The Wrecking Crew
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The Wrecking Crew
What the Funk Brothers did for Motown…The Wrecking Crew did, only bigger, for the West Coast Sound. Six years in a row in the 1960s and early 1970s, the Grammy for 'Record of the Year' went to Wrecking Crew recordings. And now, The Wrecking Crew tells the story in pictures and that oh, so glorious sound. The favorite songs of a generation are all here, presented by the people who made them for you. The Wrecking Crew is a documentary film produced and directed by Denny Tedesco, son of legendary late Wrecking Crew guitarist Tommy Tedesco. The film tells the story of the unsung musicians that provided the backbeat, the bottom and the swinging melody that drove many of the number one hits of the 1960s. It didn’t matter if it was Nat 'King' Cole, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, The Monkees, The Byrds or The Beach Boys, these dedicated musicians brought the flair and musicianship that made the American 'west coast sound' a dominant cultural force around the world. The film is a fun and moving tribute from Denny to his father and to the music, the times and to the secret star-making machine known only as 'The Wrecking Crew'.
An inside Look at the most prolific studio band that shaped a generation
Glen Campbell and Hal Blaine in The Wrecking Crew, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.
Brian Wilson and Hal Blaine in The Wrecking Crew, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.
A scene from The Wrecking Crew, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.
Music lovers will be astonished at the influence The Wrecking Crew wielded over rock and pop music in the 1960s and early 1970s. These unsung instrumentalists were the de-facto backing band on hit records by The Beach Boys, Phil Spector, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, Sonny & Cher, Elvis, The Monkees and many more. These dedicated musicians brought the flair and musicianship that made the American West Coast Sound a dominant cultural force around the world.
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I see the film as a labor of love on the part of Danny Tedesco and a virtual love song to all of the musicians, including Ms, Kaye, that gave of themselves throughout that time period. Carol Kaye is portrayed as one of the most brilliant bass players of that era, and for that matter, every musician who participated in those recordings is celebrated for their brilliance, ingenuity, and craftsmanship.. My jaw literally dropped several
times during the film, and I can't remember every feeling so filled with joy and thankfulness for having been born at the right time and having been able to be a listener to all this incredible music when I was growing up. I can't wait to buy it on Blu Ray.
Among the players, in addition to Blaine, were drummer Earl Palmer, saxists Plas Johnson and Steve Douglas, bassists Carol Kaye and Joe Osborn, keyboardists Don Randi and Larry Knechtel, and the late guitarist Tommy Tedesco, whose son narrated and co-produced this film. While the music appears only in sound bites, the interviews and stories are wonderful. This Blu-ray disc also has a mammoth six hours of additional bonus material (which I haven't even watched yet) covering additional stories behind the songs, TV and movie themes, musician jokes, and much more.
No, it's not just a Beach Boys documentary, though Brian Wilson does play a prominent role. It is a magnificent, entertaining film, which music fans will love. Five stars.