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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Biography > Soul > Pop > Disco > Let The Music Play The Barry White Story (Documentary)

Let The Music Play The Barry White Story (Documentary)


Picture: C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C Documentary: B-



Like him or not, Barry White was a major R&B artist, reaching his first peak in the 1970s. At the old 20th Century Records label, his run on the Soul & Pop charts was nothing short of stunning, somehow holding his own against Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Isaac Hayes and Curtis Mayfield in that last great decade of R&B. Let The Music Play The Barry White Story is a tight, nearly hour-long recent look at his legacy all the way to his untimely death a few years ago.


Digging up some great stills, tape and even film footage, it shows how White went from behind the scenes to breaking out on his own and with his soulful girl group trio Love Unlimited by the beginning of the 1970s. His 1973 instrumental Loves Theme under The Love Unlimited Orchestra (all 40 pieces) is one of the great iconic instrumentals of the decade, forerunning the Disco attitude that was on the way briefly.


However, the trio prospered and White was even more successful. An early crossover success, White rode the smooth urban soul wave not unlike Roberta Flack, if not quite the same. He even owes some thanks to Flack. Those hits included four big million-selling Gold albums, four Gold singles and several #1s including Cant Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe, What Am I Gonna Do With You and Im Gonna Love You Just A Little More Baby. All in all, this is an impressive look at both an artist and the great era he came out of and helped to make possible.


The 1.78 X 1 image varies as expected from a documentary work with this much footage going this far back, especially with how poorly African American artists have been treated and their filmed and taped works only preserved so well. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is good if not great, but fine here. Extras include a few extra interview/music clips that could have been in the main feature. I just wish there was more.



- Nicholas Sheffo


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