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The Making Of Heaven & Earth - DVD
HEAVEN & EARTH - The Making of Heaven & Earth featuring Stuart Smith

     This is definitely not your ordinary band DVD. Forget about the slick MTV-type, bulging pocketbook brand of dazzle. This is a friendly, straight forward and informational DVD that actually brings you closer to the musicians involved. Now….the musicians that you start rubbing shoulders with here are masters of the game; guys like Joe Lynn Turner, Keith Emerson, Howard Leese, and Ritchie Blackmore are just a few of the greats that are featured here. The unique thing about this DVD is the overwhelming personal touch and insight that's offered up. We get a chance to see Keith Emerson , with tongue planted firmly in cheek, joking about Stuart Smith and forming their band project Aliens of Extraordinary Ability. With live scenes from a home video of Emerson and Smith trading some wicked licks, the disc immediately becomes priceless for any fan of Emerson. Hearing Emerson talk about his experience with Smith, infused with heavy doses of his brand of dry English humor, is really a pleasure to witness.

     The DVD is chock full of great stories of Smith and his band. A huge chunk of the disc is spent discussing the escapades of the band outside of the studio, and that is the charming thing about this disc. We get plenty of live footage and great insight into each of the songs on the Heaven & Earth CD, but seeing guys like Kelly Hansen, Richie Onori, legendary drummer Carmine Appice, Toto's Bobby Kimball and so many others telling their funny tales of adventure is a real pleasure. After watching this DVD you will not only feel closer to the Heaven & Earth music, but you will feel personally closer to everyone involved with the project as well.

     The DVD is divided into mainly three sections – a section that explains the inspiration behind the songs; a section of some great live footage; and a section devoted to some strange and humorous band member moments. The section of the disc that I feel makes this one of the best and most thorough music DVD's available is the section containing the band's stories. I saw music icons like Ritchie Blackmore and Keith Emerson in a whole new light, I laughed as Howard Leese explained how Stuart Smith broke one of his glass tables after a night of drinking with Jeff Beck, and I was intrigued by the great attitude and close friendship that radiated from every player that appeared.

     If you haven't yet purchased the CD, let me tell you that it's a must have for any fan of classic rock 'n' roll. Almost every musician I mentioned above appears on the CD, plus many more. Get the CD and immerse yourself in it, that's the first step. But, then you have to see this DVD. I went back and listened to the CD right after watching and it was like hearing it for the first time all over again. I felt like I knew the players personally now. I knew all the stories and I knew all of the intricate details behind every track. The pairing of the CD and DVD is essential to truly appreciate this great classic rock gem.

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