Best Music Movies of 1980
The Blues Brothers
Jake Blues, just released from prison, puts his old band back togther to save the Catholic home where he and his brother Elwood were raised.
Coal Miner's Daughter
Biography of Loretta Lynn, a country and western singer that came from poverty to fame.
A chronicle of the lives of several teenagers who attend a New York high school for students gifted in the performing arts.
AC/DC: Let There Be Rock
1. Live Wire 2. Shot Down In Flames 3. Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be 4. Sin City 5. Walk All Over You 6. Bad Boy Boogie 7. The Jack 8. Highway To Hell 9. Girls Got Rhythm 10. High Voltage 11. Whole Lotta Rosie 12. Rocker 13. Let There Be Rock AC/DC: Let There Be Rock was filmed on 9 December 1979 at the Pavillon de Paris in Paris, France, and also contains interviews with members of the band, including lead vocalist Bon Scott, who died two months after filming. The concert film was re-released on a Blu-ray/DVD double pack along with a collector's tin, concert pictures, a souvenir guitar pick, and a 32-page booklet, or just as Blu-ray or DVD individual sets on 7 June 2011. Only 90,000 of the collectors tins were made, and each labeled with a number out of 90,000 on the base of the tin.
A beautiful muse inspires an artist and his older friend to convert a dilapidated auditorium into a lavish rollerskating club.
Popeye is a super-strong, spinach-scarfing sailor man who's searching for his father. During a storm that wrecks his ship, Popeye washes ashore and winds up rooming at the Oyl household, where he meets Olive. Before he can win her heart, he must first contend with Olive's fiancé, Bluto.
Lynda Carter's Special
Lynda Carter's first musical TV special.
Baryshnikov on Broadway
Mikhail Baryshnikov and his guests perform numbers from over a dozen renowned Broadway musicals including Oklahoma!, Fiddler on the Roof, Can-Can, The King and I, Cabaret, Where's Charley, Hello Dolly, Ain't Misbehavin', Guys and Dolls, The Boyfriend, Kiss Me Kate and A Chorus Line.
Playing for Time
When a Jewish songstress is plucked from the stage and sent to Auschwitz, she and other musicians find themselves assigned to a terrible task—using their talents to soothe fellow prisoners who are sentenced to die in the gas chambers.
Reggae documentary of the One Love Peace Concert held in Kingston, Jamaica in 1978. In addition to the music, this film features the return to Jamaica of Bob Marley after a 16-month hiatus following an attempt on his life.
Breaking Glass is the story of punk singer Kate and her meteoric rise to stardom. Starting out in the rock pubs of London, Kate, assisted by her manager Danny, becomes a huge star overnight. Once at the top the pressure is immense as Kate's band are squeezed out and she is left to cope alone in the spotlight.
Linda Ronstadt in Concert
Linda Ronstadt recorded live on 8/24/80 at the Greek Theater, Los Angeles, CA during her "Mad Love Live" tour. Broadcast on HBO.
When a 13-year-old girl befriends a defiant antisocial child of the streets, the mismatched runaways set off to the Big Apple to find their own adventure.
A mysterious door in the basement of the Hercules house leads to the Sixth Dimension by way of a gigantic set of intestine. When Frenchy slips through the door, King Fausto falls in love with her. The jealous Queen Doris takes Frenchy prisoner, and it is up to the Hercules family and friend Squeezit Henderson to rescue her.
The movie centers on a piano competition whose winner is assured of success. It is Paul's last chance to compete, but newcomer Heidi may be a better pianist. Can romance be far away? Will she take a dive despite the pressure to win from her teacher, Greta, or will she condemn Paul to obscurity?
Paul McCartney and Wings in concert, 1976. Thirty songs are performed, spanning McCartney's career with Wings (prior to Rockshow) and The Beatles.
The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle
A rather incoherent post-breakup Sex Pistols "documentary", told from the point of view of Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, whose (arguable) position is that the Sex Pistols in particular and punk rock in general were an elaborate scam perpetrated by him in order to make "a million pounds."
The Kinks - One for the Road
One for the Road is a live concert video by the rock band "The Kinks". It was released in conjunction with a live album of the same name. Many of the bands classic songs are featured, including "You really got me", "Lola" and "Celluloid Heroes"
Based on the life of rock promoter/producer Bob Marucci, who discovered, among others, Frankie Avalon and Fabian.
Buck Bonham is a country singer on the road caught in a romantic triangle with Dyan Cannon and Amy Irving, the daughter of one of his longtime musical sidekick.
