Black Music Legends of the 1980s S01 complete (BBC, 2011) (960*540p, soft Eng subs)
Icons. Influencers. Trailblazers. The African-American artists who became global sensations, changing music forever.
E01 Janet Jackson: Taking Control
Emerging from the shadows of the most famous family in showbusiness to become a superstar in her own right, Janet Jackson was one of the biggest female pop icons of the 80s and 90s, scoring huge international hits with songs such as What Have You Done For Me Lately? and Nasty.
This film examines Janet's phenomenal career, from her early success as a teenage actress in hit US sitcom Diff'rent Strokes to multi award-winning pop star rivalling her brother's success with ten number one singles on the American Billboard charts and worldwide album sales of over 65 million. The struggle to control both her creative and personal life is central to Janet's development as an artist and key to understanding her story - from escaping the clutches of her overbearing father to the thirst for new challenges in her groundbreaking collaborations with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Dubbed the 'Queen of Radio' in America, she always seemed capable of maintaining her broad-base appeal - until the infamous 2004 American Super Bowl appearance alongside Justin Timberlake.
Featuring an exclusive interview with Janet Jackson and contributions from the likes of Jimmy Jam, Janet's brother Jackie Jackson, actor Deborah Allen and British pop talent Estelle.
E02 Prince: A Purple Reign
Film which explores how Prince - showman, artist, enigma - revolutionised the perception of black music in the 1980s with worldwide hits such as 1999, Kiss, Raspberry Beret and Alphabet Street. He became a global sensation with the release of the Oscar-winning, semi-autobiographical movie Purple Rain in 1984, embarking on an incredible journey of musical self-discovery that continued right up to his passing in April 2016, aged 57.
From the psychedelic Around the World in a Day to his masterpiece album Sign O' the Times and experiments with hip-hop and jazz, Prince was one of most ambitious and prolific songwriters of his generation. He tested the boundaries of taste and decency with explicit sexual lyrics and stage shows during his early career, and in the 1990s fought for ownership of his name and control of his music, played out in a public battle with his former label, Warner. Highly regarded as one of the most flamboyant live performers ever, Prince was a controversial and famously elusive creative force.
Contributors include Revolution guitarist Dez Dickerson, Paisley Park label president Alan Leeds, hip-hop legend Chuck D and Prince 'Mastermind' and UK soul star Beverley Knight.
E03 Lionel Richie: Dancing on the Ceiling
Documentary showing how Lionel Richie achieved his dream of becoming 'as big as The Beatles' and how much of what he learnt from his years with The Commodores prepared him for that success. After 15 years of soaring success with the band, Lionel left the group to go solo in what many considered to be a risky move. His first solo album, Lionel Richie, grabbed the world's attention, whilst the follow-up, Can't Slow Down, turned him into a global superstar. But could he maintain sustained popularity without the group he'd known as brothers behind him?
Contributors include: Billboard Magazine editor Adam White, Motown songwriter and producer Gloria Jones, Kenny Rogers, video director Bob Giraldi, songwriter and producer David Foster, general manager at Motown in 1978 Keith Harris, UK soul singer Lemar and Pearly Gates of The Flirtations.
E04 Public Enemy: Prophets of Rage
In the late 1980s Public Enemy were the biggest rap group on the planet. Their mission: to raise the consciousness of a generation. With a rebellious attitude to match their militant image they sold millions of records preaching pro-black politics to fans of all races, all done through a groundbreaking wall of noise that changed the sound of hip hop. White, middle Americans were outraged, but their kids loved it.
Not surprisingly, this confrontational approach attracted controversy. Critics claimed the group themselves were racist, exposing racial divides rather than promoting equality. They were banned from some TV and radio stations and when one member reportedly made anti-Semitic remarks in a newspaper interview the resulting media-storm threatened to end their career. Tensions were running high and arguments within the band ended in violence. Could they keep it together long enough to get their message across?
Includes exclusive new interviews with Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Professor Griff, Hank and Keith Shocklee and the S1Ws. Plus contributions from Run DMC, Method Man (Wu-Tang Clan), Anthrax's Scott Ian, Jurassic 5's Chali 2na, Bahamadia, writer and activist Kevin Powell and DJ Dave Pearce.
First broadcast: November-December 2011
Duration: 1 hour per episode
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