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Only the Strong Survive - A Celebration of Soul
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- Six additional live performances
- "What is Soul" feature
- "The Rufus and Jaye Show" comedy radio selections
- Biography and discography notes for all artists
Top Customer Reviews
I have to correct the editorial, Eugene Record wasn't with the group in this film, and hasn't been with the group for about fifteen years. He seems to be happy in gospel music these days. But as far as the Chi-Lites go, I wish they could have done "We Are Neighbors (whether we want to be or not)" It's a song the world needs to hear right now, next to "Power to the People".
The one standout performance for me was of course Sam's; his story is alternately tragic and uplifting, and as far as his performance goes, Jesus Christ, by the time he'd finished I was almost crying. I knew the song instantly, and it was as if thirty-five years hadn't gone by at all.
Unfortunately, very few archive footages are used, and there is no James, Smokey, or Aretha. But the live performances (mainly from the year 1999-2000) are all wonderful. The artists recorded here include, Jerry Butler, The Chi-Lites, Isaac Hayes, Sam Moore, Ann Pebbles, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Wilson Pickett, and Mary Wilson. They all sing one song or two before the very lucky audiences.
But you may ask me, Why three stars. Oh, it's because of the directors, who do not show the due respect to the history of the soul music itself. D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus do not know which they want to make, documentary or live music recording. It seems (and probably is) that the crew only recorded whatever they can quickly, and put the footages together. How can they put Mary Wilson (ex-Supremes) and Isaac Hayes in the same film without explaining the history of the soul music? I don't see the point of putting them together except that they are both great artists.
Still some moments are very touching to see. Sam Moore reveals his painful past while he was selling illegal stuff on the street around 1973, and it's joyful to see Carla Thomas and Rufus Thomas having good time together.
As documentary 'Only the Strong Survive' is never informative. You see this movie, and your knowledge about this great music doesn't change. Still, the live performances from the recorded artists are all dynamic and thrilling.Read more ›
Mary Wilson of the Supremes, for example, still tours and sings lead vocals on many Supremes classics she performs in concert. We also learn that she has been going back to school in recent years, to get a college degree she always wanted to get, but wasn't able to before now. Sam Moore (of Sam and Dave) and his wife are candid about his drug use and recovery. Jerry Butler still occasionally peforms, and is the commissioner of Cook County in Illinois.
The most interesting --and most moving-- part of the film is Rufus Thomas. Thomas is shown here in his 80's still going strong, still hosting his weekly radio show and performing in concert with his daughter Carla. Unfortunately, he passed away before the film was released.
The film includes concert footage of all the above performers as well as live footage of --and interviews with-- such acts as the Chi-Lites and Issac Hayes.
I wished there had been more live material, but the DVD does include six extra performances to make up for it. Fans of classic soul will want to see this.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I watched this program when it was broadcast on television, so I was already familiar with it.Published 4 months ago by Damon Johnson
most songs where incomplete or fragmented by commentary etc.Published 9 months ago by Likes Class not Crass
If you can listen to Carla Thomas singing "Gee Whiz" & not remember his eyes when you were 16...you weren't there. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Kandy Langford
I wanted to buy this for a gift, as it is hand-down fantastic! However, it is only sold as a download, and not a hard copy to send to someone. Read morePublished 23 months ago by VABEACH
If you want to know how the musicians feel about their music this is the dvd to get. i didn't know what i was going to get when i order this disc but i want you to know it was... Read morePublished on December 27, 2013 by Kindle Customer
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