The BBC documentary Soul Deep: The Story of Black Popular Music provides a highly informative review of the evolution of the black music in a period of more than half century. It starts in the period following immediately the second world war with segments dedicated to Ray Charles and to Sam Cooke, in the period of evolution of black music from gospel and sectoral entertainment to the mainstream of American popular music. It continues with the story of the big record houses of Motown and Stax, the creation of the sound of soul music, and emergence of the generation of musicians who conquered the tops in the 60s - Otis Redding, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross. It goes beyond the commercial pop period which is not very much appreciated (Whitney Houston gets some maybe undeserved bashing) to the soul origins of hip-hop seen a continuation of the emotional and social involvement of soul. As the show was made in 2005 Mary J. Blidge and Beyonce get most of the attention in the last segment, but as we all know this is a story that continues in our days. I would have liked a little more focus on the musical aspects and trends, this part of the commentary was quite thin, but was compensated by first hand testimonies from critics, historians and artists such as Etta James or James Brown. More interesting was the permanent presentation of the musical aspects on the background of the historic developments in the life of the Afro-American community. It can be said that the half century covered by the series saw not only the emergence of new genres in music that conquered the world, but also a historic change in the life of the black community in the United States. The two revolutions - in music and in the social life - happened together and this is well covered in these detailed and documented series.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?