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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Buy for sound quality, not for picture
People don't seem to realise that the best thing about music Blu-rays is that due to the additional space available on the disc the soundtrack does not have to be compressed. This menas that the sound quality is considerably higher than DVD's. However unless you have a good sound system you are not going to be able to appreciate the difference.

If you have a...
Published on 6 July 2010 by T. Fortune

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Alchemy Blu-ray
I agree the picture quality isn't as good as it should have been. The sound quality is excellent, even when turned up loud.The sound is quality considerably higher than the DVD.
So for me 3 stars.
Published on 12 Aug 2010 by A. Visser


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Buy for sound quality, not for picture, 6 July 2010
By 
T. Fortune (Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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People don't seem to realise that the best thing about music Blu-rays is that due to the additional space available on the disc the soundtrack does not have to be compressed. This menas that the sound quality is considerably higher than DVD's. However unless you have a good sound system you are not going to be able to appreciate the difference.

If you have a good cinema surround sound system then this is well worth the money. The picture quality is poor, but it is worth remembering this was filmed almost 30 years ago in non-studio conditions. The sound quality is excellent, even when turned up loud; this is why I bought it. If you want the pleasure of hearing Dire Straits in the best possible quality, whilst also being able to enjoy seeing them perform on stage then look no further than this Blu-ray.
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56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Square But Sound, 12 May 2010
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Well I must admit this was one hell of a Blu Ray I was looking forward to, especially with non other than Dick Carruthers being behind the restoration of the picture, and Chuck Ainlay being in charge of the sound. For those of you who are not aware of these 2 guys I would like to briefly fill you in. Dick Carruthers was the very same chap who worked on the restoration of the film footage for Led Zeppelins double DVD which contained concert film footage from 1970, 1973, 1975 and 1979. All of which are a lot older than Dire Straits Alchemy Live concert from London's Hammersmith Odeon in 1983. The work done by Carruthers on Zeppelin's restoration for there DVD was top notch first class quality, he baked the actual reels of the film footage in an oven for 3 months to restore the colour in the film. The DVD ended up looking very much like it was made today, rather than all those years back in the 70's. It was a complete marvel to say the least, which gave me a tremendous amount of respect for Carruther's work.

Carruthers work on Dire Straits Alchemy Live is very disappointing I must say, the 4:3 aspect ratio is hardly fitting for today's technology of Blu Ray, and the grain in the film is perhaps the major factor as to why Carruthers could not of done a lot to the actual film footage. If anything at all it's hardly any better than VHS quality, which is rather a shame. But then again one can only work with what they have in the first place, and one must remember that the Hammersmith Odeon can be a very dark and dismal place to be quite honest, I've been there myself on a number of occasions. So it's far from the best place to film an actual concert especially with what equipment they had back then. If there are area's Carruthers as touched up, they are certainly in the lighting department, which does come out very good at times during the show. However over all its all rather disappointing.

Chuck Ainlay is the very same sound engineer who was behind the 5.1 SACD mix of Dire Straits Brothers in Arms album, the work he done on that album was tremendous, and for that I have a lot of respect for this guy. Ainlay's work on the sound for Alchemy Live here presented on Blu Ray in a DTS HD 5.1 Master soundtrack is once again shear top notch, it's pure class and by far way better than the vinyl album or any CD release of this album. It plays back at 96khz with shear perfection of great detail to every instrument upon the stage. I have never heard Alchemy Live sound so good, you would have to have been at the actual concert itself to better it. The sound is pure and direct and panned very well with great warmth in putting you directly with the audience, and gives one the sense of actually being there. This alone makes up for the rather poor picture quality, and adds great value to the Blu Ray disc itself. I take my hat off to Chuck for doing yet another marvelous job.

Dire Straits Alchemy Live may have it's downfalls regarding to it's 4:3 picture quality, and in all fairness I would have give this Blu Ray a 1 star here for this. But the sound is totally marvelous and quite breathtaking and worth every one of its 5.1 stars. The concert itself is worthy of its 5 stars no doubt, and the bonus features are once again superb especially with the Arena Documentary giving one some good insight into the bands early career.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's all about the sound, 2 Jun 2010
By 
J. Lyne (Forres, Morayshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I have waited many years for this to come out in a digital format to replace my very worn out VHS copy which has been played almost to destruction. It did come as a very pleasant shock to see this released a couple of weeks ago.

When I first started it playing, the sound sounded almost distorted and "overdriven" through my TV set. Not only the concert, but the music accompanying the copyright messages and the menu sound. This is the only disc I have which does this so I was a bit suspicious. A few minutes into the actual concert I changed the audio to DTS 5.1 and within a couple of seconds my jaw was hanging open at the amazing quality of the sound. I have listened to Alchemy Live on CD, vinyl and the VHS copy probably hundreds of times over the years, and it has never sounded like this. Every instrument (especially the guitars of course) and every note of song is as clear and crisp as when it was sung. Brilliant!

The picture quality is a bit of a letdown for a blu-ray. It is in 4:3 aspect ratio, and it is very grainy in places. But it is many times better than the VHS copy - and you have to remember that this is nearly 30 years ago now.

