DVD: George Harrison - Dark
Horse Years 1976-1992
Reviewed by DJ Johnson
In early 2004, Capitol/EMI released The George Harrison Dark Horse Box, which gathered six Harrison solo albums recorded on his Dark Horse label imprint. It also included a bonus DVD and a hefty price tag in the $130 range. I'd imagine the hardcore Harrison fans who ponied up (sorry) for that set to get the DVD are feeling a bit stressed right now, since it's suddenly on the market as a stand-alone DVD for twenty bucks or so. They have a legitimate gripe.
For those of you who didn't shell out the big bucks, though, this isn't a bad DVD to add to your collection. It's not a spectacular DVD, either.
There are three sections: a grouping of seven hit videos, a four-song sampling of a concert in Japan (with Eric Clapton on guitar) and a three-song video selection from the soundtrack of the Madonna/Sean Penn... um... movie, Shanghai Surprise. All are ever so loosely tied by token interview blurbs so short they usually don't have time to be interesting, though I must admit I was taken aback to learn that "I've Got My Mind Set On You" wasn't a Harrison original, but rather a song from a record he bought on a trip to America in 1961, before they was fab. So I guess you can learn something in under 30 seconds. If you become annoyed by the brief video/soundbite interruptions, you can actually turn them off in the options menu, which is a nice feature after the first time through the DVD.
For all its shortcomings, the DVD is worth owning because it gathers the videos of "Crackerbox Palace," "When We Was Fab," "Faster," "This Is Love," "This Song" and both versions of "Got My Mind Set On You." There's a 28-page booklet included that's actually nicer than some of the video features, in my opinion, especially the section about Dark Horse Records written by George's wife, Olivia. While it's true the label could have pumped the package up with lots of good stuff to make a much improved DVD, it's probably best they left it as is. Loading it up would have further angered the serious fans who already shelled out the big bucks for the Dark Horse box, because they'd feel compelled to buy it again, being completists by nature. With the passage of some time, though, it would be nice to see a serious DVD treatment of Harrison's work, something along the lines of The Complete Doors. Until then, there's this. It's your call.
© 2005 - DJ Johnson