Defend the Indefensible: The Blues Brothers

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In retrospect, it was all probably just a SNL skit that somehow developed a life of its own; the movie definitely has its moments; and maybe the phenomenon gave exposure and money to some musicians and singers that deserved it.

But I still cannot get over how something with such atrocious singing (which ranges from hoarse couging to someone imitating a game show buzzer -- and forget about the attempts at Southern-ish black dialect) became the public face of pre-1970's black music for a lot of Americans, as I was reminded today when the restaurant I was eating lunch in changed from Bonnie Raitt to Dave Matthews to these guys.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Wednesday, 21 April 2004 16:55 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

They were funny, they had Steve Wonder, James Brown and god knows how many others in the movie. Ain't that enough? And a great cover of the theme song to Rawhide.

Mr Noodles (Mr Noodles), Wednesday, 21 April 2004 16:57 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

god i hate them so much.

s1ocki (slutsky), Wednesday, 21 April 2004 16:58 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Stevie Wonder wasn't in it! But Ray Charles was.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Wednesday, 21 April 2004 17:01 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

What a strange thing that was...I blame cocaine.

Mark (MarkR), Wednesday, 21 April 2004 17:03 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

While discussing their influence, please try to keep in mind how ignorant we Yanks are.

"It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses."

C'mon!

Evanston Wade (EWW), Wednesday, 21 April 2004 17:03 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"The public face of pre-1970's black music," as you put it, is plenty fucked up enough without dragging the Blues Brothers into it. (The movie was and is funny, but skip their albums.)

Phil Freeman (Phil Freeman), Wednesday, 21 April 2004 17:05 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

the worst thing about the blues brothers is that dan akroyd continues to this day to milk it with john belushi's brother.

frankE, Wednesday, 21 April 2004 17:06 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I didnt think the movie was funny, and the new one was one of the worst atrocities in 25 years. Music was pretty bad too, and turned a shit load of people off blues.

David Allen (David Allen), Wednesday, 21 April 2004 17:09 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"What kinda music do you like?"

"We like both kinds. Country and Western."

Trever Booth (xjzico), Wednesday, 21 April 2004 17:13 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"I hate Illinois Nazis."

Trever Booth (xjzico), Wednesday, 21 April 2004 17:14 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

best car chase/car crash sequence ever.

hstencil, Wednesday, 21 April 2004 17:18 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

the movie's great, and you really can't knock them for putting so many people in it (Aretha, Ray, John Lee Hooker, James Brown, Cab Calloway). On top of that, they went out of their way to put together a band composed of a lot of the original session guys on those classic Stax sessions, including members of Booker T. and the MGs. Neither Aykroyd nor Belushi are actually good at interpreting these songs (in fact it sounds like they try painfully hard to replicate the originals exactly - right down to off-the-cuff asides) and you can give them shit for that, but the movie holds up really well.

Now the Commitments, on the other hand, as both a film and a "band" is far far FAR guiltier of the alleged crimes directed at the BBs in this thread. That is some of the worst shit EVER. Totally indefensible.

Shakey Mo Collier, Wednesday, 21 April 2004 17:32 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

now that Maxwell Street is gone (thanks, UIC!), the movie is one of the few ways you can see an approximation of what it looked like.

hstencil, Wednesday, 21 April 2004 17:34 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"turned a shit load of people off blues."

It may have turned the stomach of some people that were blues fans before and after the movie, especially black fans, but I don't think that you would have a blues bar or two in every decent sized US city perhaps with out it. If not, why do all of these places have some artwork in the bar referencing the movie?

I know the first time I ever heard Elmore James, John Lee Hooker, Sam & Dave and Cab Calloway was when I saw this movie at age eleven.

earlnash, Wednesday, 21 April 2004 17:44 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

yeah, speaking personally I had only a dim idea of who John Lee Hooker and Ray Charles (or any of the BBs backing band) were before I saw this movie as a kid, and it definitely steered me towards old Stax collections, and by from there I went on to stuff like the Wattstax Living Word concert albums, the Temps' psych period, Otis Redding, etc. *And* it was funny.

Shakey Mo Collier, Wednesday, 21 April 2004 17:49 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

It always seemed like everyones hearts were in the right place, and all the musicians in the movie were glad to be included and it helped their careers (Ray Charles has never really left the spotlight since), but there is something about the way to the movie handles the idea of "black soul" that is disconcerting. But if it didn't bother James Brown I can't imagine why it should bother me!

