Forty-five years after its release, there has never been another album quite like American Pie.
The film tells the story of Buddy Holly’s tragically short life and career through interviews with those who knew him and worked with him.
In this unique film for BBC FOUR we explore the story of the lyric-driven French chanson and look at some of the greatest artists and examples of the form.
This film tells, in her own words, of her upbringing in Brooklyn, and the subsequent success that she had as half of husband and wife songwriting team Goffin & King.
Neil Sedaka is one of the most successful American singer-songwriters of the last century. This film tells the story of his life and career.
This in-depth biography of the life and music of Youssou Ndour is set within the rural landscapes and capital city of Senegal.
The reputations of few artists from the heyday of British folk-rock remain intact. There is, however, one figure whose body of work has come to stand for a particularly single-minded form of integrity. That man is Roy Harper.
This film follows celebrated and award-winning jazz singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Madeleine Peyroux as she records her inspired new album, The Blue Room.
Heartstrings tells the story of how Miloš got to this point in his career.
This documentary reappraises the songwriting genius of Difford and Tilbrook and shows why Squeeze hold a special place in British pop music.
Music video for the first single from Madeleine Peyroux’s album The Blue Room.
With the release of So in 1986, Peter Gabriel achieved a level of success that had thus far eluded him.
Iconic Reggae innovator Toots stepped easily to the mic with his guitar in tow and began the ma-gical session with Time Tough, accompanied by his son on bass, two daughters on backing vo- cals and rich percussions to accent the mix.
At the heart of the film is the back-story to David Garrett’s success.
Moving back to his classical roots David Garrett’s 2011 album Legacy sees him performing Beethoven’s violin concerto.
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;
This show, filmed on November 26th 2010 at London’s Olympia, was the first time that Primal Scream had performed the whole album live and it became one of the “must see” gigs of the year.
Canadian band Rush have pioneered a genre of music, Progressive Heavy Rock, and to this day are its leaders.
EPK for the latest album by astonishing singer Madeleine Peyroux.
This is the never-before-told story of one of the most influential artists ever to come out of Jamaica, Toots Hibbert.
This film captures jazz sensation Melody Gardot live for the first time with her four piece band
Melody Gardot’s grief-stricken, yet inspirational, journey to stardom is is captured in MELODY GARDOT: THE ACCIDENTAL MUSICIAN.
Prima Donna explores the rapid rise of the most mercurial talent of the modern music scene.
A beautiful film shot at varying locations across the world.
Documentary tracing the childhood and career of Madeleine Peyroux.
Alan Yentob explores the rapid rise of the most mercurial talent of the modern music scene, Rufus Wainwright.
The third album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, released in 1979, has long been regarded as a classic – it demonstrates the musical and songwriting virtuosity of a great front man and his amazing backing band.
This concert film captures for the first time the unique voice of Madeleine Peyroux live.
The film tells the story of the key events of her life, and the effects they had on her;
The programme tells the story behind the writing, recording and subsequent success of Rio through interviews, musical demonstrations and archive footage.
After a break of 25 years, the original members of Roxy Music return to the studio to record new material. With the promise of a new album and with exclusive access to the band members, all the key characters and never before seen footage, this is the definitive Roxy Music Story.
Jay-Z has established himself as one of the most successful and creative hip hop artists of all time. But his remarkable rise to fame was heralded by his first album Reasonable Doubt which broke new ground for Rap, telling the bitter-sweet story of a street hustler from Brooklyn with striking, coded lyrics supported by rich Soul samples.
In 2006 during the recording of a new Roxy Music album, and Ferry once again finds himself returning to the Bob Dylan songbook.
The programme documents the making of John Lennon’s 1970 first post- Beatle’s solo album. Regarded as a classic, it is a fierce, raw, emotionally painful, yet passionately beautiful album. It contains some of the most personal and cathartic songs John ever wrote including ‘Mother’, ‘Love’, ‘Working Class Hero’, ‘Isolation’, and ‘God’.
