One addition for 1966: Liitle Richard: Live in Paris

posted on 2020 June 7

Little Richard: Live in Paris (1966)
Recorded at the L’Olympia in November
Backed by UK band, Johnny B. Great & The Quotations

   Wild fiery sexual violent proud and beautiful. The crowd is feeling it. Gay gospel boy Little Richard rose to fame through seedy nightclub performances and early historic recordings of the new sound, known as rock & roll, that was sweeping the nation in the 1950s. The sound had its 2nd explosion in popularity in the 1960s spurred largely by energetic young white British rockers such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, who cemented rock's vitality and caused it to go global, or viral, before that was even a term. And in 1966, that rock pioneer, who had toured with the Beatles, the Stones, and Jimi Hendrix, before they were even widely known, comes back with a concert to re-assert his dominance, his status as one of the originators, his status as visionary, his status as the ruler of these times. And the audience understands and accepts and claps and shakes and stares and drools and is mesmerized.
   The shirtlessness and overt intense sexual aura adds authenticity, and ushers in the era of sex in music, which would be furthered by the Doors, David Bowie, funk, punk rock, heavy metal, and now almost every other act in music today.
   In other words, this concert movie isn't great because it documents the presenting of new sounds or new music to the world, after all, these songs are all about a decade old, but it  is a great movie because it documents the presenting of a new mood, a new philosophy, or maybe an old one. It documents a new naked unabashed style of performance, and the lifting of previously banned or unacceptable themes, like lurid staring, and a shirtless male beckoning the crowd like a lover, and a black man embracing his sensuality in a room full of admirers, and heightening it even further.
   Recorded three years before the mind-shifting, ethos-shift that was the Woodstock, Festival of Peace and Love. I mean, he's literally making the crowd beg for him to throw out to them his sweaty shirt for a minute or two. The energy is insane. The music is great. The band is on point. The performer is a demon. And the crowd is perfectly in tune with the times. Great document.

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