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With: Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Terminator X, Professor Griff, LL Cool J
Directed by: Dominic Savage, Oskar
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 60
Date: 18/03/2013

Public Enemy: It Takes a Nation - The First London Tour 1987 (2005)

4 Stars (out of 4)

Bring the Noise

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Buy Public Enemy: It Takes a Nation - The First London Tour 1987 on DVD.

If you listen to the first few minutes of Public Enemy's immortal album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988) -- now considered by many critics to be the greatest album of the 1980s -- you'll hear the opening moments of what sounds like an amazing concert. A British fellow gets on stage and introduces this legendary New York rap group, a siren kicks in, followed by hammering beats and warlike cries to "crank this shit up and get busy." Now fans can see that concert on MVD's extraordinary new DVD, but instead of fading out, as it does on the album, the concert keeps going, with Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Terminator X, Professor Griff and the others pounding through classics like "Countdown to Armageddon," "Bring the Noise," "Rightstarter" and "Rebel Without a Pause." The 60-minute film includes interviews with the group, at the height of their power and youthful impudence, ranging from hilarious to insightful. This was one exciting band that we desperately needed.

DVD Details: Viewers have the option to either watch the entire film, or simply listen to the music. Additionally, Chuck D provides an all-new commentary track, putting the concert into historical perspective (reminding us that Reagan was still president, Nelson Mandela was still in jail, etc.). The audio on the concert is not quite top quality, but it's not bad, either. Best of all, the DVD comes with a bonus CD featuring the entire concert, plus several new remixes and bonus tracks.

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