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Live at the Budokan DVD

Review by Gary Hill

Remembering the days when rock music was seemingly fighting with disco for its very survival – or at least it seemed like it. Disco really felt like some evil monster. Looking back on it, though, it was real music created by real musicians. That’s a stark contrast to a lot of garbage being pumped out by the major labels today. I guess having the retrospective view allows for some adjustment of your thoughts and values.

The thing is, even at the time, Chic were some of the “good people.” Their brand of music might have been embraced by the disco crowd – and even embraced disco – but it was at its heart still funky R & B. The funk was what made it great. The musicianship is a big part of what makes the sound hold up to this day.

This DVD captures a reunion concert from 1996 and the group still had it “going on.” They really rocked and this was a full scale production complete with a couple high profile guests. Sister Sledge come out and do a couple songs (including a rousing rendition of their hit “We Are Family”). None other than Slash joins the group on stage for some smoking guitar soloing during “Le Freak.” If that’s not a rock and roll endorsement, I don’t know what is. The final tally is that this is a great show and a great product. If you have fond memories of Chic from the day then pick this up. You won’t be disappointed. Even if you aren’t so sure about disco to this day, give it a shot. You’ll probably find it’s a lot better than you remember.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 6 at

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