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Diana Ross: Live in Central Park

DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 21.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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On July 21, 1983, the legendary Diana Ross took the stage in New York's Central Park before an audience of over 800,000. Soon after the show began, pouring rain and heavy wind threatened to put an end to the show, but Diana pushed on for much of the set, urging the drenched crowd to remain calm and stay with her. Eventually the torrential storm put an end to the performance, but not before Diana promised her fans she would return the next day. True to her word, Diana performed the entire concert again on July 22nd for the people of New York. Initially broadcast live around the world, this renowned concert remained largely unseen for 30 years, and has never been released on DVD until now. Main Program Listing: I'm Coming Out Home Family It s My House Let s Go Up Reach Out And Touch (Somebody s Hand) Supremes Medley: Reflections / Baby Love / Stop! In The Name Love / Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart God Bless The Child Mirror, Mirror Maniac You Can't Hurry Love Upside Down So Close Why Do Fools Fall In Love Ribbon In The Sky Beat It Muscles Endless Love Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You re Going To) Ain't No Mountain High Enough All For One Day 1 Set List (Bonus Feature) 1. Ain t No Mountain High Enough 2. Home 3. Family 4. It's My House 5. Let's Go Up 6. Reach Out And Touch (Somebody s Hand) 7. Supremes Medley: Baby Love/ Stop! In The Name Of Love/ Love Is Like an Itching In My Heart 8. Endless Love 9. Ain t No Mountain High Enough Bonus Features: 1.Complete Rain-Shortened Concert From Previous Day 2.Commentary By Emmy and Cable Ace Award Winning Director Steve Binder

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Video Quality Is Terrific May 26 2012
By Kasey G TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Although I don't have a home theatre system I found nothing wrong with the video quality on the DVD aside from two very minor glitches that were obviously on the master tape. Other than that I was thrilled to finally have this legendary concert in such great quality.

What's not so thrilling are Diana's constant attempts to have the audience sing the chorus for her on song after song. It's as though she was getting them to do her job for her for nearly HALF the numbers in the set list. In past performances (think "Aquarius/"Let the Sunshine In" from the Supremes farewell concert) it was cute and endearing, but here it just becomes frustrating and annoying and ruined what probably would have been my favorite moment of the show ("Upside Down"). As it stands, I think "It's My House" came off best here, and I think Diana had the audience in the palm of her hand with the upbeat numbers such as this and "Mirror Mirror". You could tell they were getting restless during the Billie Holliday song and she even chastised them for it!

Despite the complaints, for Dianaphiles this is a no-brainer as a MUST-SEE!

FOUR STARS.
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By Boudy
Format:DVD
She looks great and sounds great, but you do not see the band or back up singers. I was bored. She was in full diva mode during this concert. To me a concert is an experience of all the musicians involved. You don't shove them out of sight. Who does that? I forgot there is one cringe-worthy moment of her and a male dancer. I will be kind and say it was the 80's.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great DVD. Brings back memories. July 31 2012
By Sean
Format:DVD
Great DVD. Great sound and picture, considering it is not in HD.

Brings back good memories of the 80's. 2 concerts for the price of one. (the first night that was rained out, and the second night, when the weather was just gorgeous)
I recommend this DVD to every one who is a Diana Ross fan. One of the highlights of her career.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it!!! June 15 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It was well worth the wait of almost 30 years to come to DVD. it was filledwith old favorites and, at the time, new hits. I thought the compilation of "both" nights was kinda cool and offered some insight into Diana's committment to her fans and putting on the best show she could deliver. Watch it and you'll love it - buy it and you'll enjoy it forever!!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  99 reviews
53 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Taken Nearly a Lifetime BUT It is Finally Released! April 1 2012
By L. Boki - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
When it was first announced that Diana would join the short list of exclusive artists to perform in Central Park. Diana was riding a 5 year wave of uptrending popularity from her critically acclaimed/platinum album, "The Boss", to the mega-success of the Chic produced "diana" album that went onto sell 10 million copies globally, followed closely by what Billboard has declared some 30 years later, "The Biggest Duet of AllTime" w/"Endless Love" to her platinum RCA/EMI debut, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love", it's follow-up the near platinum "Silk Electric" with the Michael Jackson written and produced single, "Muscles" to the album that would spearhead this global concert, "Ross '83". (Diana was already one of those rare artists to have her career be ever stronger in its third decade. The Supremes dominated the charts from 1964-1970. Then Diana's first solo surge happened immediately in 1970 when the Grammy nominated "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" would be her first solo #1. Then her movie career blossomed from 1972-76 as she got an Oscar nod for "Lady" and a French Cesar for "Mahogany". This next surge began in 1979 with "The Boss").

