Initially I was only going to buy the Dusty Springfield edition of this series of DVD's, but having had a good week on a certain auction site I decided to treat myself to the box set, and boy I am glad I did!
Each DVD is a little masterpiece in its own right, and together they give a wonderful overview of pop music - other than the Beatles or Stones - of the 1960's. Each is chock full of not only the hits you would expect, but also many other songs that you may have only partially remembered or have never heard at all. The sound quality on all is outstanding, very crisp and beautifully clear. This also applies to the picture quality, which is, at times, amazing. I have seen plenty of clips from the NME Poll Winners Party in the past, and they have always been short little clips and of very poor, grainly quality. Here they have been cleaned up and, for the most part, shown in full.
Many of the interviews have never been seen before, or not for many years - especially with Dusty - and throw a new light on many aspects of the music. Here lies my only slight disappointment with the Gerry and the Pacemakers DVD, because the only interviews are with Gerry himself and Bill Harry - I would have liked a couple of others to give a different light on this talented artist.
The extras are excellent, both on the discs themselves - lots of extra songs and performances etc - and inside the cases - the booklets are works of arts themselves! For a real treat the bonus DVD - available only with the Box Set - has a set of postcards that are well worth collecting!
If you love '60s music and want just one lovely present for Christmas stick this on your list and make sure Santa knows you have been good, very good!!!
Without doubt this box set is excellent from every perspective: content, production and price. For anyone thinking of buying one of the individual DVD's rather than the box set, I would recommend spending the extra money if you are able, as even if you are not a fan of any of the artists in the collection the DVD's are entertaining and informative, providing a great insight into those times. Simon Bell in the excellent interview on the Dusty Springfield DVD makes the point that any young musician would learn so much from just listening to her back catalogue, and I would say they would learn a lot as well from watching these DVD's. There is so much in this collection to enjoy. The footage of Herman's Hermits concert in Australia is very funny, although I wonder if Peter Noone thought so at the time!! Look out for one of the backing dancers trying to catch his eye as she dances past. Great stuff.
The British Invasion Box set features four dvd's and a bonus CD. The artists featured are Gerry & Pacemakers, Small Faces, Herman's Hermits and Dusty Springfield.
The great feature of the dvd's is that full versions of the songs are shown. Each dvd has at least 20 songs on them and many of the songs are live performances. The dvd's also feature interviews with surviving members of the bands. Another good feature is that you can play just the songs without the interviews and when you do this there are bonus performances as well.
The box set is very well packaged and each dvd contains a very comprehensive booklet on the artists history.
The sound and vision quality is very good considering the age of the material. The sound is mixed in 5.1 as well as stereo.
I am looking forward to more artists appearing in the British Invasion series of dvd's.
I was looking for something in the way of a period Small Faces DVD when I came across this and so ended up buying the boxed set. No regrets at all.
Pure enjoyment and brings back loads of memories of growing up as a teenager in the mid to late 1960s. For me it shows just how sterile so many of today's acts are, but then I'm just an old fogey so what do I know? Well, I do know that I like this boxed set and am very pleased that I bought it. At least I've got something decent to watch when X Factor is on.
As other reviewers have noted, this is a really well produced box set. So many '60's music DVD's I have seen are cheaply produced with tonnes of recycled and often poor quality footage. This DVD set is completely different. The producers have obviously spent a lot of time and effort trawling through the archives of film and television companies worldwide to (re)discover performances which I suspect in many cases will not have been seen since their original broadcast in the '60's. These performances are a mix of live and lip-synch; they have clearly been selected for their sound and video quality and cleaned up very well as the overall quality is as good as I have ever seen for original 1960's footage. A nice touch is that the artist performances can be viewed either as part of the main documentary programme or played totally separately (i.e. in full with no voiceover like a series of discrete music videos). The performances are accompanied by in-depth interviews filmed in the past couple of years specifically for these DVD's. These recent interviews feature both the artists (obviously only where they are still with us e.g Gerry Marsden filmed in the recreation of the Cavern in Liverpool) and/or people who were genuinely close to them (e.g. Dusty's backing vocalists). There are also well written booklets for each DVD and a set of postcards of the artistes as a bonus. Overall it is clear that a lot of love has gone into the production of these DVD's and they are simply the best I have seen on 1960's artistes - if you are hesitating about the cost then don't, they are well worth the money. I believe this series is produced by an American company (hence the Brit Invasion focus and series title) - I think it reflects pretty badly on we Brits that a UK production company did not previously take the time and effort to produce a set of DVD's like this. Regardless, the producers have done us all a great favour in creating these superb DVD's and in honouring these fantastic and timeless British artists - watching them I am reminded again just what a wealth of talent these small Islands exported to the world in the 1960's - makes me proud even today! I am now really looking forward to the next tranche of DVD's in this series which I believe are slated for release later this year (i.e late 2010).
I have to agree with everybody so far. This is a great set for many reasons. Firstly it is well very presented. The selection is very complete, there are only a few songs not here ,per group. Secondly, I enjoyed the interviews. I mostly enjoyed the high quality of the clips. This is truly a great set. I just hope there are many more in the series. I would like dvd's on groups such as , the kinks, the pretty things, manfred mann, the hollies, the who, badfinger and the yardbirds. Oh ,and of course the zombies. Keep up the the good work. Roll on, the next box set.
Having been a Small Faces Fan for a number of years I already have a number of their albums, so for me to review this DVD is going to be a little biased on my part. But not being old enough to have experienced it at the time of thier peak years this is a great way of being able to see and enjoy the performances of these gifted young lads who were in thier late teens at the time that a lot of this DVD was filmed. So all I can say is if you enjoy this band this DVD IS A MUST as its the best way to visit thier great period in the SIXTY'S "LIKE ALL GREAT ARTIST'S WE ONLY APPRECIATE THEM WHEN THEY ARE DEAD GOD BLESS UM!!!" So if you are a fan BUY IT NOW!!
This is the type of set that restores hope for the future of music video documentaries. It's rare that I can say there's not much I would change about a collection of this type, but I'd be hard-pressed to find a problem with it. No corners were cut in making these DVD's as fantastic as they are... everything from being able to watch the musical performances either within the documentary or on their own to the good sound quality to the excellent booklets included in each. I can't recommend this set highly enough.
Growing up in the sixties, I was living this music. Never had much chance, however, to see many of the artists perform on stage. And on television we had only these weekly 30 minutes programmes "specially for teenagers". It is fun and a great surprise to see them now as they were. Consider these dvd's as a great video clip retrospective. Some songs are badly missing, especially in the Herman's Hermits collection, but each dvd presents a string of songs that nicely illustrates the musical development of each of these artists. Let the pimples of the Small Faces take you back in time!