Reviewer lists best video music around

By Vittorio Carli

The following list includes some of the best concerts and music documentaries that are available on video.

Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock’n Roll- A musical celebration of Chuck Berry’s birthday. Musical guests include Keith Richards, Bo Diddly, Eric Clapton, Linda Ronstadt, and Julian Lennon.

The Complete Beatles – This documentary chronicles the life and times of the world’s most influential rock’n roll band.

Don’t Look Back – D.A. Pennebaker’s documentary of Bob Dylan’s 1965 British tour combines interviews with concert footage. Dylan’s attack on “Time” magazine is hilarious.

Heartland Reggae – This film depicts the One Love Peace Concert in Kingston, Jamaica. This reggae festival features the music of Peter Tosh, Jacob Miller and the late, great Bob Marley.

Imagine: John Lennon – This documentary contains some fine performances and interviews that shed light on the life of the ex-Beatle. It’s interesting, but occasionally oversentimental.

The Kids Are Alright – Jeff Stein’s film manages to capture the energy and anarchic spirit of The Who.

The Last Waltz – Martin Scorsese’s film features the Band’s last concert. They are accompanied by an all-star musical lineup including Muddy Waters, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Ronnie Hawkins, and Joni Mitchell.

Montery Pop – This concert film records one of rock’s most important music festivals. The music is a mixed bag. Hendrix and Otis Redding give brilliant performances, but Ravi Schanker’s number is guaranteed to clear any room of its occupants.

Otis Redding Live – This video captures Otis Redding’s galvanizing performance on the British pop show, “Ready Steady Go.” Redding is joined by Eric Burdon and Chris Farlowe an a memorable version of “Hold On, I’m Coming.”

Say Amen, Somebody – A stirring gospel concert film that spotlights the talents of Thomas A. Dorsey and Willie May Ford Smith.

Sign of the Times – This exciting film captures Prince during his 1987 tour. He is ably assisted by Sheila E.(on drums), Cat, and Sheena Easton.

Stop Making Sense – Jonathan Demme’s documentary features the Talking Heads; the most progessive band to come out of the New York’s New Wave movement.

Sympathy for the Devil – Jean-Luc Godard has made rock’s only antidocumentary. The film mixes footage of the Rolling Stones doing the same song over and over with clips of black militant propaganda.

This is Elvis – This film features a combination of interviews and concert footage from different phases of Elvis’s career.

This is Spinal Tap – Rob Reiner satirizes the heavy metal scene in this hilarious mock documentary.

Urrgh! A Music War – This film features various punk, new wave, powerpop, and underground bands including the Police, XTC, Echo and the Bunnymen, the Cramps, Magazine, the Go Gos, and the Dead Kennedys. The film’s most shocking performance is done by Klaus Nuomi, a German transexual who sings both sides of a duet.

U2 Live at Red Rocks/Under A Blood Red Sky – An intense, but sometimes tiresome show by the popular, socially concious Irish band.

The Weavers:Wasn’t that A Time? – This documentary features inspiring,life affirming performances by the Weavers, one of America’s greatest folk groups. This overlooked treasure is frequently aired on public television.

Woodstock – This intermittently brilliant film is somewhat uneven. Joe Cocker,Jimmie Hendrix,Sly and the Family Stone, and The Who give memorable performances.

X:The Unheard Music – This film documents the story of X, a brilliant L.A. punk band that combined amateurish instrumentation with compelling quasi poetic lyrics. The band never gained widespread popularity before their untimely demise, but this film functions as a fitting monument to their talent.