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Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells II / Tubular Bells III - Live (1999) R4 Retail DVD
If you’re looking for a ‘Live’ concert recording, with an excellent 5.1 soundtrack, then look elsewhere (try The Eagles' - Hell Freezes Over). However, if you don’t mind listening in stereo (there is NO surround sound here), to a soundtrack that seems to have been dubbed onto the video by a producer with his mind elsewhere, then perhaps this is for you. Both concerts are well filmed, I’ll concede that; but the soundtracks appear to have been dubbed from a different venue. You have a choice of either Dolby 5.1 or PCM stereo. Neither will win an award and donmore…’t believe the 5.1 label; there’s nothing through the centre or rear speakers (unless you switch to pro-logic!). In fact, the PCM soundtrack sounds marginally better (wider, clearer and more dynamic) than the Dolby Digital version, which could have been dubbed from a rather dull CD player. That’s not the only oddity with this disk; most of the instruments that the cameraman chooses to zoom-in on remain strangely inaudible, as do the eerily quite crowds of fans. Also, for some reason, the sound regularly falls out of sync with the video. There are several scenes, particularly noticeable with the Tubular Bells, but also evident with various keyboards and guitar sequences, where the musicians are apparently playing along to a recording; not what I’d expect at a world premier concert. One very notable occasion is towards the end of TBII, where a musician pauses briefly but the sound of the tubular bells continues to play several more chimes before the musician begins to play again. This is repeated on TBIII during a close-up shot of Mike when the tubular bells chime before being struck. I know Mike’s an excellent musician, but I hadn't realised that he was quite that good!! Once this became evident, I lost interest in the concert and found myself looking for other faults; there are plenty.Add to this, a complete lack of sound steering as the camera pans around the stage and no ambience from either location and you’ll hopefully begin to understand why I was so disappointed with this DVD. Just 2 stars from me – these recordings could have been so much better.
- Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells II / Tubular Bells III - Live (1999) R4 Retail DVD
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- 19/02/07 by bki
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