20 Feet from Stardom 2013

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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.

Starring:
Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

20 Feet From Stardom

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 31 minutes
Starring Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Darlene Love
Director Morgan Neville
Genres Documentary
Studio SPIRIT ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 21 July 2014
Main languages English
Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 31 minutes
Starring Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Darlene Love
Director Morgan Neville
Genres Documentary
Studio SPIRIT ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 21 July 2014
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By prisrob TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Mar 2014
Format: DVD
In the beginning of this documentary, Bruce Springsteen talks about 'The Long Walk To Stardom', and for the backup singers that this documentary follows that walk is 20 feet. What an extraordinary film this is, and the singers who talk about their favorite backups give credence to the world of music.

Thus documentary directed by Morgan Neville introduces us to voices we have heard for years. One of the most clarifying moments for me was to hear that the lyrics of songs we most often sing were the ones sung by the backup singers. How very true. We meet Darlene Love who started as a backup singer and after many years she decided she just had to get out there, and she made a name for herself. Darlene Love accepted the Oscar when this documentary won in that category, and she sang the roof off the house.

Some of the memorable backup singers are Merry Clayton who sang the refrains of 'rape, murder, it's just a shot away' to the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" in 1989. We meet the fabulous, Claudia Lennear, and my favorite Lisa Fischer, now 54, who can sing anything and you will stop and listen. Tata Vega, now 61, who has a voice to be reckoned with,and the new phenom Judith Hill, 29, who is destined to be a star.

Morgan Neville was able to find icons of song, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Bette Midler, Sting and Mick Jagger, to discuss the need and the brilliance of these backup singers. These are superb moments, especially as they wonder how and why these backups have not become popular singular stars. Many anecdotes are shared by both icons and the backups, and that is what gives this film its special brilliance.

I cannot say enough superlatives about this documentary. Anyone who loves music, and needs music in their lives will appreciate this film. This Documentary won the Academy Award for short film in 2014. Kudos!

Highly Recommended. prisrob 03-26-14
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By SG on 25 April 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Great film of the untold stories of these enormously talented backup singers. Emotional, funny & very up lifting and will watch again.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By L. Power TOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 Jan 2014
Format: Blu-ray
I was totally unaware of this movie until a vocalist friend of mine asked me if I wanted to see it. Some friends in her all female singing group had seen it and raved about it. So, on an impulse I went to see it.

Behind every great star is a great singing talent backing them up. Sting, Rolling Stones, George Harrison, Lynyrd Skynrd, Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, Stevie wonder.

Twenty feet tells the story of backup singers who we are impressed by but have not necessarily given much thought to their story. However to see this movie is to become of aware of their story, their talent, and their struggles.

Thematically, it visits the theme explored in Standing in the Shadows of Motown, which explored the musician talent behind all the great Motown hits. Most of the great hits of Motown featured almost the exact same musicians creating the distinctive Motown sound, and that movie explored their story.

Although I loved that movie which I highly recommend I loved this one more, because it explores the more personal dimension of the singer. We get inside the story of these women singers and learn of their trials and tribulations, and as the title suggests the closeness to fame and the elusive quality of fame itself. These ladies are undoubtedly very talented, and I pulled out a pen and started writing down their names as I watched the movie so that I could explore more of their work later.

Most of the great artists do use backup singers, and there is no doubt that the harmonies and counter-melodies they contribute add a huge dimension to the artists performance, and to our experience as a listener.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter Gray on 18 Aug 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Outstanding. If you're into music you will love this film. It's a documentary about some of the backing singers who made stars like Bruce Springsteen, Joe Cocker, The Stones, etc sound great. Quite sad in parts as they talk about how badly they were treated, it is nonetheless uplifting and inspirational, with some brilliant music. And as they all come from a gospel background, God quite rightly gets credit for their talents.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
We all know their voices, but hardly anyone knows their names. Morgan Neville thought it might be interesting to shine the spotpotlight on the untold true story of the backup singers, musical legends in their own right.
These gifted artists span a range of styles, genres and areas of popular music, but each of them has a fascinating story to share.

I love this film because of its rare archival footage, its impecable soundtrack, the spontaneity of the participants and the immediate contact with great stars of the pop music.

A triumphant and heartbreaking tribute !
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Well dramatized and portioned. Shows nakedly the depth of the singers passion with fingertip sense for the heart of it all. Of course there are many out there, but these fenomenal vocalists are very well representatives for all out there. The film keeps the flow of the feelings on a high level that makes me sit with tears in my eyes all through the film...oh such wonderful voices and feelings...and the wise words from the " superstars ". This film will make you go out there and win an audience...if you ever wanted to do that. The film is inspirational!!
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