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TAMI Show / The Big TNT Show Double Feature – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

TAMI-Show-TNT-ShowPersonally, I’m not familiar with either of these going in, but The TAMI Show and The Big TNT Show sound like they were a big step and sort of monumental in terms of the concert film.  Both movies are just some concerts with big names, but it was something of an event, lots of player, lots of hit singles.  Shout Factory is using its Shout Select label to bring this film and its sister film, The Big TNT Show to Blu-ray for the very first time.  Mastered from a new High-Definition transfer, The T.A.M.I. Show / The Big T.N.T. Show Collector’s Edition brings both of these history-making films to life in a definitive set that no fan or scholar of rock and soul music will want to be without.  It will be available December 2nd!

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The Tami Show 

One of the most acclaimed rock events ever captured on film, the 1964 concert known as T.A.M.I. Show also featured performances by several future Rock and Roll Hall of Famers. In a lineup like no other, the Rolling Stones, James Brown, the Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, the Supremes, Chuck Berry, Lesley Gore and others took the stage one after another on October 29 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.

This concert film took the best performances and songs from a two night event.  There are so many people here, that are legends and icons now its crazy to revel in them all in this one place.  Possibly the most notable part of this film is James Brown’s performance, which is one of his personal best.  I guess The Rolling Stones chose to follow him in the lineup order and within just a few hip thrusts, instantly regretted that decision.  But, this thing is full of great moments like that, and its hard not to get hooked and stuck on this film just from the nostalgia and love of the incredible music from this era.

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The Big TNT Show 

Originally billed as a companion piece to the T.A.M.I. Show after that show’s success, The Big T.N.T. Show holds up as an essential time capsule from its day. Phil Spector was on board to help produce, to serve as the on-screen music director, and to play piano for Baez’s rendition of The Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.” David McCallum, a rising star appearing in the new TV series The Man From U.N.C.L.E., was tapped to emcee. Filmed at what was then the Moulin Rouge nightclub on Sunset, footage also includes shots of the Los Angeles haunts Chateau Marmont, Ben Frank’s coffee shop, and fleeting hot spot The Trip nightclub.

Here we go, second verse, same as the first.  Same idea, new lineup.  This time you get Tina Turner, The Byrds and Ray Charles.  You could almost sell this as the “B-sides”, though that’s a disservice to the musicans…a double album then.  One of my favorite performances here that I thought was well done and pretty cool was Petula Clark doing her famous song “Downtown”.  So, basically, if you enjoy the first film, there’s no reason not to check this out and you’re also sure to love it.

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Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Layers: 2 BD-50

Clarity/Detail: Both films carry similar appearances here.  I feel like both were shot with television cameras of the time and not ones that were used for cinema.  This is the best I’m sure this footage has looked.  But, its a kind of a weak presence as you feel like the image is thin.  Details are decent, but like I said, its what they had to work with here and I think they did the best they could given the circumstances.

Depth:  This one is on the flatter side of things, but I’m not sure the source material is going to lend itself to a very 3 dimensional appearance.  Movements are a slower natural with minimal blurring.

Black Levels:  Blacks are very deep and feature a lot varied shades, outlines and shadow work.  Detail does get lost and grain is heavier on deep black areas.  No crushing seen during this view.

Color Reproduction:  N/A

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones keep consistent with whatever lighting schematic is going on and maintain a consistent look throughout.  Facial details really only lend themselves to closeups as grain and some smoothness make it hard to discern detail from further away.

Noise/Artifacts:  There is plenty of grain, dirt/specs and a some lines at very minimal instances.

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Audio 

Audio Format(s):

Subtitles: English

Dynamics:  These performances here sound like a nice crisp, vintage vinyl record when jamming out.  There are some good low frequencies represented here and the overall the genuine authenticity of the sound is something to appreciate.  The crowd gets a bit raucous a lot, but that is some of the charm and addition to the live aspect of the performance.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension:  N/A

Surround Sound Presentation:  N/A

Dialogue Reproduction:  Vocals are good and clean.  They feature an analog hiss, but that goes right along with the vinyl comment I made in above.

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Extras 

This double feature is a 2-Blu-ray Disc set that includes a 36-page booklet featuring detailed essays by Don Waller and rare photos and memorabilia.  There is also a menu that splits things up be individual song performances.

Disc 1

Audio Commentary

  • By Director Steve Binder with Music Historian Don Waller

Interview With Steve Binder (HD, 12:36) – The director gets into a bit of how this came about, his approach to how the performers would do their songs and bits and the unexpected success of both the films.

Original TAMI Show Radio Spots

  • Spot #1 (HD, 1:07) 
  • Spot #2 (HD, 1:05) 
  • Spot #3 (HD, :38) 
  • Spot #4 (HD, :35) 

Original Trailer With Optional John Landis Commentary (HD, 3:38) 

Disc 2

Interviews

  • Petula Clark (HD, 3:18) – The singer briefly discusses, best of her memory, how this all came about and what it was like to do The Big TNT Show which she calls “incredible” and “exciting”.
  • John Sebastian (HD, 4:11) – The Lovin’ Spoonful player discusses what he can remember about getting involved and what he thought about it.
  • Henry Diltz (HD, 8:04) – The Modern Quartet player discusses his time with music in that era, television’s connection and influence and experience on The Big TNT Show.

The Big TNT Show: An Eclectic Mix (HD, 8:26) – A sorta little retrospective with the previous interviewees discussing the show.

Trailer (HD, 3:02) 

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Summary 

This double feature of The TAMI Show and The Big TNT Show make for a fun couple hours.  Lots of classic songs and great musicians during a lot of their powerhouse years of their youth.  The audio sounds pretty awesome and while I don’t think the video lent itself the opportunity to look great in HD (It looks like it was filmed with television cameras), it still looks pretty great.  There are some solid extras here in what should be a collector’s item for music lovers.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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