Prime Rocks

9:35pm Monday, October 1 on Prime

Documentary

Days Of Our Lives – Part One

In 1971, four university students got together to form a band. 40 years later, that certain band called Queen have released 26 albums and sold over 300 million records worldwide. The popularity of Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon is stronger than ever. Their story is a remarkable one, a narrative that covers early struggles, huge obstacles, success, arguments, breakups, triumph, tragedy and an enduring legacy – all against a backdrop of brilliant music and stunning live performances from every corner of the globe. In this film, for the first time, it is the band that tells their story.

Guiding us through an extensive archive full of unseen footage, revealing how four strong minded individuals, all capable of writing massive hit songs, worked together so successfully for four decades. Queen never did anything by half – meaning their highs were massive, but their lows catastrophic. It is a compelling story told with intelligence, wit, plenty of humour and painful honesty. Part two screens next week.

9:35pm Monday, September 17 on Prime

Documentary

A Life In Songs

Mark Knopfler is one of the most successful musicians in the world. During the past 30 years he has written and recorded over 300 songs including some of the most famous in popular music. In this in-depth documentary he talks about how these songs have defined him and how they have been influenced by his own life and roots. It features previously unseen photographs from his personal collection and comprehensive footage spanning his career from a struggling musician playing in pubs in Leeds in the 1970s, to the record-breaking success with Dire Straits and his world tour as a solo artist. Looking back over the 25 years since he wrote the iconic Brothers In Arms album, the film takes an affectionate look at how this formidable, creative man has operated as a musician for three decades and how he continues to do so as a solo artist who is as much in demand as ever.

9:35pm Monday, September 10 on Prime

Documentary

Classic Albums

Peter Gabriel is an extraordinary person and musician. He famously started his career as the extrovert leader of the extremely introverted band Genesis, but his real fame and success came as a solo artist and subsequently through his contributions to World Music through the label he started, Real World. Before his enormously successful album ‘So’, Gabriel had huge hits with songs like ‘Solsbury Hill’, ‘Games Without Frontiers’ and ‘Biko’, from a succession of albums all called ‘Peter Gabriel’.

His fifth album ‘So’, released in 1986, was a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic, reaching number one in the UK and number two in the US. With a stellar cast of musicians – including Kate Bush, Daniel Lanois, Laurie Anderson, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Nile Rodgers, Stewart Copeland, Bill Laswell and Youssou N’Dour – and brilliant, innovative videos, ‘So’ won widespread awards and plaudits (it won two Brit awards and four Grammy nominations, while both Q and Rolling Stone rate the album among the 100 greatest albums of all time). ‘So’ defined its time to become a true Classic Album. Gabriel is a fascinating and extremely elusive man and the opportunity to make a documentary on ‘So’ is a chance to capture him on film.

9:35pm Monday, September 3 on Prime

Documentary

In 1969, The Stones found themselves forced out of the UK for tax reasons and suddenly short of cash, after falling out with their manager Alan Klein. The band rented a huge villa near Cap d’Antibes, and they all decamped to the Cote d’Azur in south-east France. Joining them was an extraordinary entourage of beautiful women, musicians, technicians, drug dealers and addicts and rogue French chefs. Their stay in Villa Nellc�te at Villefranche-sur-Mer was chaotic, punctuated by Mick’s marriage to Bianca and encounters with the local police. However, it was among this bizarre collection of people, deep in the basement of the building, that an album of songs started to come together, normally somewhere between 2am and 5am each morning. After several months of chaos, the band moved to Los Angeles, where they mixed and completed Exile On Main Street. In this encore screening, this documentary captures the creation of the Rolling Stone’s classic rock album – and the drink, drugs and scandal that went with it.

9:35pm Monday, August 27 on Prime

Documentary

Classic Albums

Peter Gabriel is an extraordinary person and musician. He famously started his career as the extrovert leader of the extremely introverted band Genesis, but his real fame and success came as a solo artist and subsequently through his contributions to World Music through the label he started, Real World. Before his enormously successful album ‘So’, Gabriel had huge hits with songs like ‘Solsbury Hill’, ‘Games Without Frontiers’ and ‘Biko’, from a succession of albums all called ‘Peter Gabriel’.

His fifth album ‘So’, released in 1986, was a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic, reaching number one in the UK and number two in the US. With a stellar cast of musicians – including Kate Bush, Daniel Lanois, Laurie Anderson, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Nile Rodgers, Stewart Copeland, Bill Laswell and Youssou N’Dour – and brilliant, innovative videos, ‘So’ won widespread awards and plaudits (it won two Brit awards and four Grammy nominations, while both Q and Rolling Stone rate the album among the 100 greatest albums of all time). ‘So’ defined its time to become a true Classic Album. Gabriel is a fascinating and extremely elusive man and the opportunity to make a documentary on ‘So’ is a chance to capture him on film.

