Before the Music Dies

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Before the Music Dies
Directed by Andrew Shapter
Produced by Joel Rasmussen
Starring Forest Whitaker (narrator)
Doyle Bramhall II
Erykah Badu
Eric Clapton
Elvis Costello
Branford Marsalis
Dave Matthews
Billy Preston
Release date
  • 2006 (2006)
Running time
95 min.
Country United States
Language English

Before the Music Dies (B4MD) is a 2006 U.S. documentary film that criticizes the American music industry and the increasing commercialization of the art of music over the past thirty years. The film features interviews and performances from such musicians and groups as Doyle Bramhall II, Erykah Badu, Eric Clapton, Dave Matthews, Branford Marsalis, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt [1] and My Morning Jacket. It was directed by Andrew Shapter, produced by Joel Rasmussen, and co-written by Shapter and Rasmussen. The film premiered on March 12, 2006 at the South by Southwest film festival in Austin, Texas.[2]


The film looks at the evolution of American popular music and discusses the marketing of contemporary pop stars. "The reality is that superficiality is in," says Marsalis. "And depth and quality is kind of out."


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