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The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.
I might be dating myself here, but I was recently sent an email with a couple of great DVD sets that are sure to be on Christmas lists for those in your family. I was not familiar with many of them, but Marc seemed to know all of them as soon as I mentioned them and he was quickly headed down memory lane. I thought it would be great to share with you some of these so that you might know what to buy that person that is hard to buy for this year!
A "must-have" for fans of '70s music and '70s pop culture, THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL COLLECTOR'S EDITION is priced to add to every music lover's home entertainment collection at $99.95, and features eight discs of 130 incredible live performances from the era's greatest stars (carefully selected from 423 complete shows), one disc of comedy performances and two discs of specially-produced, exclusive bonus programming, including interviews with Peter Frampton, Alice Cooper, Loggins & Messina, Eddie Money, George Benson, Charlie Daniels, Todd Rundgren, Helen Reddy, Neil Sedaka, creator Burt Sugarman and many more; as well as 12 featurettes, including "The History of The Midnight Special," "Wolfman at Midnight," "Star-Studded Stage Fashion," "No Safety Net: Live on TV," "I Am Woman: Helen Reddy as Host," "Benson & Frampton Talk Shop," "The Making of The MidnightSpecial" "The Legacy of The Midnight Special", a Burt Sugarman featurette and more. Additionally, the collector's set includes a 32-page, full-color booklet with an intro from Burt Sugarman, artist photos, liner notes and more.
With nearly 10 hours of live performances, THE COLLECTOR'S EDITION features a roster of "who's who" in '70s music, including: Aerosmith/ "Dream On", Alice Cooper/ Medley: "Eighteen/Only Women/Billion Dollar Babies", Electric Light Orchestra/ "Evil Woman", Fleetwood Mac/ "Over My Head", Heart/ "Crazy on You", Jim Croce/ "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown", John Denver/ "Take Me Home, Country Roads", KC and the Sunshine Band/ "That's the Way (I Like It)", Peter Frampton/ "Show Me the Way", REO Speedwagon/ "Keep on Loving You", The Doobie Brothers/ "Listen to the Music", Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers/ "American Girl" and many, many more!
Motown 25 was taped before a live audience and showcased virtually every Motown artist from the company's inception, including Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, The Supremes, The Jackson 5, The Miracles, The Temptations, Four Tops and many others. The show also featured many guests outside the Motown Records sphere who had been influenced by Motown artists, including Linda Ronstadt, who performed a memorable duet with Smokey Robinson, Billy Dee Williams, Jose Feliciano and British new wave star Adam Ant, who was riding a wave of popularity from MTV exposure. As an added highlight, the historic evening was hosted by Richard Pryor, who was arguably the hottest comedian in the world at the time. A seminal event in pop culture history, this concert event would establish the gold standard for all future televised concert events and go on to provide the backstory for the Tony®-nominated Broadway play, Motown The Musical. Now, StarVista Entertainment/Time Life will make this once-in-a-lifetime concert available to music lovers in a deluxe 6-DVD collector's set ($79.95), which will be available exclusively online.
The release features an extended version of the show, with over 20 additional minutes not seen on the original broadcast, as well as brand-new 5.1 surround sound revealing the music at its fullest potential. The 6-DVD set also includes nine newly-produced featurettes and additional bonus programming including: "Signed, Sealed, Delivered - The Making of Motown 25", which tells the behind-the-scenes story of the making of the program, and offers new insights into the rise of Motown and its roster of super stars, rare footage of Marvin Gaye ad-libbing at the piano prior to a soulful version of "What's Going On", Stevie Wonder rehearsal footage, a 2-Part Motown 25 Performers Roundtable featuring Smokey Robinson and Duke Fakir (Four Tops), Otis Williams (The Temptations) and Executive Producer Suzanne de Passe, taped at the location of the original concert, the Pasadena Civic Auditorium and over 25 exclusive interviews with performers and crew, including Claudette Robinson (The Miracles), Martha Reeves (Martha & the Vandellas), Smokey Robinson, Nelson George, Gloria Jones, Adam Ant, Ashford and Simpson, Buz Kohan (Head Writer), David Goldberg (Executive in Charge of Production), Mickey Stevenson (Former Head of A&R/Songwriter), Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (Songwriters/Producers) and many more. Also included in the deluxe collector's box are an exclusive 48-page collector's booklet packed with information about the show and artists, production materials and never-before-scene photos from the production, essays on Motown performers, a copy of the original Motown 25 program and more!