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Classic Albums

All Episodes 1997 - 2018
TV-PG

  • Ended
  • BBC
  • 1997-04-13T23:00:00Z
  • 50 mins
  • 1 day, 18 hours, 30 mins
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Documentary
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'.

70 episodes

Special 1 Q65: Revolution

  • 1997-07-20T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

VertalingVan: Nederlands Naar: Engels EngelsNederlandsFransTaal herkennen NederlandsEngelsFrans In this episode a portrait of the band Q65. Central to the realization of the first album 'Revolution' (1966). Including the acoustic performance of a few songs. INTERVIEWS with: - Wim Bieler, vocals; - Peter Finch, bass; - Joop Roelofs, guitar; - Frank Nuyens, guitar; - Jay Baar drums. - Hans van Hemert, producer. ARCHIVE MATERIAL: various video clips. Google Vertalen voor bedrijven:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder Rechtstreekse vertaling uitschakelenOver Google VertalenMobielPrivacyHelpFeedback verzenden

The latest addition to Eagle s critically acclaimed and highly successful Classic Albums series is Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers 1979 breakthrough album Damn The Torpedoes . The band s third album defined their musical style and took them into the mainstream hitting No.2 on the US charts and spawning the top 10 single Don t Do Me Like That . The DVD features newly filmed contributions from the band members Tom Petty, Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench, Ron Blair and Stan Lynch along with co-producer Jimmy Iovine and engineer Shelly Yakus as they analyse the tracks from the original multi-track tapes and through new and archive performances. Damn The Torpedoes has stood the test of time as one of the great American rock albums of its era and is a worthy addition to the Classic Albums series.

Special 3 Rush: 2112 & Moving Pictures

  • 2010-06-25T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

The latest addition to the acclaimed and award winning Classic Albums series tells the story behind the making of two legendary albums from Rush. 2112 was the album that saw Rush break through to major chart success, going to No.1 in their native Canada and Top 75 in the USA where it would eventually be certified triple platinum. Moving Pictures opened them to a mass audience for the first time and remains the biggest selling album of their career. It also went to No.1 in Canada and went quadruple platinum there while hitting No.3 in both the UK and USA. Rush members Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart talk us through the making of the albums, together with original producer Terry Brown via interviews, demonstrations, archive videos and use of the original multi-track tapes.

Special 4 Black Sabbath: Paranoid

  • 2010-10-28T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

With Paranoid celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the Classic Albums/Black Sabbath episode is particularly timely. Music buffs will relish at the 97-minute DVD that touches upon everything from Black Sabbath’s influences, the songwriting process behind tracks like “War Pigs and “Iron Man,” the band’s introduction into America, and even hands-on explanations of the riff work from Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler. In stark contrast to the band’s self-titled debut album (recorded over two days and mixed in one), Paranoid was allowed an opportunity to be crafted in more accommodating studio environment. Those sessions bore a variety of intriguing stories, specifically one that details how “Paranoid” was written off-the-cuff after executives requested a “short song.”

Special 5 Primal Scream: Screamadelica

  • 2011-05-05T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

Primal Scream's seminal album Screamadelica was released in 1991, and synthesized the band's rock 'n' roll roots with the dance culture of that time; for many, the album's sound and imagery came to be regarded as quintessential symbols of the acid house era, perfectly catching the spirit and mood of the early 90s. Using rare archive footage and special performances, this film tells the story of Screamadelica and its hit singles and dance anthems Loaded, Movin' On Up, Come Together and Don't Fight It, Feel It. From the formation of the band in Glasgow to winning the first-ever Mercury prize, the band members explain the record's inception with insights from main producer Andrew Weatherall, Creation Records founder Alan McGee and many others involved with or inspired by this joyful record. Screamadelica both defines a generation and transcends its time, and is a true Classic Album.

