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Various Artists

Pride and Joy: The Story of Alligator Records BluRay

Review by Gary Hill

One thing I’ve noticed as both a music fan and reviewer over the years, labels often start with a specific focus. Like a similar trend in cable television where a new network with start with laser targeting on a specific area of content, they usually wind up wandering from that original vision and becoming just like the rest. To me, labels that start strong, generally become weaker as their original scope becomes diluted. Alligator Records, though, has really been different. They were founded in 1971 as a blues label, and they have not wavered from that focus.

This documentary really showcases the story of Alligator Records. The label has become one of the greatest driving forces in keeping the blues alive over the years, and this is really a loving homage to what they have accomplished. One thing should be made very clear, though, this is not a new documentary. It was originally released in 1992, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the label. It includes a lot of live footage from the tour that was put together to commemorate that milestone. It was a great documentary then. Now that it’s been redone in HD (they went back to the original film, not the video release), this thing is taken to the next level really. If you liked the original edition, this one (with some nice extras) is well worth having. If you dig the blues and missed this the first time, there is no excuse for missing it now.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 3 at
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