Davis unveiled the film last night at Radio City Music Hall to open the Tribeca Film Festival followed by a special concert starring Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson, Dionne Warwick, Carly Simon, and Barry Manilow. With such incredible performances that followed it, the film itself nearly served as a two-hour-long pre-roll before the concert started.
As the musicians and movie were there to remind, Davis was a man who found and cultivated artists like Bruce Springsteen, Carlos Santana and Janis Joplin, as well as those, such as Warwick, whom he revived mid-career. He first acknowledged Davis, "What a life. and I was there!"
"From Kenny G.to the Notrious B.I.G., now that's distance", quipped record mogul Antonio "L.A". Saxophonist Kenny G explains, "He's the guy that brings the quality into the music industry".
The film portrays the relationship between Houston and Davis as father-daughter, and also reveals that Davis was in denial about Houston's drug use for many years. He also received The Recording Academy's lifetime achievement award. And maybe that's true, but the details seem a lot more complicated than the film portrays them as being. Davis earned a loud cheer from the audience when he started dancing.
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Look, if you're someone who only knows Clive Davis as someone who was involved in American Idol, then Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives works as a sort of crash course on the biggest names he worked with.
He said watching the documentary was somewhat hard, especially scenes with Houston, who died in 2012.
Still, "Soundtrack" is an endearing portrait of a man who came from humble working-class roots, not to mention a whirlwind tour through 50 years of musical history.