Love at the Greek

“Love at the Greek”- The setlist overlaps somewhat with the LP, but they were recorded on different nights, as well as having some different songs. Sound quality okay, in VHS Hi-Fi stereo, but a notch below the LP/CD, with crowd noise mixed too high. Most of the songs had been edited– very painful for the Neil purist. Whole verses were dropped (sometimes the BEST verses!). It’s a real shame that the string section was replaced by synthesizers– synths were CHEESY in 1976. Just listen to mid-70’s Styx albums and you’ll know what I mean… Hot August Night fans had gotten spoiled with full orchestras, which are sorely missed here. In all honesty, there are a few low points on this vid– a padded “Song Sung Blue” where Neil browbeats a very shy Henry Winkler into singing a verse as the Fonz, and “Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show”, with not-very-good camera angles. Too many crowd shots, and Neil is shown in long-shots. This particular songs NEEDS to be filmed close-up, else much of Brother Love’s oratory power is lost. But when this video is good, it’s very good. “Holly Holy” (edited– dammit!) and “I’ve Been This Way Before” are better than the LATG album versions– in the case of “Holly Holy”, superior pacing and more dramatic phrasing. In the case of “I’ve Been This Way Before”– it’s simply smashing– sung much better and without that crack in his voice at the end. And the Beautiful Noise segment is a standout. Instead of using just straight concert footage, this segment combines still photos, Neil voice-overs and [intelligently] edited BN songs into a seamless, conceptually united whole. If “Lady Oh” doesn’t move you, I don’t know what will! Overall, the video’s not perfect, but worthwhile way to spend $14.95. It can use some improvement– like an expanded version with all songs complete and some JLS material.

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