Shadows and Light
Joni Mitchell's 1970s and '80s forays into jazzier territory may have distressed her folkie faithful, but they also resulted in some uncompromising, challenging, and, yes, entertaining music. Witness this 73-minute document from her '79 tour, which finds her backed by her greatest band ever. Mitchell's The Hissing of Summer Lawns-Hejira-Mingus period is heavily favored; there are two tunes from Court and Spark, but nothing earlier. It's not perfect--the film clips edited into the live tracks (at Mitchell's direction) are an annoying distraction (Rebel Without a Cause? Huh?). But by the time Mitchell, Mays, and vocal group the Persuasions finish a spine-tingling version of the title song, you'll have witnessed something special--and historic, as this was the only time this stellar crew toured together. --Sam Graham
Rude Boy is a semi-documentary, part character study, part 'rockumentary', featuring a British punk band, The Clash. The script includes the story of a fictional fan juxtposed with actual public events of the day, including political demonstrations and Clash concerts.
Biceps of Steel
The film depicts a 'super roadie' who fights evil orange jumpsuit-wearing bouncers stopping a rock and roll crowd from having a good time. He then falls foul of an evil wench who seduces and cuts his hair in order to take away his strength.
The Jazz Singer
Jess Robin dreams of a career in popular music, but his father, Cantor Rabinovitch, forbids it, insisting Jess live as a traditional Jew and inherit his position at the synagogue. With the help of friend and professional musician Bubba, Jess gets a chance to go to Los Angeles and have famous singer Keith Lennox record one of his songs. Defying both his father and his wife, Jess leaves New York to pursue his dreams.
Word, Sound and Power
Music lovers fascinated by the ideas, experiences, and emotions that serve as the foundation of Jamaican reggae are invited to explore the history of the legendary Soul Syndicate - a collection of talented musicians who provided backup instrumentation for such acclaimed artists as Jimmy Cliff, Toots and the Mayals, Burning Spear, and Bob Marley and the Wailers among others.
Divine Madness is a 1980 concert film directed by Michael Ritchie, and featuring Bette Midler during her 1979 concert at Pasadena's Civic Auditorium. The 94-minute film features Midler's stand-up comedy routines as well as 16 songs, including "Big Noise From Winnetka," "Paradise," "Shiver Me Timbers," "Fire Down Below," "Stay With Me," "My Mother’s Eyes," "Chapel of Love/Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," "Do You Want to Dance," "You Can’t Always Get What You Want/I Shall Be Released", "The E-Street Shuffle/Summer (The First Time)/"Leader of the Pack" and "The Rose".
A young Texas good ol' boy has a knack with electronic equipment, and that talent gets him a job as a roadie with a raucous traveling rock-and-roll show.
Hank Williams: The Show He Never Gave
This is a lonely New Year's Eve for Hank Williams as he spends it en route to a huge New Years Day concert in Ohio. Hank Williams died that night on the road. A fictional biography is shown in flashback.
Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise
Robert Mugge filmed jazz great Sun Ra on location in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. between 1978 and 1980. The resulting 60-minute film includes multiple public and private performances, poetry readings, a band rehearsal, interviews, and extensive improvisations. Transferred to HD from the original 16mm film and lovingly restored for the best possible viewing experience.
Headin' for Broadway
In this musical, four young hopefuls from different parts of the country head to New York for a shot at Broadway stardom.
The Pirates of Penzance
This Pirates of Penzance is primarily a historical document, part of the Broadway Theater Archive television series. It presents, with some inevitable, tiny technical shortcomings, a live 1980 performance in Central Park, not the 1983 movie of the same name that also starred Linda Ronstadt and Kevin Kline. Those who remember that film, which had the benefit of retakes and editing, a lavish production budget, and the spaciousness of a Hollywood studio, may find this video less polished. On its own terms, it is nonetheless thoroughly enjoyable.
Documentary chronicaling the rise and fall of the punk movement with rare interview footage of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. Also concert and news footage.
Punk and Its Aftershocks
Documentary about the pedigrees of punk featuring The Boomtown Rats, Sex Pistols, Pretenders, The Clash, The Jam, Madness, Ian Dury & The Blockheads, The Specials, Secret Affair, and many ...
