Catalog # #87
DVD Length 108 Mins.
Date/Venue Rehearsal for June 7th 1984 First Avenue Show
Source Professionally Filmed Soundboard Recording
Quality VG to VG+
Release Year 2009
Fink's Comments(rates this release 4.5/5.0)
The main focus of this release is the Prince & The Revolution rehearsal in preparation for the upcoming First Avenue birthday 1984 show. The video recording has been in circulation for decades and it appears on countless releases, almost always in pretty woeful quality. To date the best quality recording was to be found on the Habibi release 'Roadhouse Rehearsal', however I'd say this new 'Eye' Records version now takes the honour of being the best there currently is. Habibi's still remains a very respectable release, but 'Eye' have attempted to correct various picture flaws which plagued parts of the recording, and whilst it isn't a flawless correction, it's a decent effort which benefits the release. There are minor glitches throughout, but 'Something In The Water (Does Not Compute' was plagued by picture drop-outs and cuts which 'Eye' have smoothed over without the video recording looking like it's been butchered. The actual quality of the picture isn't too great an improvement over Habibi's and the greenish hue still remains, as does the slightly hazy/grainy effect, however "Eye" have lightened the darkness of the Habibi release and also appear to have cropped the slight video interference from around the edges which Habibi's release had.
The audio is on a par with the Habibi release, but once again the 5 or 6 minutes in 'Something In The Water' which has had some picture treatment is less impressive than the rest and sounds hollow with some annoyingly shrill reverb on Prince's wailing guitar solo - it settles down after 5 minutes and returns to normal, but those 5 minutes can be painful to listen to. Other than that, this is a nice improvement over a fascinating piece of footage and an extremely rare insight into an early rehearsal. The release also includes bonus clips from Apollonia 6 and Vanity 6 beginning with the 20(ish) minute unreleased short film 'Happy Birthday Mr. Christian'. This is a rough-cut, so one would expect the quality to be dire....and it is. The only saving grace of the awful quality is it is matched by the atrocious acting skills of the girls and it's no surprise it lay unreleased - that said, it's impossible to take your eyes off the screen. Is it Apollonia's wet-look camisole, or Brenda's Elvis hair I'm drawn to? I can't quite decide. Moving on. The release ends with various promo clips and once again the quality varies from video to video from a barely passable 'Nasty Girl' to a decent enough 'Sex Shooter'. Overall I've been slightly harsh on the quality as there are so many versions of the above circulating that it really takes something special for you to sit up and take notice. The rehearsal footage is great, but had it not been for the corrections made, I'd have been quite happy to continue with the Habibi release.
As for the Apollonia / Vanity 6 bonus footage, it's interest for me lies purely in it's comedy value. The DVD comes with a 10 page booklet, and in fairness it's not Eye's best effort, and it's a sad day when the raised "Roadhouse Destiny" lettering on the front is the best part of it. Still, all that said, when I want to watch this rehearsal again, this will certainly be the version I'll pull out - and isn't that what it all boils down to?
Copyright 2009 UG2P