Talisman – ‘World’s Best Kept Secret’ (2005) – DVD Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

Back in 2003, Talisman hit the Festival Circuit in Europe and a lot of those shows were recorded. Two shows in particular were captured and were finally released by Frontiers Records in 2005. We got a Live CD, which we reviewed last week, and then a DVD set. Today, we review the DVD set. The DVD set was called ‘World’s Best Kept Secret’ and was a 2DVD set. The first DVD giving us the two shows released on the CD and the 2nd DVD giving us a retrospective of Talisman and including all the videos from throughout the years plus pieces of several other live shows. It is magnificent set and a great time capsule of a band that was not know across the globe and is one of my favorite bands which is why I think the title to this set is more than appropriate. They were like a little secret that I had and I wish more people knew about them when they were around as I think they are awesome. I have tried to tell the world about them now with this Jeff Scott Soto Series so hopefully I make a few new fans from this series.

The two shows captured were at Club Mondo in Stockholm, Sweden in August 2003 and the second show was from the Sweden Rock Festival from June 2003. This would be the 2nd Sweden Rock Festival live show we’ve been given from the band. The line-up was interesting as the band was usually a 4-piece band. This time we have the return of the great axeman, Fredrik Akesson as Pontus Norgren had left. The other interesting was they added a fifth member with Howie Simon on guitar. Howie at the time was Soto’s solo band’s guitarist and friend.

If I had to pick to listening to the CD or watching the DVD for these two shows, I would pick the DVD any day of the week. The CD is fantastic and I rated it as such, but the DVD lets you see the action going on with this cast of characters on stage. Jeff Scott Soto is a mad man and his energy level is 110% the whole show. He starts off fully clothed but by the end he only has pants on as he sweated up enough to fill a kiddie pool. You get to see the great drumming by Jamie Borger, Howie Simon’s great playing and that fast finger work by Fredrik Akesson. And of course, you can watch Marcel Jacob pound on that bass like so few people can do. It is totally brilliant. You feel the energy feeding off the band and the crowd.

One of my favorite songs from the CD and the Club Mondo show was their cover of Europe’s “Scream of Anger” and here on the DVD you get to see Jeff sit on the stage and get the crowd to scream to get him back up on his feet and then they explode out an incredible ending to the song. There is one thing the CD has that the DVD did not and I was surprised by that. The DVD does not have the ending song from the Club Mondo show with the Ozzy cover of “I Don’t Know”. That was a terrible omission I feel on the DVD part. However, that would be my only gripe. After the show there were some cool behind the scene shots that I thought were fun and good insight in the relationship of the band members. Lastly, there were a couple moments on the CD I thought the backing vocals were really bad, well in the video you can see that it is Jeff down in front of the crow holding the mic up to people and it was the crowd singing…whew..that made me feel better.

Now the bonus material on the 1st Disc was some videos for a couple of the songs from the show that gave you multi-angle views. You could also play the shows with the lyrics going across the screen like subtitles. These are nothing special bonuses, but at least we get a little something extra.

The 2nd DVD was a retrospective of the band, with bits of information thrown on the screen between clips and done in chronological order. It starts off with behind the scenes rehearsals for the 2003 Tour and that was fun to see the guys having a great time and totally goofing off. Then it would get to the videos and first up was their first one from 1990 for “I’ll Be Waiting” and man was it cheesy. Totally 80’s rock style, lip-syncing, fog machine and every cliche you could imagine. It was fantastic!!

Between all the videos, they had more clips from the band and one I thought was awesome was the rehearsal for their 1990 tour which Jakob Samuels from The Poodles on drums and Saigon Kick’s Jason Bieler and man were they all young. When Mike Ladano and I spoke with Jason Bieler in the Spring we learned a little about Jason’s time with Talisman as it was brief because later that year he started Saigon Kick. Aside from the music videos, interspersed were live videos from various concerts throughout their career including the 1993 Japan Tour where we got the live CD for ‘5 Out of 5: Live in Japan’. We also have clips from Sweden Rock Festival 2001 and Lokerse Feesten from 2003. All great clips.

The Bonus features were minimal again, but cool. You get just under 12 minutes of Bass solos from Marcel Jacob. He plays them and then slows them down so you can see what he is doing. Then we get some shredding from Fredrik Akesson and the man can play. The funniest thing is the closing credits. While they are rolling, you get a Weird Al type song called “Eating MY BLT” which is actually the music for “Color My XTC”. I need to get that song digitally now.

And there you have it. This is the only Talisman DVD I have. I need to see if there are more and plus I need to get the Jeff DVDs as well or my collection will never be complete. If you had to choose between the CD and the DVD, you actually need both. The CD gives you the Ozzy cover, but the DVD gives you all those music videos. For me, it was an easy choice. I really did enjoy this video set and for that reason, how can I not rate it perfectly. My Overall Score is a 5.0 out of 5.0 Stars. Yes, I’m biased, but I think this really has everything.



