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Poodle perms and leather trousers, denim jackets and screaming girls – welcome to Bon Jovi. A huge fan base, and so from me at least, high expectations from this DVD originally recorded when Bon Jovi were cruising the peak of their fame with the release of the album, These Days.

Bon Jovi - Live From London (1995)

The Film
Bon Jovi are a huge rock band. Or rather they were. Some of their recent albums have been a little lack lustre musically with perhaps the odd good/great track which is a far cry from their albums of the past which were chock full of ripping soft rock tracks. Their most recent CD release is an acoustic album which covers their previous hit records however even this (which in theory would be right up my street) was not great. I have heard other versions of live acoustic Jovi tracks which are much better than the ones on that CD so while I hope it is not true, it would appear that the once almighty Jovi, are starting to lose their creative edge.

So a few years back the band played London (July 1995) in front of 72,000 fans and this DVD features some of the classics, pre and including tracks from These Days. It’s a live show obviously instead of a load of videos which is a good thing. Obviously lots of cameras used here as the editing is fast and furious at times. Shots from above the crowd to close ups of the whole band rain in at regular intervals including shots of the mullet sporting crowd themselves as they sing along with Jon Bon.

Track List:
Livin On A Prayer
You Give Love a Bad Name
Always
Blaze of Glory
Lay Your Hands on Me
I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead
Bad Medicine
Shout
Hey God
Wanted Dead of Alive
This Ain’t a Love Song
These Days – Bonus track

Bon Jovi - Live From London (1995)

At 90 minutes long this concert is obviously cut together from the three nights the Jovi played at Wembley (obvious since Jon’s outfit changes without warning) which is a shame as they would have played many more tracks than these over those dates – indeed some of the absolute classics are missing which I can only assume is because the DVD was destined for a single sided, single layer presentation to save on costs.

Video
Certainly nothing to write home about here in this letterboxed 4:3 presentation. Grain a plenty here, along with compression artefacts and generally a low standard of film. There is actually very little dirt on the print however it does look a lot like it was ripped from a pre-recorded VHS tape which is mightily disappointing. I have never understood letterboxing video – either make it 4:3, or make it 16x9 as letterboxing is a waste of space.

Audio
Again quite disappointing as all we have is a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. I would have expected at least a Dolby Digital 5.1 track however music DVDs should really come with PCM audio track as well to give the best audio replication possible. The audio itself is actually quite good for a live concert played back in Dolby Digital. Bass is a little light and unorganised but the cheers/singing/chanting of the crowd does not get in the way or detract from the class A rock music. The high notes the band hit in a traditional live Jovi set are handled quite well but at a higher volume level they do grate a little.

Extras
Just one extra feature here – a bonus track by the name of These Days. It isn’t even a proper live performance – just the music played over a fast edited selection of live shorts and backstage footage from the three gigs played which is just appalling. It has some cheesy Jon voice over at the beginning before he starts singing and the music itself is just ripped from the CD instead of being a live performance.

Bon Jovi - Live From London (1995)

Overall
Only a fan is going to buy a live gig on DVD and I think a fan will be fairly happy with this purchase. The concert has a decent track list and it can easily be played without the low quality video as you might play a CD – just turn your TV off and let your amp do the talking. A couple of extra tracks are not an especially good extra feature and I assume any more would have taken this to a DVD9 instead of the DVD5 it is now. This disc could have been supreme with proper widescreen video and a 5.1 DTS soundtrack but these tings take time and money which is why only DVDs that will sell by the truck load get these features. At the very least PCM sound should have been an option. Those of you on an importing mission will be happy to know this DVD is region free.


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