Buffy Sainte-Marie
Televised Concert Reviews

Buffy Sainte-Marie Concert Video “Up Where We Belong”
Sam Graham
Editorial Reviews, Amazon.com

Part concert, part interview, part career retrospective, part celebration of her Native American heritage, Up Where We Belong is about as complete an audiovisual look at the work of Buffy Sainte-Marie as anyone could need. Sainte-Marie, the Canadian-born singer-songwriter who was lumped in with the '60s folk movement despite not really being a folkie (for one thing, she provided her own material from the start), has written or co-written some very familiar tunes, including the title song (a huge hit for Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes, and an Oscar winner in '82), "Until It's Time for You to Go" (recorded by Elvis Presley and Barbra Streisand, among others), and "Universal Soldier" (a defining '60s moment for Donovan). All are here, given simple, semi-acoustic treatments with backing from Sainte-Marie's New Age-flavored band. Also on hand are two Native American groups, Red Bull and Stoney Park, whose drumming and chanting, combined with Sainte-Marie's quavering, almost keening vibrato, generate real intensity on Indian-flavored fare like "Starwalker" and "He's an Indian Cowboy in the Rodeo."

Sainte-Marie, who essentially retired from an active music career for 16 years to raise a son (and make regular appearances on Sesame Street), made something of a comeback in the '90s; at age 60 when this concert was filmed, she has made a reputation as a digital artist as well as a musician, and some of her computer work is featured here as well. All in all, Up Where We Belong is Buffy Sainte-Marie's ebullient valentine to herself--and a well-deserved one, at that.
--Sam Graham

Product Description
Buffy Sainte-Marie: Up Where We Belong features Buffy Sainte-Marie in concert along with aboriginal singing groups Red Bull and Stoney Park, twice world-champion powwow singers from Alberta, Canada. Sainte-Marie sings hits, which she also wrote, ranging from protest anthems to classic love songs: "Universal Soldier," "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," "Starwalker," "Until It's Time for You to Go" and "Darling, Don't Cry," a new song co-written with Edmund Bull. Although she won an Academy Award for the song "Up Where We Belong," written for the film An Officer and a Gentleman which was a hit for Jennifer Warnes and Joe Cocker--Sainte-Marie only recently recorded it herself and performs it on this show. A renaissance woman, Sainte-Marie is fiercely proud of her native heritage and has always celebrated the power of fire and drums. Buffy Sainte-Marie: Up Where We Belong touches on the many aspects of the life and music of this singer, songwriter, artist, activist and scholar. 47 minutes.

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