Roy Orbison and Friends: A Black and White Night
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Index 28 reviews in total 

36 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

About As Good As It Gets

Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
23 January 2007

The first great concert DVD I ever bought was this one. I use the word "great" for several reasons: 1 - the surround sound was (and may still be) the best I had ever heard on disc; 2 - the songs are all outstanding; 3 - the singers and musicians are fantastic; and, 4 - the beautiful black-and-white photography brings a nice touch.

This concert was a "10," however, even on the VHS, which I stumbled on shortly after this was released and was grateful to have discovered. If you like old-fashioned rock 'n roll with updated instrumentals, this is about as good as it gets with (along with "Carl Perkins' and Friends: Blue Suede Shoes" DVD).

This is a fun, nostalgic feel--good disc, which always pleases and is outstanding, as mentioned to both see and hear. Why can't all music DVDs sound this good?

Orbison does all his hit songs, and sings them well, with excellent backup from talented and famous musicians and singers. The black-and-white photography also is nicely done. The contrasts and shades are magnificent.

Orbison's classic songs are embellished by Bruce Springsteen, T-Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, Mike Utley, Tom Waits plus other lesser-known but very talented artists. Also, you get all- star male and female backup trios. The female backups are Bonnie Raitt, Jennifer Warnes and k.d. Lang - not bad, eh? Jackson Browne leads the male trio. There are a bunch of celebrities in the audience, too, ranging from Kris Kristofferson to Tiny Tim!

Most of the times I get more pumped listening to the fast songs, although the slow ones are very good, too. The fast songs are fantastic, and the 5.1 sound is highlighted more on them as you hear different instruments come out of all five speakers - and they are distinct. On "Pretty Wonan," you hear the three guitar players on three different speakers. It's amazing.

Everyone on stage is having a super time. Just the look on Springsteen's face tells it all. These artists revered Orbison and it shows. You can just see how thrilled they were to be on stage with the legend. What a fantastic concert and DVD. Rating this 10 stars doesn't seem to be enough!

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28 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

The expressions on Springsteen's face say it all...

Author: cj909 from Boston, MA
16 May 2004

I own this on DVD, but to this day whenever it shows up on PBS (roughly every 24 hours, where I live, lol!), I am compelled to watch it start to finish.

There is a phenomenal array of musicians on stage, all there to play with one of the greatest talents in musical history. It's quite possible that a lot of people think Elvis and Chuck Berry when they think of the start of popular rock and roll music, but Orbison's writing, musicianship (and that voice!) tower over the others of that era. The presence of all the other names doesn't make one think of a 'star studded' VH1/MTV made-for-TV extravaganza, but more a group of able musicians both paying homage and participating in a real musical performance, in concert with each other, not taking star turns even as they step up to play a solo or sing with 'the master'.

All the players are fantastic and are thrilled to be there, but Springsteen in particular looks like a little-league 11-year old getting to play ball with Mantle, Ruth, Robinson and Aaron. His awe and exuberance at being there mirrors what anyone has to feel watching this show.

(and a P.S. - no audio problems on my disk or on the televised version.)

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21 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

An hour of heaven

Author: sunbeam-4 from United States
18 January 2004

As an amateur musician, I truly appreciate great music, and this was one of the best hours of television I've ever seen. Everyone was great, especially Roy, Bruce and the other guitar players and musicians. I especially liked Jennifer Warnes, K.D., and Bonnie as backup singers.

To sum it up- a truly inspiring hour of music and a tribute to Roy, who passed away way too young. There should be more shows of this caliber- TV would be a better place.

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19 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

beautiful, beautiful concert!

Author: Daniella from Seattle
5 March 2005

This is a concert I think everyone should see! Young, old and in between. Roy Orbison is always close to my heart as one of the most prolific, sensitive and talented vocalists that graced us with his presence in the music business and was taken from us far too soon.

BLACK AND WHITE NIGHT has been shown multiple times on PBS and I never get tired of it. Every time I hear Roy, it's like hearing him for the first time. He has a wonderful tone and totally breaks your heart. Of course, the world knows him most famously for "Pretty Woman," but he is so much more than that song! How wonderful it was that musicians like Bruce Springstein, Tom Waits, Jennifer Warren, KD Lang and Bonnie Raitt joined him in this, his final televised concert before he died of a heart condition in 1988. Watch this, everyone!!!!

