The Doobie Brothers: The Captain and Me
Warner Bros. // DVD Audio // $17.98 // January 8, 2002
Review by Buzz Burgess | posted January 18, 2003
E - M A I L
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Graphical Version

PLEASE NOTE: This is a DVD-Audio disc which is playable on most DVD players as well as all DVD-Audio players. A DVD-Audio player will make all sound options on this disc available for listening.

A Look at DVD-Audio
Great sonics, six-channel capability, and added features to your favorite music albums.

First, there were albums on vinyl, then we had CDs, and now there's something called DVD-Audio. What's the difference? A lot! DVD-A is the latest way to hear multichannel, audiophile-quality albums in your home, using your DVD or DVD-Audio player. A DVD-A can hold up to seven times the data of a normal CD, which results in added features and better sound. Also, with its sampling rate higher than that of average CDs (up to 192 kHz, whereas most CDs get 44.1 kHz), you may hear a lot of details in music on a DVD-A that you'd never discover on an average CD. And, since nearly all DVD-As are engineered for multichannel/surround-sound listening (using five or six speakers), with the right equipment, you'll be able to hear your favorite music in breathtaking surround sound.

Equipment Needed
First off, DVD-Audios will not play on normal CD players. You'll need a DVD-Audio player in order to fully capture the capabilities of these discs. A receiver with 5.1 analog inputs and five speakers (left, center, right, left surround, right surround, and a subwoofer) should also be used to capture the surround-sound capabilities of DVD-As. While pure DVD-As will not play on standard DVD players, most releases (including all the titles produced by Warner, Atlantic, and Elektra) contain a Dolby Digital surround-sound mix, making them playable on any DVD player. Though these discs are primarily audio-only, you'll be best off using them in conjunction with your TV, so you can watch the additional onscreen features (see below) and navigate the menus with ease. It's all a little complicated, but music-loving home theater enthusiasts won't be disappointed!

Improved Sound
Thanks to a higher sampling rate than that of both standard DVDs and CDs, DVD-As have an incredibly detailed sound. And, when played through a proper home-theater setup with five or six channels (speakers), you'll get to hear your favorite music in a whole new light--in surround sound. Depending on the remastering, the effect of surround sound on your favorite album can be subtle or dramatic, but generally speaking, every DVD-Audio sounds better than its standard CD counterpart.

Additional Onscreen Features
The added onscreen features available on DVD-Audios vary from title to title. DVD-As often have extra unreleased tracks, photo slide shows of the artist performing, song lyrics, music videos, and interviews. But don't expect to get footage of a full concert or videos for every track; DVD-As devote the bulk of their space to high-quality audio-only music.

For classic Doobie fans, this album is possibly their most versatile album ever. Timeless works like "China Grove" and "Long Train Runnin" are just two of the great rock and roll songs worth hearing again and again. The variety and changing styles illustrate the talent inherent in the group. From the acoustic guitar on "South City Midnight Lady", one of the ten best songs of the 70's, to the hard rocking "Without You" demonstrate the extremes their music has taken. Much of this is due to the wonderful song-writing of Tom Johnson and Pat Simmons along with great performances by Drummer John Hartman and Bassist Tiran Porter. The album, beginning with "Natural Thing", "Long Train Runnin" and "China Grove" slowly ramps their rock energies up to a fiery conclusion and, to-the-ear, fits together as one piece. My favorite however, is "Ukiah" featuring Bill Payne of Little Feat on piano, Margouleff and Cecil (of Stevie Wonder fame) on synthesizer and Steely Dan's Jeff Baxter. This well may be the best album ever done by the Doobie Brothers, beautiful in sound, very tight in production and certainly worthy of a spot in ones rock and roll collection.

1. Natural Thing
2. Long Train Runnin'
3. China Grove
4. Dark Eyed Cajun Woman
5. Clear as the Driven Snow
6. Without You
7. South City Midnight Lady
8. Evil Woman
9. Busted Down Around O'Connelly Corners
10. Ukiah
11. Captain and Me

This particular DVD-A has no moving video. But the still shots that appear during each song to represent the mood of the music are crisp and clear.

First rate, due in part to the enhanced format inherent in this type of format. This disc is double sided with the stereo version on one, and the remaining sound options on the other side.

Non-animated menus with music.
Song Selections with photo stills.
Sound Selections.
- Advanced Resolution Surround Sound (96kHz/24-bit) - DVD Audio Players
- Advanced Resolution Stereo (192kHz/24-bit) - DVD Audio Players
- Dolby Digital & DTS 5.1 Surround Sound - DVD Video Players
- Photo Gallery- All DVD Players
- Lyrics - All DVD Players

If you can consider them extras, they would be the lyrics and about 20 shots in the color photo gallery of group members.

Final Thoughts
Another great band at the peak of their career and an album that was the best of their career. Certainly one to add to your premium rock and roll collection. Recommended.


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