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

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

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.