Tom Petty - Dogs On The Run: A Musical Documentary (1980)

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Petty delivers an electrifying performance of his biggest hits plus cover versions of rock classics from the early years. So get ready to experience the powerful musical spirit of one of rock's top acts. --Amazon
Tom Petty
Tom Petty
Review by Bill Wolford
Added: November 13, 2014
Wow, what a mess. Not Tom Petty of course. Tom would sound good covered in molasses and strung through an 40-year-old eight-track player. That doesn't mean that he doesn't deserve quality though, because he does. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers are one of the great American rock and roll bands. They deserve the best because they give the best. However, Laser Media has seen fit to try to screw up as much of this release as they possibly can. Beware of Laser Media, because they seem like a hit and run type operation. The type that puts out big name bands on DVD, but gets the concerts from a third generation VHS tape recorded from television. That's not to say that this release or others aren't unique or rare, it's just that the releases are so shoddy that you'll need to have music that you really love to be able to handle all of the crap that the company lazily puts out.

This concert comes from 1980, and Tom had just released his third album, Damn The Torpedoes. That statement alone is eye-opening. We get to see Tom and the band in a thirty-four year old concert. The fact that this exists is amazing on its own, but then you remember who put this DVD out. There are no credits at the beginning or at the end of the show. It's called a "musical documentary" when it's clearly a forty-five minute concert. The cover shows Tom from maybe 2000-2005, when this is a 1980 show. The DVD starts in the middle of the first song, and ends in the middle of the last song. Lastly, how did this company get away with this without being sued? I'm sure this could be cleaned up a lot and have added extras with a professional job done by a reputable company. There must be a gray area of copyright that I'm missing that allows these shoddy releases to come out. Now mind you, as much as I bash on this release, it's still good to have this time capsule unearthed, it's just disappointing to see it done so haphazardly.

Here is the tracklisting for the concert:

1. Shadow of A Doubt (one of my favorite Tom songs, and the DVD starts in the middle of the song!)
2. Anything That's Rock And Roll
3. Even The Losers
4. Here Comes My Girl
5. I Need To Know
6. Luna
7. Stories We Could Tell
8. Refugee
9. Breakdown
10. American Girl (DVD ends right during the climax of the song)

So there it is, but then there is the problem as well. Are you a big fan of Tom Petty? Do you have a lot of his stuff? If you answer "yes", you'll probably want to add this to your collection, but only because of the rarity of seeing the band near the beginning of their career. Newcomers need stay far away from this release, and look for the Soundstage DVD if you want to see Tom live. Established fans can give this one a go, but only if you find it on a really big sale price. Laser Media, you need to step up your game, or get out of the business. 5/10.
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