From time to time over the intervening years I’ve tuned in to some program on the development of rock, pop or rhythm and blues and run across the same footage, and finding a complete version has long been something akin to the quest for the Holy Grail.
Finally, after forty years, we have this little package - without a doubt the best thing I’ve seen on DVD for a long time.
Admittedly, it’s in black and white. Hardly surprising, given the source - a concert in Oslo on 7 April 1967 filmed for Norwegian television.
Four tracks from Sam and Dave. Finally, after all these years.
That’s not to belittle the rest of the acts on offer.
Starting off with two tracks from Booker T & The MGs, the action hots up as the Memphis Horns hit the stage and the line-up morphs into the Mar-Keys. A quick spot from Arthur Conley and a cameo from Eddie Floyd leads into Sam and Dave with five Otis Redding tracks as a show-stopping finale. Seventy-five minutes of pure unadulterated Memphis Stax/Volt soul.
This is the tour Tom Dowd reminiscences about on Tom Dowd and The Language of Music and this show, coming near the end of the three-week tour has all the acts fine-tuned and firing on all cylinders.
Predictably, the disk doesn’t appear to be available locally, but, unlike so many overseas releases, there’s none of that regional-restriction stuff, so you can surf over to Amazon or whatever other online retailer you favour with your custom.
Seriously, a serious sixties-music fan will not be disappointed.
This particular performance isn’t complete, and isn’t the only show from the tour that was televised. Unfortunately, although the tour was, as far as I can gather, featured on a special; edition of Ready Steady Go (the classic mid-60s British music show) and may well have formed the basis for similar specials in France and Germany, the other ones haven’t surfaced yet.
And, if we can look to the future, apart from letting any of those out to a waiting world, is it too much to ask for a proper and complete reissue of the legendary T.A.M.I. and Big T.N.T. shows? The version that’s currently available (a DVD titled That Was Rock is hardly an adequate substitute for the real thing.