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directed by Sparks
UK/USA 2000


While the band performs many of its best songs and gives a decent performance, especially singer Russell Mael, the reliance on just a keyboard and electronic drums is disappointing. Sparks long ago abandoned proper instruments (guitars, drums), and became pioneers of electronic music. They've been a lesser act for it. Their best albums from the 1970s and early '80s featured the right balance between Ron Mael's keyboards and guitar, bass, drums. The cover is misleading in picturing ex-members that don't appear in this concert.

The production in an uncomplicated one, with several balloons hanging in the background and some colored lighting. No unnecessarily fancy staging here. The performance is captured by approximately three cameras from many different perspectives.

    The songs:

  • It's a Sparks Show Tonight

  • Aeroflot

  • Something for the Girl with Everything

  • Scheherazade

  • (When I Kiss You) I Hear Charlie Parker playing

  • More than a Sex Machine

  • De-Re-Mi

  • Angst in my Pants

  • Ron Performs "Waiting for Godot" with Rex the Underdog

  • How to get Your Ass Kicked

  • Talent is an Asset

  • Girl from Germany

  • Balls

  • Ron Levitates Baby Leroy

  • Bullet Train

  • Beat the Clock

  • This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us

  • #1 Song in Heaven

  • Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth

  • Amateur Hour

  • When do I Get to Sing "My Way"

Donald Brown

Theatrical Release: none

 DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Planet Song/Medusa Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Donald Brown for the Review!

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Planet Song/Medusa Entertainment

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:37:04

2.16:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 1.74 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Planet Song/Medusa Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 2.16:1

Edition Details:
• Biography

DVD Release Date: December 1, 2003

Chapters 23





Comments The screenshots speak for themselves. What was done during the transfer to make the original videotapes look so bad is beyond me. The 5.1 soundtrack is also unimpressive. It's hard to recommend this DVD even to die-hard Sparks fans. Casual fans will definately want to avoid it. I don't think I've ever seen such a low bitrate.

The picture is non-anamorphic letterboxed, presumably cropped from full-frame videotape. The aspect ratio is inconsistant throughout, though most of the time it's around 2.16:1. Song titles are displayed at the start of each song, burned into the lower black bar.

There's an NTSC edition of this DVD released in the U.S., but I don't know if the picture's any better.

 - Donald Brown



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Screen Captures

Song title listed in black bar beneath picture























DVD Box Cover

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Planet Song/Medusa Entertainment

Region 0 - PAL


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