Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

The Recording Revolution

Episode 1 of 3

Neil Brand explores how some favourite songs were created. He looks at how they were first recorded and the listening revolution in the home that followed.

Songs are the soundtrack of our lives and it takes a kind of genius to create a true pop masterpiece. But, as Neil Brand argues, there is more to consider in the story of what makes a great song. Neil looks at every moment in the life cycle of a song - how they are written, performed, recorded and the changing ways we have listened to them. He reveals how it is the wonderful alchemy of all of these elements that makes songs so special to us.

To open the series, Neil investigates how songs were recorded for the first time, the listening revolution in the home that followed and the birth of a new style of singing that came with the arrival of the microphone - crooning. He also looks at the songwriting genius of Irving Berlin and the interpretative power of singers Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby.

1 hour

Last on

Fri 22 Nov 2019 20:00

More episodes

Previous

You are at the first episode

See all episodes from Sound of Song

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • The Crystals

    Da Doo Ron Ron

  • The Beatles

    Tomorrow Never Knows

  • The Beach Boys

    Good Vibrations

  • Public Enemy

    Fight The Power

  • Corinne Morgan

    How’d Ya Like To Spoon With Me?

  • Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra

    I Cover The Waterfront

  • Ray Noble

    The Very Thought Of You

  • The Who

    Won't Get Fooled Again

  • Alan Marks & Nerline Barrett

    Star Spangled Banner

  • Scott Joplin

    The Strenuous Life

  • Scott Joplin

    Elite Syncopations

  • Scott Joplin

    Gladiolus Rag

  • Irving Berlin

    Marie

  • Bessie Smith

    Alexander's Ragtime Band

  • Ada Jones

    By The Light Of The Silvery Moon

  • Frederick Urrey

    Beautiful Dreamer

  • Billy Williams

    When Father Papered the Parlour

  • Florrie Forde

    Down At The Old Bull And Bush

  • Frederick Urrey

    Wilt Thou Be Gone, Love?

  • John Philip Sousa

    The Liberty Bell

  • Pierre Founier

    L'Enfant Prodigue

  • California Ramblers

    Sweet Georgia Brown

  • Don Richardson

    Arkansas Traveler

  • Buddy Boy Hawkins

    Shaggy Dog Blues

  • Ambrose and His Orchestra

    Memphis Blues

  • Mamie Smith

    Crazy Blues

  • Bessie Smith

    St Louis Blues

  • Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five

    Heebie Jeebies

  • Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five

    Potato Head Blues

  • Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five

    Hotter Than That

  • Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five

    Savoy Blues

  • Savoy Orpheans

    Underneath The Wabash Moon

  • Irving Berlin

    Piano On Broadway

  • John McCormack

    All Alone

  • Al Jolson

    Blue Skies

  • Ambrose and His Orchestra

    Fit As A Fiddle

  • Bessie Smith

    The Yellow Dog Blues

  • Bing Crosby

    Auf Wiedersehen, My Dear

  • Frank Sinatra & Ginger Rogers

    Cheek To Cheek

  • The Beatles

    Revolution

  • The Crystals

    Da Doo Ron Ron

  • The Beatles

    Tomorrow Never Knows

  • The Beach Boys

    Good Vibrations

  • Public Enemy

    Fight The Power

  • Corinne Morgan

    How’d Ya Like To Spoon With Me?

  • Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra

    I Cover The Waterfront

  • Ray Noble

    The Very Thought Of You

  • The Who

    Won't Get Fooled Again

  • Alan Marks & Nerline Barrett

    Star Spangled Banner

  • Scott Joplin

    The Strenuous Life

  • Scott Joplin

    Elite Syncopations

  • Scott Joplin

    Gladiolus Rag

  • Irving Berlin

    Marie

  • Bessie Smith

    Alexander's Ragtime Band

  • Ada Jones

    By The Light Of The Silvery Moon

  • Frederick Urrey

    Beautiful Dreamer

  • Billy Williams

    When Father Papered the Parlour

  • Florrie Forde

    Down At The Old Bull And Bush

  • Frederick Urrey

    Wilt Thou Be Gone, Love?

  • John Philip Sousa

    The Liberty Bell

  • Pierre Founier

    L'Enfant Prodigue

  • California Ramblers

    Sweet Georgia Brown

  • Don Richardson

    Arkansas Traveler

  • Buddy Boy Hawkins

    Shaggy Dog Blues

  • Ambrose and His Orchestra

    Memphis Blues

  • Mamie Smith

    Crazy Blues

  • Bessie Smith

    St Louis Blues

  • Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five

    Heebie Jeebies

  • Louis Armstrong And His Hot Five

    Potato Head Blues

  • Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five

    Hotter Than That

  • Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five

    Savoy Blues

  • Savoy Orpheans

    Underneath The Wabash Moon

  • Irving Berlin

    Piano On Broadway

  • John McCormack

    All Alone

  • Al Jolson

    Blue Skies

  • Ambrose and His Orchestra

    Fit As A Fiddle

  • Bessie Smith

    The Yellow Dog Blues

  • Bing Crosby

    Auf Wiedersehen, My Dear

  • Frank Sinatra & Ginger Rodgers

    Cheek To Cheek

  • The Beatles

    Revolution

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Neil Brand
Executive Producer Michael Poole
Series Producer Alastair Laurence
Director Alastair Laurence

Broadcasts

Featured in...

Sound of Song BBC Music Playlist

Sound of Song BBC Music Playlist

Discover music from the show our BBC Music Playlist

Enter the Machine Age: Where will the song go from here?

Enter the Machine Age: Where will the song go from here?

Neil Brand writes on the breakthrough sounds of Kraftwerk and the purist backlash.

Manipulating the music: Get in the studio with Al Green

Manipulating the music: Get in the studio with Al Green

Neil Brand on the growth of a new creative personality in the studio - the producer.

How new stars came to prominence through the birth of recorded music

How new stars came to prominence through the birth of recorded music

Neil Brand on an explosion in sound recording - read more at BBC Arts.