B.B. King is, without a doubt one of the more famous and well known musicians of all time and when he brought his is irresistible and identifiable sound to Montreux in 1993, one of his better performances was given and recorded in full high-definition. With the full sixteen song set being included in both the DVD and Blu-ray releases, fans of the King can get also delve into a few newer songs that he performed in 2006 as well (Blu-ray release only). Although the concert presented here is over thirteen years old, the intensity of it has not faded in the least.
Perhaps the greatest living bluesman, B.B. King was but a mere 68 when he appeared at Montreux in 1993 to wow the faithful. And he didn’t disappoint. Both DVD and Blu-ray contain his classic 16-song set. The Blu-ray has an exclusive three-song bonus (“Why I Sing The Blues,” “When Love Comes To Town,” and “Guess Who”) from his Montreux appearance 13 years later in 2006 at the age of 81.
How do you review B.B. King? Short answer: you can’t. Long answer: you attempt to summarize his music into words and can only muster “absolutely classic blues” and then fall back onto the short answer when you realize that only scrapes the surface of his works. His talent is immense and his influence on the Blues genre is still felt to this day. And while watching this concert I couldn’t help but be swept up in his music.
The full track list includes:
Two I Shoot Blues
Let the Good Times Roll
When it All Comes Down (I’ll STill Be Around)
Chains of Love
All Over Again
Since I Met You Baby
Playing With My Friends
Ain’t Nobody Home
Why I Sing the Blues
Rock Me Baby
Please Accept My Love
The Thrill is Gone
And…really, that’s all I can say about the sixteen song set. It was an amazing experience to be able to take in, but unless you’re a fan or knowledgeable of his songs, there just isn’t much to “review.” The music, the concert…all of it was a real visual and aural experience to take in and definitely one to see. Recommended for everyone, whether you’re a fan of B.B. King or not.
B.B. King – Live in Montreux (1993) arrives on Blu-ray in a standard Elite Blu-ray case with the usual Eagle Rock amenities. Menus are simple and easy to navigate and the visuals…well, I have to say I was quite surprised by the visuals. An AVC encoded 1080i affair that reproduces the visuals remarkably well considering the age of the concert with little flicker or visual artifacts to hamper the enjoyment. There is a softness to the picture due to its age, but other than that it looks terrific.
Audio comes in the three varieties as usual (DD 5.1, LPCM 2.0, and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), with the DTS-HD taking priority over the three as usual. There isn’t a great deal of oomph felt from the subwoofer in the 1993 tracks (the 2006 tracks pack a bit more) but overall it’s a solid mix no matter which version you choose.
Extras include the aforementioned Blu-ray exclusive 2006 tracks, which are:
Why I Sing the Blues
When Love Comes to Town
Overall this is a solid release but to add it to the collection would really mean that this is a fans only release. Still Recommended for at least one viewing, but to keep it would require the viewer to be a fan.
B.B. King – Live at Montreux (1993) is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.