“This is where you go to find every aspect of Frank’s music squeezed into two perfectly formed records” Dweezil Zappa. This addition to Isis Productions’ acclaimed Classic Albums series focuses on Frank Zappa’s early seventies albums “Over-nite Sensation” (1973) and “Apostrophe(‘)” (1974).
This film examines the life in detail until his untimely end.
Marvin Gaye is one of the great and enduring figures of American music. His innovative mix of gospel, R&B, Soul and Jazz made him a huge and glamorous performing star, while records like ‘What’s Going On’ challenged and changed the face of popular music. Yet his life story is also one of personal torment, of bittersweet success, and of death by the hand of his father.
This film tells the story of Yusuf Islam from the beginning through to today. The conversations with Alan Yentob form the spine of the film: Alan discusess with Yusuf his whole music career, and his decision to give it all up.
After twenty years in the pop business, this is a celebration of the lives, work, and achievements of the Pet Shop Boys.
The Doors eponymous debut album alone assures them a place in rock and roll history. Together with the voice and lyrics of Jim Morrison this mix of blues, rock and jazz has made it one of the greatest debut albums of all time. In less than a year from its release the Doors would go from Los Angeles favourites to one of the biggest bands in the world.
Cream were rock’s first true supergroup combining the extraordinary talents of Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce in a power trio that formed the template for most hard rock during the seventies and remain a huge influence on the genre to this day.
‘A Night At The Opera’ was one of the most expensive, expansive and creative albums of its time and it confirmed Queen as a global rock phenomenon. It was their ‘Sgt. Pepper’, the album that propelled them into rock and roll history, and is a truly classic album.
The Colombian sensation is captured here with an adoring local crowd.
This is a documentary portrait with music of the phenomenon that is Juanes.
This is a rare in-depth portrait of an artist, his life and work.
The excitement of Moby’s live performances before a crowd of six thousand.
A documentary about the making of Pink Floyd’s album ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’.
In 1980, Motorhead released their fourth studio album Ace Of Spades. Loud, fast and overwhelmingly heavy, Ace Of Spades would propel Motorhead into the ranks of Heavy Metal’s elite and 25 years later is still considered a benchmark album in it’s genre.
In 1991 Nirvana’s “Nevermind” with the songs of Kurt Cobain changed the music business without compromise, record company hype or media overkill.
Simply Red, with their soulful pop songs, will go down in history as one of the UK’s biggest and most successful pop bands of the late eighties and early nineties.
All I Want is a visual portrait of an artist and an exploration of his art form.
Ray Davies, the cornerstone of the Kinks, is one of his country’s greatest songwriters. Over four decades he has provided a feast for all comers, regardless of social station, from the simple urgency of ‘You Really Got Me’ to the detached melancholy of “Come Dancing’ .
James Brown is renowned as a seminal figure in the development of music, helping create first Soul music, then the dynamic big-band rhythms of Funk, then Hip Hop and Rap. He is the most sampled musician of all time.
In this episode of the CLASSIC ALBUMS series, the surviving members of Def Leppard discuss the making of “Hysteria” as they sort through and explain the original multi-track tapes. In addition, some impromptu acoustic performances and musical demonstrations further dissect this classic album.
A one hour documentary about the making of Metallica’s eponymous fifth album ‘Metallica’ – also known as the Black Album.
The Sex Pistols album Never Mind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols is unquestionably one of the most important musical statements in the history of British music.
Deep Purple’s Machine Head is one of the definitive rock albums of the 70’s. Recorded in 1972 it features the classic Deep Purple line up of Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice at the very peak of their creative powers and became their most commercially successful album worldwide.
Melvyn Bragg reviews the career of acclaimed lyricist Bernie Taupin, long-time collaborator with Elton John, who opted to take a back seat as his associate stole the limelight.
A documentary about the making of Iron Maiden’s album ‘The Number Of The Beast’.
A one hour documentary about the making of Lou Reed’s album ‘Transformer’. The album that took Lou Reed from cult hero of ‘The Velvet Underground’ to international superstar status as a solo artist.
Elton John followed up his masterful 1972 album “Honky Chateau” with a record that was far more ambitious in scope. The result was 1973’s sprawling “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”, a record that mixed genres and sounds with ease and spawned hit singles such as “Bennie and the Jets”, “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” and “Candle in the Wind.”
