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Classic Albums Series 24 Available Shows

  • Classic Albums: The Dark Side Of The Moon

    Pink Floyd

    Year: 1972

    Runtime: 49 min

    Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" Classic Album is the creative story behind the masterpiece: "Dark Side Of The Moon". "Dark Side Of The Moon" transformed Pink Floyd from art house favorites to global, stadium superstars. Prior to 1973, Pink Floyd maintained a relentless gigging schedule and by the time they came to record "Dark Side Of The Moon" had already created many of the basic tracks. "Dark Side Of The Moon" would be the first Pink Floyd (post Syd Barrett) album where Roger Waters would supply all the lyrics around a concept: The Circle of Life. With the timeless qualities of its production and musicality, allied to the hypnotic evocation of its central themes - alienation, paranoia, madness, war and death, "Dark Side Of The Moon" would become the album that would dominate the 70's and 80's (with a record number of 741 consecutive weeks in the Billboard 200). This program takes an in depth look at the making of the 1973 album. All four members of the band Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright are featured in exclusive interviews. Roger, David and Richard play songs and demonstrate themes from the album. Alan Parsons (the original engineer) takes you through the multi track tapes giving a unique insight into the musical fabric of the record and the program is illustrated throughout with archive footage. "Dark Side Of The Moon" with its combination of great songs, inventive effects and one of the best known sleeves ever, tapped into the world's collective subconscious and became a landmark in Rock history and a truly Classic Album.

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  • Classic Albums: Aja

    Steely Dan

    Year: 1976

    Runtime: 50 min

    A vivid portrait of a '70s record that is still as fresh and memorable today as when it was released more than two decades ago. Pioneering pop/jazz band Steely Dan, formed by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker in the early seventies, had already secured five Top 40 albums before the release of Aja in 1977. Aja, however, was to prove to be the biggest selling album of Steely Dan's illustrious career, reaching No. 3 on the Billboard chart and spending a year in the Top 40. Becker and Fagen, renowned for their relentless perfectionism in the recording studio, recall the history of an album that was a year in the making, but rewarded with a Grammy Award and three hit singles. Steely Dan's Aja has proven to be one of the most outstanding jazz-rock albums in the history of popular music and now its story is told in this fascinating documentary.

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  • Classic Albums: Rumours

    Fleetwood Mac

    Year: 1998

    Runtime: 60 min

    Oh, the heartache. Oh, the drug intake. And oh, the sales records they did break. It's all here in this 70-minute, 1997 chronicle of the making of one of pop music's biggest albums ever, Rumours. All five members of Fleetwood Mac's most successful incarnation are interviewed, and their comments are even more candid than the confessional songs ("Dreams," "Go Your Own Way" et al.) on the album itself; descriptions of the torturous process of making a record while John and Christine McVie's marriage and the Lindsey Buckingham- Stevie Nicks liaison were breaking up at the same time makes for compelling, if slightly discomfiting, viewing. Meanwhile, lest one forget that Rumours was terrific as well as revealing, plenty of attention is paid to the songs. Particularly fascinating (as with most Classic Albums packages) are the breakdowns of the separate instrumental and vocal components of individual tracks. A great tale, wonderfully told.

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  • Classic Albums: So

    Peter Gabriel

    Year: 2012

    Runtime: 59 min

    The latest addition to the Classic Albums series tells the story behind the making of Peter Gabriel's 1986 album 'So'. It was Gabriel's 5th solo album and the first one to have a title (the others simply being called 'Peter Gabriel'). The album spawned a number of hits including 'Sledgehammer', 'Big Time', 'Don't Give Up' (a duet with Kate Bush) and 'In Your Eyes' which drove 'So' to multi-platinum worldwide sales and No. 1 in the UK and No. 2 in the US. 'So' was very much an album of the MTV generation and the distinctive videos for tracks like 'Sledgehammer', 'Red Rain', 'Big Time' and 'Don't Give Up' were key factors in the album's success. Featuring contributions from many of those involved in the making of the album and the videos, including Peter Gabriel himself, co-producer Daniel Lanois, the sound engineer, backing musicians and many more.

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  • Classic Albums: Damn The Torpedoes

    Tom Petty

    Year: 2010

    Runtime: 56 min

    This film tells the story behind the creation of this great rock 'n' roll album and the dramatic transformation in the band's career that took place following its release. Through interviews, new and archive performances and analysis we discover how Tom Petty, Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench, Ron Blair and Stan Lynch created their songs and sounds with the help of Co-Producer Jimmy Iovine and Engineer Shelly Yakus.

