Series exploring the process of songwriting, following from pen and paper to first public performance. How are pop songs written? What's the magic ingredient?
Professional songwriter Guy Chambers - best known for hits like Angels, with Robbie Williams, collaborates with singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright to write a new ballad. Rufus is famous for his critically acclaimed albums; Guy for his chart-topping commercial singles. Can the two worlds meet to create a pop ballad?
Sting, Boy George, Neil Tennant and Don Black talk about how they wrote their big hit ballads. Diane Warren, queen of the power ballad, reveals her songwriting tricks, and music critic Will Hodgkinson delves into the archive to investigate old ballads, including one 19th century tune called the Power of Love.
With universal themes of love and loss, the ballad is one of the biggest and most successful genres in pop. These are the songs people listen to at weddings and funerals, the songs that tell us how we feel. What kind of ballad will Guy and Rufus write?