Radio 4 on Music

Radio 4 on Music

From Armstrong to Zappa - music documentaries from the Radio 4 archive bringing you a brand new episode each week.

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Recent episodes (10)

  • The Voices of Robert Wyatt

    Wed, 17 Sep 14

    Duration:
    30 mins

    Robert Wyatt is one of English music's most singular and best loved talents, from his work with Soft Machine to a string of solo records and collaborations with such diverse talents as Scritti Politti, Bjork, Hot Chip and Brian Eno. To this day he probably remains the only card carrying member of the communist party to have a top 30 hit. In this programme Wyatt talks openly and freely about his childhood, his musical roots, his politics, his alcoholism and the accident which left him paralysed from the waist down in 1973.

    Download 14MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Jay Z: From Brooklyn to the Boardroom

    Wed, 10 Sep 14

    Duration:
    30 mins

    Jay-Z speaks to financial expert Alvin Hall in this documentary from 2007, which looks at the business career of the hip hop entrepreneur. In a revealing interview Jay-Z reveals how he went about business early in his career, selling CDs from the boot of his car, to heading up a business empire worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Download 14MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Beat Mining With the Vinyl Hoover

    Wed, 3 Sep 14

    Duration:
    57 mins

    Broadcaster Toby Amies digs into the archives to discover the value and significance of old vinyl, which as he finds out, can be a hazardous process. He talks to hip hop pioneer Steinski and Mark The 45 King, whose talent for finding the perfet beat or hook from some old forgotten piece of vinyl has made been employed by Jay Z among others. This programme contains language which may offend.

    Download 26MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Kate Bush on Front Row

    Wed, 27 Aug 14

    Duration:
    30 mins

    In 1978 Kate Bush had become a household name with the release of her first album 'The Kick Inside', and its lead single, Wuthering Heights. She was 19 years old. Though the album's follow up 'Lionheart' followed quickly, the gaps between Kate Bush releases gradually lengthened as she took more time to experiment with her song-writing, the recording studio and new technology. Bush achieved considerable chart success with albums like Never For Ever, Hounds of Love and The Sensual World, becoming one of the most inventive and idiosyncratic musicians in the mainstream. But by 2005, it had been 12 years since the release of a Kate Bush album. Bush had been rarely seen in public in that time, devoting herself to raising her son. But rumours of new recordings had been circulating for some time. In this rare interview with Front Row from 2005, she talks about why the album took quite so long to appear, and tells some of the stories behind each song.

    Download 14MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Conjuring Halie

    Wed, 20 Aug 14

    Duration:
    30 mins

    Cerys Matthews celebrates the life of Mahalia Jackson, who became the first gospel singer to sell a million records. A key figure in the emerging civil rights movement, Jackson was a close friend of Martin Luther King, accompanying him and singing on the famous march to Washington. Tom Jones shares his love for Jackson's music and we hear recollections from fellow singer Vermettya Royster among others, plus archive interviews.

    Download 14MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Fela Kuti Comes Home

    Wed, 13 Aug 14

    Duration:
    30 mins

    The Nigerian musician Fela Kuti invented a whole new musical genre in the shame of Afrobeat. But his stridently political lyrics pointing out government corruption and army brutality made him a thorn in the side of successive regimes till his death in 1997. This programme follows the opening of the musical 'Fela!' in Lagos in 2011 and finds that even today Kuti's legacy is a source of controversy. Part of Radio 4 on Music, re-releasing the best of the Radio 4 Music Archive.

    Download 14MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Front Row - Neil Young

    Wed, 6 Aug 14

    Duration:
    30 mins

    In a rare interview, Neil Young talks to John Wilson about his album 'Americana' and his long, somewhat unpredictable career. He talks about his politics, the current state of the protest song and the joys of playing with his longterm sparring partners Crazy Horse.

    Download 14MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Youssou at 50 - Africa's Greatest Star

    Wed, 30 Jul 14

    Duration:
    29 mins

    In this programme from 2009, Robin Denselow travels to Dakar to talk to Senegalese superstar Youssou N’Dour about his life and work, in a celebration of the singers 50th birthday. They discuss the rhythmic foundation of mbalax, the style of dance music N'Dour created with his band Etoile de Dakar and the singers interest in politics and media, while admirers including Peter Gabriel analyse his extraordinary vocal ability.

    Download 14MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • My Wizard

    Wed, 23 Jul 14

    Duration:
    30 mins

    John Aizlewood examines the oft derided genre of Progressive Rock, a catch all term for a variety of bands from Pink Floyd to Yes to Hawkwind to Jethro Tull. He talks to Floyd's David Gilmour, Rick Wakeman of Yes and Keith Emerson, and ponders the subtle difference between 'Prog' and 'Progressive', before asking the difficult question - was any of it any good?

    Download 14MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Billy Preston: That's The Way God Planned It

    Wed, 16 Jul 14

    Duration:
    30 mins

    Rick Wakeman tells the story of Billy Preston, a bona fide child prodigy who began his career accompanying Nat King Cole at the age of 11 and went on to become a semi-permanent fixture with The Rolling Stones and most famously, The Beatles. We hear about Preston's highly individual keyboard skills from some famous fans including Bill Wyman and Pete Townshend and discover the secret that plagued his life till his untimely death in 2006.

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