on August 2, 2003
I first saw this movie in 1983 at a 'Who Film Festival'. To see it on the big screen was incredible. This film cemented in my mind, who was the best live band ever. Have been waiting for this DVD release patiently for a few years now. I am blown away by the special features that come with this movie (DTS surround, director commentary, Roger Daltrey interview, alternate camera angles, 5.1 mix of the studio version of "Who Are You", assorted featurettes). The producers of this DVD really did a great job with the mastering and packaging of this product. You WILL NOT be disappointed.
Reasons why you should buy this DVD:
1. You will not find a better live version of any of the songs in this movie, on any other Who release. Trust me, I own every Who release there is, and many bootlegs.
2. Interviews with the band - Townshend and Keith Moon are in rare (not sober) form. These really show the four distinct personalities within the band.
3. Rare performances from the very early years & television programs that have not been released on anything else.
4. The special features mentioned above. Check out the multi angle feature for "Baba O'Riley" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" - 4-6 camera angles are available on each, so you can watch any member of the band for the entirety of the songs. Also contains a feature to view/listen to the same two songs with John Entwistle's bass part on an isolated track. Besides being an interesting feature, imagine this would really appeal to somebody that has tried to learn his bass lines.
5. The 'My Generation' opening on the Smothers Brothers show. If that kind of performance went down on Leno or Letterman today, it would probably result in authorities shutting down the show and some arrests being made.
6. Song selection - Live cuts from every Who studio album through Who Are You, except Quadrophenia. Plus some off cuts thrown in like 'Cobwebs and Strange', 'Success Story', 'Shout and Shimmy'.
7. The tour scene through John Entwistle's home, showing off his guitar collection and gold record skeet shooting ability.
8. Last live performances of Keith Moon before he died in 1978.
There may be other bands with better production in the studio, such as Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones, but this movie does a great job of showing you who the best live performance band is. Hands down it has to be The Who. Live performance was and is the Who's niche. Production can't hide what other bands are not capable of on stage.
If you need your live fix of Quadrophenia songs, I strongly recommend 'The Who: Live at Royal Albert Hall'. Townshend acoustic version of 'Drowned', Entwistle "BASS Cam" solo on '5:15' is a masterpiece.
on June 10, 2004
This DVD is phenomenal. Extreme care - and as much passion - went into the restoration of making this one of the best rock DVD presentations ever. The Who was the greatest band on earth, and even today, they still are one of the best. Originally released in 1979, this movie chronicled the band's time with original drummer Keith Moon, who sadly died the previous fall (Sept. 1978). The color is rich with many textures - notice the sweat on Pete's forehead during "Won't Get Fooled Again," which wasn't apparent in previous, inferior video versions. Entwistle's isolated bass tracks on "WGFA" and "Baba O'Riley" will remind everyone what a pioneer the Ox was on the bass.
As a response to "a viewer from the UK," how can you call Daltrey and Townshend "two old rockers" pretending to be what they were, now simply being "their own tribute band." It's odd that people like you say this, being the fact that the only reason why Moon and Entwistle no longer are in the band is because they passed away. Watch this new DVD's interview with Daltrey and listen to his memories of watching a rough cut of this film with Moon. Pay close attention to Daltrey's face as his voice pauses, and then tell me that Moon and Entwistle wouldn't be in The Who if they were alive today. Rubbish. I always have to laugh at people when they make reunion tour jokes and bash The Who now - 99.9 percent of those people have never even seen The Who in concert after Moon died. Talk to someone who actually saw them on their 2000 tour, and be prepared to be told how they were blown away by the band's roaring performance.I saw them on that tour in Aug. 2000, the last tour with Entwistle and the first post-1982 tour where Pete was the only guitarist onstage, and they were brilliant. Entwistle sounded better that night than anything I had heard before, including "Live At Leeds." (I've been a bass player for 20 years). It's still The Who today as long as Pete and Roger call it that. (Zak Starkey has been with them longer now than Kenney Jones was). It's not quite the same, granted, but it's as much The Who today as it is The Rolling Stones today. The Stones have had more personnel changes over the years than The Who ever did (and I like The Stones too).
Anyway, this is a fantastic DVD that surpasses the quality of the original VHS tapes (which were sped up!) and laser discs. A must-buy for any rock and roll fan.
on June 29, 2004
It took far to long for The Kids Are Alright to get out on DVD. After seeing and hearing the new special edition, it was worth the wait! Keith Moon has to be seen to be believed. The extended A Quick One really shows how amazing and entertaining he could be. The Ox Cam on the 2nd disc is a fitting tribute to the man who held the band together, but is rarely seen compared to his more flashy band-mates. This is a great package with great content and should be required in every home where music is played. Just don't smash your TV when it's over.
on June 16, 2004
This is a "must see" Rock N Roll movie, there are not bands like this anymore. Thankfully, the movie has been fully restored,and the quality far exceeds the cinema release.