This low-budget drama details the unlikely friendship between a smart-aleck seventeen-year-old punk and a thirty-year-old rock 'n roll musician in search of songwriting inspiration. Angel (Gerd Heinemann) heads out to the streets of Berlin in his drag-racer to revitalize his flagging creativity. He is desperately trying for a new song that refuses to surface. He meets scrappy Johnny (Thomas Davis) on the streets and saves him from everyone he tends to alienate: cops, motorcycle gangs, and passers-by. Johnny has his guitar with him and is the first to break Angel's deadlock. A tune he plucks out is just the beginning that Angel was looking for. The rest of the song lies out there somewhere and the two head into Berlin's night spots to find it.
A San Francisco cab driver find himself in possession of a monkey that is carrying a formula for turning atomic waste into a plutonium bomb. He finds himself framed for a murder and chased…
The film suggests Nijinsky was driven into madness by both his consuming ambition and self-enforced heterosexuality, the latter prompted by his romantic involvement with Romola de Pulszky, a society girl who joins impresario Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes specifically to seduce Nijinsky. After a series of misunderstandings with Diaghilev, who is both his domineering mentor and possessive lover, Nijinsky succumbs to Romola's charms and marries her, after which his gradual decline from artistic moodiness to complete lunacy begins.
Mickey Mouse Disco
A clip-show music video for the album of the same name and vintage. Includes 5 songs from the album ("Mousetrap", "Disco Mickey Mouse", "Watch Out For Goofy", "Macho Duck", "Welcome To Rio").
Can't Stop the Music
A loose biography of seminal disco hit-makers The Village People and their composer Jacques Morali.
Hurray for Betty Boop
Betty Boop runs for president in a loose storyline assembled from Fleischer cartoons redrawn by Korean animators.
In the glitzy, glittering futuristic world of 1994, music is king -- and the man who controls it is all-powerful malicious mogul Mr. Boogalow. Now he has his eye on two fresh-faced young singers, Alphie and Bibi, who score a hit at his WorldVision Song Festival and fall under the irresistible spell of fame, money, and temptation.
Jackie McLean on Mars
Jackie McLean is a true jazz master and one of the few true authorities of the bebop era still in business, but at the time of this film his main gig was teaching at Hartford. Hartford seems to have had a low-profile and low-budget jazz department, and the same goes for this film, which clocks in at just over half an hour, and barely scratches the surface of the subject matter. Still, what is here is engaging and a surprisingly candid portrait. McLean is shown practicing in his apartment and - briefly - playing with his quintet, but most of the running time is spent at Hartford in the classroom - and what classes they must have been. McLean's stream-of-consciousness lectures run from Sun Ra to JFK's assassination to how he learned Giant Steps, and the students try their best to keep up. A fascinating glimpse into the mind of a jazz musician.
Nada, a beautiful French journalist on assignment in New York, records the life and work of an up and coming punk rock star, Billy. Soon she enters into a volatile relationship with him and must decide whether to continue with it, or return to her lover, a fellow journalist trying to track down the elusive Andy Warhol.
Those Lips, Those Eyes
A small-town star helps a young apprentice land the girl of his dreams.
Documentary following English musician and actress Toyah Willcox for over half a year, capturing band rehearsals, studio recording sessions, play rehearsals and in her home, the famous Mayhem warehouse in Battersea, London.
An Evening with Liza Minnelli
Liza Minnelli in concert at the New Orleans Theatre of the Performing Arts. This show was a combination of the two performances Minnelli did on November 24, 1979. Highlights include Minnelli singing "How Long Has This Been Going On?," "It's a Miracle," "True Love," "The Man I Love," "Some People," an old English folk ballad, and "Come in From the Rain". Liza also sings two songs from her recent Tony winning Broadway show "The Act" - a song and dance number called "Arthur in the Afternoon," with Roger Minami and the show-stopping "City Lights" with Minami and dancer Obba Babatunde. Another highlight is a medley of New York songs sung by Minnelli which culminates in one of signature songs "Theme from New York, New York". The evening concludes with Minnelli singing performing a scene from "Cabaret"; and singing "Cabaret," "Harvest Moon," and "The World Goes Round."
Animated video to accompany the record of the same name, released under the pseudonym of Suzy and the Red Stripes, but in reality Wings' with Linda on lead vocals.
Shirley MacLaine: '...Every Little Movement'
A salute to movement in various forms, both literal (the physical movement of a dancer or gymnast) and figurative (movement in a relationship between two people).
The Donna Summer Special
A variety special that showcased the musical talents of singer and actress Donna Summer.
The Beach Boys: A Celebration Concert
The Beach Boys perform live on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., July 4th, 1980. Originally aired on HBO.