|July 29, 2011
“The more insecure I feel, the bigger my hair has to be.” And insecurity took up a huge part in the life of Amy Winehouse, one of the greatest singers [...]
“The more insecure I feel, the bigger my hair has to be.” And insecurity took up a huge part in the life of Amy Winehouse, one of the greatest singers of her time – a fact that all the gossip and Tabloid-witch-hunt sometimes made easy to forget.
The recommendable documentary “The Girl done Good” shows the most important aspects of her life and work, both the successful and the hard times while never being sensationalist. It was released in 2008 and is rich in live clips, shows rare interview material and gathers experts and companions of hers like renowned R’n’B singer Geno Washington or the Guardian’s music journalist Paul Lester who discuss her career and are also able to explain fractions of the genius that was Amy Winehouse.
Born in North London her talents for music and rebellion soon became obvious. She went to the prestigious Sylvia Young Stage School, which was attended by the likes of Actress and Pop Singer Billie Piper or All Saints’ Natalie and Nicole Appleton. Amy – of course – got kicked out. “A barrel of attitude”: neurotic, psychotic and with a voice which by the tender age of 16 could already conjure up the strength and vulnerability of Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald alike. She was speaking the Language of Jazz as if it were her mother tongue.
But Amy Winehouse never was purely retro, even with her 2003 debut “Frank”, a record that brought a Jazz and Soul revival to popular culture, she mixed street-aware lyrics with vintage music. She was rightly described to inhabit a song, not just sing it. And soon she began melting the old, the classic into the modern with hints of Hip Hop, Rap and with the help of Mark Ronson’s Production skills in an urban and contemporary context. A process that lead to the huge success that was (and is) her second album “Back to Black”. But the world-wide fame brought with it big amounts of anxiety and a drastic image change from teenage Jazz vocalist to tattooed beehive-diva.
While record companies now shortly after her untimely death are undoubtedly rubbing their hands (it is said that Amy Winehouse left behind raw material for three albums) and Tabloids are evoking the famous club 27 again people shouldn’t forget about the essence that made her what she was: a vulnerable and edgy artist with lots of dry humour who was (brutally) honest and real both in her lyrics and the way she interpreted every song.
Documentary.net says: A quite sensitive and brilliantly diverse insight into life and career of a one-in-her-generation artist. A must-see for anyone who’s interested in great music.