Jeffrey Morgan’s Media Blackout #138 says everybody's a critic!
Various Artists Wattstax (Stax) :: After my minimal Wattstax review ran two weeks ago, I received the following anonymous letter: "Dear Jeffrey Morgan. I was at Wattstax 35 years ago and I was appalled at the short shrift you gave this new expanded version of the original album. You neglected to mention that this three-disc box set is a treasure trove of classic and unreleased tracks that brings the Wattstax experience to life. Or that virtually every Stax artist is represented doing their greatest secular, spiritual and soulful hits. Have you ever written any liner notes yourself, sir? I doubt it because if you had you would know that the musician interviews contained in Rob Bowman's excellent liner notes are a true revelation. Wattstax was much more than just the black Woodstock, it was a historical watershed moment and peaceful cultural uprising against The Man that still resonates to this day as the very embodiment of The Living Word! Not only is this new definitive version of Wattstax the greatest live album ever, in my opinion it is also the album of the year and if I had a weekly column like yours I would tell people to go out and buy it so they could hear for themselves what hope and faith sound like. You should be deeply ashamed of yourself for insulting an entire community by using this excellent Wattstax box set as a springboard for your cheap Charlie Wattstax joke." Cheap?
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK:
Tony Palmer All My Loving (MVD Visual DVD) :: This essential late-'60s UK film about rock music and pop culture is the perfect visual companion to Revolt Into Style, George Melly's essential early '70s UK book about pop culture and rock music. All My Loving skewers rock 'n' roll with a savage unblinking eye that's both riveting and revealing. Everyone who is anyone is interviewed, from the Fabs and 'Oo to Donovan and Zappa. Too bad about the indefensible inclusion of Nazi concentration camp and Vietnam atrocity footage, though.
It's been real!Jeffrey Morgan is a freelance writer. Send comments to [email protected]