Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches: The Story of Madchester – Part 4: The Comedown

This is the fourth and last part of Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches, a BBC documentary about the Madchester era. Listen to the previous parts here: Part 1: From Punk to Dance Music, Part 2: Large Trousers and Little Pills, Part 3: The Rise of the Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays.

happymondayspoolAs it offen happens when chemicals are involved, at some point the drugs stopped working. In a few years, Madchester had become a mockery of itself. The Hacienda was plagued by drug-related violence and criminality, the bands were repeatedly pointed at for their excessive laddishness and their follow up albums were often very disappointing. To finish it all off, a new phenomenon from America was quickly becoming the new love of the British music press: Grunge.
Still, Madchester had planted seeds that would flourish a few years later with Britpop.

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Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches – Part 4

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The David Bowie Story – Part 6: Falling Down, Standing Up

This is the sixth and last part of The David Bowie Story, a BBC documentary series about the life and times of one of the greatest and most influential artists in modern music. Listen to the previous parts here: Part 1: The Apprenticeship, Part 2: One Man Against the World, Part 3: Fame, Part 4: Don’t Normalise It, Part 5: Out Of Characters, Into Suits.

David Bowie Sukita Tin MachineAlthough music critics are unimpressed since 1983’s Let’s Dance, David Bowie keeps meeting commercial success. To support his latest album Never Let Me Down, he plans the “Glass Spider Tour”, a spectacular and very ambitious show which became a template for mainstream pop stars tours such as Madonna’s or Prince’s.
But in 1989, leaving his more recently acquired fan base, he teams with other musicians to form a hard rock band: Tin Machine. The band dissolves after 3 years and Bowie confirms his reputation as a musical chameleon by returning to his solo career with a soul album: Black Tie White Noise.

(This documentary was produced in 1993)

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The David Bowie Story – Part 6

The David Bowie Story – Part 5: Out Of Characters, Into Suits

This is the fifth part of The David Bowie Story, a BBC documentary series about the life and times of one of the greatest and most influential artists in popular music. Listen to the previous parts here: Part 1: The Apprenticeship, Part 2: One Man Against the World, Part 3: Fame, Part 4: Don’t Normalise It.

12-david-bowie-080208Bowie is now more confident and with the 1980 album Scary Monsters, partly recorded at Keith Richard’s house in Jamaica, he finds a new balance. He now wears suits on stage and reaches a new peak in popularity with Let’s Dance, his best selling album to date and – ironically – also his most criticized.

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The David Bowie Story – Part 5

The David Bowie Story – Part 4: Don’t Normalise It

This is the fourth part of The David Bowie Story, a BBC documentary series about the life and times of one of the greatest and most influential artists in popular music. Listen to the previous parts here: Part 1: The Apprenticeship, Part 2: One Man Against the World, Part 3: Fame.

bowie berlin wallWith the release of Station to Station in 1976, Bowie introduces yet another persona: the Thin White Duke. But things aren’t going well to say the least. Drugs are taking him over the edge and he is starting to worry for his life. He and his friend Iggy Pop – who’s not doing great either – thus decide to leave Hollywood’s insanity and clean up their act in Berlin.

After producing an album for Iggy, he encounters producer Brian Eno. Eno takes Bowie to new ground and their collaboration will end up producing one of Bowie’s most acclaimed and influential pieces: Low, the first album of the so-called “Berlin Trilogy”. He finally sees the end of the tunnel.

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The David Bowie Story – Part 4

The David Bowie Story – Part 3: Fame

This is the third part of The David Bowie Story, a BBC documentary series about the life and times of one of the greatest and most influential artists in popular music. Listen to the previous parts here: Part 1: The Apprenticeship, Part 2: One Man Against the World.

bowie-cigarettePart 3 of the David Bowie Story focuses on Bowie’s fascination for America, an “alternative world” that catches his imagination. But it was getting harder and harder for him to get out of the Ziggy Stardust persona, which had became an easy way to escape from reality. He ends up retiring Ziggy and goes to find other sources of inspiration, especially from american musicians. But the heavy use of drugs starts to really affect his personality.

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The David Bowie Story – Part 3