3 Reviews: The Soundtracks of Our Lives

I've often said that American music changed the world.

I'm a big music lover--very eclectic taste. When I saw music documentaries on Netflix and on Amazon Prime, I added several to my respective Lists.

I was blown away by these 3 documentaries. The people behind the scenes, the music, the musicians, the singers and bands, the stories of how these songs came to be--these documentaries tell it all. The history is rich in detail. Time and again, you'll marvel at how some songs just seemed to come through some magical process. The stories are phenomenal and so is the music.

Standing in the Shadows of Motown on Amazon Prime.

Wow. Detroit. Motown. 1959. Berry Gordy puts together a house band. The rest is history. Find out about the musicians--The Funk Brothers--who created the Motown sound.

What a great documentary that tells the story of these amazing musicians. Interviews with the surviving Funk Brothers and the many world-class entertainers they backed.

I honestly think the songs may not have hit as big as they did without these musicians. Read more about Standing in the Shadows of Motown.

Sound City on Amazon Prime. Advisory warning for language.

I hate to repeat myself, but wow! Sound City, the little studio in Van Nuys, California, and its famous soundboard built in 1972, recorded chart toppers from the 1970's to the 1990s.

This documentary is the story of the custom-built Neve 8028 recording console, the music producers, and the most memorable rock and roll albums ever recorded. The interviews alone are worth the price of streaming it if you're not an Amazon Prime member. And the music? Oh, my, it's just wonderful.

This documentary takes you to the rockers who made the music and those who worked with the sound board. Read more about Sound City.

Muscle Shoals viewed on Netflix.

Okay, I know this is redundant, but wow! I watched this docu on Netflix, but the link above is to Amazon since they offer it for rent or sale. It's probably my southern background, but I really loved this.

Motown had its Funk Brothers, but those guys had nothing on the Muscle Shoals Swampers. Remember that line in Lynyrd Skynyrd's Sweet Home Alabama: "Muscle Shoals has its Swampers..."?

Well, that line is about these guys--the ones Paul Simon asked for: "I want those black guys that played on I'll Take You There."

Except, they were the whitest black guys around. Bono described the Swampers as: "Three white guys who looked like they should be working at the local supermarket."

Again, the stories behind the songs, the singers, the musicians, the power brokers--it's all here and all captivating, from early R&B to Southern Rock to English invasion. Read more about Muscle Shoals.

Takeaway Truth

If you love American music, do yourself a favor and watch these. The music profiled in these documentaries was, and still is, the soundtrack of my life. And probably yours too.

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