Complete Monterey Pop Festival

Complete Monterey Pop Festival

4.2 5

The Criterion Collection's Complete Monterey Pop Festival set is one of the more prodigious archival live rock releases to appear on DVD, dwarfing Warner Bros.' Woodstock in terms of both quality and musical significance. Indeed, the three-disc set, which consists of three separate DVD sleeves in a slipcase, dwarfs any other liveSee more details below

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The Criterion Collection's Complete Monterey Pop Festival set is one of the more prodigious archival live rock releases to appear on DVD, dwarfing Warner Bros.' Woodstock in terms of both quality and musical significance. Indeed, the three-disc set, which consists of three separate DVD sleeves in a slipcase, dwarfs any other live 1960s rock release on film that we're ever likely to see. The original 79-minute film Monterey Pop, which was available for years on television in dark, indifferently transferred prints, and during the late '80s in a somewhat better laserdisc edition, has been given a major upgrade here. The most obvious improvements come from a high-definition digital transfer made under the supervision of director D.A. Pennebaker that is so sharp that it's possible to read the medium-sized print on peoples' T-shirts in the wide shots, and see more detail than anyone who wasn't there ever saw before. The shorter features Jimi Plays Monterey and Shake! Otis at Monterey are also included, on disc two, and look significantly better than the Japanese laserdiscs of either film. The third disc is entitled "Monterey Pop: The Outtake Performances," and features two hours of songs and various performers that never made it into the original movie, ranging from the Association and Laura Nyro to Tiny Tim. There are numerous surprises here, however, beyond the image quality. For starters, the audio has been remixed by Eddie Kramer from the original multi-track sources into Dolby Digital and DTS, which makes watching this release overall -- even the basic Monterey Pop movie -- the equivalent of taking it all in for the first time. One can hear nuances in the singing and playing, and feel a bracing immediacy and impact that was lacking even in the Rhino Records Monterey Pop Festival box from 1992. The revelations are to be found throughout these discs, and in some totally unexpected places -- the Byrds were one of the big disappointments at the original festival, for a lackluster set that had no real highlights, but viewed and heard here, their playing seems about as solid and impressive as any live gig of theirs that was ever recorded. Similarly, the Blues Project -- who were on their last legs, in the midst of disintegration, at the festival -- is enjoyable here, though ex-member Al Kooper, playing with a hastily assembled band, does play circles around them; and Buffalo Springfield (sans Neil Young, who was out of the lineup at the time), in their only extant live clip, show off some of the mixture of garage-punk instrumental attack and folk-based harmony that made them one of the most exciting rock acts in Los Angeles. The outtake performance clips by the Who and Big Brother & the Holding Company have been remixed into Dolby 5.1 surround, and those are even better. But even the tracks on which high-grade audio materials haven't survived, such as Hugh Masekela's section, are distinctly superior to their earlier incarnations. The original film and the Jimi Hendrix and Otis Redding features have been enhanced with multiple commentary tracks, by rock historians Peter Guralnick and Charles Shaar Murray, festival producer Lou Adler, and director D.A. Pennebaker, and interviews with Phil Walden (Otis Redding's manager) and John Phillips, Derek Taylor, Cass Elliot, and David Crosby. Additionally, the set comes with a 60-page booklet filled with essays and production information on the festival and the film, which completes the picture on this total-immersion musical/cinematic experience. There are a few gaps, such as the absence of more of the Simon & Garfunkel or Jefferson Airplane sets, or of any Moby Grape or Paupers material, but this is still a bigger chunk of the festival than has ever been seen in one place since the actual event. Each disc opens to a well-delineated and easy-to-use menu, and runs circles around any other release from the festival.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
While Woodstock remains the festival of the '60s, Monterey in many ways laid the foundation. During the height of 1967's "summer of love," the Monterey Pop Festival ushered in the new voices of rock and introduced America to the otherworldly guitar work of Jimi Hendrix. With a star-studded lineup that included Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, the Who, Jefferson Airplane, Ravi Shankar, and Simon & Garfunkel, the show featured many of the era's finest musicians performing at the peak of their ability. D. A. Pennebaker (Don't Look Back, Down from the Mountain) documented it all masterfully, capturing such legendary moments as Jimi Hendrix setting his guitar aflame and the Who destroying their instruments. Almost as astonishing as the virtuosity of the acts is the unpretentious attitude of the musicians, who are captured on film by Pennebaker freely mingling with the crowd during fascinating interstitial footage. This three-disc Criterion treatment includes three films: "Monterey Pop," "Jimi Plays Monterey," and "Shake! Otis at Monterey," as well as more than 90 minutes of rarely seen outtakes. In addition, there's commentary from Pennebaker, festival co-producer Lou Adler, and Hendrix biographer Charles Shaar Murray. For those who were around to experience it, the impact of Monterey is difficult to overstate. And for those who weren't, this DVD offers the clearest, most complete picture yet.