Although I would have loved it if Jeff Stein could have located
more concert footage or even added more of The Who's Woodstock
performance. I know for a fact that 5 songs were filmed, as I have seen them, years and years ago.
Beware the reviews and promotions, etc. Amazon itself has the same promotion and description for various versions and is mixing user reviews of different versions together because the title of the product is the same.
I've purchased this TWICE on DVD, thinking I was getting a Deluxe version with 100 minutes of bonus footage and the isolated bass tracks, etc. as so many people have written about. TWICE I got a single DVD version with NO bonus features. The first Deluxe version was released in 2003 and the second one was released in 2009 by UMe. The front covers are different (the 2009 has white above the picture and black and grey writing but does not actually say "deluxe edition" on it anywhere - I believe this is the same product you're now looking at on Amazon - while the 2009 has a blue background and white writing and actually says "deluxe edition".).
The 2009 release looks clearer and cleaner and has brighter colours than the 2003 release, but is otherwise the same cut of the film with no bonus features. It's remastered better so I'd recommend that one over the 2003 release. I should say that the quality of the original footage is mixed and often not very good. None of it is high definition quality so there's no need to spend more on the Blu-ray... unless the Blu-ray actually gives you the bonus stuff that was supposed to on the Special Edition DVD's, I guess (not sure, since I haven't seen it).
The film itself is 109 minutes and was originally released in 1979, a few months before Keith Moon's passing and Pete Townshend's public statement that the band is through. That makes this film an important document of the band during its peak and most popular years. It shows TV and live footage mixed with interviews and gives you a good sense of how fun and/or crazy the Moon years were. The band is lip syncing on a few TV performances, as was the custom of the day on those particular shows. It features most of the band's best known songs and the soundtrack recording is also very good.
This is a must-have film for any Who fan.
on May 24, 2004
Simply Astounding! One of rock's best documentaries has been given the 5 star treatment. The Who have never sounded or looked better! This classic film features some of the Who's best live performances, including the historic Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock, as well as, a gigantic number of seminal television appearances including the explosive (literally) Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour appearance! The film also features many candid and revealing interviews with the Who during different stages of their career. And everything pertaining to the white whirlwind Keith Moon is simply marvelous. Whether sharing a laugh with Ringo Starr, dressing up in costumes, indulging in his love for surf music or trashing a hotel room, Keith's great sense of humor and eccentricities will bring a smile to your face and make you miss him more than ever! AND you get to witness Keith's last ever performance with the Who. It's very powerful and moving.
If you are a Who fan and have not seen this film in years (as I hadn't), you have to buy this immediately! Not only has the film been restored to its original length but you get tons of bonus features on 2 DVD's! The film is in 5.1 Surround Sound and has optional subtitles detailing where each performance originates, director commentary, multiple camera angles on "Baba O' Riley" and "Won't Get Fooled Again", an isolated John Entwistle audio track, a documentary on the restoration process, an all new interview with Roger Daltry, a 32-page booklet (with lots and lots of information that is actually pertinent to the film) and so much more! All enclosed in a beautiful hardcover slipcase!
Quite frankly, this is one of the best DVD packages I've ever bought. It puts most rock DVD's to shame. I hope it becomes the ruler by which all are rock DVD's are judged.
on May 12, 2004
You can tell a lot of TLC went into this DVD. This is the most well-made DVD I have ever seen. It was clearly made by die hard Who fans. The restoration must have been incredibly tedious. They really did a fantastic job with the bits of decaying scrap film they had to work with.
But watching it makes you realize how unique the Who were live around 1969 and it's sad that nearly all the live footage of them from this era has been lost (Pete didn't allow filming of their performances at that time). The director talks about this in the commentary during "Young Man Blues", which he actually salvaged out of a dumpster! Even most of highlights of the Woodstock performance have been lost. But what remains is sooooooooo good, I just wish I could see more. Hendrix, Clapton, etc. could never get as intense as Pete playing live around 1969. Pete was the guitar demigod. Watch the woodstock performances (especially chapter 32) to see what I'm talking about. Yes that is blood on Pete's right butt cheek. It's where he wiped his bloody right hand while playing like it was his last day to be alive.
on April 9, 2004
Whatever the hell it is the Who play, it isn't rock. It's not. The musical tapestry spanned in Townshend's song writing is far too broad and varied to pigeonhole it with a genre label. His father played the music of his time. Townshend himself fell in love with the R&B singles that made their way to Britain from America. His mentor, Kit Lambert loved pop but also carried the influence of his father, Constant Lambert, a composer who worked in film and theatre. Lambert also loved the Baroque and Classical styles, all of which he passed on to Townshend. Townshend has his own ideas. All of it shows. This is not music of any one genre-it's a genre unto itself. But, when the Who plays it, it becomes rock.
