CAROLE KING IN CONCERT
Review by Michael Jacobson
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Stereo
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Studio: Image Entertainment
Length: 85 Minutes
Release Date: September 4, 2001
many of you remember the 60s?…How many of you DON’T remember the 60s?…How
many of you were THERE, but don’t remember the 60s?”
word ‘legend’ is thrown about so nonchalantly these days that it’s lost a
great deal of its shine. But there
are still some artists for whom the word is far too feeble. Not many. But
Carole King is definitely one of them.
King is one of the truly indelible voices of rock and roll.
In the 1960s, along with one time husband Gerry Goffin, she penned a
string of unforgettable hits for other artists that reads like a roster of some
of the best pop/rock tunes ever recorded: “Chains”,
“The Locomotion”, “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman”, “Will You
Love Me Tomorrow” and “Up on the Roof” are just a few.
In the 70s, with some encouragement, she decided to put some of her songs
to record herself. The result was
some of the best albums ever, including the masterful Tapestry, which
spawned a string of hits and held the record for biggest selling album by a
Canadian artist for a long time.
doesn’t tour nearly enough, so when she does, it’s something special.
One such tour happened in 1994, and a terrific show was captured for PBS
television. Carole King in
Concert also was released as a CD, and remains to this date one of THE best
live albums I’ve ever heard.
Image Entertainment has resurrected this once-in-a-lifetime event for DVD, and
as a lifelong and die-hard fan, I couldn’t be more thrilled.
With a great band, an enthusiastic crowd and an endless catalog of great
songs at her disposal, Carole King puts on a show you won’t forget.
periods of her career are included, as she coos through beautiful renditions of
“Natural Woman” and “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” from her days as just a
songwriter. Her pop diva days are
represented by the likes of “Jazzman”, “It’s Too Late” and “So Far
Away”. Songs from her then
current (and underappreciated) Colour of Your Dreams are also there,
including a special surprise appearance by Slash from Guns N Roses on “Hold
Out For Love”. How cool is that,
when one of metal’s most infamous bad boys plays side by side with one of
rock’s most legendary women?
song is a highlight, but some are even more so. Her band’s pumped up version of “I Feel the Earth Move”
is like no version you’ve ever heard before.
It’s followed by Carole alone on the piano performing “You’ve Got a
Friend”. When her voice drops out
and you can hear the entire audience singing the song back to her as she plays,
you’ll get goose bumps on top of goose bumps.
a finale, Slash comes back as Carole and company rock through “The
Locomotion”. Even the normally
dour rocker can’t keep his feet still as he trades licks with Carole’s
guitarist, and she adds to the furor by taking over the keyboards from her
backing player for a hard hitting organ solo.
The crowd is on its feet, and you will be, too.
This is rock and roll at its very best.
King in Concert is a show any music lover will appreciate…after all, who doesn’t
love Ms. King’s body of songs? The
bigger fan you are, the more you will cherish it.
This is one for the rock and roll time capsule.
transfer quality is good, despite some expected limitations from the videotape
source. Carole wears a black velvet
dress during the show, and I’m pleased to report that the texture on it is
always vivid; it never becomes just a wash of black. Colors are natural looking and well contained…some darker
moments, such as shots of the audience with the lights low, show less definition
and some compensatory grain, but again, these come from the video source, not
the DVD transfer.
5.1 mix isn’t particularly daring, but it is very loud.
The rear speakers mirror the front ones with no detectable discretion,
but it makes the music sound a bit more open and full all the way through.
The .1 channel delivers a little extra bottom end to the sound. If you have surround capabilities, there’s no need to even
opt for the original stereo track.