Muscle Shoals review

All together now: R-E-S-P-E-C-T...

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‘Brown Sugar’, ‘Mustang Sally’, ‘When A Man Loves A Woman’: the string of hits to emerge from the sleepy Alabama ‘burb that gives this documentary its title would fill a dozen jukeboxes.

But it’s the story behind the music that elevates Greg Camalier’s film, focusing as it does on go-getting producer Rick Hall, his in-house band The Swampers and the wheeler-dealing that made their humble ‘Fame’ studio punch so dramatically above its weight.

Archive footage is spliced with talking head interviews to fashion a fascinating snapshot of an era-defining sound.

As Aretha might say, respect.

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Freelance Writer

Neil Smith is a freelance film critic who has written for several publications, including Total Film. His bylines can be found at the BBC, Film 4 Independent, Uncut Magazine, SFX Magazine, Heat Magazine, Popcorn, and more.