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Public Enemy | It Takes A Nation | review | dvd | Lollipop
It Takes A Nation: The First London Invasion Tour 1987 (MVD)
By Ari M. Joffe
This concert DVD of the London stop on P.E.'s first European tour shows a young group with a lot of passion and determination still working out the transition from being a solid studio group to being a powerful live act.
The band (at this time, consisting of Professor Griff, Chuck D, Terminator X, the S1Ws, and Flavor Flav) was still getting its "sea legs," so to speak. They'd just released their first album (Yo! Bumrush the Show), had done a few U.S. tours, and, according to Chuck D on the DVD's commentary track, hadn't really even broken big in the States yet. Nevertheless, the fellas hit the stage and did their thing with gusto. The multi-ethnic U.K. crowd goes wild for numbers like "My Uzi Weighs a Ton," "Public Enemy No. 1," and, what was at the time an unreleased new song, "Rebel Without a Pause." The transfer from the original video source is a little grainy, but not bad, and the audio mix could've been louder. Mixed in with the concert footage are scenes of the group running around London, freestyling with LL Cool J, talking to journalists, and rehearsing in their dressing room. In addition to Chuck's commentary, special features include bonus footage of the band's 2003 tour, plus an audio CD of the London concert.
Supposedly, this is the first in a line of P.E. concert DVDs to be released in the next few years, so I'd almost recommend this first one only to the hardcore fanatics. The band really hit their artistic peak a few years later with the Fear of a Black Planet, so I have the feeling that's gonna be the real killer concert footage to get a hold of.