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132 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extensive archive of unique material
4 DVD's packed with classic rock music history from the extensive archives of the BBC, 'The Old Grey Whistle Test' was (and still is) unsurpassed in its range of artists, and boasts a dazzling array of live performances by the best musicians the world has to offer. This boxset represents a significant saving over buying the whole set individually, although some of the...
Published on 16 Feb. 2004 by Touring Mars

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much talking
There's some great music on this DVD set. Shame it has all been bulked out with far too much talking by the presenters who introduce the various tracks. The Old Grey Whistle Test was on for years so there couldn't have been a lack of material to fill the DVD's. I discovered that playing the discs on 'Random' cuts out all the drivel, though, and only plays the music.
Published on 24 Aug. 2011 by John Jamison


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OGWT Collection DVD, 30 Nov. 2010
By 
Martyn J. Mcshane "hoylelake" (Cheshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Old Grey Whistle Test - Volumes 1-3 Box Set [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
What a great few hours to reminisce, if you watched the OGWT first time around this DVD set contains some memorable moments, evoking the past again. If its new to you, it's well worth the price to understand the foundations of real music and how today's pop culture gained a footing with new bands like Roxy music & the advent of punk, from some sterling and magical moments of the early seventies bands, including a Thin Lizzy before the name and the Wailers before Bob took hold and Pete Tosh as on guitar. A great present for Granddad or Dad this year.

If there is a negative aspect for me it is that there are too many introductions by past presenters, where a few more sessions could have been included, Small introductions from Bob, Annie and the crew would have sufficed for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The contents of the 4-DVD set, 5 Dec. 2013
By 
Kazuhiro Goda "Kazi Goda" (Toyonaka, Osaka Japan) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Old Grey Whistle Test - Volumes 1-3 Box Set [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
As I was born and brought up in Japan, I didn't know anything about "The Old Grey Whistle Test" until about a month ago. A videoclip of my all-time favorite Terry Reid performing "Without Expression" at a certain website initiated me to the show. I recommend this set to anybody who are interested in the artists below. At least for me it was a good buy!

Here's the details of the set:

The Old Grey Whistle Test
Disc 1
01. Alice Cooper / Under My Wheels
02. Elton John / Tiny Dancer
03. Curtis Mayfield / We Gotta Have Peace
04. Randy Newman / Political Science
05. Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge / Help Me Make It Through The Night
06. Bill Withers / Ain't No Sunshine
07. Focus / Sylvia ~ Hocus Pocus
08. Rory Gallagher / Hands Off
09. John Martyn / May You Never
10. The Wailers / Stir It Up
11. Roxy Music / Do The Strand
12. The Edgar Winter Group / Frankenstein
13. New York Dolls / Jet Boy
14. Tim Buckley / Dolphins
15. Captain Beefheart / Upon The My O My
16. Little Feat / Rock `n' Roll Doctor"
17. Dr Feelgood / Roxette
18. John Lennon / Stand By Me
19. The Sensational Alex Harvey Band / Give My Compliments To The Chef
20. Lynyrd Skynyrd / Freebird
21. Emmylou Harris / Amarillo
22. Bonnie Raitt / Too Long At The Fair
23. Tom Waits / Tom Traubert's Blues
24. Otway & Barret / Really Free

Interviews:
Elton John and Bernie Taupin with Richard Williams
Mick Jagger with Richard Williams
Keith Richards with Bob Harris
Robert Plant with Bob Harris
John Lennon with Bob Harris

Audio commentary by Mike Appleton
Artists' gallery
Presenters' choice

Disc 2
01. Talking Heads / Psycho Killer
02. XTC / Statue Of Liberty
03. Blondie / (I'm Always Touched By Your) Presence Dear
04. Val Doonican & Charlie McCoy / Stone Fox Chase
05. Meatloaf / Paradise By The Dashboard Light
06. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers / American Girl
07. The Police / Can't Stand Losing You
08. Bruce Springsterrn / Rosalita
09. Iggy Pop / I'm Bored
10. Tubeway Army / Are `Friends' Electric?
11. The Specials / Message To Your Rudi
12. The Damned / Smash It Up ~ I Jut Can't Be Happy Today
13. The Ramones / Rock `n' Roll High School
14. PIL / Careering
15. The Teardrop Explodes / Reward
16. U2 / I Will Follow
17. Nine Below Zero / Stone Fox Chase
18. Japan / Ghosts
19. Robert Wyatt / Shipbuilding
20. REM / Moon River ~ Pretty Persuation
21. Simply Red / Holding Back The Years

Interview:
Bruce Springsteen with Bob Harris
OGWT MUSEUM
Artists' gallery
Presenters' choice

