No CDs. That's right - a first - absolutely no CDs are highlighted this week. It's all about music DVDs this time around.
The Beatles - Help! DVD: The Fab Four's follow-up to A Hard Day's Night doesn't come easy for fans this time. Where Night simply came in one format - two-disc DVD - Help! is out in two versions that are wildly different in price, and the motivation to purchase the more expensive one comes in how dedicated you are and whether you need to see the film in the original aspect ratio. The "deluxe" packaging is questionably "deluxier" than the standard edition. Sure, you get a 60-page book of photos, a copy of the script, a poster, and some postcards, but aside from that, there is little else. The sole difference in the actual film is that the standard edition comes in 1:33 (fullscreen) ratio while the deluxe comes with the original 1:75 aspect ratio. The decision to make this the only significant difference between the two was probably based on one thing alone: greed. Most die-hards want to see the original film, not the chopped-down fullscreen version, and charging the jaw-dropping MSRP of $135 for it is simply disgusting. There's only one reason why they didn't offer this in the standard edition, and that's because they know that the deluxe simply won't sell otherwise.
Blackfield - Live in NYC DVD: It's not enough that we got not only the amazing Blackfield II album, and one great album and an equally great EP from Steven Wilson's main band, Porcupine Tree (Fear of a Blank Planet and Nil Recurring, respectively) this year, now we get this live DVD to sate the desires of fans clamoring for more - because we always are. Wilson and bandmate Aviv Geffen, along with longtime band director/artist Lasse Hoile, filmed this show in New York earlier this year (you know, hence the name,) and from all reports it lives up to last year's Porcupine Tree DVD, Arriving Somewhere, in all respects. Get your hands on one soon if you want it - it appears to be disappearing quickly, for some reason. Amazon is already sold out.