I've cherished the original DVD because it contains remarkable and memorable performances by Weller, his band and Robert Kirby and his strings. Unfortunately, the company that made this re-release changed the order of songs on the CD, and reedited the tracks so they could fit onto a single CD! So now one of my all time favourite Weller moments, the 7 and a half minute live version of As You Lean Into The Light, fades out after just 2 and a half minute on the CD. Some of the other songs also fade out or have been reedited. This is scandalous!! So, if you already have the DVD, I advise you to abstain from buying this set. If you don't have the DVD, you will enjoy that one, but the CD is a disgrace. So a 5 star DVD and a 0 star CD = 2 stars. A wasted opportunity!
One of the benefits of a great live performance DVD is that it captures the artist at a specific point in time, age, experience and creative output. Paul Weller Live at the Royal Albert Hall does just that. Filmed in 2000, to support the "new" (and now largely dismissed) album Heliocentric, the performance is laced with songs that these days are largely overshadowed by Weller's earlier and subsequent work. Eight of the 18 tracks performed here by Weller come from Heliocentric, six are from 1995's Stanley Road and four are from 1997's Heavy Soul. This, then, is Paul Weller - the UK's acclaimed and Britpop-invigorated "Modfather" -- at the start of the new millennium, introducing his newest songs to an adoring London crowd. Weller has always been an intense, passionate performer, thriving on the energy of a live audience. At the Albert Hall he is backed by longtime associates Steve White on drums and Steve Cradock on guitar, plus Edgar Jones on bass and Chris Holland on keyboards. Also on hand are Robert Kirby and a 16-piece string orchestra, accompanying the band in most songs. The performances are tight and the production quality is excellent. The DVD of the live show clocks in at 96 minutes, giving the home viewer as good a live concert experience as you can get sitting on the couch. There's not much banter with the audience, but at one point Weller acknowledges the abundance of new material and lack of dome-lifting (it is the Albert Hall, remember) old favorites with a sheepish "here's one you might recognize." Perhaps the biggest surprise of the whole shebang is how well those old Heliocentric songs hold up. I don't expect you'll see eight of them played at any future Weller shows, so this DVD is the only way to enjoy them live. The "Sight & Sound" packaging also includes a CD - shoehorning and rearranging all 18 songs into a highly listenable 75 minute package. The downside: If you've seen the actual show, you'll likely miss the 9 minute version of Heavy Soul (trimmed to 4 and a half minutes here) and the seven minute version of As You Lean Into the Light (an enjoyable live jam that fades out on the CD after three minutes). Otherwise, enjoy both for one low price!
why edit some of the best versions of 'as you lean into the light', and 'picking up sticks' to just name two of the tracks that on the cd have been faded out halfway through, i have the dvd already so it was the cd i was after, because the playing etc on the dvd is outstanding, so why fade and cut some of the best moments, if i was you, and you have the dvd already, as i did, don't even think about it, you'll get anoyed, as i did, the people who thought 1 disc would be ok were wrong, they should have had it in its entirety on 2 discs, i wouldn't have minded paying another coulple of quid, and i'm sure you wouldn't !, the dvd 10/10, the cd 5/10, -because half of its missing !!