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Finally...the First Farewell Tour - 2004

Due in part to the partial hearing loss in his left ear combined with his desire to be around for his children, Phil has scheduled this, his "First Farewell Tour". Yes, it is partly tongue-in-cheek thanks to artists like Cher, Kiss, the Eagles, etc. announcing their "farewell" tours only to tour immediately afterwards. (However, there might be hope Phil fans; during an interview on the disc, he states that he might do another Big Band tour).

Filmed on June 16th, 2004 in Paris, France, the concert [1h 18m] is spread over two discs. During which, we're treated to all of his classic songs and the first disc starts with Phil doing what I think he does best - playing drums. At the beginning of each song, a small smiley face icon appears in the upper right hand corner of the screen. When you see it, clicking enter will bring you to a submenu giving you the option of watching the original video for the song Phil is about to play in concert. On two of the songs, "Against All Odds" and "Separate Lives", there are also extra treats: The "Against All Odds" submenu allows you to choose from the original video or Phil's performance of the song in Philadelphia during Live Aid [4m 18s]. On the "Separate Lives" menu, besides the option for the video, there's also a "Wild Card" icon that, when selected, will bring you to a performance of "Pick Up the Pieces" with Phil and his big band at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1998.

Here's the tracklisting for disc one:

01. Something Happened On the Way To Heaven
02. Against All Odds
03. Don't Lose My Number
04. You'll Be In My Heart
05. One More Night
06. Can't Stop Loving You
07. Hang In Long Enough
08. True Colors
09. Come With Me
10. Groovy Kind Of Love
11. I Missed Again
12. Another Day In Paradise
13. No Way Out
14. Separate Lives

Disc two, which runs 53m 52s, starts with the song that put Phil (and Miami Vice) on the charts - "In the Air Tonight". On the sub-menu, there's also an option to hear Phil's debut performance [4m 55s] of the song on the piano at the "Secret Policeman's Other Ball".

The tracklisting for disc two is:

01. In the Air Tonight
02. Dance Into the Light
03. You Can't Hurry Love
04. Two Hearts
05. Wear My Hat
06. Easy Lover
07. Sussudio
08. It's Not Too Late
09. Take Me Home

In addition to the concert and the videos for each song played, there are still more extra features on this disc. Clicking on the Phil's World option will give us three choices:

  • A Bit Of A Parking Problem - This featurette [16x9, 17m 47s] has Phil playing "Superintendent Strange" as he gives us an inadvertent look backstage while trying to get to the bottom of who's in charge of the parking for "Bill" Collins' trucks and buses. Those who are familiar with Phil's cheeky sense of humour know what to expect from this.
  • Finally...the First Documentary - This documentary [16x9, 30m 10s] shows us how the "final" tour came together.
  • > Phil's Flash Gallery - This is a tour photo gallery.

The "final" special feature is "the Long Lost Network TV Special". Filmed during "the Serious Tour" in 1990, this 47m 40s special features cameo appearances by Bruce Willis, John Travolta, John Candy, Don Johnson, Gilbert Gottfried, Barbara Mandrell, Paul Shaffer, Vanessa Williams, Jeffrey Tambor, Henry Mancini, Dr. Dre (the East Coast Dre, not the one from the West Coast), "Weird" Al and the Ultimate Warrior?!?!  


The video on this two disc set varies. The concert is presented in an anamorphic 1.85:1 format and the picture is close to flawless. The colors are rich and vibrant and the blacks are deep. At times, we're also presented with the option of switching angles. The music videos and the TV special are presented in a 1.33:1 fullframe ratio and the quality of the music videos range from great to acceptable. It would've been great if every single video had been remastered, but there really isn't anything that's unwatchable.


For the concert, we're given the option of choosing from Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, 2.0 Stereo or dts 5.1 Surround. To my ears, the best sounding was the dts track, but the other two weren't all that terrible. The music videos and the featurettes are all presented in 2.0 stereo. While I wish the music videos were remastered in 5.1, with the amount of stuff crammed into this release, i'm not going to be bitter that they weren't.


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