This film tells the unusual story that lies behind the making of Elvis Presley’s first album for RCA Records, in 1956, and his meteoric rise to Superstardom.
Judas Priest, one of the most notorious and popular of the British heavy metal bands of the 1970s and 1980s, reached their peak with the 1980 album “British Steel”.
Hollywood’s last great star talks for the first time in years about her career, her life, and the challenges of the future.
Face Value was immediately a worldwide hit, entering the British charts at Number 1, spending almost six years in the Top 75 and selling in excess of 12 million copies.
The remarkable story of Bat Out Of Hell is told here by its leading contributors including Meat Loaf himself, composer Jim Steinman, record producer Todd Rundgre, and backing vocalists Ellen Foley and Karla De Vito together with others who helped in the contruction of Bat Out Of Hell’s “Wall of Sound”.
After forming in Birmingham, England, in the 1970’s, UB40 became one of the world’s most influential Reggae bands, spreading the word of this uniquely Jamaican music to an eager international audience.
Aja was the first British Top 10 hit for Steely Dan and was also the first album by Becker and Fagen as a duo. Becker and Fagen, renowned for their relentless perfectionism in the recording studio, recall the history of an album that was year in the making, but rewarded by a prestigious Grammy Award and three major hit singles, Peg, Deacon Blues and Josie.
Featuring interviews with Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey and John Entwistle, this episode of the CLASSIC ALBUMS series is a vital companion piece to the album itself, which includes such legendary hits as “Baba O’Riley”, “The Song is Over” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again”.
The principal collaborators on Bob Marley’s “Catch A Fire” come together to recount the recording of one of the world’s most popular reggae albums, featuring rare archival interviews with Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh and Marley himself–as well as never-before-seen performances and footage from the Jamaican recording sessions.
This episode of the CLASSIC ALBUMS series details the making of U2’s chart-topping album through interviews with band members, archival film footage and live performances.
An all-star tribute to Noel Coward- the man, the music, the legendary wit, featuring performances by some of the biggest names in comtemporary pop music- with some help from some lesser known, but equally capable names (The Divine Comedy).
3 part documentary series set in South Miami Beach in White Party Week.
A 30-minute film shot in New Zealand for Channel 4’s award-winning Access All Areas season.
In 1976, Stevie Wonder released Songs in the Key of Life, a stunningly ambitious two-record-set that is still regarded as the finest hour in Wonder’s remarkable career.
This documentary tells the story behind the making of the best-selling 1977 album.
Comprising Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel and Robbie Robertson, The Band were signed to Capitol Records in 1968 and embarked on a recording career that witnessed eight US Top 40 albums.
This film tells the story of Paul Simon’s landmark 1986 album, Graceland. Recorded in New York and South Africa, Graceland not only sold 14 million copies, but it was also named Album of the Year at the 1986 Grammy Awards.
The story of Jimi Hendrix’s epochal 1968 double album is told in words, music, and rare archival footage.
This film charts how The Dead evolved from “Anthem” to “Beauty”, and examines how these very different albums were made. It includes rare footage of the Dead in their prime from TV appearances and recording sessions to home videos as well as extensive interviews with band members, lyricist Robert Hunter and many musicians from the era.
John Simpson discusses how he reported the stories of the Russian elections in June and the conflict in Afghanistan.
Could genetic screening eliminate disability? Tom Shakespeare and his daughter, Ivy have restricted growth. Together they look at her future reproductive choices.
Lavish film production of Purcell’s operatic masterpiece.
A three-part series on evangelism in the USA presented by Randall Balmer.
Originally broadcast as part of ITV’s The South Bank Show, The Making of Sgt. Pepper celebrates the 25th anniversary of the creation of this ground-breaking record album, which awed and entertained millions with its innovative musical arrangements and poetic lyrics. For the first time in one programme, The Beatles’ Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr – as well as legendary producer George Martin – are all interviewed in-depth, offering their own distinct memories regarding the events of the Sgt. Pepper album.