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There aren't many contenders for this dubious title, but I can't think of any other film that does a better job of conveying the appeal and depth of its subject. I saw it at the cinema when it was first released in 1979, and this version on DVD (somewhat expanded, extensively restored and cleaned up) brings back happy memories of the way it commemorated the band at the height of their powers (Keith Moon died while the film was being edited). There's an extraordinary collection of film from TV shows, interviews, amusing vignettes and concert performances, which all show the way the band was continually striving for new sounds, thinking about their significance and influence and worrying about the relationship with their followers and critics. The culmination is a brilliant 1978 performance of "Won't Get Fooled Again", and the culmination of *that* is a slow-motion shot of Townshend sliding across the stage on his knees as the band crashes back in at the climax: pure showbiz, but it has me in tears every time I see it - that, and the way he hugs an ecstatic fan who jumps on stage at the end.
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VINE VOICEon 7 May 2004
One of the first, but still one of the very best rock movies. This non chronological approach to the history of The Who was originally fortuitously released at exactly the right time following the death of Keith Moon, which signalled for many the death of The Who itself.
The balance of speech and music is just right. Pete Townshend was always one of rock's most interesting interviewees and Moonie's natural wit is evident from the opening sequence featuring the band's legendary appearance on the Smothers's Brother's show, and reaches full fruition on the wonderful Russell Harty interview sequence, snatches of which are scattered throughout the film.
The music naturally speaks for itself, and unlike modern videos it isn't interrupted by speech. Also unlike even more modern videos the viewer isn't sent dizzy by cameras cutting ridiculously from one shot to the other every two seconds - see the Coldplay Live for a prime example of this irritating tendency.
I have loads of music DVD's, including recent ones by the likes of the aformentioned Coldplay, U2, REM, Red Hot Chilli Peppers -decent bands all. However, it was only when I saw 'The Kids Are Alright' again that I remembered that despite the often incredible modern special effects, the modern filming, and the modern hype, that ultimately non of these bands could actually hold a candle as a live act to The Who in their heyday.
The only other music videos which can even be compared to this are: The Beatles Anthology, as classy a product as everything associated with the Fabs; the Rolling stones Four Flicks, although great as this is I'd still have preferred a really good video of the Stones in their prime (when are they going to release 'Gimme Shelter' in the UK?), Led Zeppelin's DVD, musically fabulous, but Zep never had anything like the wit, warmth and personality of The Who, and The Who's other essential video 30 Years Of R n B, although this contains too much post Moon stuff.
No, for me 'The Kids Are Alright' remains just about the greatest rock music film ever.
The superior sound and picture quality on this DVD release, together with the second disc of extensive and interesting extras, makes it worth buying even for those of you who like me have the old VHS version.
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on 3 May 2001
You can't go wrong with the contents. This is vintage Who, with some literally smashing performances. All of them are on top form: John's bass playing is very under-rated, and truly stunning; Roger's voice is perfect; Keith is unique and brilliant; and Pete is the great Intelligent Yob. This film captures them from their early, fairly embarrassing moments as a Mod band, to the magnificence of their mid-70's performances. The film reminds us of what a pioneering band they were, and make the punks who came after them look like the pale imitators they were. Bands like The Damned smashed their equipment, but not with Pete and Keith's determination. I still can't understand how he could whack his guitar about and then still play it in tune afterwards (as on Sparks). Negative points? There's no cohesion in the film, no attempt to tell a story - it has all the appearance of someone sticking bits of film together at random. And as others have said, there's no additional footage on the DVD, nothing extra. Still, that's what happened with CDs when they first came out - they were just records copied onto CD, and this is a video copied on to DVD.
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on 1 April 2015
If you have the previous re released in HD version which is on two discs then it does not need replacing
I am a big Who fan so I want things to be right but it seems as they are entering the twilight of their career that the label is taking its eye off the ball
The packaging on this is inferior. Obviously its blu ray so the case is smaller therefore the booklet which is the same as the one in the HD version is also smaller
It is all on one CD which is OK except that the listing on the back of the DVD box and on the inside leaves out most of the essential info that you usually need to review and make track selections etc. This is in the book but again the HD version has more useful detail on the box
It terms of quality no better than the HD and not worth the investment
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VINE VOICEon 26 November 2000
This compilation, originally surfaced at the same time as the untimely death of Keith Moon. It has become his epitaph. There are two elements to the film which have to be taken into account: one is the music. Nothing wrong here! There are several rare archive clips of marvellous performances of some of their most loved songs. The other thing to take into account is the humour and fun within the band; something rarely seen in rockumentaries like this. The Who gallop headlong through a rehearsal of the Beach Boys 'Barbara Ann' with Moon singing and then promptly collapse into hysterics and their inadequacy at playing it ten years on from recording it. The group start to undress during a TV interview with a terrified Russell Harty. Perhaps the best clip is the opening 'My generation' from the Smothers Brothers US TV show, where Moon has added to the explosives in the drum kit and Townshend smashes the bewildered hosts acoustic guitar, just as he is about to sing to the audience.
Most of us never got to see The Who in their full glory. There's lots and lots of it here. This is an essential watch for all Who fans.
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on 14 November 2013
The producers got just about everything right with this magnificent film, there are many things to be thankful for -
The availability of a large amount of superb footage; Allowing the Who to speak for themselves using contemporaneous footage from their glory years; Not bothering with a chronological treatment; creating an exciting collage of music and image that says more than any commentary could; The high production values of the film.