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  • Classic Albums: 2112 & Moving Pictures

    Rush

    Year: 2009

    Runtime: 58 min

    The latest addition to the acclaimed & 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.

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  • Classic Albums: Nevermind

    Nirvana

    Year: 2004

    Runtime: 49 min

    "Nevermind" was the second album from the Seattle trio and the first on the DGC label (it's predecessor "Bleach" was released on the Sub Pop label). It was produced by Butch Vig (also the drummer for the band Garbage) and mixed by Andy Wallace. Nirvana's surviving members Krist Novoselic (bass) and Dave Grohl (drums) talk candidly about their past, the recording of Nevermind and about Kurt Cobain and the legacy that he has left behind. Also featured are exclusive interviews with the likes of Garry Gersh (A&R DGC Records), Butch Vig, Jonathan Ponneman and Nils Bernstein (Sub Pop Records), Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), Jack Endino, and many more.

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  • Classic Albums: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

    Elton John

    Year: 1972

    Runtime: 50 min

    GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD gave Elton John his second number one album in both the American and British charts and provided him with four top ten singles. Interviews with Elton John himself, as well as with songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, there are contributions from musicians Davey Johnstone and Nigel Olsson, Gus Dudgeon (producer), David Hentschel (engineer), Del Newman (orchestral arranger) along with comments from Sir Tim Rice and Paul Gambaccini amongst others.

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  • Classic Albums: Graceland

    Paul Simon

    Year: 1980

    Runtime: 60 min

    Simon And Garfunkel are the most successful duo in recording history and following their split in 1971 both Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel have carried on to have hugely successful solo careers and enjoyed occasional reunions. This concert was filmed at Philadelphias Tower Theater in 1980 and captures Paul Simon in fine form with a superb backing band featuring most of Stuff. The setlist ranges across his career up to that point and includes both Simon and Garfunkel and solo hits.

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  • Classic Albums: Bat Out Of Hell

    Meat Loaf

    Year: 1976

    Runtime: 50 min

    The songs and story of this classic album with contributions by Meat Loaf, Jim Steinman, Todd Rundgren, Ellen Foley and Karla DeVito. Since its release in 1977, Bat Out of Hell has gone on to sell an estimated 30 million copies and become one of the top five biggest selling albums of all time. Released during the days of the disco boom and the advent of punk rock, Bat Out of Hell totally bucked those musical trends, yet as Meat Loaf recalls, the record is "more honest than 99% of all records released." 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 Rundgren, and backing vocalists Ellen Foley and Karla DeVito, together with others who helped in the construction of Bat Out of Hell's "wall of sound." Featuring archival footage, interviews and live performances, this is the compelling story of the making of one of rock music's finest hours, a true classic album

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  • Classic Albums: Elvis Presley

    Elvis Presley

    Year: 2003

    Runtime: 50 min

    "It was like the world went from black & white to Technicolor," says Keith Richards of the emergence of Elvis Presley in the mid-'50s, and this look at the King's first official album (the legendary Sun Sessions weren't issued in album form until well after the fact) backs up that claim. The one-hour program (plus 40 minutes of bonus interview material on the program) combines performance footage (the early TV shows are not to be missed), photos, and more to limn Presley's early days, when he combined country, blues, and R&B to forge a unique, galvanizing style. Sun producer Sam Phillips, author Peter Guralnick, Presley's musicians, and others are on hand to provide insight and background. But in the end, of course, it comes down to the music--and when you're talking about the likes of "Blue Suede Shoes," "Tutti Frutti," "Money Honey," and "Heartbreak Hotel" (a single that actually wasn't on the album), "classic" hardly begins to cover it.

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  • Classic Albums: Reasonable Doubt

    Jay Z

    Year: 1995

    Runtime: 54 min

    Jay-Z has been one of the most influential figures in Black American music since the mid-nineties. Initially as a performer racking up an incredibly successful string of hit singles and albums and latterly as an executive, having taken on the presidency of Def Jam Records in 2004. "Reasonable Doubt" was his debut album and is still considered by many to be his finest achievement. A much harder hitting and edgy record than his later more polished and pop orientated releases it announced to the world that a new rap star had arrived. This latest addition to the Classic Albums series sees Jay-Z take us back through the whole creative process behind this stunning first release.

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  • Classic Albums: Never Mind the Bollocks

    Sex Pistols

    Year: 1977

    Runtime: 48 min

    Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols (or simply Never Mind The Bollocks) is the only studio album by the highly influential and controversial English punk rock band The Sex Pistols. Fans and critics alike generally regard it as an extremely important album in the history of rock music, citing the lasting influence it has had on subsequent punk rock musicians, as well as other musical genres that were influenced by such punk rock artists. In 2003, Rolling Stone rated it forty-first on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
    The album was released on 27 October 1977 through Virgin Records amid controversy arising from the use of the coarse slang word (in British English) "bollocks" in its title.
    Older versions of most of the album's songs also appeared on a bootleg album called Spunk, which consists of demo recordings the band had made during 1976 and January 1977, and which was released shortly before Never Mind The Bollocks.

