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Reeling and Rocking

Episode 2 of 3

Neil Brand recreates innovative recording sessions, from Elvis's slapback echo in Memphis and the Beatles' Abbey Road tape loops to Phil Spector's Wall of Sound.

Musician Neil Brand explores the magical elements that come together to create great songs by recreating some of the most memorable and innovative recording sessions in music history - from Elvis's slapback echo in Memphis and The Beatles' tape loops at Abbey Road to Phil Spector's Wall of Sound and The Beach Boys' pop symphonies.

He shows that all this was made possible by the discovery of magnetic tape by an American soldier in the ruins of WWII Germany, the invention that, more than any other, drove the emergence of the music studio as a compositional tool and the rise of the producer as a new creative force shaping the sound of song.

1 hour

Music Played

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

  • The Beatles

    A Day In The Life

  • Jerry Lee Lewis

    Breathless

  • The Crystals

    Da Doo Ron Ron

  • The Beach Boys

    Good Vibrations

  • Berlin Symphony Orchestra

    Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67: II. Andante Con Moto

  • Bing Crosby

    On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe

  • Gary Crosby

    Play A Simple Melody

  • Bing Crosby

    Dear Hearts And Gentle People

  • Elmore James

    Dust My Broom

  • Gene Autry

    High Steppin' Mama

  • Howlin’ Wolf

    Smokestack Lightning

  • Jackie Brenston

    Rocket 88

  • Elvis Presley

    That’s All Right

  • Carl Perkins

    Blue Suede Shoes

  • Johnny Cash

    I Walk The Line

  • Jerry Lee Lewis

    Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On

  • The Moonglows

    Sincerely

  • Big Mama Thornton

    Hound Dog

  • Elvis Presley

    Hound Dog

  • Elvis Presley

    Jailhouse Rock

  • Ben E. King

    There Goes My Baby

  • Ben E. King

    Stand By Me

  • Darlene Love

    White Christmas

  • Darlene Love

    Winter Wonderland

  • The Crystals

    He's a Rebel

  • The Ronettes

    Walking In The Rain

  • The Righteous Brothers

    You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’

  • The Beach Boys

    Surfin' Safari

  • The Beach Boys

    Surfin' USA

  • The Beatles

    Tomorrow Never Knows

  • The Beatles

    Lovely Rita

  • The Beatles

    Strawberry Fields Forever

  • The Beatles

    Revolution

  • Kraftwerk

    Autobahn

  • Gloria Gaynor

    Never Can Say Goodbye

  • Nirvana

    Smells Like Teen Spirit

Credits

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

Broadcasts

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.