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'Respect - Truly a Gem'
on 6 October 2007
As Lionel Richie confirms in the interesting `extra' behind the scenes this is the first of his world-spanning concerts to be recorded live. He chose Paris, as it is undoubtedly regarded as the city of love and he felt a particular connection to the French people. They rewarded Lionel warmly, responding to all his beautifully crafted music and lyrics; he truly was at one with the audience. It was especially poignant during his almost solo performances of `Still' and of course, `Three Times a Lady'. The audience listened, spellbound, as Lionel delivered every emotion of these songs in the way that we expect them to be sung, from the heart and to each and every one of us as an individual.
I believe that Lionel is without peer when it comes to this kind of music, he has been an icon of the love song genre, since he began, few can touch him and thankfully, none have tried to imitate his unique style. As you would expect his backing musicians are all accomplished musicians and it's a welcome bonus to rest assured that they also contribute so much to the overall performance. Moving through Lionel's repertoire, all the classics are here, delivered with the sheer professionalism you expect however there is a further delight in store. Lionel asks the audience to play the part of Diana Ross on `Endless Love' - the result is perhaps the finest example of `audience participation' since Freddie Mercury and Queen at those Wembley Concerts. Truly moving, although I had expected lit flames, an emotional moment unfolds.
Considering that many fans may already have `The Greatest Hits' videos, sadly this issue makes that DVD virtually redundant, few would play that after listening to such perfection, beautifully performed and delivered. Incidentally, it's perhaps and after-thought to mention that this is also a superb DVD, filmed in HD and recorded in 5.1 sound which captures Lionel Richie at his absolute best.