  1. Panther – ‘Panther’ (1986) – recorded in 1984
  2. Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – ‘Rising Force’ (1984)
  3. Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – ‘Marching Out’ (1985)
  4. Kuni – ‘Lookin’ For Action’ (1988)
  5. Kryst the Conqueror – ‘Deliver Us From Evil’ (1989) / ‘Soldiers of Light: The Complete Recordings (2019)
  6. Eyes – ‘Eyes’ (1990)
  7. Eyes – “Nobody Said It Was Easy” (1990) – 7″ Single – Bonus Edition
  8. Talisman – ‘Talisman’ (1990)
  9. Talisman – “I’ll Be Waiting” (1990) – 7″ Single – Bonus Edition
  10. Skrapp Mettle – ‘Sensitive’ (1991)
  11. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Eternal Prisoner’ (1992)
  12. Bakteria – ‘Deficate! Suffocate! Mutilate! Masturbate!’ (1992 / 2009)
  13. Eyes – ‘Windows of the Soul’ (1993)
  14. Talisman – ‘Genesis’ (1993)
  15. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘The Ballads’ (1993)
  16. Biker Mice From Mars – ‘Biker Mice From Mars (Soundtrack)’ (1993)
  17. Takara – ‘Eternal Faith’ (1993)
  18. Talisman – ‘5 Out Of 5 (Live in Japan)’ (1994)
  19. Talisman – ‘Humanimal’ (1994)
  20. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Between the Walls’ (1994)
  21. Gary Schutt – ‘Sentimetal’ (1994)
  22. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Love Parade’ (1994)
  23. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Made in Germany (Live)’ (1995)
  24. Takara – ‘Taste of Heaven’ (1995)
  25. Talisman – ‘Life’ (1995)
  26. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Black Moon Pyramid’ (1996)
  27. Human Clay – ‘Human Clay’ (1996)
  28. Talisman – ‘Best of’ (1996)
  29. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Magic’ (1997)
  30. Human Clay – ‘U4IA’ (1997)
  31. Boogie Knights – ‘Welcome to the Jungle Boogie’ (1997)
  32. Takara – ‘Blind in Paradise’ (1998)
  33. Talisman – ‘Truth’ (1998)
  34. ‘Rock Star: Music from the Motion Picture (Soundtrack)’ – Various Artists (2001)
  35. Humanimal – ‘Humanimal’ (2002)
  36. Humanimal – Find My Way Home: Limited Edition E.P. (2002)
  37. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Holding On E.P.’ (2002)
  38. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Prism’ (2002)
  39. Talisman – ‘Live at Sweden Rock Festival’ (2002)
  40. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘JSS Live at the Gods 2002’ (2003)
  41. Talisman – ‘Cats & Dogs’ (2003)
  42. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Believe in Me E.P.’ (2004
  43. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Lost in the Translation’ (2004)
  44. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live at the Queen Convention 2003’ (2004)
  45. Soul SirkUS – ‘World Play’ (2004/2005)
  46. Talisman – ‘Five Men Live’ (2005)
  47. Talisman – ‘World’s Best Kept Secret DVD (2005)
  48. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Essential Ballads’ (2006)
  49. Journey – ‘Live from Atlanta (Bootleg)’ (2006)
  50. Talisman – ‘7’ (2006)
  51. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘B-Sides’ (2006)
  52. Redlist – ‘Ignorance’ (2007)
  53. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Beautiful Mess’ (2009)
  54. Jeff Scott Soto – “21st Century” / “Gin & Tonic Sky” CD Single (2009) – Bonus Edition
  55. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘One Night in Madrid’ (2009)
  56. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – ‘Night Castle’ (2009)
  57. W.E.T. – ‘W.E.T.’ (2009)
  58. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live at Firefest 2008’ (2010)
  59. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Damage Control’ (2012)
  60. W.E.T. – ‘Rise’ (2013)
  61. W.E.T. – ‘One Live in Stockholm’ (2014)
  62. SOTO – ‘Inside the Vertigo’ (2015)
  63. Joel Hoekstra’s 13 – Dying to Live (2015)
  64. SOTO – ‘Divak’ (2016)
  65. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Retribution’ (2017)
  66. Sons of Apollo – ‘Psychotic Symphony’ (2017)
  67. W.E.T. – ‘Earthrage’ (2018)
  68. SOTO – ‘Origami’ (2019)
  69. Sons of Apollo – ‘Live With the Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony’ (2019)
  70. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Wide Away (In My Dreamland)’ (2020)
  71. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live and Loud in Milan 2019’ (2020)
  72. Sons of Apollo – ‘MMXX’ (2020)
  73. SOTO – ‘Revision’ (2020)
  74. W.E.T. – ‘Retransmission’ (2021)
  75. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘The Duets Collection, Vol. 1’ (2021)
  76. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Complicated’ (2022)
  77. Ellefson/Soto – ‘Vacation in the Underground’ (2022)
  78. Jeff Scott Soto / Jason Bieler – Live In Concert (2022) – Bonus Edition

29 thoughts on “Talisman – ‘World’s Best Kept Secret’ (2005) – DVD Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

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