The Kids Are Alright

The Who

For Who fanatics, purists and punters, nothing quite tells their story like the 1979 Jeff Stein documentary, The Kids Are Alright. Summing up the band's golden years right up to the year of Keith Moon's demise, this feature film would set a precedent for rockumentaries and Behind The Music-like programs. Stein, a Who fan and film school graduate, was the perfect foil for the notorious foursome, who more than likely made his life a living hell during the many months the movie was in production. Through all the madness, Stein painstakingly pieced together a brilliant montage using footage from various pop music and variety shows, promo spots, concert sequences and whatnot. In a year when the Who have become synonymous with controversy, adversity and nostalgia, the DVD release of The Kids Are Alright should help fan the flames of their legacy. Available as a single disc or as a double Special Edition, The Kids Are Alright has been digitally restored and includes previously unseen footage.

If you like special features on your DVD, the second disc is loaded with various documentaries, experiments and some fascinating A/B comparisons regarding the restoration of the video and audio (if you really need to know about this stuff a single camera on John Entwistle (the Ox cam) with an isolated bass track of "Baba O' Reilly" and "Wont' Get Fooled Again;" a patchy, low budget video tour of the Who's old haunts in and around London; a vicious interview with Roger Daltrey; a truly bizarre Q & A with Stein; and lots of obscure, interactive trivia. Put together with loving care and integrity (the menus and subtitles are even entertaining), it should be interesting to see if the Keith Moon biopic measures up to The Kids Are Alright.

~ Shawn Perry

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