Originally released in October 1996 on VHS, the film program captured Morrissey's 1995 UK tour, combining scenes from Sheffield's City Hall and Blackpool's Winter Garden. I don't have a working VCR to play back the tape to compare it to the new DVD, but I can tell you right now, based on previous experiences, that DVD is far superior to anything on tape. Rhino digitally remastered the video images and sound, so it's remarkably crisp and clean. Watching the DVD, you can clearly see the (fake) scratches and makeup on Morrissey during the many close-ups.
So why not Blu-Ray? The short answer is that the source material was only made available on standard definition (you have to remember, this was in 1995!), so technology-wise, releasing it on DVD is your best option.
Fans may argue that Introducing Morrissey was when Morrissey was at his prime, but I would say that Morrissey was probably at his very best in the early 90s Sing Your Life-era. Still, it's hard to argue when you hear Morrissey's emotional vocals on "We'll Let You Know" and over pre-recorded Audrey Hepburn sobbing with his cover of "Moon River"... I would say that Morrissey (and band) was probably most comfortable with each other at this point, and that the band have matured in music playing and stage presence.
Most of the set were naturally from Vauxhall and I, but some post-Your Arsenal tracks like "The National Front Disco" and "You're the One for Me, Fatty" were always a favorite. Also, the b-side (and probably my favorite Morrissey track), "Jack the Ripper" was a staple at Morrissey's live shows.
Director James O'Brien also had a good vision in putting together the film, by putting extra footage of Morrissey and his fans before and after the concert. By the end of the show, O'Brien pieced together a collage of stage invasions by fans. Typically, at any Morrissey shows, his passionate fans would jump on stage and try and hug Morrissey.
Now for some minor complaints. First of all, there are no additional bonus materials. What you get out of the DVD is just a straight 62-minute concert film, but with the ability to skip to any track. And possibly for legal reasons, or perhaps length limitations of the original format, but the concert film is not complete - notably missing The Smiths song "Shoplifters of the World Unite" (which was also missing from the VHS release). The packaging is also bare-bones; it would have been nice to have it out on digipak or, perhaps adding some stills from the film, or even additional Rankin photographs. Finally, there are no digital (UltraViolet or iTunes) options.
I also had issues with the way the apostrophes were used on the back sleeve (compare the two below).
To summarize, the DVD version of Introducing Morrissey is a complete recreation of the VHS version, down to the original program content and cover designs, originally by Warner Reprise Video. The benefit is that it's now available in a format that is more accessible to fans, and the video still look great after all these years. If you are a Morrissey fan, Introducing Morrissey should belong in your collection, along with Live in Dallas (1992), Who Put the 'M' in Manchester (2005) and 25Live (2013).
If you've never seen Introducing Morrissey, or own the original VHS version, it's worth the upgrade to DVD. The suggested price is $19.99, but you can find copies online for as low as $10-$15.
Introducing Morrissey DVD Unboxing