When they play it on stage it becomes the greatest and most powerful rock music imaginable.
It was no surprise (not to Who fans anyway) that their DVD release from the fall 2000 show at the Royal Albert Hall was one of the most celebrated concert videos from that year. The band was firing on all cylinders on the 2000 tour and played at a level closer to what they achieved during their glory years than they'd ever managed since Keith Moon died. That alone was enough to put then back at the forefront.
The "Kids are Alright" shows what it was like in the first place.
It was the oddest of musical relationships. With the exception of the friendship between Moon and Entwistle none of them really liked each other, at least not in the early days anyway. Townshend's temper was enough to keep anyone away and everyone hated Roger. It reached a head in 1965 when they tossed Roger out for beating up Moon only to realize (to a man) that they were throwing away something that might go beyond anything any of them could imagine. It was their Waterloo and it happened before any of them passed twenty-one.
It produced greatness.
The Who had what it took to go places, always; everyone in the fold knew that. When they made that commitment they took it beyond what anyone could have dreamt. Throughout their (active recording) career they never followed a formula, never stopped pushing musical boundaries, and, in concert, always tried to do better than "last night". They became the most astonishing rock band ever to step on the stage.
This film concentrates on showing that.
It doesn't preach. There's no narration going through historic details. There's not even a chronological order to the piece. All it does is try to show the Who, and the ingredients that formed their magic to the world. The live footage is electrifying. The interviews are illuminating and hilarious. How could anyone (or anything) contain Keith Moon? How could an interviewer ever hope to step into the middle of the way the core group constantly challenged each other? They couldn't. This was four strong personalities merged into something larger than life. Their relationship wasn't harmonious but an outsider stepping into it found found themselves confronted with, the whole. When they stepped onstage that "whole" was what audiences got. Jeff Stein has been criticized for just "putting what was around" together. That's crap. Jeff Stein is a brilliant film maker who had the sense to let his subjects speak for themselves. That shows all the way through the film. You get the music, a sense of who the band are and a great sample of why their performances are the stuff of legend.
How much more is needed? Get it.
on April 6, 2004
Easily the best Rock-and-Roll DVD available, and probably one of the finest DVD releases overall I've ever seen, THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT is guaranteed to satisfy any Who fan and make a fan out of those not already initiated.
This DVD finds the film fully restored and presented with stunning clarity and incredible sound. The DTS track shook our living room yet every instrument remained distinct and clear, especially impressive during the show-stopping "Baba O'Riley" and "Won't Get Fooled Again."
None too boring (and a bit light on actual history), one cannot consider KIDS as the band's story, at least not in a "we were four lads in London..." sense. This film lets the music speak for itself, interjecting small bits of banter and interview segments between the numbers, which are not presented chronologically but instead perfectly juxtaposed old against new against older against newer yet, leaving the viewer/listener awash in absolute and utterly joyful sounds and images of the world's loudest (and easily one of the best) rock bands.
There is not a single complaint to be registered regarding this DVD. The second disc boasts a wealth of extras for the Who fanatic and DVD minutae-phile alike - if you can get to it. Once I finished the main feature, I started it all over again. Rock-and-Roll cinema gets no finer. No "Behind the Music"-esque drama, no reunion shots of a band past their prime - THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT is a heavy slab of the Who at their best. Grab it now. Call it a bargain. The best you ever had.
on April 1, 2004
If you like watching the bands of your youth in their full glory, it doesn't get much better than this. Jeff Stein's tribute to his favorite band has always been a favorite of mine, even though as a kid I really wasn't much of a Who fan.
This movie does what the director wanted it to do--it shows how,regardless of how ripped, how zonked, how crazy these guys were, they never lost the energy, especially when they played live.
From a documentary standpoint, if the movie has any downpoint to it, it tends to skip over demons that are clearly at play here, or poke fun at them. Witness the clearly inebriated team of Moon and Ringo, probably the two most famous rock drummers ever, both trying to justify their drinking habits. Stein lets you draw your own conclusions, and we all know what happened to Keith. (Ringo, thank goodness, dried up eventually.) There are so many points here where you KNOW, from history, that Townshend is hopped up on heroin that you can't help but wonder if he'd have been just as good without it--or even better.
Watching this now, one can marvel at what incredible genius we lost when Keith Moon died. He may well have been the only drummer ever to play the drums as a lead instrument. But here's the movie, here's a pile of extras (all very cool) and here's a recommendation that you pick this up right away!