This column features video collections reviewed this year. I’m sure you’ll want one or more as gifts to others or yourself.
1. ‘Off The Wall,’ Michael Jackson (Epic/Legacy, ☆☆☆☆☆)
This Feb. 26 CD/DVD release features a documentary by Spike Lee that shows MJ’s journey from Motown to “Off The Wall;” and the hits composed by others to the sophisticated palette helmed by producer Quincy Jones.
2. ‘Rhythm N’ Bayous: A Road Map to Louisiana Music,’ Directed by Robert Mugge (MVDvisual, ☆☆☆☆1/2)
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This March 25 DVD presents a 2000 documentary featuring Frankie Ford, Kermit Ruffins, Rosie Ledet and many others. The presentation is divided geographically.
3. ‘Rainbow: Monsters of Rock-Live At Donnington 1980,’ (Eagle Rock Entertainment, ☆☆☆☆)
This April 22 DVD+CD (also available digitally) features a different line-up of Rainbow than those previously heard by yours truly. Ritchie Blackmore (guitar) and Cozy Powell (drums) are joined here by Graham Bonnet (vocals), Don Airey (keyboards) and Roger Glover (bass).
4.‘Janis: Little Girl Blue,’ Directed by Amy J. Berg (Filmrise/MVDvisual, ☆☆☆☆)
This May 6 DVD presents a documentary narrated by Cat Power, using letters Janis wrote to friends, family and others. There is additional commentary by Janis herself, Peter Albin, Melissa Etheridge and more. The film traces Janis’ evolution to stardom, a driven performer who often carried the stage persona into her personal life.
5. ‘A Dog Named Gucci,’ Directed by Gorman Bechard (MVDvisual, ☆☆☆☆☆)
This DVD tells the story of an abused puppy (Gucci) adopted by a college professor. They both became instrumental in changing Alabama’s domestic animal abuse law from a misdemeanor to a felony in 2000, though they began trying in 1994.
6. ‘Totally Stripped,’ The Rolling Stones (Eagle Rock Entertainment, ☆☆☆☆1/2)
In 1995 the Stones made an album I haven’t heard called “Stripped.”
This June 3 follow-up release is available in multiple formats, including a deluxe version with a 60-page book along with the Blu-ray or DVD. I was happy to review the basic CD/DVD of “less is more” songs.
7. ‘Keepin’ It County-Live At Red Rocks,’ Alan Jackson (Eagle Vision, ☆☆☆☆)
This May 6 DVD/digital release captures Alan Jackson filmed in mid-May 2015 at the legendary amphitheater. There are 26 career-spanning tunes from Alan’s 25th Anniversary tour.
8.‘Louder Than Love: The Grande Ballroom Story,’ Directed by Tony D’Annunzio (MVDvisual, ☆☆☆☆)
This June 10 DVD tells the story of the Grande Ballroom, which was the center of the gritty, hard-driving Detroit music scene in the late 1960s.
Ricky Flake, a former punk rocker and current music fan, lives in Biloxi. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org