Rolling Stones – Ellis Park, Johannesburg, South Africa (New Depression Music)

Ellis Park, Johannesburg, South Africa 

February 25, 1995

New Depression Music

1-Proshot  DVD, (142:37),

4:3 PAL Video Format ( European)

Dolby Digital

Intro; Not Fade Away; Tumbling Dice; You Got Me Rocking; It’s All Over Now;

Live With Me; Sparks Will Fly; Satisfaction; Out Of Tears; Angie; Rock And A Hard Place (edited); Midnight Rambler; I Go Wild; Miss You; Band Intros; Honky Tonk Women; Happy; Slipping Away; Sympathy For The Devil; Monkey Man; Street Fighting Man; Start Me Up; It’s Only Rock N Roll; Brown Sugar; Jumping Jack Flash

This single DVD was released back 4-5 years ago and is the complete TV broadcast including preshow video, a couple of video bites from the band, and all the commercials. Due to the commercials this is not a complete show as “Rock and a Hard Place ” is cut. I found the commercials interesting at first viewing, as they are from a different culture, but I am sure they would be an annoyance on subsequent viewings as they disrupt the flow of the show. This is another historic show as it is the first visit by the Stones to South Africa and in the video bites Mick and Keith both look genuinely excited and remark how they are looking forward to the show. This certainly can be seen as it is an excellent performance.

The Video source is from VHS as you can see a very unobtrusive tracking mark at the bottom of the screen from time to time. The picture is VG+ to EX- with sharp details and nice saturated colors. The only thing which keeps me from giving this a solid EX  rating is a slight graininess to the picture, which can be seen on some distance shots, and the colors can border on oversaturation especially when there are colored stage light present.  My guess is this sourced from a VHS tape maybe one or two gens removed from the master recorded off of the TV. The video is also over 2 hours long on a single layer disc which lowers the bit transfer rate and has the effect of degrading the quality but all in all it is a very good  picture.

The Audio is another matter. While it is Pro Video Quality the mix starts out tinny and unbalanced. Charlie’s Drums dominate the mix with Mick’s vocals and Keith’s Guitar way up front. Ronnie is very much in the background with Darryl’s bass little more then a background rumble and Chuck’s piano is nonexistent. The mix does get slightly better as the video progresses as the balance improves and there is better instrument definition but it is still a little thin and tinny to my ears….. There are also some clicks and pops in the soundtrack, from copying or an old recycled VHS tape?, and a low audible video hum noticeable between songs…..I would rate it no better than a B+/A-, a mediocre Video SB at best.

The Stones always seem to rise to the occasion when they know they are being videotaped and that fact, along with the excitement of playing a show in South Africa , raises the adrenaline level in the boys. As a result the performance is excellent with the band being very tight and Keef and Ronnie showing a lot of energy. All the songs are well played but I always favor the older 60’s stuff on these later tours and the band does not disappoint with great versions of “Not Fade Away” and “Satisfaction”.

I would recommend this video as it is an excellent tight performance and the sound, while not the best, is perfectly listenable just not well balanced. If you are a fan of the VL tour you will enjoy this show but if I had to pick one video from the VL tour I would spend my money on the Nippon Voodoo release as it is a complete show from Tokyo , has a slightly better picture, and a much better audio. But that being said I would rate the Ellis Park as a show I would watch more than once…………..

Just a reminder this video is in the European PAL video format and will  not play on a DVD player which will only play North American NTSC videos. You should check your DVD players user manual to be sure it will ply PAL video format discs…………….

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