Disc 3
01. Heads Hands and Feet / Warming Up The Band
02. Kevin Ayers and The Whole World / May I?
03. Roxy Music / Ladytron
04. Loggins and Messina / House At Pooh Corner
05. The Who / Relay
06. Judee Sill / The Kiss
07. Argent / God Gave Rock'n'Roll to You
08. The Average White Band / Put It Where You Want It
09. Montrose / Bad Motor Scooter
10. Bruce Johnston / Disney Girls
11. Be Bop Deluxe / Maid In Heaven
12. Nils Lofgren / Goin' Back
13. Daryl Hall and John Oates / She's Gone
14. John Armatrading / Love And Affection
15. Roy Harper / One of Those Days In England
16. The Adverts / Bored Teenagers
17. The Patti Smith Group / Because The Night
18. Siouxsie and the Banshees / Metal Postcard
19. Gary Moore and Friends / Don't Believe A Word
20. The Undertones / Jimmy Jimmy
21. Squeeze / Slap And Tickle
22. Orchestral Manouevres in the Dark / Dancing
23. Stanley Clarke / George Duke Project / Schooldays
24. Tom Verlaine / Days On The Mountain Part I
25. Aztec Camera / Walk Out To Winter
26. Thomas Dolby / Hyperactive
27. They Style Council / Walls Come Tumbling Down
28. Suzanne Vega / Marlene On The Wall
29. Andy Kershaw, John Walters, Ro Newton, John Peel / Skiffle Jam
30. Prefab Sprout / When Love Breaks Down
31. The Pet Shop Boys / Opportunities
32. The Pogues / Dirty Old Town

Commentary by Mark Ellen and David Hepworth

Disc 4
01. Lindisfarne / Meet Me On The Corner
02. David Bowie / Oh You Pretty Things
03. Jackson Brown / Jamaica Say You Will
04. Steppenwolf / Born To Be Wild
05. Stealers Wheel / I Get By
06. Roger Daltrey / Giving It All Away
07. Humble Pie / Black Coffee
08. Fairport Convention / Brilliancy Medley
09. Freddie King / Boogie Funk
10. Brinsley Schwarz / Surrender To The Rhythm
11. Robin Trower / A Little Bit Of Sympathy
12. Supertramp / Dreamer
13. Johnny Winter / Jumping Jack Flash
14. Richard & Linda Thompson / A Heart Needs A Home
15. Janis Ian / At Seventeen
16. Al Stewart / Year Of The Cat
17. John Martyn & Danny Thompson / Couldn't Love You More
18. Chris Read / Fires Of Sprig
19. The Jam / A Bomb In Wardour Street
20. B.B. King / When It All Comes Down ~ Hold On
21. John Cooper Clarke / I Don't Want To Be Nice
22. Joe Jackson / Sunday Papers
23. Simple Minds / Chelsea Girl
24. King Crimson / Frame By Frame
25. Orange Juice / Rip It Up
26. Howard Jones / No-one Is To Blame
27. Sade / Is It A Crime
28. Jesus & Mary Chain / In A Hole
29. Lone Justice / Sweet Sweet Baby (I'm Falling)
30. Half Man Half Biscuit / All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit
31. The Bangles / Walk Like An Egyptian

Commentary with Mark Ellen, David Hepworth and Andy Kershaw
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too much - and not in the way we used to mean, 25 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Old Grey Whistle Test - Volumes 1-3 Box Set [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
Coming as it did between glorious Ready Steady Go! (and when on earth is THAT coming out on DVD?) and that show's sassy godchild The Tube, OGWT might've been the premier TV rock show of its day but this ponderous box set emphasises its inbuilt shortcomings. The small, cramped, soul-less studio and absence of an audience drain vibe and excitement from all but the most vital performances - and the wooden, self-regarding presenters add to the turgid vibe. Annoyingly, the only track listings are on the box under the discs, which have to be removed before you can read them, and to get any kind of performance information you have to negotiate tedious onscreen menus. A neat booklet you can keep by you while the music plays would've been far better. And then there are the presenters: a po-faced lot then and worse now, they pop up between pretty well every performance, dead keen to dump their often interminable views in your lap: it gets really wearing. Picture quality and sound are good but the recording is not loud enough. Yes, there are classics here, but the great variety of acts and styles mean that you'll hit the skip button a LOT, so with this material long-since freely available on You Tube, you might be better off compiling your own YT playlist. That said, at twelve quid for nine hours of music, maybe it's worth skipping a bit - or a lot.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Reliving late nights, 24 April 2012
By 
brainwhistle "brainwhistle" (Westlake Village, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Old Grey Whistle Test - Volumes 1-3 Box Set [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
I've only got vague memories of watching the OGWT when it was originally broadcast, but even so some of the items on it were recognisable.

Like many music compilations, I would prefer if there were a way to watch this without the chat between tracks -- it's ok the first time through, but it would be good to be able to skip them when just putting this on as background music (as it were). Truth be told, there are some options on the menu that may allow for this -- I'll need to play with it some more.

Speaking of which, the way of selecting groups of tracks by year rather than the traditional 'chapter' is kinda cute.

A good selection, although volume 1 was the better of the three (and it was two disks long, so at least twice as good as either of the either volumes).

