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Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Born in South East London the same week the Nazis began bombing, Ginger Baker’s first memory was running after a train that carried his father off to death in WWII. From his music to his life, at the expense of family and fortune, Ginger would never be left behind on the tracks again. Though best known for his work with Eric Clapton in Cream and Blind Faith, the world’s greatest drummer did not hit his stride until years later in 1972 when he drove the first Range Rover ever produced from London to Nigeria in pursuit of the African rhythms and musical icon, Fela Kuti. There he found his Mecca of drumming, introducing the African beat and “world music” to the West, years before any other musicians in the field. The documentary includes stories from his ex-wives, children, and many of the greatest living musicians that worked with Ginger including Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Charlie Watts, Mickey Hart, Carlos Santana, Max Weinberg, Chad Smith, Femi Kuti, Neal Peart, Simon Kirke, Marky Ramone and many more. Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Reviewed by: Katie Walsh
    Nov 28, 2012
    100
    The combination of compelling subject with an exciting and expert approach to documentary form achieves that transcendence you hope for in this genre: a melding of subject and text that is its own beast but also perfectly reflect each other.
  2. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Nov 29, 2012
    88
    A fantastically entertaining biography.
  3. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Nov 28, 2012
    83
    Spitting obscenities at the film's director, Jay Bulger, Baker recalls his days as: the '60s thrash caveman who gave Cream and Blind Faith their transcendent power surge; the pioneer of druggy hotel-room rampages; and the damaged purist who left the pop world for Africa. The movie salutes the rhythms and the wreckage.
  4. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Nov 27, 2012
    80
    In spite of Bulger's errors of tone, the movie stands as an engaging tussle with the question of what is permissible with the excuse of art. One former collaborator of Baker's, John Lydon (a/k/a Rotten), comes up with the most eloquent absolution: "I cannot question anyone with end results that perfect."
  5. Reviewed by: David Lewis
    Jan 24, 2013
    75
    This is warts and all, with the emphasis on the warts.
  6. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Nov 27, 2012
    70
    Mr. Bulger, a former boxer and model before he turned to journalism and then filmmaking, does not let "Behind the Music" sensationalism overwhelm the music itself, which is Mr. Baker's great passion and the only reason anyone should take an interest in him.
  7. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Nov 29, 2012
    60
    Miserable individuals do tend to make for interesting subject matter, and this would be far more of a dry biography without its willfully eccentric lead. Plus, if the crankiness gets to you, tune it out and focus on the music. That's what Clapton did.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
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