The Dark End of the Street

Hands up if you remember the musical-comedy-drama film, The Commitments. Directed by Alan Parker, it was released in 1991, the year before I became a daddy! It’s a fabulous film with a brilliant soundtrack that I haven’t listened to in full for a long time, though I’ve heard individual tracks from time to time. I remember seeing the movie when it was quite new.

The story is engaging. A music lover wants to set up a soul band in 1960s Dublin to cover hits of African-American musicians. The movie chronicles him getting the group together and the building of its repertoire for a gig, with much drama and conflict between members. I hadn’t heard of him at the time, but singer-songwriter Glen Hansard (a solo artist and a member of the band, The Frames, and co-star in the musical movie, Once) is a member of the soul band in the film.

I feel like it’s time to watch The Commitments again. Right now we’re dancing between BritBox, Netflix and Amazon Prime, in order of usage. None of them has it — well, that’s not quite right; Amazon has it, if we add Starz, a premium cable/satellite network, for an additional CAD 5.99 per month after 30 days’ free viewing. (I loathe starting a free preview knowing I’m not going to keep the service and then having the hassle of cancelling… #FirstWorldProblems.) I’ve wanted to drop down to just two streaming services (and just one would be even better), but the programs we like to watch are spread across all three. 

Oh well, the movie is also a CAD 4.99 rental from Apple TV… so that may be the way to go. Pay for it, watch it, and done.

Today’s song was written by Dan Penn and Chips Moman, and the first artist to record it was James Carr. It’s been recorded by many performers since, including Ry Cooder, Percy Sledge, Aretha Franklin, Richard and Linda Thompson, Linda Ronstadt, Elvis Costello, and many others.

Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s a video excerpt of the film performance of the song (not an official video, and warning: there are some cusswords):

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