Muscle Shoals (PG)

Film

Documentaries

Muscle Shoals

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Oct 22 2013

Where does exceptional music come from? Solo creative genius has a lot to do with it, but sometimes it’s more complex than that. This engrossing doc outlines the story of a tiny rural community whose studios delivered screeds of classic recordings. Muscle Shoals, Alabama, is where Aretha Franklin and Percy Sledge found their deep soul groove; where The Rolling Stones tasted ‘Brown Sugar’; where Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd made their name; and even where Jimmy Cliff brought reggae to the pop charts.

This thoroughly researched mix of archive footage and fresh interviewees (including Aretha, Steve Winwood and Gregg Allman) unpicks the unique combination of circumstances and personalities that made it all happen, driven by the perfectionism of studio owner Rick Hall and the blackest-sounding all-white band on the planet. Personal tragedies, betrayal and the racial tensions of the civil rights years are overcome in the service of the music, yet those same traumatic experiences remain in the very fibre of the songs. Occasionally baggy, always sincere, this is an essential document of a defining era when ‘soul’ really meant something.

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Release details

Rated:

PG

UK release:

Fri Oct 25, 2013

Duration:

111 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Greg Camalier

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

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jj

muscle shoals "sound was the era-1971 through 1979" not Rick Hall. Just another business man at the right place at the right time-Magical?! Yeah-the time and the musicians. He was just "there."

MW

At the heart of the film is the story of Rick Hall, and his drive and unrelenting search for perfection in the music he wanted to create in the Muscle Shoals area. The founder of Fame studios cuts an impressive figure throughout the movie, and he relates how he hired in The Swampers and started to make hit records, his first being Arthur Alexander and “You’d Better Move On”. From there on, numerous hit records emerged, featuring R&B / soul artists like Wilson Picket, Percy Sledge, Aretha Franklin, Clarence Carter, Candi Staton and Etta James. Many other artists were attracted by the sound that Fame and The Swampers created, and there was an influx of artists from other genres, such as The Rolling Stones, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and even the Osmonds. The movie covers the painful split which occurred when The Swampers left Rick and Fame and set up their own studio with the encouragement of Jerry Wexler. This film is remarkable in many ways. Original footage, great soundtrack, contemporary artists' interviews, the musicians and the photography make nigh on 2 hour movie a real treat. Don’t miss it!!!!

MW

At the heart of the film is the story of Rick Hall, and his drive and unrelenting search for perfection in the music he wanted to create in the Muscle Shoals area. The founder of Fame studios cuts an impressive figure throughout the movie, and he relates how he hired in The Swampers and started to make hit records, his first being Arthur Alexander and “You’d Better Move On”. From there on, numerous hit records emerged, featuring R&B / soul artists like Wilson Picket, Percy Sledge, Aretha Franklin, Clarence Carter, Candi Staton and Etta James. Many other artists were attracted by the sound that Fame and The Swampers created, and there was an influx of artists from other genres, such as The Rolling Stones, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and even the Osmonds. The movie covers the painful split which occurred when The Swampers left Rick and Fame and set up their own studio with the encouragement of Jerry Wexler. This film is remarkable in many ways. Original footage, great soundtrack, contemporary artists' interviews, the musicians and the photography make nigh on 2 hour movie a real treat. Don’t miss it!!!!

Corin Ridout

Bursting with great music and great story's from start to finish! An important documentary telling the story of an incredible studio through a period in history which will never be repeated, both musically and politically,

Corin Ridout

Bursting with great music and great story's from start to finish! An important documentary telling the story of an incredible studio through a period in history which will never be repeated, both musically and politically,