'20 Feet From Stardom' - Movie Review

A documentary about backup singers, starting in the 1950s and running through the present day. It opens with a marvelous quote from Bruce Springsteen (who features heavily in the movie): "It's a bit of a walk from back by the drummer - that walk to the front is complicated." [1] Director Morgan Neville talks to a lot of the singers and groups of backup singers who helped define the sound of the music of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, and to some of the musicians who have hired them and worked with them. He points out (almost entirely through the words of interviewees - we never really hear him) that most of these singers are brilliant singers in their own right. He explores how some have pursued solo careers, and how some have been perfectly happy being in the background. Wikipedia cites another quote that nicely completes a description of the movie: "I reject the notion that the job you excel at is somehow not enough to aspire to, that there has to be something more. I love supporting other artists. ... Some people will do anything to be famous. I just wanted to sing" (Lisa Fischer). A very good film about a subject most of us never think about.

[1]I've paraphrased, because what he actually said was "It's a bit of a walk, you know, from, you know, back by the drummer or over here, that walk to the front is, is, complicated."