For the past 5 years, I have been a regular Amazon customer and this DVD takes the prize for having the poorest video quality out of all the DVDs I have purchased. Very bad picture quality, bad editing and track 2 (LOVE IS SURRENDER) after it finishes keeps going back to the start unless there is manual intervention and you forward it to the next track (AND WHEN HE SMILES).
Anyway, in any situation, there is always a positive side and inspite of the DVD's poor video quality, I must say that this DVD is still worth owning if you are a true Carpenters fan like myself. Why? Because out of 10 tracks listed, this DVD contains 8 PRECIOUS LIVE PERFORMANCES from the late, great Karen Carpenter. These are performances I have actually seen for the very first time!
Rather than a standard concert, this DVD is more of a LIVE STUDIO CONCERT filmed in 1971 in the UK after the Carpenters released their second and third albums "Close to You" (1970)and "Carpenters"(1971). Out of the 10 songs, only 8 are LIVE performances and the other 2 are NON-LIVE performances.
These are the songs:
1. HELP - this may have been performed live but in this DVD, Karen's performance is dubbed with the studio version;
2. LOVE IS SURRENDER - LIVE;
3. AND WHEN HE SMILES - LIVE and a RARE performance never seen before;
4. RAINY DAYS AND MONDAYS - LIVE;
5. BACHARACH / DAVID MEDLEY - again, like Help, this may have been performed LIVE but the performance is dubbed with the studio version; I had hoped this was a LIVE PERFORMANCE because there was a LIVE Bacharach/David medley included in the expensive Carpenters Anthology 4-cd set manufactured in Japan;
6. FOR ALL WE KNOW - LIVE;
7. SOMETIMES - I am not so sure if this is a LIVE version because it sounds exactly like the studio version but I think it is LIVE;
8. CLOSE TO YOU - LIVE;
9. WE'VE ONLY JUST BEGUN - LIVE;
10. SUPERSTAR - this is actually my favorite LIVE performance in this DVD because Karen delivers a bravura performance that even surpasses the brilliant studio version. One thing though - this performance was definitely NOT part of this LIVE STUDIO CONCERT filmed in the UK because it is obvious that the performance was taken from another concert at another time showing Karen with a different look, different background and film was used instead of video. But, nonetheless, "Superstar" is a GEM of a PERFORMANCE!
Aside from the poor video quality, I must also make mention that the English and Japanese lyrics on screen are downright irritating and insulting to a singer of Karen's calibre. These were clips of their performances intended for Karaoke and not for their fans. The Karaoke thing, therefore, sadly undermines the greatness of Karen's performances. The manufacturers of this DVD obviously had no respect for the artist because of the sloppy job in putting together this DVD which is being sold at $11.49!
Karen is gone but her musical legacy lives on. Her voice was God-given and she possessed the qualities of a truly great singer - angelic, distinct, pure voice; flawless delivery and perfect pitch. I pray that one day, fans will be treated to a box-set of all Carpenters performances. The Carpenters are music icons who richly deserve to be immortalized in the most sophisticated audio-video form (DVD or Blu Ray) digitally remastered with 5.1 surround sound for the appreciation of their millions of fans and generations to come. Fans will eagerly await for that day to come.