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Classic Albums

Season 5 2005

  • 2005-01-07T05:00:00+05:00 on BBC
  • 50 mins
  • 2 hours, 30 mins
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Documentary, Special Interest

This series looks at the writing and recording of some of the greatest albums of our era. Musicians, producers, and engineers are interviewed in the studio, and the master tapes are played, sometimes isolating particular channels, to highlight certain instrumental sounds or voices. Many of the musicians play live along with the tracks, demonstrating how they played the parts. In some cases, group members are reuniting after considerable time as they reminisce together. This is usually interspersed with some vintage clips and photos of concert performances.

The BBC produced series began in 1997, with Ringo Starr as narrator. Later episodes have no narrator. The first seven episodes were licensed to VH1 for showing in the US, then periodically more were released, one at a time. Some have been shown on A&E, PBS, and Biography Channel. One or two were repackaged by VH1 as 'Ultimate Albums'. In April 2006, 26 DVD's were released as 'VH1's Classic Albums', with additional footage and bonus features. In October 2006, the show began a weekly airing on VH1 Classic on Tuesday evenings. The original airdates in some cases are sketchy, as VH1 are rather tight-lipped about past programming, preferring to focus on upcoming 'premieres'.

3 episodes

5x01 Simply Red: Stars

  • Season Premiere

    2005-01-07T05:00:00+05:00 — 50 mins

Simply Red, the loosely based group of musicians led by Mick Hucknall, take us into the studio to examine the making of this album. While not as commercially successful in the US, it was the biggest selling album in the UK in 1991, and shipped 8.5 million copies worldwide. The musicians who were with the group at that time runite and take us through the tracks. Included is an interview with songwriting legend Lamont Dozier.

5x02 Nirvana: Nevermind

  • 2005-02-18T05:00:00+05:00 — 50 mins

The Seattle grunge/alternative rock trio's breakthrough album is examined here. With this recording, Nirvana changed the direction of rock music in general, and made industry executives take notice, and rethink what type of music could be commercially viable. Surviving members Kris Novocelik and Dave Grohl take us through the tracks, along with producer Butch Vig. Included is a segment on Kurt Cobain's life and career.

5x03 Motorhead: Ace Of Spades

  • 2005-03-01T05:00:00+05:00 — 50 mins

This album, while not a huge seller in the US, was definitely a landmark in the annals of crushingly loud hard rock. Bassist/singer Lemmy and drummer Phil Taylor are in the studio reminiscing about the making of the music, and life while touring. Guitarist Fast Eddie Clark is interviewed separately, but all three discuss candidly what went into the making of the songs. Included are clips from live shows, and even one of Lemmy while with his earlier band, Hawkwind.