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The Big Steps
on 26 March 2014
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