Stax Records launched the careers of Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Carla & Rufus Thomas, and Booker T. & The MGs back in the 1960s and 70s. But then disco hit big and all but wiped soul music off the map. This documentary harkens back to the golden era of soul and catches up with the carriers of the Stax dynasty, including Wilson Pickett, Sam Moore, Mary Wilson, Isaac Hayes, and The Chi Lites. Written by
It was sort of interesting, and at times entertaining, to hear the stories of these very successful singers.
Interestingly enough, not being too familiar with this kind of music, and not having heard much of it before, I wasn't actually all that impressed with their voices...too rough for my taste. But their musicianship was evident, and it was educational to find out more about this style of music.
However, the film itself didn't really hold my attention or draw me in. It was sort of like watching home videos of people I don't know, in not-particularly-interesting contexts. Furthermore, they never really developed on the theme suggested by the title. By comparison, "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" is a similar film with more coherence.
The worst part, by far, however, was the filming itself. Much of it was shot with hand-held cameras and no attempt at steadiness. The result shook and made the audience queasy. Luckily, they were too busy closing their eyes to listen to the music to notice.
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