Mark (MarkR), Wednesday, 21 April 2004 17:51 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

That movie is my favorite action comedy musical.

My name is Kenny (My name is Kenny), Wednesday, 21 April 2004 17:51 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah actually this movie probably led me to the Atlantic R&B box set so I should really shut the hell up.

Mark (MarkR), Wednesday, 21 April 2004 17:53 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Also, Charles "Supervixens" Napier played Tucker McElroy, leader of the Good 'Ol Boys. John Candy, Frank Oz, Paul Reubens and Joe Walsh pop up too.

You couldn't move for Blues Brothers tribute bands back in the 1980's but they all seem to have disappeared now thank god.

I don't know a single person that's seen Blues Brothers 2000.

udu wudu (udu wudu), Wednesday, 21 April 2004 18:26 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The film's great (the first one, I mean), and "Rubber Biscuit" still makes me laugh (yeah, I know they didn't write it).

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Wednesday, 21 April 2004 19:33 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

not only did Tucker leadthe Good 'Ol Boys, but he also drove the Winnebago.

The first movie is still pretty good. 2000 is pretty bad, but I think it could have been saved had they had more car crashes.

Doobie Keebler (Charles McCain), Wednesday, 21 April 2004 19:35 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

but I think it could have been saved had they had more car crashes.

Likewise "the Pianist" and "Prince of Tides".

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Wednesday, 21 April 2004 19:48 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

oh please, this is a great great movie with amazing performances from aretha franklin, john lee hooker, cab calloway, ray charles, steve cropper & duck dunn, james brown not to mention belushi & ackroyd at their peaks - yeah it's been done to death but at the time - for its intended audiece of 11 y.o.'s of whom i was lucky enough to have been - it was a major revelation at the time. whingeing about this one is truly lame.

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Wednesday, 21 April 2004 19:57 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

the movie's great, they raised duck dunn's q factor considerably, are responsible for quite a few kid's first exposure to "minnie the moocher", GREAT wrigley field shoutout, carrie fisher in her prime. i wince when i see "TITLE: "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" ARTIST: The Blues Brothers" in a karaoke catalogue, but that's pretty much the only time i ever come across any of their negatives.

cinniblount (James Blount), Wednesday, 21 April 2004 19:58 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The first film's an absolute classic and helped open my ears to soooo much music outside of the punk / post-punk / goth / new wave / indie stuff that had totally monopolised my listening up 'til that point.

The second one's a pile of shit, obv.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Wednesday, 21 April 2004 20:43 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Considering some of the other movies Ackroyd and the late Belushi foisted on the public (Coneheads, Dr. Detroit, Neighbours, Continental Divide), I think we can forgive the Blues Brothers for their sins.

BanjoMania (Brilhante), Wednesday, 21 April 2004 21:11 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Wow, everyone's taking about the film (which I was dragged along to see in the theater when I was eight or nine), which, like I said has its moments...the mall scene, Paul Reubens before Pee-Wee, some good cameos (though you have to wonder why it took so long for Aretha to finally appear in the movies, and why it took until The Blues Brothers 2000 before she'd act again), etc.

I reserve my ire for their appearances in bar jukeboxes and classic rock radio. That shit is wrong.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Wednesday, 21 April 2004 22:16 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

the movie is brilliant. and as for becoming the face of black music for many americans in the 1970s, well, until the movie people like aretha and james brown weren't actually getting much work anymore (check jb's autobiography).

however, can we blame the blues brothers for the musical career of bruce willis?

stevie (stevie), Thursday, 22 April 2004 07:11 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I also saw it when I was ten or eleven years old when it was first released (in a double bill with Jaws!) and like many others here it was my first exposure to Sam & Dave, James Brown, Ray Charles, etc.

I liked it better than Jaws too.

Elvis Telecom (Chris Barrus), Thursday, 22 April 2004 07:37 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Re the Commitments - one of the worst nights of my life was spent watching a Commitments tribute band. Announcing "Here is another song made famous by the Commitments", before Too Hot to Handle etc.

