Not all music history is about the Beatles and Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones and James Brown, as Dancing in the Street, which gathers a quartet of respected artists who combined for more than 100 hit songs, amply demonstrates. A 90-minute, rare “lost” concert that was part of a roadshow that toured 21 cities in the summer of 1987, as U2’s The Joshua Tree lit up the airwaves, this disc throws a welcome spotlight on Mary Wells, David Rufflin, Martha Reeves and Eddie Kendricks.
Shot during the second show of the series at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles — the former home of the NBA’s Lakers, during the “Showtime” era, ironcically — this title holds a sadly nostalgic value apart from its separate, standalone musical merits: Wells, Rufflin and Kendricks would all die within five years, and this would mark their last public tour. Wells sings “You Beat Me to the Punch,” “Two Lovers,” “The One Who Really Loves You” and “My Guy,” while also dueting with Curtis Womack on “Wonderful World,” “He Will Break Your Heart,” “Shout,” “Bye Bye Baby” and “Chain Gang.” Reeves, meanwhile, gives the following tunes a workout: “Ready for Love,” “Come and Get These Memories,” the classic “Nowhere to Run,” “I’ll Have to Let Him Go” and the equally inimitable “Jimmy Mack” and “Heat Wave.” The energy here is high, and the musicianship certainly fantastic as well. Housed in a regular Amray case, this region-free disc comes with Dolby digital stereo surround sound, animated menu screens, artist biographies and discographies, a photo gallery and a small clutch of interviews. To purchase the DVD via Amazon, click here. B+ (Concert) C+ (Disc)