Jim Croce

Have You Heard: Live [DVD]

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Since there was so precious few live performances of Jim Croce videotaped during his short career, the release of the compilation DVD Have You Heard: Live is a true godsend for longtime fans. Having obtained his biggest commercial success after his tragic death, many fans never had a chance to see Croce perform live, and Have You Heard: Live is the next best thing. Although it lists a total of 16 tracks, only 13 are truly performed "live" by Croce and second guitarist Maury Muehleisen, and starts off rather predictably -- the studio version of "Photographs and Memories" is played, while a variety of Croce pictures flash on the screen. But despite this small complaint, Have You Heard features many great performances (most of which were taken from such early-'70s rock TV shows as Don Kirschner's Rock Concert), tops being a simply gorgeous reading of "Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)." You also get a sense of Croce's gift for storytelling as he explains the meaning behind several songs, the most interesting being "Roller Derby Queen" and "Speedball Tucker." Also including as "special features" are remembrances (taped shortly after Croce's death) by Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina, as well as Randy Newman, plus a short documentary, "The Croce Family on the Farm," and audio commentary by Jim's wife, Ingrid, his son A.J., and producer Nick Redman. Although the picture quality for one or two tracks isn't up to today's standards (a few were obviously taken from videotape copies), overall, Have You Heard: Live is a must-see for just about any Jim Croce fan.