I might suggest just getting volume 1 -- but the price was such that getting the three was worthwhile, and there are a spattering of good pieces in 2&3 (although the real highlight of #3 was possibly Mr.Daltry ranting about the demise of vinyl).

Watching this after The Fast Show's 'Jazz Club' was 'nice'
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4.0 out of 5 stars Blasted by the Past, 3 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Old Grey Whistle Test - Volumes 1-3 Box Set [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
What's not to like about a sail through the best modern music programme ever produced in the UK? The artistic content is fabulous. That astonishing Meatloaf item, Paradise By The Dashboard Light, is worth the money by itself to take one example. The artists are not always people I like, but the standard of the selected performances, like the people or not, is uniformly excellent. Did I say 'uniform'? There is nothing uniform about it of course! But it's all performed at a standard ranging from very fine to out of this world; you can't fault the selection process. The presenter commentaries are interesting and contribute, but see below.

I am not that excited by the way the compilation is presented. There are nothing like enough menu options. I would like to be able to select given performances direct from a menu (ideally with presenter introductions optional) - in fact I think it's a must, and I'm astonished it was not provided. It also would be nice to be able to define play lists.

This took it down from 5 stars to 4, but other than this one whinge it's cheap at twice the price.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars so much right, quite a bit wrong, 30 Oct. 2010
By 
gerryg - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Old Grey Whistle Test - Volumes 1-3 Box Set [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
In the beginning OGWT was a school night treat. Top of the Pops it wasn't. It was initiated in an era (paraphrasing George Harrison on talent shows) when if you wanted to be in a band you formed one.

These acts played their own instruments and performing rather than production values dominated. (Later this was diluted by the BBC adding camera effects and cuts turning performances into shows)

So: so many years on... yes there was a lot of stuff I didn't like then and I don't like now then the were the great and famous bands, and then there were the goodness, I'd forgotten, moments. So, in that respect it's a great aide memoire. Gems included both Val Doonican and Nine Below Zero perfoming renditions of Stone Fox Chase.

However it could have been brilliant. For example, on the first DVD jumping through the stuff that wasn't working for me I found what appears to be the first UK recording of Bob Marley (with Peter Tosh!) playing Stir It Up. It was amazing all the way to the fade. The fade... What were they thinking?

And these production values were replicated thoughout this DVD including editing poor starts and dodgy finishes.

That improved on subsequent DVDs however this was offset by the increased remniscences of the presenters and others were not always a great addition, extended, not always interesting occasionally straying into personal detail or interpreting what we could see (or recollect) for ourselves and then come to our own conclusions. I'm not sure why Jools Holland got to talk about his memories of watching OGWT

Overall a great archive with by a less than great handling of the material.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing set of performances. Unique commentary., 12 April 2013
By 
Amazon shopper (San Martin, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Old Grey Whistle Test - Volumes 1-3 Box Set [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
As a resident of USA, I had never had the pleasure of viewing these performances when they were originally aired. To find them available now is a pleasant surprise. These performances are one of a kind, and provide a glimpse into artists in their earlier days. I am captivated by the disks.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Is this a classic or just showing its age?, 20 Jan. 2015
By 
R Dutton (Warrington, Cheshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Old Grey Whistle Test - Volumes 1-3 Box Set [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
When these we sold individually there was not enough content that I knew to interest me, but now with all 3 for a good price I decided to buy. Its full of artists that look as young as I'd like to feel and becomes a real blast from the past from the 70s and 80s. You shouldn't expect great sound and picture quality, sadly the BBC (god bless them) didn't record these in stereo and on today's surround sound systems its a little crude. The constant interruptions to the music by the presenters is also a bit tedious. I also have a feeling that the rather sterile studio atmosphere leads to rather stilted performances, but hey this was a serious music programme so settle down and listen to the greats.

That said, as a piece of Pop/Rock history it well worth a viewing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good collection but faulty dvd production, 28 Dec. 2011
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This review is from: Old Grey Whistle Test - Volumes 1-3 Box Set [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
The stutter noted by other reviewers about 2 seconds into many of the songs is the only issue with this collection. The music is great but the flawed production should have been picked up when the DVD was mastered.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth it, 9 Feb. 2013
By 
G. Hutchinson (My house) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Old Grey Whistle Test - Volumes 1-3 Box Set [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
This is a great buy for all those musical history buffs. The OGWT was the best invention on TV at the time. Seeing groups perform on stage (or sound set) without a noisy audience, screen effects etc. was better than TOTP. Several obcure groups and music which are now gems after all the years have past. Some excellent one-hit wonders and foreign bands you would have no chance of seeing perform. Running for 16 years it had at least eight presenters but the one peole relate to is "whispering" Bob Harris. Sixteen years of great music and this is just one sample of those great years.
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Old Grey Whistle Test - Volumes 1-3 Box Set [DVD] [1977]
Old Grey Whistle Test - Volumes 1-3 Box Set [DVD] [1977] by The Old Grey Whistle Test (DVD - 2005)
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