Special 6 Peter Gabriel: So

  • 2012-03-23T00:00:00Z — 50 mins

So stands as one of the greatest records of the 1980s, helping define its time to become a true classic album. The film features interviews with Gabriel himself, co-producer Daniel Lanois, bass players Tony Levin and Larry Klein, performer Laurie Anderson, drummer Manu Katché and Rolling Stone editor David Fricke amongst others.

Special 7 Herman Brood: Shpritsz

  • 2010-06-25T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

Shpritsz was the break through for "Hollands hottest cha cha band" Herman Brood & His Wild Romance. This is one of three special episodes on Dutch Classic Albums that were included in the original series.

Special 8 De Dijk: Niemand in de stad

  • 2010-10-28T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

"Niemand in de stad", De Dijk's 1989 album was the breakthrough for the Amsterdam 'soul band', including hit songs "Ik kan het niet alleen", "Nergens goed voor" and "Wat een vrouw". This is the second of three special episodes on Dutch Classic Albums that were included in the original series.

Special 9 Caro Emerald: Deleted scenes

  • 2012-07-06T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

It is a fairy tale, the success story of Caro Emerald and the debut album, Deleted scenes from the cutting room floor. At a time when many people no longer buy records but download Caro Emerald sold in one year more records then all Dutch artists together. The album was a hit in Germany, Italy and Poland and they reached gold and platinum (over 300,000 copies sold) in England. "I'm just lost count" she says about all the prices they received your recent period. About four years ago came Vincent Degorigio, traveling songwriter from Canada, in contact with producer David Schreurs. Together they wrote a number of songs, music with a jazz sound, made from ancient samples and modern beats. A universal sound and suitable for all ages. Hiphop-producer Jan van Wieringen asked Caroline Esmeralda van der Leeuw the demo for Back it up to sing. Thus Caro Emerald born, in a tiny studio in Amsterdam pipe, where Jan and David consecutive nights the songs perfected and started their own label. For the record companies saw it in the first place are not that Latin-pop songs. Caro Emerald England now seems to have conquered America and can not be avoided.

Special 10 Shocking Blue: At Home

  • 2012-04-20T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

Shocking Blue was founded in the late sixties by Robbie van Leeuwen, a group in which he wanted to put the scaffolding could break through internationally. Eventually he succeeded in his mission: to singer Mariska Veres as eyecatcher Shocking Blue earned in 1970 as the first Dutch band the top spot in the Billboard Hot 100 with the single Venus. Venus plays an important role in this episode dedicated to At Home, the main plate of Shocking Blue. At At Home is also Love Buzz, a number that has achieved cult status in Japan and America because Nirvana as the first single has been released. Since the nineties, Robbie van Leeuwen, nicknamed The Genius, shunned the press. Especially for Classic Albums he breaks the silence. Also manager Cees van Leeuwen, label boss Willem van Kooten, photographer Ronnie Hertz and various musicians have their say.

Special 11 Betty Serveert: Palomine

  • 2012-07-03T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

Bettie Serveert - Palomine: This year marks the twenty years since Palomine appeared. Guitar Band Bettie Serveert (named after tennis player Betty Stöve) publish in 1992 with the album to a flying start. Both the Dutch and the foreign press coming superlatives to the unique sound of the quartet to prices. The raw, yet melodic songs, the bittersweet voice of Carol van Dyk and meandering guitar work of Peter Visser Palomine to create a modern classic and a benchmark in the Dutch pop music. On the wings of their debut the Betties touring through Europe, Canada and the United States. In particular, America loves the band Bettie Serveert plays frequently and with great success. In 1993, Bettie Serveert at Pinkpop, Lowlands and the following year at Roskilde. The group still exists, but Palomine remains her masterpiece.

"Niemand in de stad", De Dijk's 1989 album was the breakthrough for the Amsterdam 'soul band', including hit songs "Ik kan het niet alleen", "Nergens goed voor" and "Wat een vrouw". This is the second of three special episodes on Dutch Classic Albums that were included in the original series.

