The Corporate Line: Who Killed That Bird Out On Your Window Sill…The Movie is an often hilarious insight into the inner workings of The Black Crowes—one that sees the brothers Robinson doing just about everything you’d expect from them: sneering at everyone, fighting with one another, at odds with radio programmers, but most importantly, creating some of the best American rock music of the early ’90s. The DVD invites fans into the recording studio to catch the Crowes hard at work on their second record (recorded in a mere eight days).
The Review: The Black Crowes’ career is a bit of a mixed bag. Hitting the scene precisely at the right time in the late ’80s when vintage-flavored, straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll was in vogue, the band made quite an impression with an inspired take on the style, imbuing it with a heaping dose of southern-rock soul. The band’s first two albums set the bar high. Unfortunately, they’ve never been able to scale those heights since, becoming increasingly more self-indulgent and pretentious with virtually every successive album. But, there’s good news with this release—it focuses entirely on the early days, when the band was hungry and brimming with energy and self-assurance.
While hardly a “movie” as it’s billed, this was originally released some 14 years ago on VHS and features vignettes of the Brothers Robinson attempting to work together, a video montage, plus some funny bits of the band at a Japanese media event. Early videos include gems like “Jealous Again,” “She Talks To Angels,” “Thorn In My Pride,” “Hard To Handle” and “Remedy.” There are also some excellent early live performances, which include a down-and-dirty bluesy version of John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy.”
The Extras: Nothing listed as such, but there is a lot in here, so there’s no need to fret.
Frankly: This DVD is a smooth, hip trip down memory lane with a band that had success at its feet and nowhere to go but up. The flash and panache of the early videos and performances makes one wonder how things could’ve gone the way that they ultimately did. Alas, this is worth your while.
+ Jim Kaz