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Earth Wind & Fire - The Official Story
Eagle Vision/Warner Vision . R4 . COLOR . 120 mins . G . PAL


Want to relive the old days of funk? Well now you can, with one of the most comprehensive music documentary discs around on one of the most renowned bands of the 70ís. Earth, Wind & Fire are one of the greats of the 70ís, their music being a unique mix of funk, rock and pop. This documentary disc, quite unlike most other music documentaries is actually very comprehensive and even contains some decent special featuresÖ YAY!

If youíve never heard of Earth, Wind & Fire then chances are this review wonít interest you at all, but if youíre actually a fan of the band then you may be impressed. This two-hour presentation explores the 30 years of music making behind this band including some interviews, commentaries, live footage and an extensive discography. Band members Maurice White, Verdine White, Philip Bailey as well as Eric Benet, and Wyclef Jean all have input on this disc discussing many of the interesting aspects of the bands long spanning career. Being two hours in length (plus extras) this disc isnít too shabby at all, and is quite an interesting watch.


Iíll start off with the extras for a change, and although they arenít anything amazing, they are quite impressive, especially for a documentary disc. Classic Earth, Wind & Fire performances (presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 no less) is a good collection of some of their best songs performed live at a variety of different venues. Earth, Wind & Fire always had a reputation of being great live, and this disc really highlights that point.

The Album montage is much better than your run of the mill discography, and actually contains a very extensive audio commentary by Maurice White on each of the albums theyíve released; a nice addition and very comprehensive. Last, and least, is a Photo Gallery, another nice addition, but hard to get excited over. Again, this is quality instead of quantity, which is always pleasant to see.

The video detail varies greatly. Some of the footage is over 30 years old, while some other interviews are actually quite recent, so obviously the quality changes between these. The older footage suffers from grain and film artefacts. The concerts have terrible shadow detail, which is typical of live performances. The colours are generally quite good though, and although at times they appear overly soft, they are still vibrant and clear. Itís hard to rate the video quality on a disc like this when the footage varies in age so drastically. Overall however the footage has been well looked after, and the transfer has been quite clean.

The audio is presented with an LPCM soundtrack at 1536kbps. Again, some of the footage is quite old and the audio quality varies accordingly. Generally the soundtrack is a touch disappointing, but the dialogue is all clear and the music comes out clearly without any major fault. There is no surround channel usage but there are also no audio sync problems. Overall the audio is nothing special, but about as good as could be expected for a documentary disc such as this.

Overall the disc comes out looking rather good, especially if youíre a big fan of the band. The animated menus look fantastic and are of such a high quality that would make a lot of the big name releases blush with embarrassment. The transfer comes across quite clear, and the extras are a great bonus. If you grew up in the 70ís (unlike myself actually) and loved the band, then you really should love this disc. A nice addition to the collection of any music buff.

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  •   And I quote...
    "If you grew up in the 70ís/80's and loved the band, then you really should love this disc."
    - Nathan Clark
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-636
    • TV:
          LG 80cm
    • Speakers:
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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