V/A â€“ Reggae Showdown Vol 1 / 2006 MVD / 120 Minutes / http://www.mvdb2b.com / Reviewed 17 July 2006
This DVD needed to e released just for the simple fact that Dennis Brownâ€™s life ended soon after this footage was taken. To not release this DVD would be an injustice to the memory of Brown and to all of the fans that ey gained since ey started out all those years ago. Brown may just be the most storied reggae artist of all time, as ey has charted over eighty number one hits; for those individuals that are not familiar with Brown (like I was before putting on this DVD), this is a good way to get introduced to Dennis Brown, eir life, and eir music.
One must be aware that the footage that one is going to be confronted with when they put on â€œReggae Showdownâ€ is not the best by any stretch of the imagination. When Lloyd Parks covers â€œMy Girlâ€, the coverage is like the professional cameras of twenty years ago or the home cameras from the early nineties. The great thing though is that the audio is pretty solid, even though the drums are a little more tinny than they should normally be. For those audiophiles, the performance may be bothersome but for the vast majority of Brown fans, they recording will serve just fine. There is one layout problem when it comes to the segment tiles on this album, and it is that the footage is categorized by those guest stars that were present, and not necessarily the tracks that were played at that point. Sure, I know Lady Saw was performing during twenty-two minutes of this concert, However, I want a way to go and figure out what song is being played instead of having to go back into the menu and trying to pick out which song it was. I like the way that this DVD is laid out, with all sorts of opening acts before the main act (Brown). However, there needs to be a little more time taken in regards to breaking up the menu further. Have a Lady Saw section, but have it broken up to the tracks that ey does.
The lack of a tracklist is devastation to the success of the DVD> Sure, if I was a fan of reggae I could probably tell you exactly what each of the tracks were called, but Iâ€™m not. What if I liked some of the songs on this disc? There would be little recourse for me to figure out what song it is, save for plugging in some of the lyrics to Google. The DVD has good (if not the best) footage, solid sound, but the lack of extra footage and a tracklist make this DVD not quite as impressive as it could be. Perhaps if this DVD could be re-released with an interactive tracklist instead of the artist-specific chapters, Reggae Showdown will be something that all fans will need to pick up, instead of just those hardcore reggae fanatics. Hereâ€™s to hoping that the changes can be made.