Tom Petty

Live at the Olympic: The Last DJ and More [Video]

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Released nine months after the studio album The Last DJ, Live at the Olympic: The Last DJ and More is a DVD project that contains a performance of the full album, in order, plus an encore of some old Heartbreakers favorites and rock & roll oldies. Petty must value The Last DJ, since he not only performed the full album in concert -- a rarity in rock & roll -- he also released it as a live video, indicating that he had more faith in the material than either the critics or fans, since it was roundly panned and didn't sell well. To a certain extent, it's hard not to admire that stubbornness, and by releasing Live at the Olympic, Petty does give doubters a second chance to evaluate the material. To be fair, it sounds a lot better live (augmented by Jon Brion's orchestral arrangements), since the Heartbreakers are always a strong live band, but the songs just aren't very good; when "Change of Heart" and "Need to Know" come in after the album, it's a relief, because the bandmembers are finally playing material worthy of them. It's a professional DVD -- it's well shot and the sound is excellent in both the PCM stereo and DTS mixes (however, it takes entirely too long to cycle through the menu screens) -- and that may make this a good souvenir for the hardcore fan, but those final six songs are so much fun that it makes anybody else wish that this was a straight-up hits concert instead of a showcase for an underwhelming album.

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