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The Old Grey Whistle Test - Vol. 3 [DVD]

4.2 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: David Bowie, Roger Daltry, Chris Rea, The Jam, Simple Minds
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • 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: 12
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 16 Feb. 2004
  • Run Time: 144 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000198ACA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,493 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Track listing:
Lindisfarne ‘Meet Me On The Corner’
David Bowie ‘Oh You Pretty Things’
Jackson Browne ‘Jamaica Say You Will’
Steppenwolf ‘Born To Be Wild’
Stealers Wheel ‘I Get By’
Roger Daltrey ‘Giving It All Away’
Humble Pie ‘Black Coffee’
Fairport Convention ‘Brilliancy Medley’
Freddie King ‘Boogie Funk’
Brinsley Schwarz ‘Surrender To The Rhythm’
Robin Trower ‘A Little Bit Of Sympathy’
Supertramp ‘Dreamer’
Johnny Winter ‘Jumping Jack Flash’
Richard and Linda Thompson ‘A Heart Needs A Home’
Janis Ian ‘At Seventeen’
Al Stewart ‘Year Of The Cat’
John Martyn & Danny Thompson ‘Couldn’t Love You More’
Chris Rea ‘Fires Of Spring’
The Jam ‘A’ Bomb In Wardour Street’
BB King ‘When It All Comes Down’/‘Hold On’
John Cooper Clarke ‘I Don’t Want to be Nice’
Joe Jackson ‘Sunday Papers’
Simple Minds ‘Chelsea Girl’
King Crimson ‘Frame By Frame’
Orange Juice ‘Rip It Up’
Howard Jones ‘No-one Is To Blame’
Sade ‘Is It A Crime’
Jesus & Mary Chain ‘In A Hole’
Lone Justice ‘Sweet, Sweet Baby (I’m Falling)’
Half Man Half Biscuit ‘All I want for Xmas
Bangles ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’

Also included – newly filmed interviews with Presenter Bob Harris, founding producer Mike Appleton and musicians Roger Daltrey, Hamish Stuart, Roddy Frame, Rick Wakeman, Bill Nelson, Kevin Ayers, Bob Geldof, Nick Lowe, Robin Trower, Edwyn Collins and Jools Holland. Plus additional interview material with: Roger Daltrey, Rick Wakeman, Edwyn Collins, and Bob Geldof on Live Aid.


Playing all 31 tracks on The Old Grey Whistle Test Volume 3 will make some viewers believe the producers are now beginning to scrape the bottom of the barrel; others will think that finally they're getting around to the good stuff. Given that the series somehow managed to take an enormous range of music on board while at the same time seeming entirely consistent (surely the secret of its success), there's evidence for both points of view. The case for the prosecution might cite Janis Ian (her melancholic self-obsession now seems indulgent to the point of prissiness), Al Stewart ("Year of the Cat" is simply a dreary song) or Orange Juice (did they ever really mean anything much to anyone?). The case for the defence, however, is pretty strong overall, with highlights such as Bowie doing "Oh You Pretty Things", Johnny Winter covering "Jumping Jack Flash" as if he was its rightful owner, and Kings BB and Freddie bringing it all back home with two excellent performances.

There's something for everyone along the way. Proggers get Discipline-era King Crimson, which saw Adrian Belew saving the band from disappearing up its own fundament; folkies get an unplugged Fairport Convention; punks get John Cooper Clarke and the Jam; somebody or other gets the Bangles. However, if there's one track that justifies the existence of this disc all by itself, it has to be "In a Hole" from the Jesus and Mary Chain, whose glorious nihilism made the Pistols seem like a folk group.

On the DVD: The Old Grey Whistle Test Volume 3 DVD is presented in old-telly 4:3 ratio and offers numerous extras, including contributor profiles and links, a commentary and an artists' gallery. --Roger Thomas

