Tom Dowd & the Language of Music

"Very Good"

Tom Dowd & the Language of Music Review


Who's Tom Dowd? Even if you're a music nut, you're unlikely to have heard of the man, though he had an indelible effect on music in a dozen genres, all working behind the scenes.

Dowd (who died in 2002 after this documentary was completed) was a pioneering sound engineer who directly or indirectly influenced artists, bands, specific songs, and the technology underlying it all. Much of Tim Dowd & the Language of Music focuses on Dowd's pursuit of better mixing technologies. Getting started in the 1940s and 1950s, the state of the art was pathetic. Dowd's urging and Radio Shack handiness led directly to the invention of the eight-track mixer and mixing boards with sliders that could be operated by a single finger instead of dials that took a full hand to operate.

The documentary focuses on Dowd's reflections from half a century in the business, with frequent breaks to interview the celebrities he worked with, including Eric Clapton, Ray Charles, and a host of others. Their remembrances are remarkably vivid, enhanced with separate commentary from Dowd that gets incredibly specific, perhaps most so when Dowd walks us through a mix of Clapton's "Layla." If nothing else, you'll earn a new appreciation for the way music is produced.

The film takes a bizarre detour (in a good way) when it reveals Dowd's early work as part of, get this, the Manhattan Project. He was on site during the atomic bomb tests at Bikini and dropped out of college because he was 10 years ahead in the field of physics than they were teaching at the time. Really interesting stuff -- has little to do with music, but it enriches this special film quite a bit.

Now on DVD, the movie includes another 90 minutes of extra scenes and interviews not included in the final cut.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 19th January 2003

Distributed by: Palm Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Fresh: 27 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 8.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.