Everyone has been focusing on naming their favorite albums of 2007, but I’m more of a visually oriented guy. Each week I browse Amazon and Netflix to find out what rock-related concerts and documentaries are coming down the pike, and I do my best to check out any that seem worthwhile. There were many flicks both good and bad that made their way into either my DVD player or DVR this past year. This week’s B List focuses on the 10 Best Music DVDs of 2007:
Bob Dylan changed folk music forever when he took the stage at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival with some bona fide electrified rockers. The Other Side of the Mirror examines not only Dylan’s 1965 performance, but also his more straightforward turns at the ’63 and ’64 festivals. Murray Lerner’s fantastic documentary gives us 20 songs from Dylan’s three appearances, most of which haven’t been released before.
Read on after the jump for the remaining best music DVDs of the year…
The fine folks at JamCam continue to top themselves with each release. Back in October, JamCam released a two-DVD set chock full of terrific footage from January’s Jam Cruise 5. Instead of focusing on one band like the other DVDs on this list, JamCam’s package includes one song a piece from a lengthy list of jammers including Umphrey’s McGee, Railroad Earth, Tea Leaf Green and Dumpstaphunk.
While we’re not a fan of the fantasy bits that nearly ruins Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains The Same, you can’t doubt the awesomeness of the concert footage filmed at Madison Square Garden in 1973 that made up the majority of the flick. Last month the Led Zep boys released a reissue of TSRTS that includes all 15 songs that were filmed in MSG. The DVD also features remastered sound, a rare 1976 BBC interview with Robert Plant and manager Peter Grant, plus a slew of other bonus features making this one of the most worthy updates of all-time.
Plug Me In chronicles every era of AC/DC’s illustrious career from 1975-2003. The first DVD is filled with TV appearances and live footage from the Bon Scott years, while the second disc compiles footage from the Brian Johnson years. Disc 3 focuses on rare performances from both eras. We love that Plug Me In focuses on AC/DC’s dynamic live show, which illustrates how different the band’s concerts were at various points of their career.
Live In Dublin captures Bruce’s Seeger Sessions band at their absolute best, after nearly a year on the road. The release includes beautifully shot footage of fan favorites, radical reworkings of classic Springsteen tunes, and rare songs appearing for the first time on a Springsteen release.
In July Eric Clapton called upon his famous friends to take part in the second Crossroads Guitar Festival at Toyota Park near Chicago. The concert was filled with dynamic performances from blues legends including Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray and of course Clapton himself. Our favorite part of this DVD features Clapton jamming on some Blind Faith classics with Steve Winwood including Had To Cry Today and Presence of the Lord. We love that this release is filled with a great selection of not the usual EC classics, making this DVD a worthy buy for even the most jaded of guitar lovers.
Amazing Journey profiles The Who’s career from their days as young lads in England to the tragic and sudden loss of bass player John Entwistle in 2002. While we certainly wish this documentary included more full songs, you couldn’t ask for a more complete history of what they accomplished. We even shed a few tears during the moving segments on both Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon’s deaths.
Johnny Cash filmed 58 episodes of The Johnny Cash TV Show between 1969 and 1971, with the majority of the footage winding up in a vault for the last 36 years. This year the Cash estate finally released a two-dvd set filled to the brim with amazing performances from both The Man In Black and his special guests. We’ve had a hard time picking our favorite clips from the set, but you can choose between Neil Young playing The Needle and The Damage Done or CCR nailing Bad Moon Rising or an amazing duet between Cash and Louis Armstrong. The Johnny Cash TV Show DVDs are truly an all killer no filler affair.
One of the most anticipated DVD reissues came down this year when Nirvana finally released their epic appearance on MTV’s Unplugged. Unplugged In New York contains the full hour long program that aired on MTV, as well as six other songs that didn’t originally make the cut. Most artists used Unplugged to present their greatest hits acoustically, but Nirvana eschewed their popular songs in favor of rarities and covers. It’s only fitting that Nirvana will probably go on to sell more copies of their Unplugged performance than any of the other bands who focused on the hits.
Peter Bogdanovich could be the first director to ever make a four hour movie that kept us entertained throughout. Runnin’ Down A Dream tells the story of the little band that could from Gainesville, Florida which experienced the highs and lows of life in the fast lane after they achieved super stardom. The flick brilliantly moves from live footage to interview clips that do a fine job of framing the music.
What were your favorite music DVDs of 2007? Let us know with a comment…