BTW: “Dogs On The Run (A Musical Documentary)” Review

 


So a new thing here! This series is called “Between Two Worlds”, and in it I am going to review some “retail bootlegs”, or as I like to call them, “DVDs/CDs that companies release to make people think they’re buying an official, awesome product that is actually just a DVD+R/CD+R with a pretty label”.  Yea! So lets get started with a ‘new release’: “Dogs On The Run (A Musical Documentary)”!

When this first showed up on Amazon.com with no image and no description, I was completely excited. “A Musical Documentary”? This sounds amazing! Almost like Runnin’ Down A Dream, maybe? Or even the “Going Home” special that Disney did back in 1993! However, it didn’t take long to figure out it was going to be another one of those bootlegs that pops up every now and then.  This one, however, is extra notably bad. I purchased it out of morbid curiosity of what exactly it was going to be, and the idea to start this series of reviews.

First, where they got the idea to label this a “Musical Documentary” is beyond me.  This bootleg is nothing more than the “Rock Goes To College” performance by TPATHB at the Oxford Polytechnic on March 24th, 1980.  “Rock Goes To College” was a BBC program that aired live performances of various bands at small venues between 1978-1981.  Performances ranged from everything from AC/DC to The Police.  The case and the menus of this DVD make no mention of this being the performance that was included on the disc.

It’s also interesting to note that the producers of this bootleg edited the video and the content of this recording.  Look at the following comparison shot between the “Dogs On The Run” DVD and the copy of this performance I had already in my collection:

As you can see, the “Dogs On The Run” version replaced the original “UK Arena” watermark with a large “LIVE” one, and they seem to have applied some sort of filter to smooth out the original image.  Here’s another example:

Here you can see the same thing.  While the filter does appear to clean up the image a little bit, it in no way makes a drastic difference to justify paying for a copy of a  33 year old television broadcast.  It also is worth noting there is some “tracking” issues during the show as well, where those good ol’ white-and-black noisy lines will go across the screen for a few moments.

I should also note it was incredibly difficult to match up these images perfectly, as time codes were no help.  The reason being? The “Dogs On The Run” DVD has a running time of 43:33, while my original copy has a 45:04 running time.  This is because the producers of this DVD cut out the opening of the show to remove the “Rock Goes To College” title:

 

well, mostly removed it. As you can see on the left, it barely flashes on the screen for a second as the DVD starts playing. the image on the right is from my original copy of this show.

In addition, they cut the ending of “American Girl” in order to remove the voice overs and credits that originally ran during the end of that performance.  So while you’re watching this DVD, the opening of “Shadow Of A Doubt” fades in (as it did in the original as the show started), but “American Girl” will abruptly end in the middle and the DVD will return you to the menu.  It doesn’t even fade out, just ends.  It’s really quite terrible. I honestly don’t understand why they didn’t at least fade it out.  At first I thought the DVD was defective before I realized they were cutting out the credits.

All in all, even for a “retail bootleg”, this one is pretty poor.  It tries to be something it’s not, lures in unsuspecting purchasers with the “Musical Documentary” title, and alters its source material to disguise what it actually is.  To purchase this show and not realize it’s an edited television performance would leave some question marks as you were watching it.

The show itself, however, is fantastic in its full form! It’s even available on YouTube in one full-length video!  Save yourself the $14.99, for sure, but take the time to watch this one!

Always remember: just because it’s available for sale, doesn’t mean it’s official! I have a few others like this in my collection that I’ll occasionally review and share with you!

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