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Casey Kasem's Rock n' Roll Goldmine - The Soul Years
Casey Kasem's Rock n' Roll Goldmine - The Soul Years

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Starring: James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Ike & Tina Turner, The Temptations, Aretha Franklin

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Product Description:
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Binding: DVD
EAN: 9780769731087
Format: Color
ISBN: 0769731082
Item Dimensions: Array
Languages: Array
MPN: 32031310896
Number Of Discs: 1
Number Of Items: 1
Region Code: 1
Release Date: 2004-04-27
Running Time: 42
Editorial Review:
Film & Disc Review by Cam Williams
reviewed: 2008-01-13.

Some of you folks out there under forty may ask who exactly is Casey Kasem? Well if you love cartoons, you'll recognize the name for being the voice of Shaggy in the Scooby-Doo franchise, then again you might know Mr. Kasem's voice from his weekly radio Top 40 Countdown. From the mid to late eighties, Kasem built upon his time on the airwaves to turn out a series of hour-long television shows on the music of the Sixties. On DVDs, that converts into 42 minutes per show, for a total of 210 minutes of interview and performance features, with wrap arounds from Kasem intended as bumpers for commercials. But this show is not a countdown that provides a platform for his top forty best shows; Casey Kasem´s Rock & Roll Goldmine presents an arbitrary and illustrative look at the decade which Kasem and a legion of other professionals feel was musically unequaled.

At the end of 2003, Rolling Stone magazine presented its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. You know the phrase 'all time' encompasses a lot of ground. So does the decade of the Sixties, and music devotees are certain to be pleased by some of Kasem´s entries followed by a series of head scratches for those left out. I think, though, that what shaped this soul collection were availability and copyright fees and permissions, which would explain its illustrative rather than all-inclusive nature. Casey Kasem's Rock 'N' Roll Goldmine: The Soul Years provides a nice insight into the music as well as the early days of pop culture on television.

The Supremes didn´t make the list and where in the heck is Marvin Gaye, or the Four Tops, but it also has some of the most momentous segments. The Godfather of Soul had to make an appearance and the clip Kasem used was a very early black and white shot of James Brown gliding and grooving while singing I Feel Good for a studio audience of mostly white teenagers who stand around soaking up the experience. That says a lot about the crossover point with black music and white fans. The clip of Otis Redding performing Try a Little Tenderness was recorded just hours before he boarded the airplane that would crash and short circuit a great career. Be sure to check out Little Stevie Wonder at age twelve singing Fingertips and playing the harmonica, and, for people fascinated by the off-stage antics of Ike and Tina Turner, a 1969 segment of them performing River Deep, Mountain High. Other segments contain Ben E. King singing Stand by Me, Sam and Dave performing Hold On, I´m Coming, and Percy Sledge singing possibly the all-time greatest soul ballad, When a Man Loves a Woman. Most of the clips are black and white, but that's the nature of television of that era and thankfully Tina Turner spares us from a total mono chromatic world as she shimmers in full magnificent color. There's an inner voice heat check that comes from seeing these stars perform live and this disc is truly above-average entertainment, and because some of the performance segments are really rare, Casey Kasem's Rock 'N' Roll Goldmine The Soul Years is certainly worth adding to your collection.
Easily the best of the five discs packaged together in host Casey Kasem's Rock n' Roll Goldmine Boxed Set, The Soul Years features riveting performances by some of immortal black musicians who helped define the decade of the 1960s. Taking nothing away from their rock & roll contemporaries, the fact is that many of the soul and R&B artists of that era (along with their musicians, producers, and songwriters) were more experienced, more professional, and simply more entertaining than their rock counterparts. The live turns by the likes of Aretha Franklin (a febrile "Respect"), Otis Redding ("Try a Little Tenderness," recorded not long before his death in a '67 plane crash), Ike and Tina Turner ("River Deep, Mountain High"), and James Brown (check out the Godfather of Soul's dancing on "I Feel Good"), among others, are galvanizing and charismatic. Even lip-synced numbers by (Little) Stevie Wonder and the Temptations have their charm, as do some brief interview excerpts (Brown in the early '80s: "I'm 54 now... hope I don't look it... but I feel good!"). At 42 minutes, there isn't enough of this stuff--but what there is is great. --Sam Graham
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