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Seven Ages Of Rock documentaries coming to US TV Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Monday, 19 November 2007

seven ages of rockComing to VH1 Classic TV in the US from Monday, December 17th is the excellent BBC/VH1 co-production, "The Seven Ages Of Rock". The seven part documentary series aired in the UK back in May 2007, and was a real treat for the music fan.

In particular, the second episode featured Pink Floyd heavily. With rare, vintage clips (one or two of which haven't even made it into the "unofficial collector's" realm) and new interviews with all the band members, it really is one to watch!

For those who want a flavour of the show, we have clips of the show for you, plus some more information on some of the Floydiness you will see, along with a run-down of ALL the episodes...

The series will make its US début on VH1 Classic on Monday, December 17th, and will air each night at 9pm ET/PT right through to Sunday, December 23rd. Additionally, each episode will launch on VH1Classic.com simultaneously with its on-air première and will be archived for on-demand viewing. Also, watch music play lists for each "age" with videos from the featured artists only online.

The second episode - 'White Light White Heat: Art Rock' is the one that Floyd fans will be most interested in. It takes a look at what the programme makers call the second age of rock - "a musical earthquake that was to shake every rock act to follow" - and begins with a nice selection of shots of The Wall being performed at London's Earl's Court.

The cosy world of pop music - Lulu, Engelbert Humperdinck, and the like - is shown being given a startling wake-up call by Arnold Layne. The regular promo for this (albeit colourised) is intercut with a scarcely seen alternate version, and leads to a number of all new interview segments with a freshly bearded Richard Wright, David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason, and Peter Jenner.

Highlights of the Floyd part of the show include David performing part of Brain Damage (seated with electric guitar), as well as Roger waxing lyrically about The Wall. There's some great archive footage of the Floyd onstage, circa 73-74, although the music is from the recorded version of Dark Side. There's also some great footage of them getting off a plane (mid 70's it appears) that hasn't been seen before. All of them talk about Syd, and also featured are the promo for Jugband Blues, and a specially created promo for See Emily Play.

CLIP FROM THE EPISODE
Wish You Were Here: David Gilmour and Roger Waters remember the creation of one of Pink Floyd's most iconic tracks. (click here for the full 2m 30s clip - launches in a seperate window)

The episode also includes new interviews with Genesis (Tony Banks describing the first time he saw Peter Gabriel come onstage in a dress and a fox's head is fantastic), David Bowie, and Roxy Music. There's quite a bit of coverage of the Velvet Underground, too.

CLIP FROM THE EPISODE
Shine On You Crazy Diamond: Pink Floyd tell the story of when, after a seven year absence, Syd appeared at Abbey Road studios. (click here for the full 3m clip - launches in a seperate window)

If you have problems viewing the clips above (they are not necessarily available in all countries) please click here to see VH1 Classic's own preview of the show.

Brilliant stuff, absolutely not to be missed. The series as a whole is essential viewing for anyone with an interest in music, with the care and attention in the choice of material and editing making each episode absorbing and illuminating. A series that music fans will embrace and talk about for many years...

Oh, and for PF completists, the third episode (a fascinating look at punk rock) includes John Lydon (Johnny Rotten, Sex Pistols) talking about his "I hate Pink Floyd" t-shirt!

Finally, so that you can plan your viewing, here is an episode breakdown:

Episode 1: "My Generation: The Birth of Rock" – Rock music emerges in the late 60's as a fresh branch of rock 'n' roll. Becoming popular through artists like The Who, Cream, and The Rolling Stones, rock groups exemplified this era of protest through a tone of seriousness in their music. Premièring on Monday, December 17 at 9:00 PM.

Episode 2: "White Light, White Heat: Art Rock" – As rock music made a name for itself, upcoming rock artists began to experiment with their sounds. Groups including The Velvet Underground, David Bowie, Pink Floyd and Genesis were all a part of this innovative and varied sound. Premièring on Tuesday, December 18 at 9:00 PM.

Episode 3: "Blank Generation: Punk Rock" – Continuing with the evolution of the sound of rock, a genre of music emerged in the 1970s that can best be described as anti-establishment.  Demonstrated by bands including The Sex Pistols, The Clash and Television, these artists created music that went hand-in-hand with the rebellion of youth, often containing lyrics that incorporated political outrage and a "do-it-yourself" attitude. Premièring on Wednesday, December 19 at 9:00 PM.

Episode 4: "Never Say Die: Heavy Metal" – A new sound that emerged from the UK, heavy metal conveyed an intense and powerful resonance. Artists like Black Sabbath and Judas Priest paved the way by establishing the heavy sound while artists like Metallica and Motley Crue added their own rock 'n'roll twist. Premièring on Thursday, December 20 at 9:00 PM.

Episode 5: "We Are The Champions: Stadium Rock" – Rock music became more dominant in mainstream pop culture in the 80s allowing artists such as Queen, The Police, Bruce Springsteen, and U2 to sell out stadium-sized venues. Premièring on Friday, December 21 at 9:00 PM.

Episode 6: "Left of the Dial: American Alternative" – Influenced by punk, bands including Nirvana, REM, Sonic Youth, and Pearl Jam shunned the traditions of the music industry and signed with independent record labels. Despite their deviance from traditional mainstream success, many alternative bands became commercially successful. Premièring on Saturday, December 22 at 9:00 PM.

Episode 7: "What the World is Waiting For: British Indie" – Growing out of the UK punk scene, bands such as The Smiths, Oasis, and the Stone Roses possessed an independent spirit that embraced their artistic power and financial control. These groups created music that provided a strong and sometimes arrogant counterpoint to the pop sounds dominating the charts. Premièring on Sunday, December 23 at 9:00 PM.

 
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