1x01 Paul Simon: Graceland

  • Series Premiere

    1997-04-13T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

This premiere episode spotlights Paul's 1986 Grammy-winning 'comeback' album. Introduced by Ringo Starr, each song is examined from the studio perspective. Paul considers the title track to be "The best I ever did". He describes how he came up with the musical and lyrical ideas, and we hear comments from the engineers and from prominent critics, and some of the South African musicians who contributed.

1x02 Grateful Dead: American Beauty

  • 1997-04-14T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

This 1970 release was an important step in the rise of the Grateful Dead to legend status. Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, along with some interviews with Jerry Garcia, discuss what went into the writing and recording.

Stevie's 1976 double album is looked at here. Stevie had already released the smash album, Innervisions, but as Berry Gordy explains, he took the experimentation to a new level. Quincy Jones and Herbie Hancock are in the studio with Stevie, along with some other top musicians who contributed, as we examine the creation and recording process, of what many consider Stevie Wonder's finest hour.

1x04 The Band: The Band

  • 1997-04-16T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, Rick Danko, and Garth Hudson discuss the making of their classic 1969 release. Each member explains how they achieved their distinct sound, with all of them often switching instruments. We hear from Eric Clapton and George Harrison on the influence the record had. Also included is a tribute to suicide victim Richard Manuel.

Jimi is recalled here with archival footage, and current interviews with Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchell, and engineer Eddie Kramer, explain the creative processes that went into the 1968 album. Jimi's manager, Chas Chandler, contributes some details, in what was to be his final interview.

1x06 Fleetwood Mac: Rumours

  • 1997-07-21T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

The band's Grammy-winning 1977 album is given the Classic Albums treatment. We hear from all the band members, and technicians who worked on the project. Each track is examined and the master tapes are analysed. Included is some archival performance footage, along with some home movies.

2x01 U2: The Joshua Tree

  • Season Premiere

    1999-12-07T00:00:00Z — 50 mins

'Joshua Tree' elevated U2 to superstar status internationally, and confirmed their position as one of rock's most influential and powerful forces. Here we examine the making of the album, with the four group members, along with producers Brian Eno, Steve Lillywhite, and Daniel Lanois. Elvis Costello is also on hand to lend friendly comments.

2x02 Phil Collins: Face Value

  • 1999-11-02T00:00:00Z — 50 mins

Phil's first solo album, which launched his career outside of Genesis, is examined here. Engineer Hugh Padgham peels the layers of sound back, and Phil explains how the lyrics to many of the songs wrote themselves, as he was going through a bitter divorce. Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, and Darrell Stuermer are on hand, and many of the studio musicians who contributed are seen as they describe working with Phil.

2x03 Meat Loaf: Bat Out Of Hell

  • 1999-11-09T00:00:00Z — 50 mins

In 1977, Marvin Lee Aday, aka Meat Loaf, shocked the music world by releasing this 30 million-selling blockbuster. Previously little-known as an actor and singer , he hooked up with writer Jim Steinman, producer Todd Rundgren, and vocalists Ellen Foley and Carla Devito, to create one of the top five sellers of all time. Kasim Sultan and Max Weinberg, who also played on the album are heard from, and Todd isolates some of the masters to show how the sounds were created.

Producer Chris Blackwell is the main focus of this episode, as he recounts bringing in some top American session men to the studio, in an attempt to break Bob Marley to the US audiences. Wailer Peter Tosh, and instrumentalists Wayne Perkins and Rabbit Bundrick are interviewed, and we see some rare clips of Bob himself.

2x05 Steely Dan: Aja

  • 2000-02-03T00:00:00Z — 50 mins

Donald Fagen and Walter Becker delve into the master tapes to discuss the year-long effort that went into this, their biggest album. Well known as perfectionists in the studio, this labor of love is dissected layer by layer. Producer Gary Katz and engineer Roger Nichols help explain the craft and detail that the Dan, along with Michael McDonald and some other session players, spent on the Grammy-winning jazz-rock classic.

