Live From Abbey Road: Best Of Season One – DVD Review



Nothing quite compares to hearing a good, live performance. The energy, the raw talent, and the palpable joy that the musicians feel can make for an incredibly moving experience that for my money can’t compare to sanitized studio releases.

And that pretty much is the reasoning behind the series Live From Abbey Road–the desire to capture incredible live performances from some of the best musicians from the past and present without regard for genre. This DVD has one of the most eclectic collection of musicians I’ve ever seen, moving seamlessly from John Mayer to Dr. John to Wynton Marsalis to LeAnn Rimes, with the only real connections between them are the artists’s incredible talent and their love of music.

Beyond the great performances, Live From Abbey Road features short interviews with each artist either before or after their session. Some, like John Mayer, go on for a few minutes, but other, like Dr. John, last for only a brief time. Incidentally, Dr. John’s interview is my favorite because all he talks about is the time somebody shot him in his hand.

Really, though, the reason to watch this is for the incredible performances and the opportunity to discover great artists you may not have known about. My only complaint is that this show doesn’t air in the States.


The DVD is shown in 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen with the audio tracks in Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital Surround 5.1. The picture looks fine, but naturally it’s the sound that is more important, and this DVD sounds very good.


Extended Artist Interviews – Like most interviews, some of these are very interesting while some fall flat. Really it depends on if you like the artist or not, but I have to say that all of these interviews are very hard to hear and I had to almost constantly fiddle with the volume, which is not conducive to my enjoyment of the featurettes. For the record, though, my favorite interviews were with David Gilmour, Corinne Bailey Rae, Dr. John despite his almost incomprehensible mumbling, and John Mayer.

Dave Matthews (9:02)
Kasabian (5:17)
David Gilmour (7:39)
Corinne Bailey Rae (6:03)
Dr. John (7:51)
Jay Kary (2:18)
John Mayer (7:31)
Ray LaMontagne (5:30)

Behind the Scenes (4:58) – Producers Michael Gleason and Peter Van Hooke talk about why they created this series and what they hoped to accomplish. Short, but interesting.


Typically I’m not one for music DVDs. Perhaps it’s just my age, but my first impulse when wanting to listen to music is to play a CD or my iPod (okay, so I’m not that old, I guess), but I really enjoyed this and I imagine I’ll watch it many times over. Recommended.

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Freemantle Media presents Live From Abbey Road: Best of Season One. Directed by AJ Jankel. Starring John Mayer; Corinne Bailey Rae; Dr. John; Craig David; Damien Rice; LeAnn Rimes; Josh Groban; Natasha Bedingfield; Wynton Marsalis; Nerina Pallot; Jamiroquai; Ray LaMontagne; Gipsy Kings; Norah Jones; David Gilmour; The Good, The Bad & The Queen; The Kooks; Gnarls Barkley; The Goo Goo Dolls; Iron Maiden; Kasabian; Primal Scream; The Zutons; Dave Matthews; Amos Lee.. Running time: 146 minutes. Rated NR. Released on DVD: November 11, 2008. Available at Amazon.

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