Throughout the 70s and early 80s, Diana Ross concerts were like love-ins. It seemed no matter what you had felt about her and/or body of work, she had a unique gift to entertain audiences into gleeful nirvana. She had been a pupil of Werner Earhard's "EST" which seem to draw her even closer to her audiences. I imagined Central Park to be a great big love-in. I had been traveling annually to New York since 1972/73. I had the privilege of seeing her at Radio City a number of times before this engagement. I thought I knew New York. But a decade later, there were clearly a lot of things I needed to learn. Her audiences were usually comprised of about 60% white, 20% black and 20% multi-racial. Though the Chic produced "diana" album stayed ontop of the Billboard R&B Album chart for nearly 18 weeks, her core audiences were not black. Arriving at the park by noon on 21 July 1983, the park was already beginning to fill up for a show not scheduled to start until dusk, 6:00 p.m. The audience was already heavily populated with her black and Hispanic fans. Even the normally strong alliance with the LGBT community was not as evident as it usually was.

It was an extremely hot July day with a powerful sun beaming down. To keep the burgeoning crowd entertained, they attempted to show "Lady Sings the Blues" on the jumbotron. However, the bright sun made it difficult to always see the screen. Radios were blasting Diana songs. Industrious New Yorkers were selling ice cubes and water to the sweltering audiences. When she finally hit the stage at around 6:00 p.m., the wind was beginning to whip up. The dancers on stage struggled through the wind as Diana's hair blew wildly in the wind. The first highlight was a touching rendition of "Family" from "Dreamgirls". New Yorkers knew the cast album, but, were pleasantly surprised that Diana had included this in the repertoire despite all the gossip that Diana had "issues" with the award winning Broadway show. The wind continues to blow wildly. The audiences continued to mimmick the wind. Wild is the wind! And then seemingly out of nowhere, a dark cloud began to dominate the New York skies. For the first half hour, Diana tried admirably to confront mother nature......only to have the weather make the definitive statement. The rain followed and it only got stronger and stronger. The New York audiences seem to join Diana in defying mother nature. Would the rain "Stop! in the name of Love" or would Diana urge her audience to, "Come in from the Rain". Even if you are Diana Ross, you don't mess with mother nature. (I truly believed the rain had to happen to diffuse the electricity of the wild audience).

The Supremes medley during the rain ranks as one of her most compelling performances. She improvised brilliantly! She remained true to "The show must go on" and she created an iconic moment that will forever be branded into our entertainment psyche. (even her staunchest critics could not deny that the lady seemed to get more and more beautiful as the rain poured down. One marywilson commented enviously that her Lancôme make-up did not run at all though the rain came down furiously).

The next day, she returned to that stage completely re-energized. The setlist was altered from the day before. Opening with the appropriate "I'm Coming Out", she was determined to fully entertain the 400,000 plus that either returned for more or decided to join in the celebration now that the show was being rescheduled. Highlights include the second single, "Let's Go Up" that sounded like a #1 record as the colorful balloons floated up the sky. When she sung, "God Bless the Child", her conviction to the lyrics rivaled her performance of that song during her 1980 HBO special. This time, it sequed into a scorching version of "Mirror, Mirror" that may be the most commanding performance of the day. She kept things contemporary offering a fun take on Michael Sembello's "Maniac" from the 80s blockbuster, "Flashdance". When she returned to the stage in a breathtaking Issey Miyake yellow ensemble, she made Stevie Wonder's recent, "Ribbon in the Sky" her own.... underscoring yet another turn of his catalog that begs for her to do an album of Stevie's songs.....she does them so well. As she toyed with her recent Top 10, "Muscles".....audience participation got very comical. She even got the New York Police involved in the fun antics to "Muscles". Her solo version of "Endless Love" was combined with the duet version and it moved the diva to real emotional tears. You could not help but wonder if she was reflecting on the roller coaster ride of the last couple of days or simply touched by the fact that she had kept her end of the bargain, and gave New York one of the most memorable Central Park concerts. Whether you believe the adjusted report that she pulled in an audience of 400,000 or you believe like I did and the New York Daily News reported that the first day commanded over 800,000 fans.....the fact that 400,000 returned for the encore underscored that she drew the biggest audience ever to Central Park.....a record that still stands today (though the Park Commissioner no longer allows random attendance, and capacity taps out at 100,00. Tickets are allocated before hand to insure crowd control). This was truly an event! It is hard to believe it was 30 years ago because Diana looks as vibrant today, as she did then. It is one of Diana's finest hours, in a career with many. In fact, nearly 20 years later, she gave another astounding New York performance in tribute to the 20th anniversary of "Lady Sings the Blues" at her pay-per-view, "Stolen Moments" concert at the old New York Ritz. Clearly, New York is her town and this show proves it undoubtedly. It is finally here and somehow it seems like the right time!
44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Day In The Park!!! April 2 2012
By Carlton L. Saunders - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
AMAZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZING!!!!