3x01 Iron Maiden: Number of the Beast

  • Season Premiere

    2001-11-01T00:00:00Z — 50 mins

Iron Maiden has been both criticized and praised for their unforgiving presentation of hard rock. This album took them to worldwide stardom, and awoke accusations of backward masking, subliminal messages, and Satanism. Producer Martin Birch dissects the master tapes with the five band members, who discuss the writing and recording of each song, while looking for the 'hidden' elements.

Elton John, along with some of his past and present band members discuss the creation of his opus, 'Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road'. Producer Gus Dudgeon and engineer David Henschel pull up some of the original multi-tracks, and demonstrate how the music was played and sang. Bernie Taupin is also on hand to describe his lyric writing, and some rare footage of rehearsals, and photos shot in the studio, are presented.

Metallica's 12 million selling breakthrough album is examined in depth. Taped at One on One Studios, where it was recorded, Producer Bob Rock, along with all four band members, discuss the making of each song, and how they polished their sound to command a wider audience.

3x04 Lou Reed: Transformer

  • 2001-11-26T00:00:00Z — 50 mins

Co-produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson, this 1972 landmark album took Lou Reed from cult idol to glam superstar status. Here Reed examines each track, discussing with engineer Ken Scott the creation process. Bassist Herbie Flowers shows us how the riff for 'Walk On The Wild Side', was recorded, and we see some archives of Lou's performances.

3x05 Elvis Presley: Elvis Presley

  • 2001-12-03T00:00:00Z — 50 mins

The debut album of the King is examined here. It was the first million-selling rock album, and the first million-selling popular music album for RCA. We hear from some of the producers and musicians who contributed, and each track is discussed in depth. Five of the songs were taken from Elvis' Sun Sessions, and Sam Phillips is on hand to discuss those sessions. Elvis' version of Carl Perkins' classic, 'Blue Suede Shoes' is dissected, and his first smash single, 'Heartbreak Hotel', is included, though not originally on the album.

3x06 Judas Priest: British Steel

  • 2001-12-10T00:00:00Z — 50 mins

The metal classic 'British Steel' is examined here. The band, minus drummer Dave Holland, explain the songwriting process and lyrical ideas, interspersed with live footage of performances from that period. Producer Tom Allom demonstrates how the sound effects were achieved, and the two guitarists show how their 'trademark' twin guitar sound is generated.

4x01 The Sex Pistols: Never Mind The Bollocks

  • Season Premiere

    2002-10-25T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

The Sex Pistols only released one album before breaking up, but it set off the punk movement, and turned the British music industry on its head. Featuring interviews with John Lydon (Johnny Rotten), Steve Jones and Paul Cook, plus original bassist Glen Matlock, along with producer Chris Thomas, Classic Albums looks at the way it was written and recorded. Also shown is some rare television footage from that time, and some concert performances by the groundbreaking band.

4x02 Deep Purple: Machine Head

  • 2002-11-27T00:00:00Z — 50 mins

The 1972 early metal classic is examined here. After a brief recount of Deep Purple's history prior, all five members of the group from that time recount the making of the album, and Jon Lord, Richie Blackmore, and Roger Glover isolate some of their parts, and play along live. Engineer Martin Birch also lends a hand, describing how the instrumental sounds were produced.

4x03 Def Leppard: Hysteria

  • 2003-01-07T00:00:00Z — 50 mins

Def Leppard labored for more than a year to record this, their follow-up to 'Pyromania'. Producer Mutt Lange and the group describe track by track what went into the writing, rehearsing, and recording. Layers are peeled away at the mixing board as we see and hear how their vocal sound, guitar effects, and drums are engineered. Also, they play acoustic versions of two of their biggest hits from the record. As a bonus, an early rendition of 'Love Bites', which thankfully was given a complete overhaul, is presented.