This was eclipsed only by a swing type band at a wedding last summer: "Here's another great Robbie Williams track, called Mack the Knife" etc

bham, Thursday, 22 April 2004 09:24 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

but I think it could have been saved had they had more car crashes.
Likewise "the Pianist" and "Prince of Tides".-- Alex in NYC (vassife...), April 21st, 2004 10:48 PM.

I hear that, apart from the fact that The Prince Of Tides is probably beyond salvation: "Lowenstein! Lowenstein!". It goes for many other films, though.

Jay Kid (Jay K), Thursday, 22 April 2004 10:56 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Well, I hate it. But I watch it when it comes on. I already knew about all that stuff--Stax, Aretha, James Brown. James Brown would've done a dog-food commercial if they'd paid him, so I hardly see how his appearing in this movie gives it any credibility. I hate to think that this is what middle Americans think blues or soul was all about. The soul guys already had their shtick, let me hear you say yeah, so I don't see how those two lame-ass comedians added anything to the canon of tired somewhat Uncle-Tom routines. That "the blues" gives these two non-entities some kind of energy/new life/hip cachet is a testimony to the mindlessness of most blues fans. So it's, to my mind at least, pretty indefensible.

eddie hurt (ddduncan), Thursday, 22 April 2004 18:10 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Thora Birch to thread

sexyDancer, Thursday, 22 April 2004 18:37 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

hahahaha

Broheems (diamond), Thursday, 22 April 2004 18:42 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Classic for the fact that it was viewed so often in my household that my little brother had the whole thing memorized cold by age five. While shopping at Meijer's one day, my dad told him to quiet down for whatever reason. He responded, "No... fucking... way." I don't ever think I've seen my dad so pissed and proud at the same time.

Andy K (Andy K), Thursday, 22 April 2004 20:10 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i got into cab calloway through it,so classic
also,the dark/sunglasses line is great

robin (robin), Friday, 23 April 2004 01:23 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The Briefcase Full of Blues album still gets occasionally played in my house. It's had a good shelf life.

jim wentworth (wench), Friday, 23 April 2004 02:27 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

the soundtrack to the movie has the best songs on it.

never cared for it much beyond that tho.
m.

msp, Friday, 23 April 2004 03:26 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

eleven months pass...
"Baby clothes!"
"This mall's got everything."

Stupornaut (natepatrin), Friday, 1 April 2005 13:48 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

hahaha

Stupornaut (natepatrin), Friday, 1 April 2005 14:48 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Saw it opening weekend (and bought the LP) in my teenhood too ... as a gateway to great music for clueless kids, deserves some props.
And some of the vehicular mayhem and deadpan lines are funny.

And Aretha and Calloway come across great even if Landis couldn't direct the numbers for shit.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 1 April 2005 17:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"New Olds are in early this year"

The Sensational Sulk (sexyDancer), Friday, 1 April 2005 20:45 (thirteen years ago) Permalink


the blues brothers was a late-night TV staple when i was growing up -- for awhile my curfew synced exactly, so i'd get home, sit down next to my dad, and boom: climactic 20-minute car chase. perfect. leave these dudes alone.

cobra commander (cobra commander), Friday, 1 April 2005 21:08 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

"Orange Julius? Orange Julius? Three Orange Juliuses."

Pleasant Plains, Thursday, 20 December 2007 21:07 (ten years ago) Permalink

Let's not forget that this is the director who also brought us Kentucky Fried Movie, American Werewolf in London, and Thriller before turning to absolute shit.

I highly value this movie (not the sequel, not the soundtrack)... as an important part of my childhood with as many quotable lines as any great comedy.

Nate Carson, Thursday, 20 December 2007 21:55 (ten years ago) Permalink

it's funny cuz they're white

pc user, Thursday, 20 December 2007 21:56 (ten years ago) Permalink

http://www.myfonts.com/images/family/gonzalez/orange-whip.gif

sexyDancer, Thursday, 20 December 2007 22:03 (ten years ago) Permalink

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_Whip

sexyDancer, Thursday, 20 December 2007 22:04 (ten years ago) Permalink

corrected.

Pleasant Plains, Thursday, 20 December 2007 22:10 (ten years ago) Permalink

Are there other Chicago soul/blues performances in movies around this time? Only one that comes to mind is Albert Collins in...Adventures in Babysitting.

He jams a bit in that scene and then occurs one of the least bluesy songs that is purportedly bluesy in film or TV history. Can’t remember if this is before or after the scene where they walk through Grant Park past the nonexistent Grant Park El train.