I got an advance copy and I loooooooooooooove it! The special commentary with director Steve Binder is phenomenal with great behind the scenes insight. It's unbelievable that it's taken 29 years for this news worthy concert to finally find it's way to DVD! The HD picture quality is pristine and the audio is simply FANTASTIC!!!
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LoveToMsRoss April 5 2012
By Evan Belle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I was a young kid when I first saw Live In Central Park, both nights. Diana Ross was then and still is my favorite of all time. You'll never be sorry if you have never seen it before. Buy today and enjoy!!!!!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!!!! "The Show Will Not Stop!!!"... June 29 2012
By PM in NY - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
....as stated by Diana Ross while onstage in the rain, as someone comes to her and apparently tells her to "Stop the show." But not Diana Ross :)

The 2nd concert is great, but the concert during the storm makes this DVD outstanding documentation of a major event and demonstration of the qualities that made Diana Ross a long time superstar.

Ms. Ross' talent and her genuine love for her audience, and them to her, are apparent in both shows. But in the first show, we see it all....the Diva....as the wind keeps blowing hair in her face, she turns to the wind and says "cool it".....the business woman giving onstage direction to stagehands ....her sense of drama as she throws her arms up to the storm....the guardian of her audience as she safely directs them from the park and ..yes...her temper...yelling to the NYC Policemen to stop pushing. (The next day, she thanked and flirted with them from the stage)

But Diana Ross can't stop the storm and it finally must end. She stays on stage while the audience leaves, watching her lifelong dream of doing a great outdoor concert melt. That's when she throws caution to the wind and says, "We'll do this again tomorrow."

And so the show does go on ...the next day...on a beautiful day with a cloudless sky. Diana Ross is at one of her many career peaks...riding off her hit album with CHIC's producers and signing one of the biggest recording contracts up to that time. Her energy, talent and beauty are all great. But again, it's the connection between Diana Ross and the audience...strong and loving...which is so amazing.

Incredibly, the concert was not fully appreciated in its time. Because a second show was added, the concert made no profits, which were promised to the city to build a playground in Central Park. The NYC Mayor, Ed Koch, publicly complained that Diana Ross did not follow through on the deal, despite the cost to the city to stage the concert. Ultimately, Diana Ross paid the city $250,000 (approximately $500,000 in today's dollars)and the Diana Ross playground was built. Luckily, now that the controversy is fully gone, we have this dvd to fully appreciate the concert.

A few years ago, I read someone spotted Diana Ross sitting in the playground that bears her name, in sunglasses, alone, no one approaching. So, the writer went up to her and said, "Thank you". Whether true or not, I wonder what Ms. Ross would be thinking while she was sitting in the playground..was it of the cheering crowd, or asking "Where Did Our Love Go?" or continuing optimism in the face of life's storms.

In any case... "Thank you, Ms. Ross" and from all your fans, the love is still there.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NO WIND! NO RAIN! Can Stop DIANA ROSS! May 13 2012
By T. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Watch as the most Successful Female Artist of all time takes Central Park by Storm (literally) Its a battle between Mother Nature and the Mother of all wannabee Divas! Ross creates a visually stunning dynamic and dramtic effect as she braves a torrential rain storm and winds blowing at nearly 50mph. The Supreme Goddess proves on this hot summer night in July 1983 NYC just what the word **SUPERSTAR** truly means. Diana Ross is a treasure beyond words known all around the world. I'm so thrilled this concert is finally being released on DVD for all to witness once again the Magic that is Diana Ross.
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