvin Gaye.