One of my favorite things to do when the little one is off to bed, is to cast the good 'ol YouTube and Chill. Our favorite videos to watch are documentaries on music, especially during my favorite era of music, the 80s. Here are 6 of my faves.
"With a career spanning more than 30 years, masters of the synth and sequencer, Depeche Mode are considered one of the original innovators of the 80s electronic sound, taking the technology and music to new and exciting heights. A career retrospective of one of the most successful electronic bands in music history, with over 100 million albums sold worldwide, The Dark Progression is an in-depth look behind four of the band's most influential recordings: Black Celebration, Music For The Masses, Violator and Songs of Faith and Devotion."
"1982 marks the peak of British 'new pop' as Wham, ABC and Culture Club make sensational appearances, and Shalamar's Jeffrey Daniel premieres the moonwalk on British TV. Dexy's new Irish sound tops the summer charts for four weeks with Come on Eileen, while their follow-up single Jackie Wilson Says leads to a notorious moment in TOTP history. Featuring ABC, Culture Club, Wham, Dexy's Midnight Runners, Shalamar, Pigbag, Foster and Allen, Shakatak and Bucks Fizz."
The original documentary as broadcast on ITV on the night of the Reading Festival - the longer version released on VHS and Laserdisc (& later DVD) came later on that year.
The story of British indie over three musically diverse episodes. Much more than a genre of music, it is a spirit, an attitude and an ethos.
Independent record labels began to pop up all over the UK, each one with its own subculture and sound - from Factory in Manchester to Zoo in Liverpool, Postcard in Glasgow and London labels such as Mute, Beggars Banquet and Rough Trade. They were founded by people with no business experience, just a passion for music and a commitment to helping others achieve creative autonomy. These labels were cutting, releasing and distributing the music themselves. Bedsits became offices and basements became studios. This was DIY, and it felt like a counter cultural movement set against all that the mainstream had to offer.
"The music business can be ruthless. Musicians are desperate for success while their management are desperate for the spoils. Artistic integrity is encouraged, while the accounting can get complicated. Controversy can be developed as a selling point until the wrong feathers are ruffled. And when the lines between art and commerce are blurred there's inevitably Blood on the Turntable. This new series, narrated by DJ Shaun Keaveny, investigates three of the most contentious music industry battles, told by those on the frontline. All feature the usual ingredients: money, power, greed and ego."
"Manchester four-piece The Smiths changed the face of British pop with their debut single Hand In Glove. In this half-hour Culture Show special, fellow Mancunian and lifelong fan Tim Samuels sets out to find out why The Smiths have such a special place in the hearts of a generation of Brits. The Smiths were only around for five years in the mid-eighties, but to this day the sentiment their music evokes is strong. Samuels pays visits to a variety of dedicated fans including fashion designer Wayne Hemingway, poet Simon Armitage, Labour MP Kerry McCarthy and Oasis songwriter Noel Gallagher to analyse the look, the lyrics, the issues and the riffs that made The Smiths Britain's first, and arguably best ever, indie rock band."