Before the Music Dies - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Before the Music Dies Reviews

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Super Reviewer
November 30, 2009
Great music documentary that explores todays music business and how formula has taken over quality. Very simple documentary with interesting interviewees.
July 27, 2015
If you're a huge music fan, this movie might make you a little sad, or maybe just angry. But either way, that's why the movie was made. I really enjoyed it even though it was a little depressing. I'd be interested to see an update to see what has changed (if anything).
January 29, 2011
Wow! It blew me away. I truly feel there was a reason why I chose this film to watch. As an writer and drummer I needed to hear their words. I advise all who want to get in the music biz to watch this film.
September 17, 2008
excellent depiction of the changing music industry. shows the heart and soul behind music and shows how corporations are trying to control, manufacture, and exploit the industry without caring about real talent or something extraordinary. so in a sense, music is dead. the film very much takes the position of a music fan, opposed to an industry professional and has a very unbiased tone. other than they don't really like the way the industry is going...but who does?
½ February 12, 2007
This movie is fairly well done. Sometimes the character were lost in the transitional scenes, but has a good message in it-Based on the partial hit song - "When the Music Dies"
½ October 25, 2015
A crap documentary about a clueless Generation X'er pissed off that music isn't where he wants it or what he wants, backed by a few token black artists that he could get to agree with him and back his arguments.

If he or his fellow music lovers had any smarts, they would work within the system and write their Congressperson/senator to get rid of the Communications Act of 1996 so that radio could get back to what it was before the Act was signed and before Clear Channel and similar companies brought up everything, but all of these people are lazy mothers who are content (now that THEY'RE the older people who used to be this cantankerous about music) to be just talking heads denouncing everything that exists in music now simply because most of them are too lazy to find music that isn't pop (and my dissing also includes the director/narrator who couldn't even do any research to find new rock artists that aren't pop and feature them in this documentary.)

Somebody said it best just recently in reference to a recent magazine article/interview featuring Grace Jones making the same old fogy complaint:

'"No way. An aging pop star and a magazine decide to get the "Kids these days!" crowd to stop yelling at clouds for five minutes by appealing to nostalgia and going after the low-hanging fruit of them not understanding or enjoying modern pop stars and music (just like every prior generation) so that she can publicize her new book and the magazine can get some clickbait headlines? What an amazing development! It must be a day ending in "Y."

Bully for you, Grace Jones. Shake your fist at "THE ESTABLISHMENT" by saying one of the most establishment things that is humanly possible to say. Maybe come out with another interview about how Hollywood movies are all the same now, and lack the creativity and subtlety of a Conan the Destroyer or a A View to a Kill.

Guess what. Current pop stars aren't trying to appeal to you, just as the pop stars you liked growing up weren't trying to appeal to your parents and grandparents. If you can break the mold and like something outside of your demographic, that's great. More power to you for your open-mindedness and willingness to try new things. But it baffles me that people continually expect modern music to always remain in touch with their preferences indefinitely, even after having experienced the same thing with their parents and grandparents grumbling about not getting their music.

Musical tastes evolve, and just because it evolves in a way that no longer appeals to you doesn't make it of an objectively lesser quality."

I couldn't have said it better myself.

½ September 5, 2009
I read some of David Cornelius' review of this film and I couldn't disagree more. I was blown away by the range of things in this film. It's 2009, and the film still has a punch. Before watching it, I had heard of it from different musicians who were inspired by it. So after checking it out I wanted to read more about the film and the musicians in it.

I think David C. missed the main premise somehow...Shapter (the director) was a "music fan", not csomeone laiming to be an industry "expert". So the film is more about information he stumbled upon, not his view per se.

My god, he certainly stubled on some amazing music! Billy Preston, Clapton, DMB, Ray Charles, Erykah, Calexico North Miss All Stars...I forget who else.

I guess if you watched this film in 2007, you might not agree that the indutry was on the verge of collapse, but now that it's 2009, the film has been vindicated.

Just look at the sign in the window of the now closed Virgin Megastore in Times Square. It says "THE VIRGIN MEGASTORE IS CLOSED FOREVER. THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS DEAD BUT THE MUSIC IS DOING JUST FINE." - Virgin MegaStore R.I.P.

Look like Before the Music Dies saw it coming after all...
September 5, 2009
I don't have a lot to say about this documentary. All i can say is that this one gives us insights on what is happening in the music industry and how pop culture has tainted real music. Any music fan out there must see this film and think about how can he or she may save the industry from degrading further.
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