5x01 Simply Red: Stars

  • Season Premiere

    2005-01-07T00:00:00Z — 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

  • 2005-02-18T00:00:00Z — 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

  • 2005-03-01T00:00:00Z — 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.

6x01 Queen: A Night At The Opera

  • Season Premiere

    2006-05-16T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

The musicianship that went into one of rock's premier achievements is examined. Surviving members Brian May and Roger Taylor talk about Freddie Mercury's contributions, and producer Roy Thomas Baker shows us some isolated channels from the master tapes. Also commentary from Joe Perry and Ian Hunter is included.

Engineers Chris Thomas and Alan Parsons peel layers off the master tapes from this 1973 masterpiece. The songs are dissected methodically, and Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Nick Mason, and Rick Wright are on hand, (though separately), to demonstrate how simplistic some of the writing was.

6x03 The Who: Who's Next

  • 2006-10-18T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

Interviews with Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, along with the late John Entwhistle, who reminisce about the failed attempt to present a rock musical stage show called Lifehouse, tell us how the project evolved into the 1971 classic, Who's Next. Some archival footage is presented, and we are shown by Pete how he developed the synthesized keyboard riffs that gave sonic charges to the album.

6x04 Cream: Disraeli Gears

  • 2006-11-03T00:00:00Z — 50 mins

Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce, and Eric Clapton are interviewed in the studio for a track by track analysis of their 1967 classic. Each of them play acoustically, including Bruce on the piano, and some archival footage is presented. Lyricist Peter Brown discusses the creative process for 'Sunshine Of Your Love', among other things.

6x05 Betty Serveert: Palomine

  • 2012-07-03T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

Bettie Serveert - Palomine: This year marks the twenty years since Palomine appeared. Guitar Band Bettie Serveert (named after tennis player Betty Stöve) publish in 1992 with the album to a flying start. Both the Dutch and the foreign press coming superlatives to the unique sound of the quartet to prices. The raw, yet melodic songs, the bittersweet voice of Carol van Dyk and meandering guitar work of Peter Visser Palomine to create a modern classic and a benchmark in the Dutch pop music. On the wings of their debut the Betties touring through Europe, Canada and the United States. In particular, America loves the band Bettie Serveert plays frequently and with great success. In 1993, Bettie Serveert at Pinkpop, Lowlands and the following year at Roskilde. The group still exists, but Palomine remains her masterpiece.

6x06 Shocking Blue: At Home

  • 2012-04-20T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

Shocking Blue was founded in the late sixties by Robbie van Leeuwen, a group in which he wanted to put the scaffolding could break through internationally. Eventually he succeeded in his mission: to singer Mariska Veres as eyecatcher Shocking Blue earned in 1970 as the first Dutch band the top spot in the Billboard Hot 100 with the single Venus. Venus plays an important role in this episode dedicated to At Home, the main plate of Shocking Blue. At At Home is also Love Buzz, a number that has achieved cult status in Japan and America because Nirvana as the first single has been released. Since the nineties, Robbie van Leeuwen, nicknamed The Genius, shunned the press. Especially for Classic Albums he breaks the silence. Also manager Cees van Leeuwen, label boss Willem van Kooten, photographer Ronnie Hertz and various musicians have their say.

6x07 Caro Emerald: Deleted scenes

  • 2012-07-06T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

It is a fairy tale, the success story of Caro Emerald and the debut album, Deleted scenes from the cutting room floor. At a time when many people no longer buy records but download Caro Emerald sold in one year more records then all Dutch artists together. The album was a hit in Germany, Italy and Poland and they reached gold and platinum (over 300,000 copies sold) in England. "I'm just lost count" she says about all the prices they received your recent period. About four years ago came Vincent Degorigio, traveling songwriter from Canada, in contact with producer David Schreurs. Together they wrote a number of songs, music with a jazz sound, made from ancient samples and modern beats. A universal sound and suitable for all ages. Hiphop-producer Jan van Wieringen asked Caroline Esmeralda van der Leeuw the demo for Back it up to sing. Thus Caro Emerald born, in a tiny studio in Amsterdam pipe, where Jan and David consecutive nights the songs perfected and started their own label. For the record companies saw it in the first place are not that Latin-pop songs. Caro Emerald England now seems to have conquered America and can not be avoided.

