2 nice music documentaries worth watching >

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sound city covermssI know these have been out for a while – but I just watched them this week…Sound City and Muscle Shoals. Both documentaries have a lot of amazing talent and artists represented, but the conclusions about what makes great music remain mysterious at best. The Sound City documentary was spearheaded by Dave Grohl, ex-Nirvana drummer, and Foo Fighters renaissance man. His view is basically that the Neve 8078 sound board was what was largely responsible for creating the magical Sound City sound. Sound City also had a famous recording room ambiance, that was somehow ideal for the right drum sound among other things. People talked about what a dirty mess the studio was with shag carpet on the walls and no real sound treatments to the main recording area…but all agreed the songs and music recorded there were raw and honest in a very desirable way. Some of the featured artists in Sound City were Tom Petty, Rick Rubin, Trent Reznor, Rick Springfield and Stevie Nicks (among many others). Muscle Shoals goes off into a different direction talking about the songs coming from the location…”songs coming from the mud”. Along the Tennesse River in Alabama ( “In the middle of nowhere”) you have some of the most important R&B of the time being created…by musicians called the “Swampers”, Alabamas “Wrecking Crew”. You have Bono, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Percy Sledge, Wilson Pickett and others sharing their stories about how the songs, musicians, location and times all influenced their musical adventures in unforgettable ways. Rick Hall is the man of the hour in this documentary, since he was the one who was having the obsession to create Fame Studios and the Muscle Shoals sound. Of personal interest and influence (I always dug Land of 1,000 Dances) was the drummer in the Swampers, Roger Hawkins he has been on a few hits, and he is so down to earth…as a drummer I enjoyed his input, and the Swampers made some of the greasiest R&B in the day! Both documentaries were very entertaining and a joy to watch!

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