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Various Artists

VH1 Metal Mania - Stripped Across America Live! DVD

Review by Greg Olma

MTV "Unplugged" was a great idea but in the late 90's, music changed again, causing acoustic performances to go underground. None of the new artists could go unplugged. Just imagine the horror of having to watch Britney Spears croak out "Oops!...I Did It Again" and you'll get the picture. Well, the good people at VH1 realized that the fans of 80's glam rock still loved the music and were willing to buy unplugged versions of their favorite songs. The albums sold reasonably well so they put together a tour, filmed it, and released this DVD to commemorate the event.

This DVD consists of 2 shows; one is the record release party and the other is from the "Stripped" tour. One of the highlights of the record release party is Kip Winger's version of "Seventeen." He jokes that "she's only 35 now" but quite honestly, the track sounds better without all of the rest of the instruments. Jani Lane has cleaned up his act a bit and it showed in his version of "I Saw Red." Although they were not part of the tour, Great White make an appearance at the release party to perform "Save Your Love." I have always had a soft spot for the band and they were never given the credit they deserve. As always, they put on a great performance here.

The standout performance on the "Stripped" tour portion of the DVD has to go to Firehouse with "Don't Treat Me Bad." They have lost none of their musical skills and they play it with the same enthusiasm as they did back in the day. Stephen Pearcy also does a great job with "Back For More." This Ratt classic is given a new lease on life in its unplugged state. Since both of these shows were recorded in small places, the filming is very intimate. Tacked on as bonus material is Mike Tramp performing "When The Children Cry." I don't know why this is added because it is not part of the "Stripped" tour but it's a better than average performance. The rest of the bonus material is not really that good. Some of the tour outtakes are so dark that they are not even worth watching but the 2 main shows are good enough to make this DVD a good buy.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 2 at

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