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  • Classic Albums: Paranoid

    Black Sabbath

    Year: 1969

    Runtime: 55 min

    The second album by Black Sabbath, released in 1970, has long attained classic status. Paranoid not only changed the face of rock music, but also defined the sound and style of heavy metal more than any other record in rock history. The result of a magic chemistry which had been discovered between four English musicians, it put Black Sabbath firmly on the road to world domination.

    This programme tells the story behind the writing, recording and success of the album. Despite vilification from the Christian and moral right and all the harsh criticism that the music press could hurl at them, Paranoid catapulted Sabbath into the rock stratosphere.

    Using exclusive interviews, musical demonstration, archive footage and a return to the multi-tracks with engineer Tom Allom, the film reveals how Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward created their frighteningly dark, heavy and ear-shatteringly loud sound.

    Additional comments from Phil Alexander (MOJO & Kerrang! editor), Geoff Barton (Classic Rock editor), Henry Rollins (writer/musician) and Jim Simpson (original manager) add insight to the creation of this all-time classic.

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  • Classic Albums: Rio

    Duran Duran

    Year: 1981

    Runtime: 52 min

    This latest addition to the acclaimed Classic Albums series takes us to the early eighties and the release of Duran Duran's second album "Rio". Released against a backdrop of riots, record unemployment, and the Falklands War, this optimistic and celebratory album would generate a string of hit singles and groundbreaking videos and catapult Duran Duran to global stardom. This documentary tells the story behind the writing, recording, and subsequent success of the album through newly filmed interviews, musical demonstrations, and both new and archive performances.

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  • Classic Albums: Apostrophe & Over-Nite Sensation

    Frank Zappa

    Year: 1975

    Runtime: 50 min

    The Classic Albums series strives to be definitive, and this must-have program is fully authorized in the scope of its coverage. With complete cooperation and participation from the remaining Zappa family (sons Dweezil and Ahmet, daughter Moon, and widow Gail are all extensively interviewed) and additional interviews with Billy Bob Thornton, Alice Cooper, guitarist Steve Vai, veteran Rolling Stone critic David Fricke, and many of Zappa's closest associates and collaborators, this 97-minute documentary is packed with highlights and fascinating revelations, like the pristine precision of Zappa's hand-written compositions, Zappa's childhood fascination with the compositions of Edgard Varse, and his diligent, prolific, and disciplined, drug-free approach to recording and touring. Zappa's studio process is amazingly revealed when Dweezil and Zappa "Vaultmeister" Joe Travers sit down at a mixing table to analyze the master tapes of classic Zappa tracks like the hilariously controversial "Dyna-Moe Humm." In addition to vintage archival clips of Zappa discussing his music and career, and home movies of Zappa's band on tour during the mid-1970s, this program also includes the complete video of Zappa performing "I'm the Slime" on Saturday Night Live in 1976, live footage of a 1973 performance of "Montana," and a new performance of "Camarillo Brillo" by Dweezil's tribute band, Zappa Plays Zappa (with Dweezil playing one of his father's favorite Gibson guitars). Bonus features also include a Travers-hosted trip into the massive Zappa archives, and further deconstruction of Zappa tracks "Dirty Love" and "Nanook Rubs It." If you're a casual Zappa fan, this program will turn you into a passionate convert. For those who've loved Zappa all along, it's a little bit of heaven here on Earth.

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  • Classic Albums: Transformers

    Lou Reed

    Year: 2001

    Runtime: 50 min

    This episode of the CLASSIC ALBUMS series takes a track-by-track look at the making of the record with both Reed and his engineer Ken Scott poring over the original multi-tracks for the album. Additionally, there is archival footage of the Velvet Underground, an interview with the Eurythmics' Dave Stewart and a discussion with bassist Herbie Flowers about the origins of the famous bassline for "Walk on the Wild Side."

