Umbrella Entertainment / 60 minutes / Region 4
Featuring Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, B.B. King, James Brown, Little Richard
Back in the 1950’s the acts who were the cornerstone of rock n roll, among them the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard, never seemed able to translate their genius into long term success – personal problems, excesses of drink, drugs and sex, prison sentences and much more besides all got in the way of actually making music.
With the exceptions of James Brown and Ray Charles (who managed to sustain lengthy careers right at the top) all of the acts featured in Legends of Rock N Roll had waited a long time to get their rightful due. It’s fabulous stuff (and all in just on an hour) – a concert filmed in Rome in 1989 and featuring (in performance order) James Brown, Bo Diddley, Ray Charles, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino and B.B. King. Every song is a classic (I Feel Good, I’m A Man, Mess Around, Great Balls of Fire, Blueberry Hill and Let the Good Times Roll to name just a few) and the guys are having a whale of a time, each of them get a couple of songs in the spotlight and they all join together on stage for an all star jam.
A wonderful reminder of some of the true titans who helped shaped modern music as we know it. James Brown is sweating up a storm, Little Richard is off with the pixies, Jerry Lee Lewis is majesterial and Fats Domino has a real twinkle in his eye.
The film makers caught the legends at the right time really, any laters and they wouldn’t have all been up to it or even still with us and any earlier and quite a few of them would probably have refused to do it.
Jivingly brilliant stuff.
Extras feature the opportunity to just listen to the music, a shuffle feature and information in the shape of subtitles about the tracks.