Image for The Joy of the SingleNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 1 hour

Do you remember buying your first single? Where you bought it? What it was? The thrill of playing it for the first time? What it sounded like? How it maybe changed your life? Lots of us do. Lots of us still have that single somewhere in a dusty box in the attic, along with other treasured memorabilia of an adolescence lost in music and romance. The attic of our youth.

The Joy of the Single is a documentary packed with startling memories, vivid images and penetrating insights into the power of pop and rock's first and most abiding artefact - the seven inch, vinyl 45 rpm record; a small, perfectly formed object that seems to miraculously contain the hopes, fears, sounds and experiences of our different generations - all within the spiralling groove etched on its shiny black surface, labelled and gift-wrapped by an industry also in its thrall.

In the confident hands of a star-studded cast, the film spins a tale of obsession, addiction, dedication and desire. The viewer is invited on a journey of celebration from the 1950s rock n roll generation to the download kids of today, taking in classic singles from all manner of artists in each decade - from the smell of vinyl to the delights of the record label; from the importance of the record shop to the bittersweet brevity of the song itself; from stacking singles on a Dansette spindle to dropping the needle and thrilling to the intro.

Featuring contributions from Noddy Holder, Jack White, Richard Hawley, Suzi Quatro, Holly Johnson, Jimmy Webb, Pete Waterman, Norah Jones, Mike Batt, Graham Gouldman, Miranda Sawyer, Norman Cook, Trevor Horn, Neil Sedaka, Paul Morley, Rob Davies, Lavinia Greenlaw, Brian Wilson and Mike Love.

Last on

Tue 25 Feb 2014 03:00 BBC Four

  • The 12 Inch Single

    Paul Morley on the 7-inch single's grand relative and its peak in the 80s.

Music Played

2 items

Credits

Producer
Chris Rodley
Director
Chris Rodley

Broadcasts

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