'Melody Makers: The Bible of Rock n' Roll'
(Ian Anderson, Eric Burdon, Dan McCafferty, et al / DVD / NR / (2016) 2019 / MVD Visual)
Overview: Melody Maker Magazine's Chief Contributing Photographer(1965-1975), Barrie Wentzell tells the story of the rise and fall of the magazine, which marked the end to a style of rock n' roll journalism that no longer exists today.
DVD Verdict: Fully entitled 'Melody Makers: Should've Been There,' I have to admit right from the off that I actually WAS there when this wonderous, over-sized music newspaper bible was in its glorious heyday in the UK!
Having grown up in the UK at that time, and already purchasing vinyl records, my go to every Thursday upon their release was, and in this order: NME, Sounds and Melody Maker.
That said, I always, and rather religiously purchased the three of them together, and for the most part, aside from Sounds having more color photos inside, both NME and Melody Maker showcased the same music news.
All that personal stuff aside, the nitty gritty of this expansive, and as a fan, extremely heartwarming documentary is that 'Melody Makers: Should’ve Been There' is a visual showcase about the good old days of the storied British music weekly.
An industry publication that became an essential guide to the explosion of acts and styles in the '60s and '70s, we get to see how – per the title – it was awesome and thrilling and fun to work there.
One of its many dedicated photogs was in-house photographer Barrie Wentzell, whose lustrous black-and-white shots gave the magazine its identity and cutting-edge charge, and who serves as the primary focus of Leslie Ann Coles' documentary.
Furthermore, much of 'Melody Makers' screen time just lets Wentzell – who now lives and works in Toronto – roll out one story after another about this encounter or that experience as he ran around photographing legends like Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and Ian Anderson at this pub or that gig.
The stories are fun, and the photos are great and it really showcases brilliantly that Wentzell truly does have an incredible eye; for his hundreds and hundreds of used images were routinely prinmted, week after week, after week.
In conclusion, this welcomed 90 minutes of behind-the-scenes reveals about one of the biggest UK music newspaper bibles of its day is a joy to behold from start to finish.
It's a very cheerful and enlightening jog down memory lane which unveils the history of the British music weekly along with providing some choice tidbits of sound bites from those that were there too. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
'Melody Makers: The Bible of Rock n' Roll' Trailer