Monday, June 13, 2005

Auntie's Soul

Most weeks, the BBC does something that is worth the annual licence fee on it's own. The Soul Deep series that has just finished is no exception.

Only one criticism really. The programme-makers clearly thought they had to have a thesis. I suspect most viewers were happy to be intoxicated by the footage and sounds. It did seem to skip over things that didn't fit in with the story they were telling.

For example, the slick aspirational Soul of the late '70s and early '80s may have been a low-point for the genre, but it still had some terrific moments (though they admitted a grudging admiration for Anita Baker).

And I don't think Prince was mentioned. Even a one-hour documentary on the history of all popular music would be missing a trick if they ignored the little purple chap.

So how could a six-parter on Soul not find at least five minutes for him?


Andrew Brown said...

It was too big a leap wasn't it; from James Brown to Mary J. I loved the series, but as you say some rather weird holes - no Al Green, no Barry White, no Donna Summer, etc.

Paulie said...

Yes. I don't think there was anything about Chic either? Or Michael Jackson - 'Off The Wall' is a very good LP (IMHO).

I started to suspect that the programme had an agenda because it excluded music that was worthwhile AND commercially successful from a mainstream point of view.

It's a good story that music with a strong 'grassroots' could be commercially successful (which the programme majored on), but Earth Wind and Fire showed that soul music could retain it's vitality AND compete with MOR on it's own terms.