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History of Rock N Roll Coll

Gary Busey , Chuck Berry , Andrew Solt , Bud Friedgen    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 79.69 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars NOT the excellent PBS series "Rock & Roll" July 13 2004
In 1995, two -- count 'em -- TWO ten-part TV series on the history of rock and roll were broadcast: the superb "Rock & Roll" on PBS, and this one in syndication. Unfortunately, this is the one that seems to persist; VH1 ran it a few years back, and now it's on DVD. There's really no comparison -- think "I Love The 80's" (minus the humor) vs. "Ken Burns' Jazz".
The whole feeling of the thing is cheap and exploitative. I didn't care for the way ALL the same musicians were quoted about ALL periods and ALL types of music. So you get Tom Petty and Elvis Costello (both of whom I love, don't get me wrong) talking about the Beatles AND Elvis AND punk, etc., as opposed to in "Rock & Roll", where as much as possible the people on camera are the people who were there -- Chuck Berry, Sam Phillips, the earliest rock and roll DJs. Also, other than trying to pander to lowest common denominator segment of the audience, what's the point of singling out rap and disco for the "fair and balanced" treatment -- i.e., giving equal time to musicians who hate that kind of music? Skunk Baxter and Gregg Allman, weighing in on rap ("...short for CRAP!") come off as smug hillbilly bigots.
Pandering is evident in the structure of the show as well. Although the idea of starting in the middle (Bob Dylan goes electric) and then proceeding from the beginning is interesting, I can't be too impressed with later chapters like "The 70's" -- again, I'm biased toward the thematic episodes of "Rock and Roll" rather than the grab-bag approach. The last chapter is almost embarassing in the way it rushes through the final 15-odd years post-1980 to get to Green Day (very hot in 1995, but can you imagine they'd make the cut if this series were made today?).
Long story short, wait for the next PBS pledge drive and watch "Rock and Roll" instead.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This may not be what you think June 15 2004
If you want this because you think you enjoyed it on PBS, it's important to know that PBS has broadcast at least two similarly-named 10-hour series on the topic of rock music history. One, titled "Rock and Roll" by "The Experience Project", as I recall, is relatively "deep" and I gained some appreciation of
even topics in which I had little interest (e.g. punk rock).
The other series, "The History Of Rock And Roll", by Time-Life (now Time-Warner), which appears to be what you see here, is enjoyable but shallow, and I was annoyed that the live performance clips are very short (don't expect to see a complete song).
Both series were produced several years ago, and unless this series has been updated it has no coverage of recent music.
If you could only afford one series, I would normally recommend "Rock And Roll", not this one. However, PBS seems to have a monopoly on "Rock And Roll", and last time I checked they would sell it only to educators, not the general public.
At $100 for 10 hours, this is also not a particularly good
value. The price per hour is nearly 3 times the price of, for
example, a year's worth of M*A*S*H episodes (24 episodes,
each with 22 non-commercial minutes, for about $35).
Thus, this series is not the best on the topic, and it's
not the best value for your DVD dollar. I did enjoy the
series, however, and if you are fortunate enough to be
able to fit this into your budget, I do recommend it. I
am ordering a copy for myself.
Disclaimer: This review is based on what I remember from
seeing the series on PBS. The DVDs have not yet been
released yet and I have not seen them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
This History of Rock'n'Roll segment "My Generation" covers the '60s counter-culture and puts it in coherent framework. Interviews with Chet Helms (who put Janis Joplin into Big Brother), Janis, Hendrix, Arlo Guthrie, Pete Townshend, Levon Helm (The Band), Jerry Garcia, Country Joe, Ray Manzarek, and many others make this a true Sixties experience.
We get some great footage of Woodstock, the Isle of Wight (where Joni Mitchell has to calm down a hostile crowd), and of course the Greatful Dead (I Will Survive). As Jerry says the sixties opened a door for a moment and we saw a quick glimpse of how things could be; then that door slammed shut. With this documentary we also have a moment where we feel we are actually back in the sixties--sex, drugs, rock, and revolution in the air.
Also included are some sixties hecklers including Ronald Reagan who denounces rock shows. And as David Crosby says the counter-culture was right about everything...except drugs.

Overall a great overview of the most incredible decade in history.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
I purchased this video series for my high school History of Rock and Roll class. I was thoroughly impressed by a majority of the material in this series.
Good points: Excellent footage of rock and roll heroes (Beatles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis, Led Zepplin, etc.) as well as lesser known groups (The Hollies, Gerry and the Pacemakers, etc.). Outstanding interviews from artists and figures such as Hank Ballard, Carl Perkins, Ozzie Osborn, Dick Clark, Bono, Eddie Van Halen, Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen, Little Richard, Mick Jaggar, Tom Petty, Lindsey Buckingham, and countless others. Footage of various historical events help put the music in perspective (civil rights, Vietnam, sexual revolution, etc.).
Bad Points: Some material may not be for younger audiences. Nearly all volumes (2 & 3 excluded) have some PG-13 language (including Pete Townsend's liberal use of the F-word). A couple of tapes (I'm thinking of volume 6 & 8 in particular) have some female nudity. Anyone thinking about letting a class view this should keep that in mind. Some movements in Rock and Roll are touched on too lightly: Soul, Motown and funk are kind of grouped together, Jazz Rock is barely mentioned, etc.
Final Verdict: Probably the best Rock and Roll series out there now. We need Ken Burns's take on this subject.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Delivery Speed!
I ordered this and it was in my hands the very next day. These documentaries are a great addition to any DVD collection. I only wish that the videos were a little more up to date.
Published on Oct. 28 2011 by Roger
5.0 out of 5 stars History Of Rock N Roll: V1-10
Very good truly the "Guitar Heroes was excellent" ,could do with out the "punk DVD" but it`s the History of Rock N Roll had to show it all! Read more
Published on April 10 2005
Published on July 11 2004 by Alex Aberbom
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultimate Comprehensive Rock and Roll Documentary
For many years I'd been hoping someone would make a comprehensive documentary detailing the fascinating history of rock music, which in a real sense is the history of America in... Read more
Published on July 9 2004 by James R. Odom
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not complete history of Rock.
This series is a good place to start to learn the history of Rock 'n' Roll music, especially the roots. Read more
Published on July 9 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars History of Rock & Roll is a great series
This review is based on the VHS tapes, but I have been waiting for this release on DVD for a long time! This is an excellent production and well worth owning. Read more
Published on June 10 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars OK I DO NOT HAVE IT YET?
I love rock and roll and the cover it self explains it all. I have preordered it. Plus you get[some discount]
Published on June 8 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock n Roll IS rebellion
Don't listen to gerryedwards!! This is rock n roll. Full of social conciousness, rebellion, disdain for authority and religion. Well put together, it is extremely interesting. Read more
Published on Feb. 27 2004 by j. lacoss
2.0 out of 5 stars Be forwarned if you have children; lots of profanity
Please heed David Merrill's advice. This recording is peppered with profanity through and through. Pete T. has shown yet again that he is a ruffian with no religious sensiblities. Read more
Published on May 10 2002 by Marlton Green
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