Various - Legends of the Canyon

If you’re into American music from the 60’s and early 70’s and a relatively new convert to such then Legends of the Canyon is a great place to start understanding the scene. And if you’re a long-time fan of the era, and especially of Crosby, Stills and Nash, then you might still find this documentary of interest because of the footage from the time and the extensive interviews with CSN, who dominate the second half of the movie. The doc features an impressive list of artists that have been influenced by these artists and their music and this is a fine insight into the beginnings of post-1950s popular music and the acts who centered on the Los Angeles district that gives the film its name. The mixture of talking heads, documentary footage of live performances, and still photographs, and contributions from some of the majors bands at the time, as well as key, but less famous, people in the background brings the age and stories vividly to life.

All the major acts from the time are featured: The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Joni Mitchell, Mamas and Papas, Neil Young; the list goes on, and the anecdotes are told with very little ego which is a surprise, particularly David Crosby who is very honest. There may be few earth shattering revelations here and some of the stories, like how Bob Dylan went electric, are well worn, but the lengthy section on the early meetings and formation of Crosby, Stills and Nash, is interesting. Of just as much interest are the non-superstars, like narrator (and photographer) Henry Diltz and the assortment of managers and musicians who were behind the scenes. Their view from the sidelines gives a different perspective and rounds out some of the stories from the actual participants. One of those documentaries that will either get you digging out some records you've not spun in a while or will have you heading to Amazon for the albums behind the stories.

Overall

6

out of 10

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Tags csn, dvd, legends
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