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Classic Albums

Season 8 2008

  • 2008-04-14T02:00:00+03:00 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

8x01 The Doors: The Doors

  • Season Premiere

    2008-04-14T02:00:00+03:00 — 50 mins

The Making of the Doors' Debut Album traces the history of the revolutionary 1967 album in a 90-minute package that features live footage and in-depth interviews with the three surviving band members members -- keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Kreiger and drummer John Densmore -- as they demonstrate the unique musical stylings that contributed to the making of this pivotal album. Others interviewed include engineer Bruce Botnick, and Doors-influenced musicians Henry Rollins and Perry Farrell.

8x02 John Lennon: Plastic Ono Band

  • 2008-06-24T02:00:00+03:00 — 50 mins

Classic Albums: John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band examines in detail the creation of this album and the effect it had on music, and the people who created it. This included Ringo Starr on drums, Klaus Voormann (a member of Manfred Mann, and old friend from the early Hamburg years of the Beatles) on bass, and Billy Preston; sometimes referred to as the fifth Beatle on piano. And of course Lennon himself on guitar.

8x03 Duran Duran: Rio

  • 2008-11-22T02:00:00+02:00 — 50 mins

Tells the story behind the writing, recording and subsequent success of Rio through interviews, musical demonstrations, and archive footage. Original band members Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor and Roger Taylor are all interviewed along with director Russell Mulchay, former manager Paul Berrow, journalist Beverley Glick, designer Antony Price and Bob Geldolf amongst others.