INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
Boston Globe NOVEMBER 14, 2016 - by Matthew Gilbert
PBS SERIES EXPLORES THE SOUND AND VISION INSIDE A RECORDING STUDIO
Soundbreaking 10 p.m., WGBH 2
This ought to be good. It's a new eight-part PBS series that looks into the role of producers and the recording studio in pop music over the decades. It was the final project of George Martin, the guy whose studio work with The Beatles completely changed music.
We tend to forget about the power and influence of producers when we hear music we like. But they're the people who, with their knowledge of technological advances and their own vision of an artist, can make songs fly. When the wrong choices are made in the studio, you get a voice lost in reverb, or bland middle-of-the-road instrumentation, or a collection of songs that all sound the same.
The series will spend time on specific topics including the human voice and how producers can alter it, the way the studio itself became an instrument, sampling, and the impact of MTV. Along the way, it will also explore specific songs and how they were pieced together. In one segment, we see the co-writers of Beyoncé's Single Ladies break it down track by track, including the hand-clapping.
The long list of recording artists and producers who have been interviewed for the series include Tom Petty, Brian Eno, Dr. Dre, Paul McCartney, Nile Rodgers, Elton John, Questlove, Roger Waters, Sheila E., Ringo Starr, Don Was, and Linda Perry.
Added plus: rare footage of studio sessions with the Beatles, Sly Stone, Janis Joplin, Adele, Fleetwood Mac, Amy Winehouse, The Beach Boys, Little Richard, and the Staples Singers.