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77s - DVD Review

by Jeff K.

The year was 1984. My brother and I were hanging out with some friends of ours. "Hey, have you guys heard of The 77s?" one asked. Thus began my love of a 4 piece band out of Sacramento, CA. The band, indeed, was the 77s. The album was "All Fall Down". How I approached music, and my perception of what 'good' music was, forever changed from that point on. Over the years, the 77s have changed lineups, progressed, matured, and changed style only slightly, but what remains is a steadfast love of a band that ran in the same circle as Charlie Peacock, Vector, Steve Scott, and countless others.

The 77s-DVD, is a wonderful retrospective of the band's 20+ year history. It's hard to believe that after watching a total of nearly 7 hours of footage from 1982 on, there was so much more footage that ended up on the cutting room floor. Thousands of hours of footage was submitted from various sources, including singer Mike Roe's own stash, and the footage was cleaned up for countless hours to be presented in the quality shown on this DVD. It is truly a labor of love that has brought this DVD release to the fans, and it is already evident how appreciated it is.

The first DVD includes, in large part, the band's 'official' videos, including the much sought after "Snake", from "Drowning with Land in Sight", as well as early videos from "Ping Pong Over the Abyss" and "All Fall Down", and even Michael Roe's solo video for "The Boat Ashore". In addition, the first DVD includes a Exit Records TV spot from 1986, when the 7's shared labels with Charlie Peacock and Vector, as well as the "Drowning With Land In Sight Video Press kit, and the full hour plus set from Mike Roe's 1997 Cornerstone performance, "Safe as Milk", which was also a cd release previously. All in all, the first DVD weighs in at right around 3 hours.

The second DVD is probably what the fans that've followed the band over the years will really be waiting for. Enclosed here is a total of 4 hours of live footage, ranging from a 1982 performance at their home church, The Warehouse Sacramento (where they would play countless shows over the years), to their 1984 and 1992 Cornerstone performances on Mainstage, as well as The Icthus Fest. The DVD ends nicely with a few Seattle performances with the last lineup of the band which included Mike Roe, Mark Harmon, Bruce Spencer, and Scott Reams.

This is the perfect addition to any 77s fans collection, and sums up nicely the career of a band who was far less well known than their excellent music and insightful lyrics ever allowed.

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