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David Bowie - Under Review 1976-79 The Berlin Trilogy [DVD] [2008]

3.6 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: Closed-captioned, Colour, DVD-Video, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: None
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Sexy Intellectual
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Nov. 2006
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000HT39AM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 151,468 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

A review of the pop star in his heyday, featuring live and studio performances, rare interviews and commentary from a panel of music experts. By the mid 1970s Bowie was the biggest pop star in the UK, but his personal life was in turmoil. In a bid to escape the chaos of his drug problems and to flee from the media spotlight, the singer eventually found his way to Berlin, where he started to work on what would become some of the most memorable and critically lauded recordings of his career. Bowie stopped moving from persona to persona as he had previously done, settling instead on being simply himself, and began to blend the music he was hearing in his adopted homeland (Kraftwerk and the like) with the avant-garde methodologies used by his friend and colleague Brian Eno.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Being a fervent Bowie-fan and collector that is interested in all Bowie's products I buy a lot and especially the Berlin period interests me much - because, living in Europe - it is close to my personal feelings and reminds me of an important era in human history. So I was very happy when this DVD was advertised already months ago on several Bowie-websites. I could not wait ordering it and so I did. As always Amazon sent it fast - within 2 days to outside UK. But my disappointment has never been more than over this worthless product... This is really taking advantage over people's interest and trying to make a product out of nothing. Before unpacking the DVD i was already a bit suspicious when I read the text " "The opinions on this DVD are completely independent. This DVD is not authorised by David Bowie, his management or any record or publishing companies associated with the release or ownership of David Bowie's music..." After playing it a few minutes I already understood why. I searched and searched and searched and then stopped playing. It is REALLY unbelievable!! i really understand why it has nothing to do with any company or management: it contains NOTHING but a few almost unknown people interviewed about their own opinions of several aspects and products in the berlin period of David Bowie. Musically it shows nothing more than several times just a few seconds of music tunes and videoclips (when you use less than 8 seconds you do not have to pay any rights - due to many laws) and for the rest it ONLY shows the album covers of the albums Low, Heroes and Lodger. THIS IS REALLY UNBELIEVABLE and not worth more than 1 euro for the nice cover and pumped up texts about all the things it would exist and keeping it as a collector's item. I'm sure I'm gonna use Amazon's possibility for returning a product of which I'm unsatisfied of - the first time I've ever been so!
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This DVD is a review of Bowie's music in the late 70s. It focuses very little on Bowie himself, instead exploring the music of the Berlin Trilogy (mostly) and the milieu in which the albums were created. Instead of retelling the same old stories about what Bowie did, how and with whom, this documentary talk about the art, giving insight into the production of Bowie's albums and offers analyses and opinions by musicians (none terribly well known) and critics. The opinions are subjective and you might not always agree with them (and they do not always agree with each other), but for the most part this is an interesting insight into the music and the music scene of the Berlin Trilogy.

It is a low budget production, but well executed. It starts off examining Station to Station briefly to explain the background of the trilogy, and then heads into Low. About half of the documentary is given to discussing this album, with in-dept analysis and production insights. Then "Heroes" is presented rather briefly, while Lodger is given a considerable portion of the documentary (with people being quite apologetic). Finally Bowie's return to Eno on Outside is discussed, before ending with a short bit on Philip Glass' symphonic cover versions of Low and "Heroes".

All in all this was insightful, interesting and well worth the money.
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This is a good attempt to patch together a video review of an absolutely fascinating time in Bowie's career which, for me, evokes some great memories. The input from the German musicians who were clearly such an influence on Bowie at that time is very interesting. What the critics on the DVD fail to mention is that a major influence on the 'music' during this period was that Bowie just wanted to get albums out to close out his contract with RCA. Nonetheless, the music was very challenging indeed, particularly from Station to Station through to 'Heroes'. I remember playing Low time after time to force myself to like it and then checked out all the other musical influences. This period ended for me with the '78 tour and the last night at Wembley. Lodger doesn't quite fit in. Nonetheless, I recommend this DVD to Bowie die hards around at the time, plus newer fans curious about the transition from Young Americans to Low. It was a really strange journey for a young, impressionable Bowie fan. No other major music artist will be able repeat this feat and it's worth a few quid just to get a video perspective on that.
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This is dreadful. A series of D-list "talking heads" with little new insight to anyone (except maybe those who have never heard of Bowie, I suppose). The musical interludes are backed by still images of album covers - there's maybe a total of 2-3 minutes concert film (all of it seen in various places before) and the only other stuff is bits of videos. No discussion with Bowie, Eno or Visconti. Absolutely nothing worth buying it for. Wait till it comes on Channel 5 at 2.20am one day... Shockingly bad.
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I love this trilogy of albums and was totally immersed in this intense analysis of them. Of course it would better if Bowie himself officially endorsed it, but until that time arrives I think "Low" fans will enjoy a lot from this niche interest product. I should be thankful that he is such a popular artist, that a business thought it could make money by analysing the least commercial section of his career! Will anyone bother releasing a review of the "Mr Bungle" trilogy?

It would have benefited from a bonus DVD of full performances tracks from those albums.
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