I was also going to say that the music in TBB is mostly definitely not blues, the genre just happens to make a couple of cameo appearances.

omar little, Saturday, 25 August 2018 19:07 (three months ago) Permalink

decent point, rush

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 25 August 2018 19:11 (three months ago) Permalink

when did maxwell street market as-was come to an end? didn't it still exist some way into the 80s and even the 90s before the stalls were all folded up and moved on? i think there are directors around who could have done something less sketchy with it: jonathan demme, paul schrader, jim jarmusch, maybe even walter hill? i mean obviously the idea could hardly be be more counterfactual, sadly…

mark s, Saturday, 25 August 2018 19:20 (three months ago) Permalink

the idea that Murphy and Cropper and Dunn etc know no country tunes is total Landis-land projection

the Dunn and Cropper and Murphy &al. in the film are fictional characters

▫◌▫ (sic), Saturday, 25 August 2018 20:05 (three months ago) Permalink

Maxwell St Market was forced out in ‘94, due to a new UIC building or two. But there is a “New Maxwell St Market” on Des Plaines Ave, started in 2008.

And hey, there’s a documentary about it!
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheat_You_Fair:_The_Story_of_Maxwell_Street

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 25 August 2018 20:33 (three months ago) Permalink

isn't John lee Hooker onscreen for about 45 seconds?


There’s a director’s cut where he plays for longer. Jake and Elwood stop and listen for a second and Elwood says admiringly, “Yep.” After the song, Hooker and one of his bandmates argue about who wrote “Boom Boom.” After Aretha’s “Think” sequence, the fight is still going on outside the restaurant.

iirc, on the DVD director’s commentary someone says Hooker was cast because Muddy Waters was unavailable (Hooker made his name in Detroit, not Chicago) but Waters’ pianist, Pinetop Perkins, accompanies Hooker in the film.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 25 August 2018 20:51 (three months ago) Permalink

Directors Cut? Really? Legit?

Mark G, Saturday, 25 August 2018 21:19 (three months ago) Permalink

Technically an “extended cut” — there’s a handful of scenes stretched out a bit, and some brief additional sequences. The only one of those I remember off the top of my head is a bit where Elwood parks his car in a CTA electrical closet behind the transient hotel, where the car supposedly gets its “powers” from.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 25 August 2018 21:32 (three months ago) Permalink

And it’s on the 25th anniversary DVD.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 25 August 2018 21:33 (three months ago) Permalink

Ah right. I thought it was one of those fabled extended versions that hadn't been seen but had been discussed

Mark G, Saturday, 25 August 2018 21:44 (three months ago) Permalink

XP It was also the cut available instead of the theatrical on the original DVD.

Ubering With The King (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 25 August 2018 21:56 (three months ago) Permalink

also briefcase full of blues went double platinum tho presumably at least some of that was after the film? i mean the backing band had earned this i guess but

― mark s, Saturday, August 25, 2018 10:43 AM (eight hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Yes indeed.

Evidently a popular Xmas '78 gift.

BLUES BROTHERS
BRIEFCASE FULL OF BLUES

2x Multi-Platinum | October 30, 1984
Platinum | January 5, 1979
Gold | December 22, 1978

Andy K, Saturday, 25 August 2018 23:43 (three months ago) Permalink

Haha, exactly

The Vermilion Sand Reckoner (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 26 August 2018 00:03 (three months ago) Permalink

I was also going to say that the music in TBB is mostly definitely not blues, the genre just happens to make a couple of cameo appearances.

This is probably one of the Blues Brother's biggest problems for me tbh, they flatten the history of Afro-American music down to this level where "blues" stands for everything from Cab Calloway to Aretha Franklin.

The Blues Brothers 2000 soundtrack has some jams, surprisingly.

Daniel_Rf, Sunday, 26 August 2018 08:42 (three months ago) Permalink

Speaking of Gerri Hirshey again, what was up with the paperback cover of Nowhere To Run? It seemed to depict Solomon Burke in an Elvis imitator wig.

