Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches: The Story of Madchester – Part 1: From Punk to Dance Music

This BBC documentary goes deeper into exploring an era of music that has already been mentioned in The Mancunian Way and The Great Bleep Forward: Madchester, or how in the late 80s, Manchester became the world capital of pop. Who could have predicted that such an industrial city, characterised by massive unemployment and bad weather, would give birth to such a vibrant and hedonistic scene?

In part 1, Stuart Maconie tells the story of how Manchester’s effervescent post punk scene inspired New Order members and head of Factory Records’ Tony Wilson to create the Hacienda, a place that quickly went from being an art space to an eclectic club venue. Its cheap drinks and no door policy allowed bohemian working class Mancunians to escape their hard lives and enjoy Chicago’s and Detroit’s all new techno and acid house rhythms. A mix of two cultures that established Manchester as the coolest place on earth and inspired The Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses, and many more.

Listen here:

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Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches – Part 1

The Great Bleep Forward: The History of Electronic Music – Part 2: Synths for the Masses

This is the second part of The Great Bleep Forward, a BBC 6 documentary series about the history of electronic music. Listen to the previous part here: Part 1: The Pioneers.

C360_2010-06-20_12-57-26In the late 70s, the punk revolution showed everyone that you didn’t need to be a great musician to make great music. But technology pushed things even further. As synthesizers were becoming more advanced and finally affordable, many bands started using them to create new sounds. People didn’t need musical training to use them, and it allowed them to liberate their ideas in a way that those using conventional instruments couldn’t.

Andrew Collins recalls the ups and downs of this exciting era through its influencial people including Brian Eno, David Bowie, bands from the New Romantics scene like The Human League and Ultravox, Depeche Mode, and New Order.

Listen here:

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The Great Bleep Forward – Part 2

The Mancunian Way: Manchester and its Music – Part 3: Factory Records

This is the third part of the Mancunian Way, a BBC documentary series about Manchester and its music. Listen to the previous parts here: Part 1, Part 2.

FactoryRecordsTonyWilsonThe 3rd part of the Mancunian Way explores the world of the quintessential Manchester record label: Factory Records. Founded in the rise of punk, it lead the way during the post-punk era due to its specific way of working with artists. It soon became the first record company outside London to achieve international succes.

Mark Radcliffe talks to Factory founder Tony Wilson, in-house producer Martin Hannett and many others about record sleeve design, urban angst, raincoat sales and the tremendous influence of the label and its bands such as Joy Division, New Order or the Happy Mondays.


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The Mancunian Way – Part 3