Elkie Brooks – Live (1985)

by | Mar 30, 2006 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

Elkie Brooks – Live (1985)

Studio:  Music Video Distributors
Video:  1.33:1 Full Frame
Audio:  DD Stereo
Extras:  Discography, Biography, No More The Fool (a track list and review of this album)
Length:  60 minutes
Rating:  **** (music), *1/2 (sound and picture)

I have to admit to never hearing of Elkie before having viewed this DVD.  Brooks is a very talented British singer who works with pop, rock, ballads, and blues and jazz.  She began singing professionally at the age of 15, but it wasn’t until the late 70s when she had a huge record in the UK and became the biggest-selling female artist in the history of the British pop charts. I looked up her website and found that she has had several chart-topping records and singles—mostly in the UK.  Much of her music consists of remakes of familiar artists, like Neil Young, Rod Stewart, Etta James, etc. According to her website, a 1981 album, Pearls, reached #2 and stayed on the charts for 79 weeks.

The video quality is less than average with wavy lines that appear from time to time, slight video distortions, and overall it’s soft and fuzzy like a worn videotape.  Audio is nothing to write home about either—it sounds mono and thin at times, but the disc will give you a wonderful sampling of Elkie’s ability.  The video really dates itself and boy, I’m embarrassed to say I had one of those pantsuits back in the 70s.  There’s no doubt that Elkie can belt it out, but watching this video is like stepping into a time warp and landing in an old variety show.  She’s got lots of soul, verve, and can really groove.  It would be great at a party and no doubt elicit all sorts of questions.  She’s a musical chameleon and can sound like Aretha and Janis on “Sophisticated Lady,” or even like Nina on a tune like “Lilac Wine.”  She’s a beautiful and captivating performer worth experiencing.

— Brian Bloom

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