Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Wrecking Crew **1/2

Many of those 60s hits still played on oldies radio feature musicians who never received credit for their contributions. "The Wrecking Crew", an unofficial group of session musicians based in Los Angeles, played a pivotal role in the evolution of American pop music. The number of hits they played on is literally the soundtrack of your life: everything from Phil Spector's Wall of Sound, the Beach Boys epochal LP Pet Sounds, Sonny and Cher, and many others. Ironically, most of the musicians were trained in jazz and looked askance at Rock and Roll.  Lively interviews with former members, including guitarist Tommy Tedesco whose son directed the documentary, take up most of the film.  As a nostalgia trip and the chance to hear some great tunes, The Wrecking Crew will return you to the era. Perhaps more detail about how the crew worked with the artists would've been more interesting rather than an endless stream of "good old days" anecdotes.  For example, the making of Pet Sounds could stand as a documentary on its own.  Nevertheless, The Wrecking Crew fills a gap in the history of American music as portrayed on film.

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