6x08 Q65: Revolution

  • 1997-07-20T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

VertalingVan: Nederlands Naar: Engels EngelsNederlandsFransTaal herkennen NederlandsEngelsFrans In this episode a portrait of the band Q65. Central to the realization of the first album 'Revolution' (1966). Including the acoustic performance of a few songs. INTERVIEWS with: - Wim Bieler, vocals; - Peter Finch, bass; - Joop Roelofs, guitar; - Frank Nuyens, guitar; - Jay Baar drums. - Hans van Hemert, producer. ARCHIVE MATERIAL: various video clips. Google Vertalen voor bedrijven:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder Rechtstreekse vertaling uitschakelenOver Google VertalenMobielPrivacyHelpFeedback verzenden

7x01 Frank Zappa: Over-Nite Sensation/Apostrophe

  • Season Premiere

    2007-04-30T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

More accurately, "Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention: Over-Nite Sensation/Apostrophe", as this rockumentary covers both releases. The rationale is that both were recorded about the same time, with the same musicians in the same style, and feature Zappa at his most accessible. Dweezil Zappa is at the studio console to peel off the many layers of tracks, and along with some live vintage concert footage we hear from Alice Cooper, Billy Bob Thornton, and members of the band, some of whom perform currently as Zappa Plays Zappa.

7x02 Jay Z: Reasonable Doubt

  • 2007-10-06T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

A behind the scenes look at the recording of Jay Z's album 'Reasonable Doubt'

8x01 The Doors: The Doors

  • Season Premiere

    2008-04-13T23:00:00Z — 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

  • 2008-06-23T23:00:00Z — 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

  • 2008-11-22T00:00:00Z — 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.

A look at the recording process and history behind the classic 1979 album - Damn the Torpedoes.

9x03 Rush: 2112 & Moving Pictures

  • 2010-06-25T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

This addition to the Classic Albums series tells the story behind the making of two legendary albums from Rush

9x05 The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds

  • 2010-11-19T00:00:00Z — 50 mins

This edition of the series celebrates the 50th anniversary of the release of Brian Wilson's masterpiece, the Beach Boys' album Pet Sounds. Wilson and the surviving members of the Beach Boys - Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks - guide us through the writing and recording of the landmark album that is consistently voted one of the top three most influential albums of all time. Featuring exclusive interviews, classic archive and rare studio outtakes from the recording sessions, the film tells the story of the creation of the record that cemented the Beach Boys' reputation as a leading force to rival the Beatles, and Brian Wilson as a songwriting genius.

9x06 Carly Simon: No Secrets

  • 2017-05-04T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

Carly Simon is one of the most influential singer-songwriters of her generation. The classic album that made her a global star was No Secrets, which included the enigmatic song You're So Vain. The album spent five weeks at number one in the US chart. In this new interview Carly ties together her life and work on No Secrets - she is at her most honest, sometimes defiant, but with a wit and wisdom that comes from her rich and turbulent life. She tells of how the second single from the album, Right Thing to Do, was a refreshingly realistic love song, choosing to ignore her lover's problems. That lover was James Taylor; Carly wrote the lyrics on a plane after looking over at James and thinking 'there's nothing you can do to turn me away.' The album's title track, We Have No Secrets, struck a chord with a generation trying to reconcile honesty in relationships with the emotional consequences that followed. Carly had a number of highly public affairs in the early 70s and her experience fed into the album's most famous song, the global hit You're So Vain. She performs the missing fourth verse on the piano, the first time she has ever sung it along with the melody. Carly tells of how her producer made her do the vocal track on 'Vain' over and over, and how Mick Jagger ended up on backing vocals. The film has access to the master tapes and we hear Jagger's vocal track. Her producer reveals Carly was 'so turned on' after singing with Jagger that she recorded the whole vocal again - and that is the one on the album. Finally, the film includes footage of Taylor Swift and Carly Simon performing You're So Vain together, and extracts from an interview where Swift herself talks about her love for the song