The Vermilion Sand Reckoner (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 26 August 2018 16:08 (three months ago) Permalink

This is great

https://youtu.be/lVydhKIDoqQ

piscesx, Sunday, 26 August 2018 20:17 (three months ago) Permalink

fair amount of The Sting,

Not as much as you might think overall. Most of it was Pasadena http://movie-tourist.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-sting-1973.html

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 27 August 2018 08:52 (three months ago) Permalink

whole concert:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTpiL_Leg-Q

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Monday, 27 August 2018 09:41 (three months ago) Permalink

Feels like there's a trajectory from "Shout" in Animal House to this to the Lee Atwater / yuppie era that killed popular 12-bar blues by the early 90s.

there's a lot of other little steps along the way, usually involving white people's (and ONLY white people's) reification of 60s R&B - from the Big Chill to the Commitments. But idk seeing people diss this movie for its impact on the music industry or the way it handled the music is strange. Never knew this movie had detractors to be honest.

Οὖτις, Monday, 27 August 2018 16:11 (three months ago) Permalink

“Back to the Future” had a white teenager from 1985 retroactively inspiring Chuck Berry, and somehow rock 'n roll survived...

stan in the place where you work (morrisp), Monday, 27 August 2018 16:21 (three months ago) Permalink

Not knocking the movie with that comment ^, only thinking through its popularity and how it connected the music with being a rebel, etc. xpost

... (Eazy), Monday, 27 August 2018 16:23 (three months ago) Permalink

this movie has problems unless you find endless vehicular mayhem endlessly funny

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 27 August 2018 16:25 (three months ago) Permalink

also, as someone pointed out at the time, Belushi's eyebrows were one of his comic assets and he only takes the shades off once.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 27 August 2018 16:26 (three months ago) Permalink

right, there's obviously some sloppy + stupid stuff in it, I had just never previously heard it criticized specifically for the way it handled the music

xp

Οὖτις, Monday, 27 August 2018 16:27 (three months ago) Permalink

morbs can you remember *who* said that abt belushi's eyebrows? i assumed i'd remembered it from pauline kael's review but no

mark s, Monday, 27 August 2018 16:31 (three months ago) Permalink

i thought it might've been Kael; it's def a US contemporary critic

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 27 August 2018 16:33 (three months ago) Permalink

Belushi's attempt at an ingratiating accent when they show up at Bob's Country Bunker always gets me.

omar little, Monday, 27 August 2018 16:46 (three months ago) Permalink

David Denby slammed the film in New York magazine for being overblown in general and giving short shrift to the cameo stars:

https://books.google.com/books?id=5uUCAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA52&lpg=PA52#v=onepage&q&f=false

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 27 August 2018 16:55 (three months ago) Permalink

maybe the eyebrows line was from Janet Maslin in the NY Times

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 27 August 2018 17:03 (three months ago) Permalink

I thought it was Roger Ebert, but I didn't see it in his review (which is online).

grawlix (unperson), Monday, 27 August 2018 17:12 (three months ago) Permalink

lol this is now going to drive me nuts >:(

mark s, Monday, 27 August 2018 17:24 (three months ago) Permalink

ha this is playing at the Castro next week and my daughter expressed interest after seeing the Aretha clip, maybe we'll go

Οὖτις, Monday, 27 August 2018 17:43 (three months ago) Permalink

xp It wasn't Janet Maslin. She panned the film btw, only complimenting Aretha Franklin's performance (and said even that scene was badly edited).

Josefa, Monday, 27 August 2018 18:18 (three months ago) Permalink

when i was growing up i never knew it could possibly have been panned, since it's generally really entertaining and funny and the music is good (albeit the loosest definition of the blues.) I guess I get it now, but I don't agree. sure the car pileup comedy isn't really funny, except in the absurd sense. but the BBs underplaying everything while it goes to hell around them still works.

i like how it's pretty respectful overall, even if the respect is often awkward. and it's still refreshing to see a movie where there's zero "scary" bits involving the inner city scenes (cf. Adventures in Babysitting, Animal House, any number of other films too numerous to mention.)

the most (comedy) tense bits involve a nun, a country bar (that's a different kind of problematic, i agree), the cops, and a fancy Near North restaurant.

omar little, Monday, 27 August 2018 19:10 (three months ago) Permalink

the nun is of course Kathleen Freeman, of Jerry Lewis' rep company and Singin' in the Rain ("rrrround tones").

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 27 August 2018 19:18 (three months ago) Permalink

oh WOW I had never made that connection!!