Watching this film shortly after Moon's death was a sad experience, but it stands as the definitive representation of the Who. My own favourites are 'Baba O'Reilly" and the 'boiler suit' footage. In particular, the 'Sparks' performance at Woodstock:- a camera man on stage filming the band performing almost in a trance, playing instinctively the most thrilling music. Here you get their musical essence, the truth, of the band. The truth can't be found in Pete Townsend's book Who I Am, its not about words, its about the power of great music, something that is inexplicable. This is what this film manages to convey in a convincing way.

A pity they couldn't have slipped in the whole performance of 5.15 on Top of the Pops from 1973, but I guess they had to stop somewhere. The film makes you lament that it is unlikely we will ever see any more rock bands, or film footage as powerful and exciting as the original Who.
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on 13 February 2012
Say what you like about the haphazard way this movie intercuts vintage footage with more recent stuff, and how chronology goes out the window. The Who always gave the impression of a band in complete and utter chaos - even though they were anything but. You don't get to be one of the top three rock bands in the world by being full-time chaotic.

But the film enjoyably reflects and plays up to that image by throwing footage at the screen from all over the archives, cutting to and fro with no apparent logic. But it's The Who. Being mad bastards was part of the stage act, which tragically started to seep into their real lives. The Stones? Great band, but boring. The Who never got the same recognition, but this mess of a movie somehow enhances the band, in spite of itself.

Having previously owned the DVD, the Blu-Ray is a worthwhile step up in quality. Obviously, some of the vintage video-sourced material from the 70's still looks bleary, but the Shepperton Studio-filmed concert footage looks (and sounds) incredible, having been lavishly restored on state-of-the-art computers. Footage that was previously included on the VHS version at the wrong speed has been adjusted. Film damage has been fixed. The sound has been remixed into the best possible quality (there's a good doco in the extras that describe the process).

Most will put the disc in the player and go straight to 'Won't Get Fooled Again' - good choice. Turn it up loud and enjoy. Then play the rest of the movie and enjoy it again. We might get a 'South Bank Show' type documentary on The Who in the future, but do we need it? Nah - this will do nicely.
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on 20 August 2009
The Who - The Kids Are Alright (Single Disc Edition) [DVD].......An Incredible Retrospective Of The First 15 Years Of The Who, Right Up Until The Tragic, Untimely Death Of Keith Moon.....All The Classics Are Here....." Baba O' Reilly" Is Powerful, Stunning And Surely Must Be The Definitive Version, " A Quick One ( While He's Away)" Is Magical," My Generation" Is Intense And Very Funny, " Young Man Blues" Just Flies Out Of The Screen...The End Of " Wont Get Fooled Again" With Moon & Townshend Still Brings A Smile & Tear To The Eye.......There Are Classic Black & White " Shindig" , " Ready, Steady, Go!" & " Beat Club" Performances Also...There Are Guest Appearances From Melvyn Bragg, Ken Russel, Ringo Starr, Russel Harty...To Name A Few.....The Interviews & Snippets Give A Very Clear Picture Of The Respective Era.....The Late Keith Moon's Insanity Is Apparent & Totally Hilarious Throughout....His Drumming Is The Best I Have Ever Witnessed , As Is The Deadpan Dryness And The World Beating Bass Playing Of The Late Great John Entwistle...And As Ever, Roger Daltrey & Pete Townshend Work Off & Against Each Other With Musically Stunning Results....The Remastering Job Is Perfect, With Brilliant Sound & Vision.......My Words Can't Profess Just How Complete & Perfect This Movie Is....A Must Own!!!
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on 14 June 2011
It seems strange to be reviewing the WHO at 64 years of age, when in the sixties I was singing "I hope I die before I get old". Well, I haven't and strangely feel little different today than I did then.

Back to the review. Unfortunately, I bought "the Kids are Alright" because I had really enjoyed "Amazing Journey" only a few weeks earlier. Amazing Journey was well structured, in true documentary style, with lots of detail about each group member, how they got together, and how they developed, plus a look at what Pete and Roger were doing in the last few years. A truly thoughtful piece of work, but I guess not all viewers might agree with my take on it.

By comparison The Kids are Alright is a sloppy jumble of old footage (some bits quite interesting) cobbled together in a clumsy fashion. It has its moments but on balance I found it irritating, especially the rambling details of how the old film was restored, the sound enhanced etc. I began to forget that I was watching a DVD about the Who.
I begin to sound like a grumpy old man now, so i'll shut up, make a cuppa, and put Amazing Journey on again.
.
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on 3 May 2004
'The Kids are Alright' has always been a classic film but has suffered from a poor vhs release that has been difficult to find in the past. The new DVD release certainly does it justice in terms of picture and greatly improves the sound quality for sterio (although I am unable to comment on the 5.1 mix).
It is unusually in that unlike other music DVDs (such as the excellent Led Zeppelin set) it is not a direct copy of concert footage, nor is it chronological. It skillfully uses interviews, TV spots and live concerts to create a snapshot of one of the most anarchic and destructive bands to have existed.
The special features are myriad and really compliment the film. They are exemplary both in terms of quantity and quality. The two standout features are the documentary on the restoration process and the issolated John Entwistle Bass tracks. It would have been nice however to have had some interviews with Pete Townshend and footage of the original premiere (if it is in existance).
Ultimately 'The Kids are alright' is a passionate and hilarious film that will hopefully get watched by a new and wider audience as a result of this excellant release. A must for any fan of the who or just good rock music.
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