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16 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

A Concert That Mesmerizes the Audience

Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
19 December 2004

On October 23rd, 1999, I bought an imported VHS of this concert and I was astounded with such a wonder. Later, I replaced my VHS by the DVD, and I have watched this show at least ten times on these medias. The icon Roy Orbison, who had a personal life filled with many tragedies, playing and singing with names like Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, J.D. Souther, Jackson Browne, Jennifer Warner, K.D. Lang, T. Bone Burnett and Tom Waits, is spectacular. The concert was shot with black and white 35mm film, basic condition imposed by Roy Orbison to participate of this party, and the result is amazingly wonderful. This DVD is to be part of any collection of music lovers. Roy Orbison and his friends sing and play the following classic songs:

1) Only the Lonely; 2) Dream Baby; 3) Blue Bayou; 4) The Comedians; 5) Ooby Dooby; 6) Leah; 7) Running Scared; 8) Uptown; 9) In Dreams; 10) Crying; 11) Candyman; 12) Go, Go, Go; 13) Mean Woman Blues; 14) Dream You; 15) Claudette; 16) It's Over; 17) Oh, Pretty Woman.

It is hard to select, but "In Dreams", "Crying" and "Dream You" are my favorite songs. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "Roy Orbison: Black & White Night"

Note: On 21 August 2011, I saw this wonderful concert again.

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Truly Spectacular

Author: Knuckle from United States
4 October 2003

As if Roy Orbison performing were not enough, the talent he has with him in this concert is truly awe inspiring. Tom Waits, kd lang, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello - to name only a few - all lend their musical skills to make this a once in a lifetime event. A must-have for anyone who calls themselves a music lover.

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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Really wonderful music...

Author: David E. Crutcher ( from Birmingham, Alabama
4 January 2000

I had the honor of touring with Roy Orbison as a roadie way back in 1980. He had just won a Grammy for "That Loving You Feeling Again" and was touring to promote it. After being on the road for 6 weeks with him, I developed a true love of his music. His vocal range was amazing. He would drink iced Grand Marnier out of a silver goblet onstage. He said it helped his voice.

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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

One of the best

Author: dixie-18 from Danville, Virginia
5 June 2004

Local PBS station is showing this one tonight, and well worth seeing. This show was filmed for HBO (not MTV/VH1)in September 1988. They showed it in October, and sadly on December 6, 1988 Roy passed away. Roy was an absolutely incredible singer,who was often forgotten by the time the 1970's rolled around. He started getting noticed again in the 80's. David Lynch included Roy's hit "In Dreams" in his classic film Blue Velvet. People began to remember how great Roy was. In May 1987 he appeared on Saturday Night Live, and was the first singer to sing three songs! Most musical guests only get to sing two on SNL. His career was taking off again by 1988, his joint effort with Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and George Harrison as the Traveling Wilburys was really heating up when Roy died.

If you like real rock and roll music, do not miss Black & White Nights.

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

What a gem to see -- and to hear

Author: Rich Wiggins from Okemos Michigan
5 December 2002

The local PBS station just showed this gem for its infernal pledge drive. What a find! The audio is great and the band is very tight. KD Lang, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen -- quite a band, and about the same time the Traveling Wilburys were born. And a hell of a guitarist named James Burton puts all the instrumentalists to shame -- look up his pedigree.

Really strong performances from an all star band in a live performance, very nicely videoed in b&w.

Also fun to pick out the LA luminaries in the studio audience.

This REALLY needs to come out on DVD. Great stuff!


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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Black & White Night - Excellent show with Many great accompanists

Author: cdhanks2003 from United States
19 March 2006

I couldn't help but comment on "nonconformist's" comments. For a concert video the editing was not that bad. But his slams on "has-beens" is awful. Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raite, KD Lang, Jennifer Warnes, JD Souther are NOT has-beens. They are treasures who are still making great music. His crack about Springsteen's overbite was just plain mean. His comment about the "has-beens almost faking orgasms" is just plain stupid. These folks are obviously enjoying jamming with a legend, Roy Orbison. If you don't enjoy the performance you should keep quiet and not show your ignorance and mean spirit.

As for Brian Greenhalgh's complaint about the sound being out of sync...was this a legitimate purchase or more likely an illegal copy? If so you have no reason to complain. If legitimate you can exchange it.

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