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The People's History of Pop

All Episodes 2016 - 2017

  • Ended
  • BBC Four
  • 2016-04-15T07:00:00Z
  • 60 mins
  • 5 hours, 0 mins
  • United Kingdom
  • Documentary
Five decades of British rock and pop music, told by the people who loved it most – the fans. The BBC is collecting photos, audio & video of your cherished music memorabilia - ticket stubs, diary entries, teen band recordings, rare footage and more - to tell the stories of British rock and pop music from the 50s to the 00s. Whether you were into skiffle, punk, hip hop or anything in between, we want to see your stuff and hear your stories!

5 episodes

1x01 The Birth of the Fan

  • Series Premiere

    2016-04-14T23:00:00Z — 60 mins

Twiggy celebrates the 60s, meeting skiffle musicians, fans of the Shadows, Liverpudlians who frequented the Cavern Club at the height of Merseybeat, Beatles devotees, Ready Steady Go! dancers, mods, lovers of ska, bluebeat and Millie Small, and fans of the Rolling Stones. Unearthed pop treasures include a recording of John Lennon's first ever recorded performance with his band the Quarrymen.

1x02 1966-1976: The Love Affair

  • 2016-07-21T23:00:00Z — 60 mins

Writer, journalist and broadcaster Danny Baker looks at the years of his youth - 1966 to 1976 - a time when music fans really let rip. From the psychedelia of the Beatles' Sgt Pepper to the birth of the large-scale music festival, this is when hair, sounds and ideas got wilder and looser as a whole new generation of fans got really serious about British pop music and the world around them. There is testimony from hippies who found love and happiness at the 1970 Isle of Wight festival, from a teenager growing up in Birmingham who discovered a new sound called 'heavy metal', and from fans sent wild with excitement after David Bowie and Marc Bolan were beamed down and glam rock was born. A shy young man tells how he found expression through progressive rock, a fan relives her weekend escapes to Wigan Casino and a new scene called northern soul, and a young man discovers a new hero as reggae becomes mainstream. Unearthed pop treasures include a rare item of clothing worn by Marc Bolan and given to a young fan as a gift after he knocked on Marc's door. A former teacher and pupil of Peckham Manor School are reunited, more than forty years after they witnessed an unknown Bob Marley perform in their sports hall, and rare photos of the event are shown. Plus, some rare and special material from the biggest star of the 70s himself - David Bowie.

1x03 1976-1985 Tribal Gatherings

  • 2016-10-06T23:00:00Z — 60 mins

Lead singer of ska group The Selecter Pauline Black will present the third episode of BBC Four's People's History Of Pop, looking at the years 1976-1985, when punk hit Britain and a staggering array of rival tribes exploded onto the high street. This is the era when people's lives were changed by the Sex Pistols, when pop kids went wild for Duran Duran and we all came together for Live Aid to help the Ethiopian famine. The programme uncovers rare treasures: a gig promotor who has saved the mint-condition posters from the Sex Pistols' Anarchy In The UK tour in 1976 after the date was cancelled by the venue; a man who auditioned to sing on the Sex Pistols The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle and has some mementoes from the day including a tambourine which Sid Vicious punched his fist through while they were performing; and the son of artist Ray Lowry shares his father's beautiful sketchbooks from The Clash's tour of America in the summer of 1979, when Ray was asked to go on tour with the band as their 'war artist'. And curator Gordon McHarg shares an extraordinary discovery from Joe Strummer's personal archive, his handwritten notebook for the making of Combat Rock, packed full of his thoughts, alternative lyrics and songs that didn't end up getting on the final album. Contributors include a Durannie who shares her love of the Rio album to the horror of her fiancé, a die-hard punk; a Smiths fan who still has the original set list from the band's 1983 Dingwalls gig in Camden; a former punk who's saved all his Rock Against Racism posters; a man who recorded his Records For The Day every day in an amazing picture diary; and a woman shares the story of a magical night out with Steve Strange and the Blitz Kids.

1x04 1986-1996 All Together Now

  • 2016-11-25T00:00:00Z — 60 mins

Lauren Laverne celebrates the decade 1986-1996 when music had the power to unite fans - even sworn rivals - like never before. It's a decade that starts with a turn to the alternative, even among the fans of mega pop bands. We hear from Depeche Mode fans who were invigorated by the band's darker sounds in Black Celebration - and have saved a lot of memorabilia from the gigs they went to see back then. We also hear from a fan of hip hop who discovered a burgeoning UK hip hop scene when he moved to London and shares footage of his friends MCing and DJing at home. In 1988, the acid house wave hit and the show meets those who lived through it and loved it. They have saved flyers and photos from the halcyon days of raving that completely changed their lives, including one man who went from football hooligan to raver to club promoter. Out of the clubs came mega pop bands. The programme meets an avid Take That fan who bought every type of merchandise she could as a teenager - saving pretty much all of it. Another fan takes viewers back to the site of her first ever Blur gig in 1994 and the show finishes by talking to fans of the most successful girl group of all time - The Spice Girls. Pop treasures uncovered along the way include one of the first Hacienda membership cards, covered with signatures of Hacienda dignitaries, from New Order to Dave Haslam, A Guy Called Gerald, Bez and, of course, Tony Wilson. The programme also meets a club promoter who shares rare footage of one of The Prodigy's early rave-inspired gigs. And Lauren also meets someone with a rare Oasis demo tape from a gig at the Boardwalk in London in January 1992.

1x05 1997-2010 Closer Than Close

  • 2017-03-10T00:00:00Z — 60 mins

Sara Cox looks at the time when the internet opened up new worlds for music fans and brought them closer to their musical heroes than ever before. It starts in the years leading up to the year 2000 - a time when information overload and uncertainty about new technologies was creating an anxiety about the future. We hear from fans who loved a band that were tackling this millennial angst head-on with a new album - Radiohead with their 1997 album OK Computer. As this new technology enters our lives, we meet people who are starting to change the relationship between fans and bands - a fan who saves his favourite band Travis from the bad press reviews of their second album with a letter written to Melody Maker in 1999 and a chart pop fan who manages to meet his favourite pop heroes with an ingenious, homemade piece of memorabilia. From the same period, we get an insight into the new clubbing trends - from the outfits, photos and magazine articles saved by a pioneer of a new, fan-powered tribe on the dancefloor - the Crasher Kids - who become the identity of Sheffield club Gatecrasher, to a fan whose flyers chart the rise of grassroots sound UK garage, which went from the airwaves of pirate radio and Sunday night clubs scene in London to the top of the charts. In the 2000s, fans could now decide who their pop stars were going to be and we meet a mother and daughter whose lives were changed by Will Young, who in turn change his life by voting for him in Pop Idol. With the arrival of file sharing in the early 2000s, a fan recounts how the unconventional rise of The Arctic Monkeys was all thanks to fans sharing music on online forums and Myspace. And as technology develops, we see how a fan's canny use of YouTube opened up the grime scene of east London to the world. Along the way we hear the remarkable stories behind photos and signed set-lists from Amy Winehouse, the one-off fan club magazine from The Libertines and footage of a gig in Pete Doherty's flat, and footage of the moment when Adele gave her stage over to two very surprised fans.