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One Night Only - Anniversary Edition [DVD] 
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Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb were performing together from childhood but it was in Australia in 1960 that they were first billed as the Bee Gees. The band went on to become one of the most successful performing, recording and songwriting acts of all time. This full length concert was shot at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on 14 November 1997 and is one of very few Bee Gees performances ever filmed. It has consistently been one of Eagle Vision s biggest selling titles. Now the DVD has been reauthored, with a revised sleeve and additional content to celebrate 50 years of the Bee Gees.
Taped as a lavish cable television special in 1997, One Night Only trades on the Bee Gees' shape-shifting career as pop survivors. Over the course of 111 minutes, this straightforward concert, produced at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and groomed for both video and CD posterity, sprints through 31 songs from their past three decades. Even after the inevitable disco jokes are expended, and the jaundiced viewer contemplates the role hats, hairspray, and comb-overs now play in dressing the once stylishly long-haired troika, the Gibb brothers' signature vocal harmonies and hook-laden song craft beg respect.
Casual listeners can't be blamed for equating the Bee Gees with the dance floor bonanza they reaped through 1978's Saturday Night Fever, yet that commercial zenith was actually the culmination of a comeback for a group that had seemed washed up by the early 1970s. One Night Only thankfully takes an even-handed view of both their original late 1960s hits ("Massachusetts", "To Love Somebody", "Lonely Days"), building from a cannily Beatle-browed vocal sound, and the 1970s blue-eyed soul ("Jive Talkin'", "Nights on Broadway") that led them naturally into disco. The Fever hits are here, as are Gibb originals that clicked for other acts; the family circle also widens for a posthumous duet with their late brother, Andy Gibb, while Celine Dion gets star billing in the collaborative "Immortality". --Sam Sutherland --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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1997 was an amazing year for the Bee Gees, with inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame, plus Lifetime Achievement Awards from the British, American and World Music Awards, the the Australian record industry, and the German Bambi Awards topped off by a “One Night Only” concert at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, their only live concert in 1997 and first US concert in nearly 10 years.
Most of you, including myself, have purchased “One Night Only” DVD released in 1997. Now Eagle Rock Entertainment has upconverted this concert to high definition. The burning question is “should I double dip?” I have compared the HD and SD versions. Hopefully, after you have finished reading my review, you will come to the same conclusion as I have. Let’s read on…
HD vs. SD:
SIZE DOES MATTER:
The most important and obvious upgrade is that the blu ray version is widescreen, whereas the standard version was 1.33:1. Here, what a difference this makes to bring joy to my heart to watch this concert the way it was originally recorded.
The blu ray version arrives on blu ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080i 1.78:1 encode. Although the overall picture is on the soft side, nevertheless, the HD video is far superior than the SD video. In my home theatre, I have a McIntosh MP 1000 video processor that will convert any video to 1080p. In my comparison, I find that there are more details in the blu ray version, where you can distinguish different hair strands on Barry’s hair and beard on Barry and Maurice’s faces. The colour is more subdued in both cases, but the green colour on Barry’s guitar is boosted in the high definition version. Skin tones are spot on. It is amazing you can hardly find any wrinkles on Barry’s face. With technical advancement, Robin spots a pair of earpiece. In my recent review of Bee Gee’s Australian tour DVD, he was still holding a large wired headphone to his left ear when he sang solo. Now he put both hands on the microphone stand. Overall, the picture was pleasing in the blu ray version. (HD: 4/5; SD 2/5)
Another major advancement in the blu ray version is the availability of DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, vs DTS 5.1 in the SD version. The final sound is definitely much improved, with very clear vocals plus different instruments sounding more vibrant. Although the sound is mostly concentrated in the front speakers, still it is better than that SD version, which is more muffled. One little thing that I missed from the old standard DVD is the DTS digital sound logo. It was one of the items to wow and impress your audience with that logo, before the actual feature presentation. I have seen two different DTS-HD logos on blu ray discs from Hong Kong. Too bad they are not used here. (HD: 4.5/5; SD: 3.5/5)
The song content is the same on both versions: 32 songs! The outstanding selections include rare performance of Morning Of My Life (from film Melody), Tragedy from Spirits Having Flown, Celine Dion performing Immortality with Bee Gees backing vocals, video appearance of Andy Gibb and Frankie Valli, the latter in the song Grease. Of course, Olivia Newton-John in the front row was introduced to the audience, twice – the other time was as fellow Australian before New York Mining Disaster 1941. (Concert: 5/5)
The bonus features that are found only on the blu ray version are three tracks from the UK TV: Medley: Heratbreaker/Guilty/Chain Reaction, How Deep Is Your Love and Jive Talkin’. But the really special bonus feature here is An Audience With the Bee Gees, with interviews with the three members together at the same time. It is of interest to learn their feelings about the backlash of disco, the snubbing of How Deep Is Your Love and Stayin’ Alive by the Academy Awards, with not a single nomination. Maurice stated that because of the stir towards inaction by the Academy Award that year, it opened the door to pop music in subsequent years, like Nashville and Flashdance, both winning Best Original Song Oscars afterwards. I watched this interview with lots of sadness, because two members are gone from us forever.
One Night Only is the only full length concert by the Bee Gees on blu ray, and it was recorded at the time when the Brothers Gibbs were still in their prime. By now, you can guess my answer whether it is worthwhile to double dip to buy this blu ray disc: a resounding YES! This blu ray version is much superior than the standard version, and is very highly recommended. In my opinion, it is a Must-Own!
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