But the bottom line for me is that it isn't about the picture, it is about the sound - and for anyone who thinks they have heard Alchemy Live, they need to listen to this and think again! Well worth the wait
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Live Cocert Ever, 5 July 2004
By 
N. Littler (Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I've already written to counter what was the only review of this video by someone who must be either stone deaf or brain-dead to have awarded it half a star. Why my contribution was disregarded is a matter which only Amazon dot whatever can figure out. This Concert is awesome. Dire Straits are performing at their most brilliant best. the sound quality, filming and editing is excellent. Why has it it has not been released on DVD?
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy Days, 19 Jun 2010
By 
Michael Botham (Suffolk, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dire Straits: Alchemy Live [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
I must say that I was really looking forward to this release eventually becoming available on dvd. I originally bought the records when they came out, then the cds and the video. I even remember the concert being shown on television sometime around 1983 and I recorded it on Video 2000!
Although the music will be familiar to many it is really pleasing that this excellent concert has been released on dvd. The music quality is fine and the picture quality has obviously also been worked on. I am not concerned that the blue ray version may not be up to the usual standard or that the screen format 4:3 may not appeal to many, just that the concert is now available in a digital format. People really have to remember that it is now 27 years since this was recorded so it can't be expected to be as good as a modern equivalent concert.
This appeared after the band had recorded 4 studio albums. There was a, therefore, a large amount of material that could have been performed. The tracks chosen are a good cross section at the time and pre-date the hugely successful "Brothers in Arms" and "On Every Street" albums. This is the band in an earlier, less commercial phase and every band member appears right in the zone. It really is a classic concert and will be an excellent companion to the "On The Night" dvd. In particular the version of "Romeo and Juliet" takes on another dimension compared to the original studio track. "Tunnel of Love" and "Telegraph Road" are also highlights, but really the entire concert is superb.
The extras included are 2 studio tracks recorded for television at the time and a very interesting documentary. The 8-page inlay also gives good retrospective information. All in all an excellent package.
Could it have been better? Yes, with the obvious inclusion of "Love Over Gold". I believe this was released on the original cassette version but it surely could have been included here, given the extra time capacity of the dvd format.
However, I still give this 5 stars and urge all fans - old and new - to buy it. The old Video 2000 copy I made at the time will continue to gather dust at the bottom of the cupboard whilst this dvd will be played at regular intervals.
Happy days indeed.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely superb!, 3 July 2004
By 
Tout va bien (Villard de Lans) - See all my reviews
This is the video of one of my all-time favourite albums. On video, you are reminded that Dire Straits are more than just Knopfler's sublime guitar playing. Hal Lindes is fantastic in a supporting a role - I especially like his trousers! - and we get to see the often forgotten John Illsley, who is superb on bass, taking "Private Investigations" to new heights. Best of all though is Terry Williams. It's worth buying this video just to watch him on drums - amazing. Like the vinyl, the video doesn't contain "Love Over Gold", but then I didn't even know it was missing until the CD came out. Hopefully they'll bring "Alchemy" out on DVD so we can enjoy it again in all it's glory. Don't think - buy it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!, 1 May 2011
This review is from: Dire Straits: Alchemy Live [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
I always read the Amazon reviews on any product that I am thinking of buying, and this was no exception. There are a number of technical reviews here and I must admit some of them almost put me off. I decided to go ahead and buy a copy and I am glad that I did!
The lyrics, infectious music and sheer quality of the performance are just brilliant, 'Telegraph Road' is worth the cost of the DVD on its own. Mark Knopfler is an absolute master with guitar and composition of songs, there is always so much going on with every track. I have since purchased 'On The Night' - another fabulous insight into Dire Straits live performances - there is so much more than on the original CD's. This performance may be over 30 years old but will very rarely be bettered.
All I need to add is that a number of my friends have, after watching these DVDs, gone out and added them to their own collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alchemy Rocks!, 17 Jan 2011
This review is from: Dire Straits: Alchemy Live [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Ok, the lighting isn't brilliant; but it's on stage and recorded in the eighties so let's not dwell on that! Alchemy was the first live album released by a British band and should be used as a yard stick for how a concert should be done!
Make no mistake, this is Dire Straits at their very best! They show with effortless ease just how polished they were as a band and what consumate musicians they are! I have owned the cassette tape, the cd (twice), the VHS video and now this dvd and have never tired of listening and watching them!
The only (very personal) complaint is that in producing the dvd some of the 'in between bits'have been cut: I really miss Knopfler's drawn out "Thaaaaankyoooou' after Private Investigations leading into Sultans of Swing; but hey ho, you can't have everything!
If you like live music and some good old fashioned foot stomping, get up and dance rock, then buy this dvd!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Alchemy Blu-ray, 12 Aug 2010
By 
A. Visser "Alexander Senden" (Voerendaal, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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I agree the picture quality isn't as good as it should have been. The sound quality is excellent, even when turned up loud.The sound is quality considerably higher than the DVD.
So for me 3 stars.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing wrong with the sound, but the images are another story, 11 Dec 2011
By 
GregK "GregK" (Amsterdam, Holland) - See all my reviews
This must be the laziest Blu ray transfer ever made and likely just to cash in on the format. I can't warn people enough the quality of the visuals is so poor as to be ridiculous, at one point there even looks to be a pube across the lens. The film grain is aweful. If they can clean up Dr No/Goldfinger/Gone with the Wind etc then there is no excuse not to have done so here. Your better off with the DVD, or perhaps even just the audio CD, as the concert is not much of a visual feast anyway. Sadly disappointed.
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Dire Straits: Alchemy Live [DVD] [2010]
Dire Straits: Alchemy Live [DVD] [2010] by Dire Straits (DVD - 2010)
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