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Classic Albums: Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers — Damn The Torpedoes Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec:  LPCM Stereo
  • Region: A
  • Rating: N/R
  • Discs:  1
  • Studio:  Eagle Rock Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date:  August 3, 2010
  • List Price: $16.99

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Classic Albums: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Damn the Torpedoes

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Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures.

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

Not to be confused with classic rock titles that have been released as high resolution Blu-ray audio discs, this title is an episode of the British TV show Classic Albums, that aired here in the US on VH-1.  This episode concentrates on the period in which Tom Petty’s classic Damn The Torpedoes record was made.

Produced in documentary format, the disc bounces back and forth between the past and today, with footage of Petty and the Heartbreakers all the way from their very beginning, interspersed with comments from Petty’s band and those close to him.   There are a lot of shots of rock stars hanging around the mixing board, in a very Spinal Tap fashion, but it’s all good.  Petty comes through as a very laid back, cool cat while lead guitarist Mike Campbell seems a little stiff, but he does offer some great mini guitar lessons for those of you that want to know a little bit more about the construction of these now famous songs.

The music nerds in the audience will enjoy the segments of the disc where individual tracks of a song are played;  you get to hear just the vocals on “Louisiana Rain” and the drums on “Don’t Do Me Like That” while band members discuss how they got a particular sound, etc. etc..

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The quality of the current clips is excellent, with great lighting throughout.  The live clips from the period is very raw but it gets the point across, with footage from the Whiskey as well as footage from their MTV videos.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

Though not multichannel, the stereo mix is good, but not phenomenal.  The audiophiles in the crowd might not find this the last word in fidelity, but it is better than average.  There is a fair amount of dynamics and the backgrounds are quiet, but the audio is not up to the quality of the best audiophile pressings in the 2 channel world.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

The extra footage is merely an expansion of the clips in the main show.  You get to hear the rest of what they had to say after the clips were cut to make this an hour TV show, with commercials.  Probably more interesting to music trivia types.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

As my first sample of the “Classic Albums” series, I give this one high marks for keeping the flow going between the past and the present.  These things can get verbose at times, but Petty and his star studded cast mix it up well to hold your interest.

Additional Screen Captures:

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BestBuy.com:
Classic Albums: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Damn the Torpedoes

Purchase Classic Albums: Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers — Damn the Torpedoes at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

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