Product Details

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[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
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Special Features

New high-definition digital transfers of Monterey Pop, Jimi Plays Monterey, and Shake! Otis at Monterey, supervised by D.A. Pennebaker; New 5.1 mixes by legendary recording engineer Eddie Kramer, presented in Dolby Digital and DTS; Outtake performances by the Association, Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Blues Project, Buffalo Springfield, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, the Byrds, Country Joe and the Fish, the Electric Flag, Jefferson Airplane, Al Kooper, the Mamas and the Papas, Laura Nyro, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Simon & Garfunkel, Tiny Tim, and the Who; Audio commentaries: Festival producer Lou Adler and D.A. Pennebaker on Monterey Pop; music critic Charles Shaar Murray on Jimi Plays Monterey; music critic Peter Guralnick on Shake! Otis at Monterey; New video interview with Lou Adler and D.A. Pennebaker on the beginnings of the festival and the making of the film; New video interview with Phil Walden, manager of Otis Redding from 1959 to 1967; Audio interviews with festival producer John Phillips, festival publicist Derek Taylor, and performers Cass Elliott and David Crosby; Photo essay; Monterey Pop scrapbook; Theatrical trailers & radio spots

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Monterey Pop
1. "Combination Of the Two" [2:34]
2. Set-Up/"San Francisco" [3:27]
3. Preparations Continue [1:16]
4. "Creeque Alley" [1:56]
5. "California Dreamin" [2:40]
6. "Rollin' and Tumblin" [2:55]
7. "59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)" [1:22]
8. "Bajabula Bonke (Healing Song)" [3:40]
9. "High Flyin' Bird" [3:52]
10. "Today" [2:11]
11. "Ball and Chain" [6:17]
12. "Paint It Black" [3:58]
13. "My Generation" [3:02]
14. "Section 43" [5:29]
15. "Shake!" [:57]
16. "Ive Been Loving You Too Long" [3:47]
17. "Wild Thing" [7:23]
18. "Got a Feelin'" [2:47]
19. "Raga Bhimpalasi" [18:34]
20. Credits [1:02]
1. Creating the Titles [2:34]
2. Scott McKenzie/Chip Monck [3:27]
3. Taking Care Of the Artists [1:16]
4. Two Factions [1:56]
5. Structing a Concert Film [2:40]
6. "A Complete Show Every Night" [2:55]
7. Paul Simon's Other Role [1:22]
8. Getting the Shot [3:40]
9. Jefferson Airplane's Involvement [3:52]
10. Through a Filmmaker's Eyes [2:11]
11. Joplin's Encore [6:17]
12. The Blues As Theater [3:58]
13. "No One Knew What To Expect" [3:02]
14. "Get Into Yourself" [5:29]
15. Deciding To Use Two Songs [:57]
16. Otis' Aura [3:47]
17. "Not Prepared For Hendrix" [7:23]
18. Pop Music Ends [2:47]
19. Filming Ravi [18:34]
20. End Credits [1:02]
1. Lou Adler's Beginnings [4:28]
2. On To Monterey [3:36]
3. D.A. Pennebaker's Involvement [4:20]
4. California & John Phillips [3:37]
5. Festival Headquarters [3:04]
6. Sound & Sight [4:33]
7. The Film Takes Shape [5:40]
1. Beginnings/Philosophy [1:39]
2. Getting the Shot [1:36]
3. Lenses [1:36]
4. Film Stock [2:24]
5. Favorites [3:11]
6. Remembering Monterey [1:44]
Disc #2 -- Jimi Plays Monterey
1. "Can You See Me?" [3:23]
2. "Purple Haze" [1:00]
3. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" [4:27]
4. "Monterey" [2:53]
5. "Killing Floor" [3:42]
6. "Foxy Lady" [3:10]
7. "Like a Rolling Stone" [7:06]
8. "Rock Me Baby" [3:26]
9. "Hey Joe" [3:51]
10. "The Wind Cries Mary" [3:28]
11. "Wild Thing" [10:22]
12. Credits [2:00]
1. Denny Dent [3:23]
2. Beginnings [1:00]
3. The Saville Theatre [4:27]
4. A Distinct Atmosphere [2:53]
5. An Audience In Shock [3:42]
6. Jimi's Sonic Universe [3:10]
7. An Act Of Audacity [7:06]
8. R&B Tradition [3:26]
9. Liberating Pop Music [3:51]
10. The Calm Before the Storm [3:28]
11. Pure Sound, Pure Theater [10:22]
12. Breakout Performances [2:00]
1. "Shake" [3:14]
2. "Respect" [3:02]
3. "I've Been Loving You Too Long" [4:08]
4. "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" [2:52]
5. "Try a Little Tenderness" [5:40]
1. Performing For Rock 'N' Roll Audiences [3:14]
2. Maintain the Mountain [3:02]
3. Bringing It Down [4:08]
4. A Blues Song [2:52]
5. Transcendence [5:40]
1. Otis' Presence [3:14]
2. First Recordings [3:02]
3. Dedication [4:08]
4. An Artist & a Businessman [2:52]
5. Success [5:40]
1. An Interest In R&B [3:14]
2. Johnny Jenkins To Otis Redding [3:02]
3. Generosity [4:08]
4. Stax [2:52]
5. Europe To Monterey [5:40]
6. After Monterey [:00]
Disc #3 -- The Outtake Performances
1. "King For a Day" [2:07]
2. "Laugh, Clown, Laugh" [2:33]
3. "May God Be With Our Boys Tonight" [2:10]
4. "My What a Funny Little World This Is" [3:42]

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