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Deep Purple: Phoenix Rising Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: Eagle Rock
  • Blu-ray Release Date: June 28, 2011
  • List Price: $19.98

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BestBuy.com:
Phoenix Rising [Blu-ray Disc] [6/28] -

Purchase Deep Purple: Phoenix Rising on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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

Deep Purple: Phoenix Rising is a set that should have fans of the band lining up to add it to their collections immediately. Far from being a simple concert film, it is a a document of a turbulent and controversial period in this classic band’s career. The set contains the rare and previously unreleased Rises Over Japan concert, a 30-minute 1976 set captured at Bodukan with the post Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, and Ritchie Blackmore lineup of David Coverdale, Jon Lord, Glenn Hughes, Tommy Bolin, and Ian Paice. The disc also includes the in-depth 85-minute documentary, Gettin’ Tighter, that chronicles the turbulent MKIV era Deep Purple years as told by bassist Glenn Hughes and keyboardist Jon Lord, plus additional audio-only bonus tracks, the “Official Soundtrack” of live performances. These are eight live songs recorded in Longbeach and Japan featuring this lineup.

Rises Over Japan may not be the classic, Blackmore-era lineup, but with David Coverdale, the future frontman of Whitesnake, already showing his chops as a charismatic frontman with a great voice and the band laying down some hypnotic blues-based hooks, it’s an energetic show. Over in a much-too-brief 30-minutes, it passes before it can get boring.

For the voyeuristically inclined, the documentary is certainly not to missed. This is far better than any Classic Albums or VH1 Behind the Music special. It’s the story in the words of the band members, uninterrupted. Noticeably missing is David Coverdale, however.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The transfer of the Rises Over Japan concert film and the 85-minute Gettin’ Tighter documentary are provided in AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encodements. Rises is in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio while Gettin’ Tighter is 1.78:1.

Rises Over Japan is a grainy film, soft, and somewhat out of focus a lot of the time. True to the era, it is free of many of the constant quick edits and cutaways that are a mainstay of the post-MTV world we live in. As such, the concert is filled with many long, lingering shots. It doesn’t always look the best, but it is a product of its era. Gettin’ Tighter mixes newer interview footage with older footage of the band that isn’t in the greatest of condition. In either case, no evidence of electronic noise or processing misdeeds seem to hamper the image.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

There are really two separate things to judge on this set, not counting the documentary which is just a rather straightforward DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo mix with minimal musical segments interspersed. Mainly people will most likely be interested to know how the Rises over Japan concert film and audio-only “Official Soundtrack” extras sound.

First up, Rises Over Japan, which is offered in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 mixes. There is a disappointing lack of low-end in the sound, even in the 5.1 mix, but there are good dynamics and a spacious stereo soundfield. The 5.1 mix offers very little benefit over the stereo mix with little ambience in the surround channels at all.

Onto the audio-only “Official Soundtrack” live tracks, available under the Extras menu. These are available in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo mixes only and though they also provide a good stereo field and relatively decent dynamics, they again lack fullness and sound a bit harsh and too boosted in the midrange.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:5/5]

For Deep Purple fans this release is a real wellspring of supplements. There are the aforementioned live audio tracks plus more behind-the-scenes footage in the Come Taste the Band EPK and “Jakarta” interview with Jon Lords & Glenn Hughes.

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • Audio Extra (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo):
    • The Official Soundtrack and More:
      • Burn (Longbeach)
      • Getting’ Tighter (Japan)
      • Love Child (Japan)
      • Smoke on the Water/Georgia on My Mind (Japan)
      • Lazy (Longbeach)
      • Homeward Strut (Longbeach)
      • You Keep on Moving (Japan)
      • Stormbringer (Longbeach)
  • Jakarta, December 1975: Interview with Jon Lord & Glenn Hughes (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 0:07.03)
  • Come Taste the Band Electronic Press Kit (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:19.24)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Slight sound issues aside, this is a disc that is a must have for hard rock fans. Eagle Rock continues their dominance in the concert video genre by serving up this Blu-ray packed to the brim with quality content.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B0050JN864[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Phoenix Rising [Blu-ray Disc] [6/28] -

Purchase Deep Purple: Phoenix Rising on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

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

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