The stories of the biggest artists in the world. We delve deep into the BBC archive and speak to the people who were there, as we look back on their most iconic eras.
In the final episode of Eras: The Beatles, we hear the story behind The Beatles' final single Now and Then, including new interviews with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Narrated by Martin Freeman, the episode also features insight on the new track from Sean Ono Lennon, Olivia Harrison and Peter Jackson. In 1994, Yoko Ono gave Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr a selection of unfinished demo tapes recorded by John Lennon in the 1970s. Two of those songs, Free as a Bird and Real Love, were arranged and released on 1995’s Beatles: Anthology project. A third demo was never completed. At the time, the tape was deemed too muddy to work with. But, decades later, a new machine-assisted learning programme, pioneered by Get Back director Peter Jackson and his team, made Now and Then, the final Beatles single, possible – with each Beatle performing on the track. Listen to the story of how it came about as Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and more reflect on the decades and discuss the making of the band’s last song.
If you’re in the biggest band there ever was, how do you cope when it all comes crashing down? That’s the question John, Paul, George and Ringo were asking themselves in the spring of 1970, when it was announced that The Beatles were breaking up for good. In part five, Martin Freeman arrives at the end of an era - and the start of four more. In the aftermath of the split, bitter recriminations give way to new beginnings, and each individual Beatle embarks on a successful solo career. Rumours of a reunion swirl, before a senseless act of violence seems to draw a line under their story as a unit. But a band like The Beatles never goes away - it lives forever in the people who love it... and this is a story that never really ends.
When tragedy strikes at the end of 1967, the Beatles are faced with an uncertain future. In the months and years to come, cracks begin to show in the foundations of the world’s most powerful musical unit. As each member matured and developed as artists, the end became inevitable. In Part 4 of Eras: The Beatles, Martin Freeman explores the pressures that broke the biggest band on the planet, and the incredible music that this turbulent era produced. From the high-minded psychedelia of Magical Mystery Tour to the drama of Let It Be, to the masterpiece that was Abbey Road, the BBC Archive team have scoured their collections to bring you the interviews that shine a light on a dark period for the Beatles.
No high lasts forever. And in 1966, the pressures of fame begin to weigh on the globetrotting lives of John, Paul, George and Ringo. From a close-call with military police in the Philippines, to an all-out religious backlash in the United States, the band starts to question whether being a Beatle is quite so fab after all. Maybe it’s time for something new. To become a different band entirely. In Part 3 of Eras: The Beatles, Martin Freeman finds the band at a critical juncture in their story - the extraordinary decision to abandon the live shows that made their name, and embrace the potential of the recording studio with the groundbreaking Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Featuring illuminating archive from the band and their contemporaries, we’ll follow the Beatles as they shape popular music for decades to come with the birth of the concept album.
It’s 1964. British Beatlemania is in full swing. But this summer, the Fab Four are about to go global - and nothing can stand in their way. In Part 2 of Eras: The Beatles the band scales new heights as they enter the pop stratosphere on both sides of the Atlantic. From silver-screen adventures to the invention of Stadium Rock, the BBC Archive team have scoured their collection for the interviews that put you right at the heart of those manic months on the road - including an exclusive find that hasn’t been heard since it was first broadcast 60 years ago. Hear the story of the Fab Four’s rise, fall and rebirth - and how they changed the world along the way, as narrated by Martin Freeman.
In Eras: The Beatles, Martin Freeman tells the story of the Fab Four’s rise, fall and rebirth - and how they changed the world along the way. In the space of just 8 years, their journey took them from the smoky clubs of Hamburg and Liverpool, to Abbey Road and unprecedented global fame. And when their time together came to an end, each Beatle began anew - creating a body of work that’s still growing today. As the world welcomes Now and Then - the first new music from the Beatles since 1995 - hear a fresh retelling of a story with no real end in sight. In Episode 1, we meet the Beatles as they work their way to the brink of global superstardom - shaping their sound, honing their iconic look, and making the tough decisions that take them all the way to the top. Featuring rare interviews from the BBC’s treasure trove of Beatles material, sourced with a little help from our friends on the Archive team, Eras: The Beatles is an immersive celebration of the biggest band in history.
Join Scott Mills for the ultimate celebration of the UK’s best-loved pop star, who this year headlines Radio 2 in the Park on Sunday 17 September. All good things come to an end - unless you’re Kylie Minogue, apparently. In 2012, Kylie marked 25 years in the music industry. The Abbey Road Sessions, an album of radical reworkings of some of her biggest hits, could easily have bookended a career few others could match. As it turned out, it was more of a bookmark - an acknowledgement of what had gone before, with the promise of more to come. In the last decade, Kylie has embraced possibility, turning her time-tested talents to new musical challenges. From country music to Covid home-studios and star-studded floorfillers, this was the era where Kylie most obviously did what she’s always done - whatever she likes. And then… Padam Padam. The undeniable sound of summer 2023, and the hook that caught a whole new generation of fans.
