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The Complete Monterey Pop Festival

4.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, Ravi Shankar, Country Joe McDonald, Eric Burdon
  • Directors: Chris Hegedus, D.A. Pennebaker
  • Producers: John Phillips, Alan Douglas, Frazer Pennebaker, Lou Adler
  • Format: Box set, Dolby, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All RegionsAll Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: April 9 2003
  • Run Time: 270 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00006JU7P
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,425 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

On a beautiful June weekend in 1967, at the height of the Summer of Love, the first and only Monterey International Pop Festival roared forward––capturing a decade’s spirit and ushering in a new era of rock and roll. Monterey would launch the careers of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Otis Redding, but they were just a few among a wildly diverse cast including Simon and Garfunkel, The Mamas and the Papas, The Who, The Byrds, Hugh Masekela, and the extraordinary Ravi Shankar. With his characteristic vérité style, D.A. Pennebaker captured it all, immortalizing those moments that have become legend: Pete Townshend destroying his guitar; Jimi Hendrix burning his. The Criterion Collection is proud to present the most comprehensive document of the Monterey International Pop Festival ever produced, featuring all three films of the Festival––Monterey Pop, Jimi Plays Monterey, and Shake! Otis at Monterey––along with nearly every complete performance filmed by Pennebaker and his crew.

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

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Filmed at California's Monterey festival in mid 1967 at which most of the new San Francisco bands performed, "Monterey Pop" captured the feel of the artists and, equally importantly, the audience at an event that catapulted the West Coast onto the international stage. Problem was that for various reasons, including poor playing & camera-work, a large number of these bands never made it into the released version leaving much of the film dominated by the more established & "professional" UK & US groups such as the Who, Eric Burdon & the Animals, the Mamas & Papas and Jimi Hendrix. But... no matter, because the contributions from Jefferson Airplane (and their superb lightshow lifted straight from the San Francisco ballrooms), Country Joe & The Fish (whose rendition of "Section 43" is a near perfect insight into "hippiedom"), Big Brother & The Holding Company (featuring Janis Joplin at her peak) and Ravi Shankar provide one of the few visual records of the San Francisco music scene at the time.
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...
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Format: DVD
Mere words cannot describe the transcendental viewing experience that is "Monterey Pop", but I'll do my best to try here. Imagine a film of many of the best rock and pop acts of the 1960s performing at or near their peak smack in the middle of 1967's fabled Summer Of Love. Now imagine this concert expertly and emotionally filmed by master documentarian DA Pennebaker, and beautifully remastered 35 years later with crystal-clear sound and video. Now imagine every available surviving outtake from the original '68 film--including the complete Jimi Hendrix and Otis Redding performances (both briefly issued on VHS in the 80s), plus two more hours featuring many acts not featured in the original film--added to the set, most of which is as good or even better than what made the final cut.
"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.
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Format: DVD
The wonders of modern technology! Take a concert from 1967 and turn it into something that looks like it was filmed yesterday. How they do that? The video and audio restoration here is just incredible. Anyone with a high quality tv will be amazed. The sound quality is outstanding. The first disc is the documentary and it's a great time capsule of 60's music. The second disc is just Hendrix and Otis Redding. This is worth the price of the dvd all by itself. Without question the greatest pair of performances by ever. And just a few years before their untimely deaths, which makes it even more special. Hendrix was and may forever be the best guitarist and stage performer combined of all time. Otis R was perhaps the best soul singer and performer of all time. This captures them at their prime. The third disc is out-takes, which has some good performances too. But make no mistake, this is Jimi and Otis show. Their likes may never be seen again. An essential dvd!
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Format: DVD
I was worried spending this much money on a set that more than one person complained about video quality. I am here to say there is nothing to worry about. The actual film's disc looks and sounds great, as do the Jimi and Otis disc.
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.
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