Eagle Rock Entertainment’s new music documentary Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued is an interesting new presentation. Regardless of whether audiences are fans of Bob Dylan and his body of work or fans of the artists recruited to resurrect Dylan’s “long lost” there is plenty for audiences of all ages and tastes to like throughout the program beginning fittingly with its virtual music history lesson. The program’s very presentation style is another element of the documentary that audiences will appreciate. Despite essentially being a standard “making of” feature, it doesn’t come across like so many other guerilla style making of peices thrown together by so many other acts just to sell records. And then of course there is the bonus material. In the case of this Blu-ray, the bonus material lives up to its name as it brings the whole presentation full circle. It doesn’t present the finished product of each song rehearsed in the main feature. But it does give audiences a look at the finished product of half of the noted songs. And that’s only the beginning of what makes the bonus material a true bonus. That will be discussed later. Taking into consideration everything noted here, Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued proves itself a music documentary well worth the watch by audiences of any musical taste.
Eagle Rock Entertainment’s new music documentary Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued is an interesting work that audiences of any musical taste should see. It should be noted right off the top that it is not a piece that audiences of any age should see. that is because there is some language older audiences might find questionable for some younger viewers. There is also one scene from some vintage 1960s film that shows a topless woman dancing with a group of other people. None of this seems to be noted anywhere on the documentariy’s casing. So it would be irresponsible if this critic didn’t note these issues right off the bat. Having gotten that out of the way, this program is still one that older audiences of any musical taste will want to see. The central reason for that is that it is within itself a virtual music history lesson. The lesson is centered on a group of previously “undiscovered” writings from none other than legendary singer/songwriter Bob Dylan. Audiences get a glimpse into where the writings came from, how they originally came into being so many decades ago and even their original intent. Some of this information is provided by Dylan himself even though the only time that Dylan actually appears on camera is in vintage footage of Dylan with his band mates collected for the documentary. Audiences will be surprised to learn that many of the writings if not all of them were never even intended for mass consumtion by fans. Audiences will be just as interested to learn why Dylan and company opted to record the original songs literally in the basement of a house instead of the sterility of a studio as they watch. That little factoid is in itself quite enlightening. there is even more information thrown out throughout the program that audiences will find interesting. So that will be left to viewers to discover for themselves. That information coupled with the information noted here shows clearly to be a history lesson that intended or not serves as one of the most important elements of Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued in its enjoyment. It is only part of the program that makes it a joy for fans. The documentary’s overall shooting and presentation style make for their own enjoyment in this case, too.
The overall shooting style and manner of presentation in Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued make for just as much reason for audiences to check out the program as its virtual music history lesson. “Making of documentaries” are all too commonplace in today’s music industry. The problem with all of the “documentaries” is that few prove to be memorable in any form or fashion. More often than not they are throwaway extras used to convince audiences to purchase already overpriced albums that are themselves forgettable. They are typically shot in guerilla, home-video style and presented as such, too. Thankfully none of this applies to Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued. What audiences get in this program is a piece that fully lives up to the title of music documentary. It is an expertly shot and edited program that ties together music’s past and present and will in turn keep audiences engaged from beginning to end. There are no fast moving pans or tilts from the camera crew. And the music being rehearsed makes the presentation emotionally moving and powerful both as the recruited artists–who are themselves some of the music world’s biggest names today–work together and by themselves. There are no jump cuts. And while some special effects are used, they are used sparingly throughout, making the presentation all the more worth the watch.
Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued more than lives up to the title of music documentary. It is the total antithesis of the largely forgettable throwaway pieces out there that masquerade as making of documentaries. This includes the standalone pieces and the ones that are thrown in with albums that are themselves largely forgettable. It stands out from those presentations thanks in large part to its professional production values and its virtual music history lesson. Both elements play their own important part in the success and enjoyment of Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued. As important as each element proves in the long run, there is one more element to note that brings the presentation full circle. That element is the documentary’s collective bonus material. The bonus material in this case is a presentation of some of the songs featured in the main feature in their entirety. While not all twelve of the featured songs are included as bonus material. No fewer than half of the songs are featured, though. Having gone through the rehersals and creative process presented in the program’s main feature, the half dozen songs featured as bonus material are essentially a reward for audiences that watched the creative process that led to the songs. Again, while not all twelve songs presented in the main feature are included with the bonus material, the half dozen that are featured bring the presentation in whole full circle.
The full song “performances” featured in the bonus features of Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued are themselves bonus for audiences. They are bonuses in large part because they finally let audiences hear at least some of the presented songs in their identity. That isn’t the only reason that they are bonuses, though. They are bonuses also because of the fact that each song features one of the recruited artists leading the given songs in his or her own style. Because each of the recruited artists gets to lead at least one song included in the bonus features, not one of the noted songs sounds like the other. Each comopsition has a sound and style completely separate from the others. It shows each artist’s own musical roots and influences thus deepening the program in whole even more. It is within itself a bonus of the bonus material and one more reason that audiences will want to watch Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued.
Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued is one of the more interesting music documentaries that has been released so far this year. For that matter, it is one of the only presentations released so far this year that rightfully deserves to be called a documentary. That is thanks in large part to its virtual music history lesson. Whether or not the history lesson was intended, it is there. The program’s production values set it apart from all of thoe throwaway pieces that try to pretend to be documentaries, too. And the bonus material rewards audiences that stayed and watched Bob Dylan’s “long lost” slowly come to life in more than one way. All three elements together show why audiences of all musical tastes, if not ages, will want to watch this documentary. Together, they show that while Eagle Rock is known largely as the leader in live recordings, it holds its own in the world of music documentaries, too. Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued will be available in stores and online Tuesday, May 26th. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:
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