James Last is one of the most successful bandleaders and arrangers in the history of popular music. In a career lasting more than 50 years, he has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide.
This documentary goes behind the James Last phenomenon to ask why his music is loved by the public but often loathed by the critics. The music is often described as easy listening or happy music, but what is the James Last sound? Is it just a string of revamped Beatles hits, non-stop Abba medleys, updated classics and polka parties, or is his achievement in popular music being under-estimated and dismissed unfairly by the musical elite?
Influenced by jazz, swing, the Beatles and rock and roll in 1960's Hamburg, Last would soon become one of the most famous bandleaders of all time. This programme explores the music, the musicians and the life of the man who invented the non-stop party and re-invented the classics.