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Classic Albums: Anthem To Beauty

The Grateful Dead

Year: 1969

Runtime: 00:59:44

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.

The Grateful Dead Available In:

Rock, Documentary, Jam Bands

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    Year: 1976

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  • Classic Album: Catch a Fire

    Bob Marley and the Wailers

    Year: 1997

    Runtime: 1 hr

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  • Classic Album: Who's Next

    The Who

    Year: 1970

    Runtime: 50 min

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  • Classic Album: The Doors

    The Doors

    Year: 1967

    Runtime: 50 min

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    John Lennon

    Year: 1969

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    Year: 2002

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  • Classic Album: Transformers

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    Year: 2001

    Runtime: 50 min

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    The Band

    Year: 2005

    Runtime: 59 min

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    The Who

    Year: 1975

    Runtime: 1 hr 57 min

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    Year: 1972

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    Runtime: 1 hr 36 min

    In the words of Ben Fong-Torres:
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    Meat Loaf

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  • Classic Album: Disraeli Gears

    Cream

    Year: 1966

    Runtime: 49 min

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  • Classic Album: Apostrophe & Over Night 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: 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 Album: 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 Album: Screamadelica

    Primal Scream

    Year: 2011

    Runtime: 58 min

    This Classic Albums series tells the story behind the making of this legendary album. There are contributions from all the band members, main producer Andrew Weatherall, Creation Records founder Alan McGee and many others involved in the creation of this masterpiece.

    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.

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  • Classic Album: Stars

    Simply Red

    Year: 1990

    Runtime: 49 min

    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. Formed in 1984, Mick Hucknall and co. released their debut album "Picture Book" in 1985, which went platinum, making SIMPLY RED one of that year's major success stories. Their following albums, "Men And Women" and "A New Flame" respectively, continued this success but it was the arrival of SIMPLY RED's fourth album "Stars", released in September 1991 that would change history forever.

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  • Classic Album: The Joshua Tree

    U2

    Year: 2006

    Runtime: 51 min

    An outstanding entry in the Classic Albums video series, this hourlong documentary, produced in 1999, assembles the creators of U2's The Joshua Tree to comment about the musical magic that occurred a dozen years earlier in a home studio in Dublin. Merging past and present, coproducers Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, mixer Steve Lillywhite, and guitarist The Edge isolate separate tracks on the album's master tapes to illustrate how some of U2's greatest songs were layered with each individual's crucial contributions. Bono listens in while Lanois deconstructs the masters, appearing genuinely shy about his vocal tracks but eloquent in describing the album as "not Irish at all" in its innovative sound, but "very Irish" in terms of the emotions that inspired it. Later, The Edge describes the "cinematic" sound of the album, intended to transport the listener to a specific physical location based on each song's mood and atmosphere.
    Bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen weigh in with illuminating comments, and the hour offers an abundance of video excerpts, concert footage, and memorable anecdotes. Eno sets the record straight on the torturous process of recording "Where the Streets Have No Name" (he almost "accidentally" erased the master tape in hopes of starting from scratch), and Bono admits to a heavy Led Zeppelin influence on "Bullet the Blue Sky." Archival footage shows the recording in progress (one wishes there were more of it), and what emerges from this collective reminiscence is an enlightening study of mutual chemistry and fruitful collaboration. Upon viewing this video, another listening to The Joshua Tree will be more rewarding than ever.

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