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on 14 February 2011
OK, there are two clear ways of appraising this offering.
1) If your appreciation of the Dead lies in their later work and you are accustomed to high quality, professionally produced recordings then this is absolutely NOT for you. Previous reviews have identified the obvious flaws in this release. The editing is a mess, the actual live footage of the band is limited and horrible things have been done to it. And yeah - Pigpen is seen at the mic when Garcia is singing "Casey Jones". A bit of a dog's breakfast and daylight robbery you might conclude given the price. On the other hand....
2) The above accepted, these two discs combined represent the band at a historic moment. Their first appearance on British soil and still tight in the groove of their most inspired stage of evolution. Only six months since the release of 'Live Dead' and still performing the classic improvisational sequence that was "Dark Star" / "St Stephen" / "Lovelight" - all of which are here in, to my mind, decent sound quality. Furthermore, for serious Deadheads who have appraised the countless audio versions of "Dark Star" and particularly those from this (1969-1972) their finest era, this version is arguably right up there with the very best. Garcia's guitar (that stinging psychedelic tone that was never quite the same when he substituted his Gibson SG for the Stratocaster) is here at it's most majestic. Note also that though limited, the visual footage DOES assist in evoking a strong sense of this historic occasion.
So, the choice is yours. For me, as disjointed and amateurish as this release appears, it represents an invaluable record of the Dead at the peak of their collective powers. For "Dark Star" alone, this is worth the expense. Don't get bugged about the repeating photographic stills on your screen, just sit back and revel in the brilliance of the playing. The band's reputation expanded well beyond this point in time, but for my money, this and "Festival Express" - capturing the Dead just 4 weeks later (and with complete versions of "New Speedway Boogie" and "Easy Wind") evoke that spirit of the band's music that still sends a cold chill down the spine. Thanks to those at OZIT that put this one together. I just wish I'd been there.
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on 22 May 2010
I had already read a positive review about this DVD and CD set by esteemed music critic Pete Feenstra on Get Ready to Rock, so I bought it from Amazon and unlike the person who gave this product one star in their Amazon review I think it merits five stars. This dvd and cd tells the tale of the Grateful Deads first visit to England 40 years ago and it is worth buying it for the audio on the cd alone, the film is stuttery but the sleeve does explain "its not a big budget Woodstock production" and the Grateful Dead's entourage spiked all the film cameramen and sound recordists with acid at the event back in 1970 so we are lucky to see and hear anything at all- on the DVD you get five Grateful Dead numbers from their set with a mixture of film footage and stills from the event and on the audio cd you get another 12 Grateful Dead numbers - it is chaotic and erratic but then so were festivals in the 60s and 70s and I am so glad to have this rare footage of film, stills and audio in my collection. Great to see a glimpse of John Peel in the film too who as the sleeve states told a journalist in the 1990s that the Hollywood Festival in North west England was a defining moment in rock history, great short glimpses of free Family screaming lord sutch and the crowd footage is wonderful!!!
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on 19 May 2010
This is garbage of the highest order. Much of the DVD is made up of still shots of the Grateful Dead and the "movie" shots are badly out of focus and jerky. The one time the music and pictures almost sync the film shows Pigpen singing while Jerry Garcia is singing Casey Jones on the sound track. The sound is poor at best and when Free play "Alright Now" the music has been taken somebody's rather scratched vinyl studio album Fire and Water. Sadly the music the Grateful Dead produce is excellent and would have been a joy had the sound quality been even half decent. There is very little attempt to stick to the original set list order and some songs end prematurely. I strongly advise against purchasing this DVD/CD set and the price is outrageous.
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on 1 July 2015
This DVD didnt work properly. It skipped certainly, but due to the fact that the small amount of film footage is constantly cycled/repeated it could be difficult to spot this. I know parts were missing because I didnt see everything listed in contents. As a fan I was prepared for poor quality, but this is really bad.
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on 29 August 2014
I was there with my wife and two year old son and by the way she still is my wife, it was the Dead I went to see and I was not disappointed some of the other acts I had seen before so there was a good variety of music. I may be wrong and if I am ill stand corrected but I am sure that I had the distasteful experience of also seeing Mungo Jerry for the first and thank God last time, the Dead's set was amazing and could not be better but things were soon to change and when I saw them again in London they were doing these three minute country songs after each song the lights went out in the venue for Several minutes
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on 3 September 2013
I was at this Festival and what a weekend : The Dead, Traffic, Free, Trader Horne, Titus Groan, Jose Feliciano,
Colosseum, Quintessence, Black Sabbath, Tony Joe White, Ginger Baker's Airforce among others - what a line up and the weather
was fab. This has it's flaws but as an historical record of a major event that has been overlooked over the years
I couldn't resist it. Hollywood Music Festival 1970 you were wonderful. This was followed by Pink Floyd et al in
Hyde Park and Canned Heat in Hyde Park 2 months later. What a summer. Not worth 5 but better than 1 out of ten.
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on 17 September 2012
...and the whole weekend was jerky, disjointed and irrational, so don't let that put you off! I've no idea what the hell happened that weekend, just that it was as defining a moment for me as it was for the Dead, the New Riders and the music scene in general. And god bless Jeremy Beadle who organised Bickershaw and all who sailed in her and drowned in her mud :)
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on 12 December 2010
It was 1970 and the film crew were spiked with acid so only a tiny bit of film footage but a lot of the audio footage of The Dead at this event survived but I'd rather own it than not ever see it at all. The short bits of staccato film of the dead with the audio soundtrack gives you a feel of their first visit to the UK. the bonus disc of audio is excellent an the artwork is great. Not to be missed
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