Making of Classic Rock Albums

Making of Classic Rock Albums

Posted by Aditya on Sun, 2008-06-08 11:53 in

If you like listening to rock, chances are you would like at least some part of the recently started Season-2 of "History Rocks" on the History Channel. It is a 17-part special series on some of the classic and all time best rock music. It features interviews with the key people, behind the scenes and the making of the cult albums.

Here is the published schedule for the first 4 episodes:

  • Classic Albums: Metallica - Black - Thursday 5th June 9pm
  • Classic Albums: U2 - Joshua TreeClass - Thursday 12th June 9pm
  • Classic Albums: Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon - Thursday 19th June 9pm
  • Classic Albums: Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland - Thursday 26th June 9pm

Other lined up episodes are to be on Elvis Presley, Rolling Stones, The Doors, The Who, Queen, Deep Purple and Santana. It is a nice assorted :-) mix, so there is a high chance that your favorite group would be on sometime soon.

One of my all time favorites, Metallica, and their classic 'Black Album', was profiled in the first episode. It has interviews of all the big boys, Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammet and Newsted, along with their producer Bob Rock. They talk about all the numbers of the album, including some vintage footage of their attempts to get it perfect. They worked hard 1.5 years for churning out this album, and came over their own disagreements to give us this pure gold.

I have zero knowledge of playing music, but still could make out, that this is a must watch for the budding musicians and recording people for the fine details of playing and recording.

The group talks at length about "Enter Sandman", "The Unforgiven" and "Nothing Else Matters".

Hetfield admits 'Nothing Else Matters' was a personal number for his girlfriend, and he personally didn't think the group was gonna like it. (It is soft and un-metallica like.) They also talk about the 'elevator version' of this song with Michael Kamen's orchestrations.

Interestingly, when initially Kamen provided them with orchestrations, they used very little of it for the Black album (and did not tell him how much they liked it). Kamen, who is also interviewed, recounts his surprise and his visit to their dressing room during one of the Grammy awards. Metallica tells him how much they actually loved his work, and play out the elevator version for him. They kinda think it might be a great idea to do a combined rock + orchestra show.

And yes, Metallica does do it. 8 years later, they call him up and say let's do the thing you mentioned a while back. :-). It was S&M.

All in all, this series is a treat. Do catch it, if you have time.