Οὖτις, Monday, 27 August 2018 19:22 (three months ago) Permalink

and I watch Singin in the Rain once a year :(

Οὖτις, Monday, 27 August 2018 19:22 (three months ago) Permalink

She also in the Americanized Broadway musical of The Full Monty with terminal cancer, and stayed with it until 5 days before her death.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathleen_Freeman

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 27 August 2018 19:28 (three months ago) Permalink

She panned the film btw, only complimenting Aretha Franklin's performance (and said even that scene was badly edited).

supposedly the performance part of the Aretha scene came out the way it did was that she had problems nailing both the lip-syncing and the choreography (something she'd never had to do to such a degree before or after), so they had to kind of edit around her at times when they just didn't have usable footage for certain parts.

Ubering With The King (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 27 August 2018 20:00 (three months ago) Permalink

and also, Landis cut off the sax player's head. (foreshadowing of Vic Morrow)

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 27 August 2018 20:07 (three months ago) Permalink

*rimshot*

Οὖτις, Monday, 27 August 2018 20:16 (three months ago) Permalink

It's interesting to read what the early-80s NYC media had to say, but please...the Blues Brothers (and Landis etc in general) is a classic example of a chasm between critics and ticket-buyers.

everything, Monday, 27 August 2018 23:20 (three months ago) Permalink

isn't John lee Hooker onscreen for about 45 seconds?

this was enough to make quite an impression on young me

mookieproof, Tuesday, 28 August 2018 01:16 (three months ago) Permalink

And he's not on the album?

Mark G, Tuesday, 28 August 2018 10:56 (three months ago) Permalink

Nope. With the exception of "The Old Landmark" (James Brown with the Rev. James Cleveland Choir), everything on the soundtrack album is recorded by the Blues Brothers band, either with Belushi & Aykroyd ("She Caught the Katy," "Gimme Some Lovin'") or with whichever guests (Aretha, Ray, Cab Calloway).

None of the other songs in the film -- Sam & Dave, Fats Domino, John Lee Hooker, Louis Jordan -- are on the soundtrack record.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 28 August 2018 13:59 (three months ago) Permalink

Posted upthread:

LANDIS: What’s important to remember about that movie is, it was John and Danny’s intention to exploit their own celebrity of the moment, and focus a spotlight on these great American artists because rhythm and blues was in eclipse. To give you an idea, MCA Records, Universal Records, refused the soundtrack album.
DEADLINE: Why?

LANDIS: They said, who’s going to buy this music? And then, one of the great accomplishments of The Blues Brothers came when we recorded live John Lee Hooker on Maxwell Street, which is gone now. We had Pinetop Perkins, all these legendary people, recording John’s song “Boom Boom.” And when we ended up making a deal with Atlantic Records, Ahmet Ertegun himself wouldn’t put John Lee Hooker on the album. He said, he’s too old, and too black. It was very gratifying when the album went platinum.

I pulled a bunch of my parent's vinyl from storage last week, and among the titles was Briefcase... Spun it earlier this evening, and enjoyed it a bit. Aside from a couple obvious numbers, they dug fairly deep for songs, made sure you knew who did most of 'em to begin with, give the band room to move, and emphasize the humor in Blues/Soul that gets too often forgotten by revivalists (although they do go overboard--some serious cocaine thought went into doing "Groove Me" in comedy Jamaican).

Ubering With The King (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 31 August 2018 04:42 (three months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

watched this movie with the kids last night and maybe I shouldn't have been surprised at how much they loved it. In a weird way, it's a perfect kids' movie, as long as you don't mind the swearing - the set-up is bare-bones simple, there's no extended dialogue or plot mechanics to decipher, tons of WB-cartoon style physical comedy, a great musical number every 5 minutes or so.

Οὖτις, Monday, 8 October 2018 16:34 (two months ago) Permalink

No thank you, ma'am. We may be suckin' back a few beers later on. We'll be here all night. You see, we're the band!

omar little, Monday, 8 October 2018 16:46 (two months ago) Permalink

I haven't seen this since I watched it many times as a kid, and my only memories are the country bar scene, Aretha singing "Think," and the car chase/crash, which was my favorite part of the whole thing.

Fedora Dostoyevsky (man alive), Monday, 8 October 2018 22:57 (two months ago) Permalink


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