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Under Bob Harris and Mile Appleton, the OGWT wasn't too dissimilar to 'Unplugged'. Your best chance of getting on the show came if you played an acoustic guitar and sang. Hence Richard and Linda Thompson, John Martyn (brilliant here with Danny Thompson on acoustic bass), Fairport Convention, Janis Ian (fantastic voice) and Lindisfarne. If you were basically acoustic but had expanded to a band, that was OK -- hence Al Stewart and Stealers Wheel. If you played grand piano, well the BBC workmen could be persuaded to wheel one into the tiny OGWT studio, and this enabled Jackson Browne to play a great version of 'Jamaica Say You Will' and Daivd Bowie to pretend to play to 'Oh You Pretty Things'.
If you were irrevocably electric, such as Steppenwolf or Robin Trower, your chances of getting on the OGWT seemed less good, but here both bands put in great performances.
But perhaps the highlight of the whole DVD is the exception: Humble Pie's soul-laden 'Black Coffee'. As other reviewers have commented, Steve Marriott had a good claim to be Britain's greatest white soul singer.
The best interviews are given by Rick Wakeman and Roger Daltrey. As Neil Young has also pointed out, Daltrey suggests that the CD took away some of our enjoyment of albums: the sound wasn't as good as vinyl, and cover art seemed to be destroyed at a stroke.
I was less taken by some of the post-CD performances, such as that of the Bangles. If this is the best girl band the OGWT ever filmed, I'll eat my hat. (Didn't the 70s OGWT once show Joan Jett and the Runaways?) The King Crimson song is interesting -- I'd never seen the 80s line-up before -- but it's a shame that drummer Bill Bruford was so poorly illuminated.
Will there be a DVD 4 of the OGWT? I notice that only DVD 1 has been released in the USA.
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According to [...] the track listing for Volume 3 of the Old Grey Whistle Test DVD is:
Lindisfarne - ‘Meet Me On The Corner' 12.10.71
David Bowie - ‘Oh You Pretty Things' 8.2.72
Jackson Browne - ‘ Jamaica Say You Will' May 1972
Steppenwolf - ‘Born To Be Wild' 26.9.72
Stealers Wheel - ‘I Get By' 7.11.72
Roger Daltrey - ‘Giving It All Away' 13.3.73
Humble Pie - ‘Black Coffee' 20.3.73
Fairport Convention - ‘Brilliancy Medley' 17.4.73
Freddie King - ‘Boogie Funk' 31.7.73
Brinsley Schwarz - ‘Surrender To The Rhythm' 6.11.73
Robin Trower - ‘A Little Bit Of Sympathy' 17.4.74
Supertramp - ‘Dreamer' 22.10.74
Johnny Winter - ‘Jumping Jack Flash' 29.10.74
Richard and Linda Thompson - ‘A Heart Needs A Home' 7.3.75
Janis Ian - ‘At Seventeen' 12.10.76
Al Stewart - ‘Year Of The Cat' 30.11.76
John Martyn & Danny Thompson - ‘Couldn't Love You More' 1.3.77
Chris Rea - ‘Fires Of Spring' 16.5.78
The Jam - ‘‘A' Bomb In Wardour Street ' 23.5.78
BB King - ‘When It All Comes Down'/‘Hold On' 17.10.78
John Cooper Clarke - ‘I Don't Want to be Nice' 7.11.78
Joe Jackson - ‘Sunday Papers' 20.2.79
Simple Minds - ‘Chelsea Girl' 27.3.79
King Crimson - ‘Frame By Frame' 18.3.82
Orange Juice - ‘Rip It Up' 8.10.82
Howard Jones - ‘No-one Is To Blame' 29.1.85
Sade - ‘Is It A Crime' 5.2.85
Jesus & Mary Chain - ‘In A Hole' 12.3.85
Lone Justice - ‘Sweet, Sweet Baby (I'm Falling)' 4.6.85
Half Man Half Biscuit - ‘All I want for Xmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit' 6.5.
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Comment 66 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on 1 July 2004
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Having been somewhat disappointed with vols. 1 & 2 it was a case of having to get number three just to complete the set but I'm glad that I did.
It is always going to be difficult trying to please everybody and the previous OGWT DVD outings seemed to try too hard to cater for far too many differing tastes (though it must be said that my memories of the programme tells me that they always managed this successfully in the past). This meant that they became on the whole, extremely mediocre affairs and I found myself constantly skipping from track to track and only occassionally stopping to enjoy the far too intermittent classic performances or novel obscurities of yesteryear.
However I can sit and watch volume 3 from start to finish and apart from the occassional hiccup, enjoy the bulk of it.
The trouble is, when you've got so much good stuff it's difficult to detirmine the highlights but personal favourites include Lindisfarne, Roger Daltry, David Bowie, Faiport Convention etc etc. the list goes on and on but top of the list has to be Janis Ian's "At Seventeen". To see and hear the lady sing it live still brings a tear to the eye now as it did when I caught the original broadcast all those years ago.
As for the verbal interludes, a special mention has to go out to Rick Wakeman. He and his anecdotes have always been very entertaining and he doesn't fail to have you warm to him here. Why he hasn't been snapped up to present his own show (Live at Jongluers excepted) I will never know.
I think I read somewhere that this was to be the last of the DVD's to come from the OGWT stables which will be a shame as I think they've managed to get it just right on the third attempt and it would be interesting to see what they could achieve here on.
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