The Complete Monterey Pop Festival (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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The Monterey International Pop Festival, the three-day event staged in 1967 that has become one of rock music's most famous and in some ways greatest concerts, gets the royal treatment with this three-disc boxed set.
Material on two of the three discs has already been widely available. Monterey Pop, D.A. Pennebaker's 79-minute, 1968 film, effectively sets the scene for the festival, which took place during the fabled "Summer of Love," when the hippie ethos was in its fullest flower, especially on the West Coast. And while not all the featured performances are thrilling, those that are--principally by the Who, Jimi Hendrix, and the amazing Ravi Shankar--are worth the price of admission, especially in the high-definition digital transfer and new 5.1 mix seen and heard here. The same can be said for Jimi Plays Monterey and Shake! Otis at Monterey, which appear in the boxed set on a separate disc and provide a much fuller look at Hendrix's and Otis Redding's incendiary sets (literally, in the former case).
Those two discs are also loaded with bonus features, including audio commentary by Pennebaker, festival producer Lou Adler (on Monterey Pop), and author Peter Guralnick (Shake!); audio-only remarks by some of the performers; photos; trailers; and other material. There's also a substantial booklet, filled with essays and photos. But it's the third disc, "The Outtake Performances," comprising some two hours of music that didn't make the final film edit, that will be of most interest to many viewers. The disc supplies a taste of some of the artists who didn't appear in Monterey Pop at all (the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Quicksilver Messenger Service), and a more complete look at some who did (the Who, Simon and Garfunkel, the Mamas and the Papas). A nice addition to an already very impressive DVD collection. --Sam Graham --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
So, if you're interested in finding out what was happening see the original film. But if, like me, you already have it, or if you're just more curious, then this expanded 3 disc DVD edition is just about all you could ask for, and probably all you're ever going to get. Sure, the film quality on several of the additional sequences is poor but hey, you get a further two hours of performances - including Al Kooper, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield (with David Crosby & without Neil Young), the Association, Laura Nyro and Electric Flag, none of who were included in the original film, and...Read more ›
"Monterey Pop" should be required viewing--far more than "Woodstock", that's for sure--for anyone interested in what the 60s was really all about. It is more than just an incredible rock festival, the first and still the best of its kind. It is a historical document of the hippie era at its euphoric peak. DA Pennebaker truly earned his credentials here as his camera focuses with incredible grace and sensitivity on each face, be it from audience member or performer. There is one shot during Ravi Shankar's performance where his camera walks down a lengthy aisle and the quasi-religious looks and gypsy-like fashions on the dozens of people he meets along the way is simply breathtaking.Read more ›
People seemed to have the problem with the bonus disc. Yes, there was one camera angle that has big black hairs in it. That only shows up durring two acts, and for a total screen time of maybe 5 minutes. Otherwise, the picture quality is fine, actually much better overall than the new McCartney "Back in the US" DVD is. I almost didn't buy this based on those other reviews, because I am usually quite critical of product quality, and usually end up agreeing with negative reviews. Boy, am I glad I took the chance on this one anyway. There are some great surprises in this box, like wonderful performances from people I wasn't familiar with, and terrible performances from people I thought would be great. The Byrds doing "Hey Joe" was so amazingly bad it made me laugh. Any garage band could have done a better job on that, but it's not the DVD's fault.
There are many hours of enjoyment in this set and they did a good job putting it all together. There is a lot of information available here too, both in the dialog tracks and the very nice book included. I am very glad I bought it, and am betting you will be too.
Most recent customer reviews
Amazing box set even if some of the video is not high quality. Great to see all the performances not included in the movie! Good sound quality considering the year it was made.Published 6 months ago by Tom Jeffers
Thouroughly enjoyed the visit back into the past. Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix all look so young. The Canned Heat looking so young and unpolished, looked like they had just formed... Read morePublished on June 20 2013 by Francis Pallier
bought this as a gift for someone, he has always wanted this. great music, great artists. this festival was before WoodstockPublished on Jan. 20 2013 by Ann Marie Leis
Sound quality is great but I didn't really get the wow factor for the money spent. That being said I enjoyed watching the very youthful musicians in their element just making music... Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2011 by Amazon Customer
I just recently bought this Blu-Ray and I have to say that the remastered picture and sound is fabulous, well worth the $$$. Read morePublished on Oct. 17 2009 by J. Bird
The Complete Monterey Pop Festival 3-DVD set is wonderful! It's well worth the money. Don't be put off by the negative comments on some of the reviews you'll read... Read morePublished on Aug. 6 2009 by Geraldine Bucsis
It is an interesting fact that Michael Bloomfield was the best guitar player to perform at the Monterey Pop Festival. Read morePublished on May 21 2004 by John Abraytis
The Complete Monterey Pop Festival DVD box set is incredible, essential, magnificent and historic. The audio and video quality is as good as can be expected, considering the... Read morePublished on Dec 26 2003 by Mad Dog
Given the large number of great bands and performers at the festival, many reviewers have speculated about why some footage was included and some bands entirely skipped over. Read morePublished on Dec 21 2003