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    Golden Days - The British Invasion Versus the San Francisco Sound
    Umbrella Entertainment/AV Channel . R4 . COLOR . 87 mins . E . PAL


    Here are two programmes presented by the same sad clown, a bozo named Casey Casem, who presents a generally indifferent selection of video clips of rock stars from both sides of the Atlantic.

    From Britain, representing 'The British Invasion', comes the truly wet Gerry and the Pacemakers and the inane and effete Peter and Gordon. Things step up somewhat in quality as we come to some top acts including Manfred Mann and The Animals, along with The Yardbirds and Traffic, while the best live performance of the whole bracket come from the pre-punk punks, The Kinks. But none of the real stars of Britain's 1960s are here. No Beatles, no Rolling Stones, no The Who.

    For the San Francisco programme we lead off with Irishman Van Morrison, and take in Janis Joplin, Country Joe, Grateful Dead, Santana and The Steve Miller Band. But where are The Doors? Even more tragically, where are the ruling aristocrats of the San Francisco Sound, Jefferson Airplane? Nowhere to be seen.

    We have to put up with Casem's anodyne, cliche-ridden intro before every track. Worst of all are his voiceovers - in an unforgiveable excess, the famous sliding-guitar intro into The Troggs' Wild Thing is hidden behind his verbal excrescence. He smells and should have been buried long ago.


    Unfortunately, this is one of the most pathetic transfers I've ever seen. The programme dates from the 1980s, and it looks as if it's a straight dub to DVD from a copy of a copy of a copy of a bad quality video. Massive pixelisation reigns in this bad, muddy, smeared and shifting video world.

    The sound fares a little better than the often unwatchable video - audio often seems to survive maltreatment better than image. But overall, this one's a real stinker. Only the excerpts of The Kinks and Traffic have survived in enough quality to give an idea of their original power. Not enough, overall, for any but the most dedicated fans of the period.

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  •   And I quote...
    "Pathetic presentation of rock from the 1960s - the greatest rock decade deserves better than this."
    - Anthony Clarke
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