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Non-Prog DVD/Video Reviews


Live at Montreux 2001 DVD

Review by Gary Hill

For fans of “old school” rap, you just don't get much more legit than Run DMC. As such founding fathers of the genre, one would expect a killer performance. That's exactly what you get here. These guys purely tear up the stage in this video and that makes it a “must have” for fans of the genre. Still, there are a few things that need to be mentioned here. First off, I find that they spend far too much time waiting to launch into a song. Add to this the extended periods of crowd banter and you'll see that a show that's less than an hour and a half doesn't have as much music as it could. Another problem is the lack of bonus material. The final complaint has less to do with this collection and more to do with the increasingly inappropriate name of the festival. At one time the Montreux Jazz Festival was just that – a jazz festival. These days, though, it seems that it should be renamed “Montreux Music Festival.” There are tons of performances that don't qualify as jazz, and this is one of them.

The thing is, despite these negatives, this is still a great DVD. The audio and video are quite good and the group's showing is just plain hot. It also serves as a lasting tribute to Jam Master Jay who died shortly after this show. Fans of old-school hip hop rejoice, this is a killer! Rock music fans who want to see just what the origins of hip hop are, you should pick this up, too. It doesn't get much better than Run DMC.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 2 at

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