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Paul Simon

Live From Philadelphia DVD

Review by Gary Hill

Let’s get one thing out of the way right off the bat. If you are a Paul Simon fan and own the Live at the Tower Theater DVD you have this. Sure the cover might be different, but it’s the same film with a different title. So, if you are a completist you’ll need this anyway, but if you are looking for something new, you will probably want to look somewhere else. I don’t really see a problem with reissuing something like this to get it out in front of a new audience, but they should be more clear that it’s a reissue so those who have the original and don’t need two copies know what they are looking at.

So, for the rest of us, how is this DVD? It’s kind of a mixed bag. The performances are great. With a backing band of Steve Gadd, Tony Levin, Richard Tee and Eric Gale, how could you expect anything else. The video and audio quality are not up to modern standards, but the technology wasn’t the same in 1980 when this was filmed. This is relatively short with only eleven songs performed and there are no bonuses on the set. We get Paul Simon numbers and Simon and Garfunkel tunes. There’s no issue at all with Simon and the band’s performances. Those are top notch. Really taken for the time it was recorded the quality is great, too. I’d say the only real issues I have are about quantity and truth in advertising. So, if you don’t have the original and are a fan of any of these guys, I’d recommend picking it up. If you already have that other release, well, then be warned you are just buying it again.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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