Backup singers live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight. Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but we've had no idea who these singers are or what lives they lead, until now.
Character actor Michael Shannon has been nominated for his second Oscar for his role in the 2016 thriller Nocturnal Animals. "No Small Parts" takes a look at some of the other characters he's played in the past.
The backup singer exists in a strange place in the pop music world; they are always in the shadow of the feature artists even when they are in front of them in concert while they provide a vital foundation for the music. Through interviews with veterans and concert footage, the history of these predominately African-American singers is explored through the rock era. Furthermore, special focus is given to special stand outs who endeavored to make a living in the art burdened with a low profile and more personal career frustrations, especially those who faced the very different challenge of singing in the spotlight themselves. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The film has been compared to the similarly themed book 'The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best-Kept Secret', which chronicles the stories of uncredited studio musicians. See more »
This is a documentary of the background singers we've been listening to for decades. People whose singing we actually sing or hum to without ever knowing who they are. They work in the studios and live on stage with The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Sting, and many, many others. That magic that works in the studio or on stage as background singers is undeniable but may not necessarily be there for them when they try to branch out on their own as a lead singer. They are talented for sure and many songs wouldn't sound anything like they do without back up singers.
The documentary is good however, something is missing. Who actually calls the singers for a gig? Who actually pays them? How are they paid? By the hour? By the session? How did they get started? Where was their first gig? None of this spoken of and there is a sense that perhaps the interviewers were told that they shouldn't dig too, too deep.
Not bad but left me wanting more.
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