ABOUT A SON: The Kurt Cobain documentary comes to DVD in February.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the first three months of 2007 saw overall CD sales dropping by 20 percent from the same period a year earlier, the seventh year in a row that consumers spent less of their cash on the format. It’s not news that downloading — both legal and illegal — continues to skyrocket (some estimates claim an increase of as much as 50 percent in ’07 alone), but what’s not as well-known is that music-related DVD sales continue to rise, likely due to the boom in purchases of high-definition televisions and the peripheral equipment often sold along with those sets (such as “upconverting” DVD players). Although 2007 figures are not yet available, a 2006 article in the Hollywood Reporter stated that “suppliers last year sold 21.4 million music DVDs, up from 20.6 million in 2004.” A relatively small increase, perhaps, but it beats a 20 percent freefall any day.
It’s no wonder, then, that the entertainment companies are pumping out music DVD titles by the hundreds, and 2008 will see a deluge of releases across all genres. From live performances to documentaries, historical retrospectives and recycled films, the onslaught shows no sign of slowing down. So here’s a sampler of potentially spin-worthy standalone music DVDs (as opposed to CD/DVD combinations) for the first quarter of the year.
RADIOHEAD: THE DVD BOX | Chrome Dreams | January 22 | Two documentary films about the band, Homework and OK Computer: Classic Album Under Review, are joined at the hip in this collection, which also features the usual rare footage and interview material.
INSIDE THE SMITHS | MAMS | January 22 | Don’t look for Morrissey or Johnny Marr to spill any beans here — they weren’t available. Given the DVD’s title, that may seem like a bit of a bait-and-switch routine, but the Smith’s oft-overlooked rhythm section of Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke were both there, too, and they’re more than happy to talk about what it was like working with their two more recognizable former associates.
ROXY MUSIC: THRILL OF IT ALL 1972–1982 | Virgin | February 5 | Remember, Roxy Music wasn’t just Bryan Ferry’s first band; the group is also where Brian Eno got his rock-and-roll start. This double-disc set includes promo videos, clips from various TV appearances, and live footage, including a complete 1976 Swedish performance.
STORMBRINGERS: THE INSIDE STORY OF DEEP PURPLE | Classic Rock Legends | February 5 | This one would be easy for all but the hardest-core Deep Purple fans to skip if the collection of interviews and performances compiled from the band’s own archives didn’t promise to be a real-life This Is Spinal Tap. Because there’s simply no better model for Spinal Tap than Deep Purple.
FREDDIE MERCURY: LOVER OF LIFE, SINGER OF SONGS | Eagle Rock | February 5 | A two-disc documentary on the late Queen king, the disc features concert clips, still photos, videos, and interviews with both Mercury (the last he ever gave) and his friends and associates.