Best of 2015: Video (DVD and/or Blu-ray)
It takes a good bit more time and effort to screen a DVD or Blu-ray than it does to check out an album. With the latter, I can let the CD or record spin while I’m doing something else (I can multitask to some degree), but the former requires sitting in a comfortable chair, watching the video, and doing little else. Time is precious. As a result, I don’t review nearly as many video releases as I do audio recordings. So if a video even makes it onto my to-be-screened list, that’s some kind of a recommendation in and of itself. But even among the relatively short list of videos I screened in 2015, five stick in my mind as the most noteworthy.
Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
Pop superstar and session legend Glen Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease a few years back. How he and his family bravely dealt with that reality is the subject of this deeply moving motion picture. I spoke with his wife Kim Campbell about the film and more.
Elliott Smith: Heaven Adores You
Most casual music fans don’t even know about the late Elliott Smith; if they do, it’s through his soundtrack work for the film Good Will Hunting. But his career – cut tragically short – was filled with melancholic gems. This non-exploitative look at his life and work is a wonderful, thoughtful film.
Scarred But Smarter: Life N Times of Drivin N Cryin
Atlanta-based Kevn Kinney has had quite the musical career already, and he’s not done yet. This film is among the best of its kind, teaching a valuable lesson without hitting the viewer over the head about it.
Frank Zappa – Roxy: The Movie
On the classic live album Roxy and Elsewhere, one can hear Frank Zappa tell the audience, “Watch Ruth [Underwood]. All through this film…” But the concert film that should have accompanied the audio never came out. Until now. It was worth the wait.
Frank Sinatra: All or Nothing At All
Ol’ Blue Eyes, The Chairman of the Board, The Voice. You name it, it’s Frank Sinatra. On the 100th anniversary of his birth, the man gets the biopic he deserves. Simply must-see.
Happy New Year! There’s lots on the flipside in 2016. Thanks for reading.
About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.