Join Scott Mills for the ultimate celebration of the UK’s best-loved pop star, who this year headlines Radio 2 in the Park on Sunday 17 September. Australia rings in the New Year first. But as a new millennium dawns, one of her favorite daughters is relaxing in LA. She won’t be standing still for long. In the summer of 2000, the world entered Kylie Minogue’s third and most iconic era so far. Newly signed to a major label, she’s about to unleash a wave of shimmering dance-pop - an imperial phase. Spinning Around introduces audiences to a yet another incarnation of Kylie - one whose sophisticated sound, sex appeal and knowing sense of fun rockets her to her rightful place at the top of the charts. It’s a feat she’ll repeat with a run of hits that dominates radio playlists. Can’t Get You Out of My Head, with its La La La earworm, makes waves across the Atlantic. The future looks Golden. But in 2005, a shock diagnosis with breast cancer cuts the music short. Her illness and recovery play out in public. Through BBC Archive and new interviews with those who knew her at the time, you’ll track the dizzy highs and crushing lows of a turbulent era for the Queen of Noughties Pop. An era that leaves her stronger, wiser - and more determined than ever to perform. Contributors include British singer and actor Olly Alexander, Tia Kofi, Jessie Ware, Beverley Knight, Jack Savoretti, Jake Shears and Cathy Dennis (who co-wrote Kylie’s 2001 hit Can’t Get You Out of My Head), as well as Radio 2 presenters Fearne Cotton and Michelle Visage.
Join Scott Mills for the ultimate celebration of the UK’s best-loved pop star, who this year headlines Radio 2 in the Park on Sunday 17 September. The 90s are well underway, and Kylie Minogue is in uncharted territory. After splitting with powerhouse production team Stock, Aitken and Waterman, she’s joined forces with indie label Deconstruction Records, spurning the advances of a slew of record industry suits. For Kylie, it’s an era defined by experimentation. A new look, a new ethos and a host of unexpected collaborations: M People, Pet Shop Boys, Manic Street Preachers, Nick Cave and more. It’s not always an easy ride. As an artist, she’s maturing in the public eye. Caught between the worlds of pop and ‘credible’ indie, Kylie fiercely resists pigeonholing from the press and fans alike. Through revealing interviews, both brand new and from the BBC Archive, you’ll witness one of pop’s great metamorphoses. A process that takes the girl who was Charlene, and molds her into one of pop’s savviest operators, following her own road to megastardom. On the cusp of a new millennium, Kylie’s ready to dominate the charts. However will she pull it off? Contributors include Keith Blackhurst, David Tennant, Beverley Knight, Jessie Ware (who collaborated with Kylie on the single Kiss of Life released in October 2021), Jack Savoretti (who duetted with Kylie for their 2018 song Music’s Too Sad Without You), Jake Shears (who collaborated with Kylie for her 2004 single I Believe in You, as well as her 2010 album Aphrodite and their 2018 song Voices), and Radio 2 presenters Rylan Clark and Dermot O’Leary.
Join Scott Mills for the ultimate celebration of the UK’s best-loved pop star, who this year headlines Radio 2 in the Park on Sunday 17 September. When a teenage Kylie lit up Aussie screens in Neighbours, the die was cast for her meteoric rise to fame. Before long, she’d launched a parallel career as a singer - and left Ramsay Street in the rear-view mirror. After that? No prizes for guessing. Sold-out stadiums. Hollywood. Heartbreak. A music career spanning five decades - with hits in every single one of them. No artist works at Kylie’s level for that long without a gift for reinvention. In Eras: Kylie Minogue, Scott follows Kylie as she deftly navigates a changing music industry, personal crises, and harsh critics - and never stops winning. Along the way, you’ll hear the tracks that left deep grooves on the face of pop culture - and are still making them today. In this episode, new interviews and the BBC Archive reveal a star who’s finding her feet - but always knows where she stands. Smart, self-assured, and in the studio with synthpop svengalis Stock, Aitken and Waterman, Kylie discovers the value of great collaborators - and the power of her own image. But Britpop is on the horizon. New relationships - both professional and personal - are making their mark. A new era beckons - time for a change. Contributors include fellow performer at Radio 2 in the Park Beverley Knight, Jack Savoretti, David Tennant (who Kylie starred with in a special Christmas episode of Doctor Who in 2007, watched by over 13 million viewers), Tia Kofi, Jaime Winstone, and Radio 2 presenters Fearne Cotton, Owain Wyn Evans and Michelle Visage.