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  • Classic Albums: Anthem To Beauty

    The Grateful Dead

    Year: 1969

    Runtime: 60 min

    This installment of the Classic Albums series follows the making of two Grateful Dead albums, the fiercely experimental Anthem of the Sun and the understated masterwork American Beauty, which spawned melodic gems like "Sugar Magnolia" and "Ripple." Between the archival scenes and contemporary interviews with band members, the program shows a band making seismic in roads in pop music and five young guys coming to terms with artistry, mortality, and, yes, the pursuit of happiness. There is priceless footage of Neal Cassady driving Ken Kesey's bus and of the Dead, surrounded by martini sipping hipsters, on Playboy After Dark. The best scenes involve band members talking about specific songs (you will never hear Phil Lesh's "Box of Rain" again without thinking of it as a gift to his dying father) or deconstructing a tune by playing each track separately. Intimate and surprisingly cohesive, Anthem to Beauty is a rare glimpse into how the Dead's magic was made.

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  • Classic Albums: British Steel

    Judas Priest

    Year: 1979

    Runtime: 50 min

    This installment of the Classic Albums series, in which rock stars talk about the creation of their albums, focuses on the making of British Steel, the 1980 album by Judas Priest, a working class British, heavy metal band led by screechy lead singer Rob Halford. As Halford (who has since left the band) and his mates explain what went into the lyrics and recording of the songs that made up the record, the talking heads are intercut with performance footage of a band that helped launch the metal and speed-metal surge of the 1980s and early 1990s.

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  • Classic Albums: Electric Ladyland

    Jimi Hendrix

    Year: 1967

    Runtime: 1 hr

    Bursting with ideas and energy, Jimi Hendrix's second album release of 1968 following Axis: Bold as Love was a double-LP set that showcased virtually everything the guitar genius had to offer: blistering blues Voodoo Chile, galaxy-patrolling space jams 1983... A Merman I Should Turn to Be, psychedelic soul Crosstown Traffic, and skyscraping rock Voodoo Child Slight Return. In the midst of all this was even a hit song--Hendrix's remarkable reading of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower," featuring a series of baton-passing guitar solos, all distinct and brilliant. Seemingly diffuse when first released; in hindsight, kaleidoscopically eclectic.

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  • Classic Albums: Hysteria

    Def Leppard

    Year: 1986

    Runtime: 50 min

    Def Leppard is a British hard rock band formed in 1977. The success of their albums Pyromania and Hysteria, promoted by the singles Photograph and Pour Some Sugar on Me, made the band one of rock's best-sellers in the 80s. 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.

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  • Classic Albums: The Band

    The Band

    Year: 2005

    Runtime: 59 min

    Comprised of Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel and Robbie Robertson, The Band's self-titled sophomore effort spent 24 weeks in the Billboard Top 40. The album was released at a time when the US album charts were taken over by the psychedelic rock movement, and despite this, the album had the aforementioned chart success and would go on to sell over one million copies. This edition of the "Classic Albums" series focuses on The Band's follow-up to "MUSIC FROM BIG PINK". Featuring classics such as "Up On Cripple Creek", "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", and "Rag Mama Rag", the story of the album is told through interviews with surviving members of The Band, fellow musicians Eric Clapton, Don Was, and George Harrison, and vintage footage. The Band is a classic album!

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  • Classic Albums: Machine Head

    Deep Purple

    Year: 2002

    Runtime: 50 min

    Deep Purples Machine Head is one of the definitive rock albums of the 70s. 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.The story of the albums creation, in the rooms and corridors of the Grand Hotel in Montreux following a fire which burnt down the Casino where they were planning to record, was immortalized in their all time classic track Smoke On The Water.This latest addition to the Classic Albums series features exclusive interviews with all the members of the band plus Martin Birch, the albums engineer, and renowned rock journalist Chris Welch. Alongside the interviews there is archive footage of the band performing tracks from the album in concert. Bonus features include very rare American footage of the band performing Smoke On The Water and the original 1972 promo film for Never Before.

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  • Classic Albums: Ace of Spades

    Motörhead

    Year: 1979

    Runtime: 49 min

    In 1980, MOTORHEAD released their fourth 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 its genre. MOTORHEAD - Ace Of Spades Classic Album sees Lemmy, "Fast" Eddie Clarke and Philip "Philthy Animal" Taylor talk candidly about the writing and recording of the album and the goings on inside the MOTORHEAD camp at the time. Watch "Fast" Eddie as he demonstrates how the riff for Ace Of Spades came about, and see the trio (with the help of modern technology) together on the same stage once again. Also featured are exclusive interviews with the likes of Slash (Guns & Roses, Velvet Revolver), Lars Ulrich (Metallica), Dave Brock (Hawkwind), and many more. At the front of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal is MOTORHEAD. Formed in 1975 by former Hawkwind bassist Lemmy Kilmister, the band endured several lineup changes in its early years, and the revolving door lineup began again, with Lemmy continuing to be the driving force of MOTORHEAD.

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