9x07 The Wailers: Catch a Fire

  • 2016-10-06T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

This edition looks at the making of the 1973 Wailers album, Catch a Fire, the album that brought international recognition to Bob Marley. Already big names in their native Jamaica, it took until this release for Marley and Co to finally go global. It features interviews with key musicians and engineers who helped make the album, as well as record label boss Chris Blackwell, who talks about how the band had song-writing and performing skills in abundance but needed to be put through the equivalent of a "rock blender" to make them palatable to a wider audience. Through first-hand accounts, this programme tells how they did just that. The programme takes a track-by-track look at the making of the record. In London, the producer Chris Blackwell and original engineer Tony Platt lead viewers through the original multi-tracks of Slave Driver, Concrete Jungle, Stir it Up, Rock It Baby and others. Rabbit Brundrick (keyboards) and Wayne Perkins (electric guitar) tell how they were brought back in to add the rock and roll parts to the songs. It is illustrated with archive footage from the Wailers in concert, early interviews with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, plus television performances and rare home movies - all of which provide a unique insight into the process behind the recording of this landmark album.

9x08 Don McLean: American Pie

  • 2017-12-08T00:00:00Z — 50 mins

The story of Don McLean's second album American Pie. Crowned by its titular overture and the song Vincent, McLean's equally moving tribute to Van Gogh, American Pie is a classic of the folk-rock genre. Earning its place alongside Carole King's Tapestry, Joni Mitchell's Blue and Neil Young's After The Goldrush as one of the landmark singer-songwriter LPs of 1971, a year recently celebrated in a book by award-winning journalist David Hepworth as 'rock's golden year'. Don McLean features in extensive new interviews, discussing the intricacies of his songs, the sometimes fraught recording process, and the album's legacy.

10x01 Primal Scream:Screamadelica

  • Season Premiere

    2011-05-05T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

A look at the creation and recording process of classic 1991 album Screamadelica.

10x02 Peter Gabriel: So

  • 2012-03-23T00:00:00Z — 50 mins

So stands as one of the greatest records of the 1980s, helping define its time to become a true classic album. The film features interviews with Gabriel himself, co-producer Daniel Lanois, bass players Tony Levin and Larry Klein, performer Laurie Anderson, drummer Manu Katché and Rolling Stone editor David Fricke amongst others.

10x04 Carly Simon: No Secrets

  • 2017-05-04T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

The story of the making of Carly Simon's classic album "No Secrets", including the massive hit "You're So Vain."

10x06 Amy Winehouse: Back to Black

  • 2018-09-13T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

The making of Amy Winehouse's classic 2006 album, Back to Black.

11x01 Amy Winehouse: Back to Black

  • Season Premiere

    2018-09-13T23:00:00Z — 50 mins

Series looking at the creation of some classic rock albums looks at Amy Winehouse's second album Back To Black from 2006 and how it transformed the beehived girl from north London into a global star, with hits like Rehab, the title track and Love Is A Losing Game. Back to Black helped launch a wave of soul-influenced British chanteuses including Adele and Duffy and has since sold over 20 million copies. This film reveals Amy Winehouse the artist, focusing firmly on her lyrics, influences and vocal talents. Using unseen footage from the Miami and New York sessions and rarely seen archive of Amy in interview and performance, producers Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi and their respective musicians shine a light into the making of Back to Black and offer their firsthand accounts of Amy's genius and her emotional turmoil. Featuring producers Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi, the Dap-Kings band, Amy's colleagues and friends, Island president and A&R director Darcus Beese and Ronnie Spector.

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