Engelbert Live on DVD
Engelbert Humperdinck has been crooning his hit tunes since the 1960s,
and though he doesnt have the electric stage persona of some performers,
he still manages to put on a good show as witnessed by this DVD.
Its a flawed disc, alas - for example it isnt offered in anamorphic
widescreen, but it does offer fans a good glimpse of the man in action, and
at rest through its fascinating profile of the entertainer.
Yet we were disappointed. Oh, sure, the man can sing, and his live show is
entertaining if not a tad sterile - but it was the song selection that disappointed
us. While we freely admit to being out of touch with Humperdincks library
since sometime in the early 1970s, we had expected - and wanted - to hear
some of the songs that made him the star he is.
We get a couple, for instance Release Me and After the Lovin
- the first of which was his first Really Big Hit and the second of which was
a big hit long after he was a star. But how about The Last Waltz,
Man Without Love or Les Bicyclettes de Belsize? These
were among our favorite Humperdinck songs, yet they arent here.
Instead we get an admittedly fine collection of standards, well orchestrated
and sung, but not what we really wanted to hear.
Oh well, they say you should always leave the audience wanting more, and thats
exactly what happened with this concert. Yet it wasnt just that we wanted
more, we were frustrated at not getting what we thought would be Humperdinck
standards, not just standards such as Cant Take My Eyes
Off You or The Shadow of Your Smile.
Heres a listing of the tracks included in this show:
Love Is a Many Splendored Thing,
Can't Take My Eyes Off You,
Stranger in Paradise,
Per el Amor de una Mujer (I Knew that We Have Loved Before),
Nothin' a Little Love Won't Cure,
(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay,
The Shadow of Your Smile,
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,
I Apologize, Too Young,
No Other Love,
When I Fall in Love,
Quando Quando Quando,
After the Lovin',
Such a Night,
Video quality, despite it being in the 4:3 full frame aspect ratio that means
owners of 16x9 TVs will have to stretch/zoom it to fill their screens,
is fine. Audio quality is also good. Its presented in Dolby Digital 5.1
and dts surround, though weve heard concerts that make much better use
of the rear channels to make you feel a part of the audience. Still, its
the music thats the most important and the recording of the orchestra
and vocalists is very good.
Extras include the abovementioned interview/feature, which gives a nice look
at Humperdinck and his life off the stage (and he comes across as a very decent,
regular guy). You also get a photo gallery.
Engelbert Live, from Eagle Vision
120 min. full frame (4:3, not 16x9 TV compatible), Dolby Digital and dts 5.1
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