This is one of the most full-featured audio collections I’ve seen. If you love those 4-disc extended DVD sets for movies, this is its counterpart in the audio world. The first disc has an interactive DVD-V program on one side and a linear program on the other. In addition to the complete session video you get bonus videos, biographies, discographies, filmography and photos. The second side offers live performance video and an interview. The program material 1.33:1 in shape, but has some letterboxed widescreen passages. On the linear side the listener can choose between a 5.1 channel and a 2.0 audio track. The program length is roughly 69 minutes. The video material differs from the first side, so if you’re in the mood to overdose on Paul Williams, then this is the set to get. There are introductions to most of the songs with Paul Williams giving tons of background information about the material. Paul is accompanied by an acoustic band with piano, bass, drums and includes directional vocals. The surrounds are used in a subtle fashion and don’t detract from the center focus. Instruments have a very natural sound and voice is palpable, big, and rich. Some of the guests include: Willie Nelson, Melissa Manchester, John McEuen, and the Great Gonzo.
The DVD-A side offers a choice of a stage or a stereo mix. The sound is luscious with a black background, extremely natural sounding instruments, pinpoint imaging, and with vocals up front and instruments all around. Williams may be older, but some things obviously get better with age—if anything, the performance is more heartfelt than ever. The performance is very mellow, but that is what you can come to expect with Williams. The CD side had good sound too, but not at the same level as the DVD-A side. There are a number of songs on this set that will bring back fond memories (or create new ones).
Songs included are: Rainbow Connection; You’re Gone; We’ve Only Just Begun; Out in the Country; Rainy Days and Mondays; Crazy Loving You; When You Said Hello; I Won’t Last A Day Without You; Love Dance; An Old Fashioned Love Song; It’s All Been Said Before; I’m Going To Go Back There Someday.