DVD Review: “27: Gone Too Soon”
Live fast, die young. It’s an old adage, and few industries have typified this as much as the music industry, and especially those members of the infamous 27 Club. Gone Too Soon takes a look at the most famous inductees to that auspicious group, looking at their life and death, as well as the legacy they have left behind.
Gone Too Soon is divided into unique profiles of Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse. Legendary figures such as Gary Numan and Tom Robinson feature, weighing in on each fallen icon, while various other music industry insiders share their stories and experiences, as well as various talking points from the careers of each musician. The Brian Jones portion is intriguing especially in the way it portrays the other members of The Rolling Stones and their relationship with Jones towards the end of his life. The Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison sections cover familiar ground, while Janis Joplin’s story is perhaps the most interesting of the bunch. Cobain and Winehouse benefit from having a larger degree of available footage for their profiles, with more news and amateur footage available, which adds a more detailed layer to their history.
The documentary is very interesting, but at points feels likes it is covering ground that has already been drilled into in-depth with documentaries (Montage of Heck for Cobain, and Amy in the case of Winehouse both provided feature-length looks at each respectively), or in feature film format (The Doors, Jimi: All by My Side), and I’m not sure this documentary adds anything groundbreaking to what we already knew. Again, that’s not to take away from a very interesting look at the backgrounds, careers and ultimately ends of some of the biggest icons in musical history, but it is worth noting.
All in all, 27: Gone Too Soon is an engaging, informative and ultimately very intriguing documentary about the lives of Cobain, Winehouse, Morrison, Hendrix, Joplin and Jones, and their lasting legacies. For anyone looking to learn about these icons for the first time, or about the history of the dreaded club, this is a great entry point.