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Muscle Shoals (2013)

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A documentary that celebrates Rick Hall, the founder of FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and the signature sound he developed in songs such as "I'll Take You There", "Brown Sugar", and "When a Man Loves a Woman".
3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephen Badger Stephen Badger ... Himself / Interviewer
Rick Hall ... Himself, founder, Fame Studios
Aretha Franklin ... Herself
Jerry Carrigan Jerry Carrigan ... Himself
Alicia Keys ... Herself
Jerry Phillips Jerry Phillips ... Himself
Barry Beckett Barry Beckett ... Himself
Jerry Wexler Jerry Wexler ... Himself
Bono ... Himself
Jesse Boyce Jesse Boyce ... Himself
Bryan Owings Bryan Owings ... Himself
Jimmy Cliff ... Himself
Candi Staton Candi Staton ... Herself
John Gifford III John Gifford III ... Himself
Clarence Carter ... Himself
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Storyline

Located alongside the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals, Alabama is the unlikely breeding ground for some of America's most creative and defiant music. Under the spiritual influence of the 'Singing River' as Native Americans called it, the music of Muscle Shoals changed the world and sold millions upon millions of copies. At its heart is Rick Hall who founded FAME Studios. Overcoming crushing poverty and staggering tragedies, he brought black and white together in Alabama's cauldron of racial hostility to create music for the generations while giving birth to the 'Muscle Shoals Sound' and 'The Swampers'. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Percy Sledge, Gregg Allman, Clarence Carter, Etta James, Alicia Keys, Bono, and others bear witness to Muscle Shoals' magnetism, mystery, and why it remains influential today. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"You're in rock'n'roll heaven, man" - Keith Richards See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, language, smoking and brief partial nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Facebook | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 October 2013 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Muscle Shoals - Dove nascono le leggende See more »

Filming Locations:

Florence, Alabama, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,901, 29 September 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$695,625, 9 March 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ear Goggles See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Winner of the Grand Prize, Boulder International Film Festival, 2013. See more »

Quotes

Rick Hall: Duane Allman, of course, came into Muscle Shoals and wanted a gig. So he put up his pup tent on my parking lot at the studio and found me. I gave him his shot.
David Hood: When Duane showed up, he was probably one of the first guys with long hair and kind of the hippie look, but what really made him stand out was he was a wonderful guitar player.
Rick Hall: I had never heard a slide guitar played like Duane Allman could play it.
David Hood: Duane had been in Los Angeles, had a group called the Hourglass with his brother Gregg.
Gregg Allman: ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Although Steve Winwood is feature prominently, including with on-screen name identification, hie name is NOT listed in the end credits. See more »

Connections

Version of Muscle Shoals See more »

Soundtracks

Sitting Here in Limbo
Written by Guilly Bright (as Guillermo Bright-Plummer) and Jimmy Cliff
Performed by Jimmy Cliff
Courtesy of Island Records Limited
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not what I expected, but quite good nonetheless
27 November 2013 | by mskarpelosSee all my reviews

I always loved listening to the great albums recorded at the two Muscle Shoals studios, so I looked forward to seeing this documentary in the hopes of learning what exactly made the Muscle Shoals sound so distinctive.

Unfortunately, I think the musicians interviewed couldn't really explain what it was that made Muscle Shoals so special from a technical perspective. Bono, as always, was quite articulate, but he didn't offer anything technical. He instead talked philosophically about the power of the Tennessee River just as the Mississippi influenced the Blues. Most of the other musicians fell back on platitudes and clichés about funky white guys. Keith Richards was beyond hopeless as an interviewee. He seemed like he was doing a really bad Saturday Night Live impersonation of himself.

Don't get me wrong. The stories were entertaining. I particularly liked Greg Allman's story about how his brother Duane learned to play the slide guitar and Wilson Picket's story about the first time he came to Muscle Shoals. I also thought the documentary did a good job telling the history of the original FAME studio as well as the second studio started by the so-called "Swampers".

Nevertheless, I think at least one interview segment with a Rock historian or a musicologist to put everything in context and offer technical explanations would have been a great addition.

Finally, although it's clear that the Muscle Shoals musicians were far ahead of their fellow southerners on the issue of race, and the film rightly showcased this, it also showed clips of Lynyrd Skynyrd in concert proudly displaying a confederate flag. Displaying a confederate flag in 2013 is beyond bad taste. It's simply unacceptable.


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