In 1959, Berry Gordy Jr. gathered the best musicians from Detroit's thriving jazz and blues scene to begin cutting songs for his new record company. Over a fourteen year period they were the heartbeat on every hit from Motown's Detroit era. By the end of their phenomenal run, this unheralded group of musicians had played on more number ones hits than the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, Elvis and the Beatles combined - which makes them the greatest hit machine in the history of popular music. They called themselves the Funk Brothers. Forty-one years after they played their first note on a Motown record and three decades since they were all together, the Funk Brothers reunited back in Detroit to play their music and tell their unforgettable story, with the help of archival footage, still photos, narration, interviews, re-creation scenes, 20 Motown master tracks, and twelve new live performances of Motown classics with the Brothers backing up contemporary performers. Written by
In 1959, Berry Gordy gathered the best musicians from Detroit's thriving jazz and blues scene to cut songs for his new record company.
Over a fourteen year period they were the heartbeat on "My Girl," "Bernadette," "I Was Made to Love Her" and every other hit from Motown's Detroit era.
By the end of their phenomenal run, this unheralded group of musicians had played on more number one hits than the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, Elvis, and the Beatles combined...
Which makes them the greatest ...
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After all of the credits roll, we see a few of the Funk Brothers leaving the Snake Pit and turning off the lights. See more »
This is a "must see" if you are at all interested in R&B, soul, Motown, etc. But it's really a must-see if you're a musician yourself.
Using archival footage interspersed with recent concert footage and anecdotal recreations, this film follows the careers of "The Funk Brothers" - the men who backed up a who's who of Motown's brightest stars from 1959 into the mid 1970's, and who have played on more #1 hits than the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, and Elvis COMBINED.
The movie will be in general distribution Nov. 15 (2002) - I saw it at the Vancouver International Film Festival, where the theater was packed (I'd guess at least half with musicians) - and the response was amazing - people were laughing, crying, shouting, singing along, and dancing in the seats (to paraphrase Martha and the Vandellas)
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