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4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Format: Dolby, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: eOne Music
  • Release Date: Nov. 5 2013
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • ASIN: B00D7DTSQ4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #47,461 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

The Greatest Ears In Town: The Arif Mardin Story

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Cool history and stories as an album is being made. Great performances!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa4d017d4) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4d1636c) out of 5 stars Marvelous and loving tribute to an often-overlooked American music icon Sept. 30 2013
By Steve Ramm - Published on
Format: DVD
When you think of the great producers at Atlantic Records, the first names that come to mind are Amet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler. These are the guys who get the publicity. But another in the group of four Atlantic top staff (including Ahmet's brother Neshui) is Arif Mardin and he was different from the rest in two ways: First, and foremost, he was an arranger and composer, as well as a producer; Second he was more low-keyed and less ego-centric than the rest. In 2006 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and decided to record his third solo album - but with original music, some composed in the 1970s - featuring his "friends". Mardin had talented friends: Bette Midler, Norah Jones, Dr. John, Chaka Kahn (it was Mardin who devised the hip-hop "Chaka Kahn, Chaka Kahn" riff on the 1984 platinum hit "I Feel For You") and Carly Simon. He almost completed the album before his death at age 74 in June 2006. His son, Joe, vowed to finish the album, and did.

It was Joe who decided to document the making of the album - and expand it with interviews with his dad and many of the people he worked with. The result was this wonderful and heartfelt 104-minute 2010 documentary, now making it's DVD debut - with 24 minutes of "outtakes". In addition to performances of many of the songs on the CD by the artists mentioned above, we hear from Sir George Martin, Quincy Jones, Willie Nelson, George Wein, Aretha Franklin and Mardin's widow. We also see that Mardin had a "classical side" and composed a classical piece for an orchestra in his native Turkey.

Parts of the film are narrated by Joe and you can feel the love he had for his father in his narration. The breadth of artists that helped Mardin will 15 Grammy Awards is exposed here as well. I was very familiar with the "hits" but - until I watched this film - I wasn't aware of how many "little" but "significant" touches Mardin put into his productions. And to know how many hits he produced, you only have to look at the music credits at the end, which scroll across the screen for over four minutes!

The "bonus" material includes a "Electronic Press Kit" (about 5 minutes) and another 24 minutes of deleted scenes, each of which adds to the Mardin story.

I was also impressed in the video quality of the DVD. The images are some of the sharpest I've seen on a non-Blu-ray disc.

I don't know where this film played between 2010 and now but this is certainly a must-have DVD for any pop music fan.

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4d163c0) out of 5 stars An absolute "gotta see it" Aug. 24 2013
By Compusurge - Published on
Format: DVD
Whether you're a musician, a soundman, a producer or simply a fan of pop music through the years, The Greatest Ears in Town may well provide you with more insight into how "hits" are created than any other film you'll ever see. From R&B forward, Arif Mardin understood the nuances of musical creativity, and this film brings them forward for you to see and learn from while also providing a truly entertaining experience. Compare this to any American Masters feature doc from Lou Reed to Les Paul. Wow... no wonder this gentleman won so many Grammy's. Totally recommended...

As an aside to this, the producers of this film went with the top end audio in the form of PCM 48k. The sound is awesome.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4d167f8) out of 5 stars Essential Viewing for ALL Music Addicts! A Legend & Pure Class March 24 2011
By Mike Davidson - Published on
Verified Purchase
Arif Mardin was one of the last great musical architects. The accomplishments of his forty year career read as an evolutionary portrait of American contemporary music. His production, composing, and arranging credits include works from such prolific artists as Aretha Franklin, Donny Hathaway, Dusty Springfield, Bee Gees, Bette Midler, Hall & Oates, Roberta Flack, Phil Collins, Jewel, and many others. A twelve time Grammy-Award winner, his most recent decoration came as "Producer of the Year" for the Norah Jones album Come Away with Me (he also co-produced her follow up, Feels Like Home). Mardin was born in Istanbul, Turkey, on March 15, 1932. He attended Istanbul University and the London School of Economics. After a chance meeting with Dizzy Gillespie in Turkey in 1956, Mardin realized his wish to work in music. He became the first recipient of the Quincy Jones scholarship to the Berklee College of Music and graduated in 1961. He then moved onto Atlantic Records, where he worked alongside the legendary team of producer Jerry Wexler and engineer Tom Dowd. While working his way up from studio manager to in-house arranger, Mardin began what would soon become a long and distinguished run of producing hit records. From the Rascal's "Good Lovin" and the Bee Gees "Jive Talkin" to Phil Collins "Against All Odds" and Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings" Mardin's Midas touch was unstoppable. Musical attributes aside, his humanitarian efforts were also highly regarded: He was honored with the Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart Award, presented at the United Nations, and was awarded the "Shofar of Peace" from the Sephardic Community of Los Angeles, commemorating 500 years of peace and friendship between the Jewish and Turkish communities. Arif Mardin will be missed, but his legacy will live forever.

This is a superbly shot and intimate documentary. It draws you into the life of Mr. Mardin, and what a life that was! I had the honor and privilege of working for him - and I can say wholeheartedly I was at my very best when I was around him. So, for me, this was hard to watch in a way, but because Joe and Doug did such a GREAT job - it made it a delight, pure and simple.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4d16954) out of 5 stars Packed Full of Amazing Music Moments Aug. 15 2013
By Hagbard Celine - Published on
Format: DVD
This film is a treat for any real music fan. It is packed with priceless stories from the likes of Phil Collins, Aretha Franklin, Bette Midler, Norah Jones, Barry Gibb, Chaka Khan, and tons more. I loved the anecdote about how the "Chaka, Chaka, Chaka Khan" hook from "I Feel For You" was created by Arif Mardin hitting a button repeatedly on the control desk (shown in the film) and another by Barry Gibb telling us how Mardin essentially created the Bee Gees' signature falsetto vocal style. Those are just two magic moments in a tremendous film. I can't recommend this more highly.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4d16c9c) out of 5 stars Wonderful testament to an exceptional artist Oct. 15 2014
By Ebab - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was born in 1966 in Germany, and came to grow up loving, among other influences, so many different kinds of popular American music -- among them Carly Simon, Aretha Franklin, the Bee Gees, the Average White Band, my beloved Chaka Khan, Bette Midler ... -- it was before the age of Internet and difficult to know who really was behind the music, so at least I religiously absorbed the credits on the vinyl sleeves, and was stunned to again and again come to see the name of ARIF MARDIN in the most unexpected contexts.

I'll say that his son Joe Mardin and all of the other collaborators succeeded in creating a fine, personal, balanced, emotionally-felt but not overly reverential portrait of this great artist who was exceptionally sensitive but also knew how to get things done.

I really would love to hear more recordings of Mr Mardin's own "classical" works mentioned, especially the chamber music and the lieder. I'm not sure if there is a large "market" but judging from myself, some devoted enthusiasts.

Anyway, thanks for this really wonderful tribute; well done.

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