While longtime fans might hope that Fight the Power: Greatest Hits Live!
is a reissue of the 1989 "golden age" VHS that shares its name, it's actually a 2004 show from Australia. Terminator X
is replaced by the worthy DJ Lord, while Professor Griff spits more lyrics than he used to and has traded his military garb for a jersey, plus a three-piece band -- the "ghetto metal" unit 7th Octave -- brings the noise in a more traditional way. The good news is that Chuck D
and Flavor Flav
have lost none of their energy or urgency, and deliver late-period cuts like "Son of a Bush" with enough venom to send fair-weather fans back to the racks in search of all those post-1990 albums they slept on. The guitar/bass/drums band often overpowers Lord, but when the DJ gets a solo spot, he shows and proves, manipulating some vintage PE
samples and paying homage before adding some of his own over-the-top tricks like the freaky "Matrix
scratch." The longer DVD outshines the CD, since this is such a visually stimulating show -- and captured very well with cameras just where they should be -- with the one stumble being a slovenly pair of S1Ws, the military security officers who used to be stoic and ominous as chaos surrounded them. Although Griff -- their boss -- seems more concerned with looking like Mystikal
than whipping them into shape, this is a minor quibble, and the rest of the show is PE in proper attack mode, preaching like it's 1987 even if the audience is smaller and already converted. A "behind the scenes" bonus is worth watching and the 5.1 Surround mix is very well done with shouts from audience members and reflections of Lord's scratching jumping out of the back channels.