9:30pm Monday, August 20 on Prime

Documentary

In Our Own Time

Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb were born in the 1950’s in the Isle Of Man and began singing together after the family moved to Manchester, England. In 1958, the Gibb’s sailed to Australia to start a new life and it was here that the three brothers formed the Bee Gees and had their first chart success. the family returned to England in 1966 when they realized that they needed to leave Australia to fulfill their ambition of worldwide success. The brothers soon attracted the attention of music impresario Robert Stigwood, who would play a major role in the Bee Gees career. Before long, they were global superstars, with hits like ‘Massachusetts’, ‘Words’, ‘How Deep Is Your Love’, ‘Jive Talkin’, ‘Stayin’ Alive’, ‘Night Fever’, and ‘You Win Again’.

The Bee Gees award winning career has spanned five decades, and they have sold over 200 million albums, making them one of the best selling music acts of all time. They have had number one hits in every decade from the 1960’s to 1990’s, and their many awards and accolades include multiple Grammy’s, and an induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The Bee Gees ‘Saturday Night Fever’ album remains the best selling soundtrack in history. In Our Own Time is a documentary on the long and illustrious career of the legendary Bee Gees, from their modest beginnings to unrivalled worldwide success in the ’70’s. The story is told by Barry and Robin from extensive interviews, and the documentary also includes an interview with Robert Stigwood, videos, TV appearances and live performances.

9:30pm Monday, August 13 on Prime

Music Documentary

Under African Skies

In 1985, when Paul Simon went to South Africa to record his Graceland album, anti-apartheid protestors showed up and waved signs that said, “Paul Simon is a sellout,” “Be Careful Paul. Our Blood Shall Not Spill in Vain,” and “Yankee Go Home!”. At the time, South Africa was still implementing its vicious practice of racial separation, and Simon had violated a U.N. supported boycott by traveling there to record with black musicians. Never mind that Graceland was giving those artists a chance to earn a viable living, and never mind that Graceland was promoting a cultural side of South Africa that humanised its black citizens.

In the eyes of his harshest critics, Simon, a privileged white American, was badly betraying the unified front against apartheid. Under African Skies, the documentary that revisits the controversy over Simon’s Graceland, puts the singer on the spot as he returns to South Africa 25 years after recording the album that became an international best-seller and a flashpoint in an intense debate that Simon admits was “very hurtful” to his sense of mission and his sense of self.

On camera, the now 70-year-old Simon wrestles (at times defiantly, and at times defensively) with the legacy of Graceland, an album that sold five million copies months after its release and ultimately snagged a Grammy for Album of the Year (1986) and Record of the Year (1987). Under African Skies is a powerful film precisely because the controversy still haunts Simon, even as people around the world continue to cite Graceland’s positive impact on their lives. Under African Skies is also up for three awards in this year’s Emmy Awards; Outstanding Nonfiction Special, Outstanding Sound Editing For Nonfiction Programming, and Outstanding Sound Mixing For Nonfiction Programming.

9:30pm Monday, April 16 on Prime

Documentary

Down By The River

Music has always been important to Hugh Laurie. From the first moment he heard the blues as a teenager, he was hooked. There was something about this music from New Orleans that got into Laurie’s imagination – the romance, the joy, the despair. Over the years, Laurie has developed into an accomplished musician, his playing often featuring in his screen work, from A Bit of Fry and Laurie and Jeeves and Wooster to House.

This documentary records Hugh’s journey into the heart and soul of American blues music, as he records his own album. Travelling to New Orleans, Laurie meets legendary blues musicians including Dr John, Allen Toussaint, Sir Tom Jones and Irma Thomas. A mix of documentary, interviews and performance, Down By The River follows Laurie as he rehearses and performs tracks including St James Infirmary, The Legend of John Henry, Tipitina and Swanee River. Filmed at Kingsway Studios and culminating with a concert in Vieux Carre, it is an eloquent and passionate hymn to the greatness of a neglected style of music. It is also one of the greatest journeys – and one of the toughest gigs – of Hugh Laurie’s career.

9:30pm Monday, April 9 on Prime

Documentary

How The Beatles Rocked The Kremlin

This documentary tells the extraordinary story of a secret revolution, fuelled by the music of the Beatles, which helped to wash away the foundations of Soviet communism. During the 60s the ‘fab four’ were sweeping the world – with the exception of the Soviet Union. The Beatles were banned from the USSR, and were never allowed to play there. Yet they still managed to have a huge impact on the lives of generations of youngsters living under the soviet regime. On a journey through the former Soviet Union, from Moscow to St Petersburg, Kiev to Minsk, this documentary meets the people whose lives have been changed by the Beatles, the fans and musicians of the Soviet Beatles Generation. In St Petersburg, at his ‘John Lennon Temple of Peace and Love’ we meet Beatles Superfan Kolya Vasin who tells of his years of struggle with authority. We join him and his fellow Beatles followers for a day long party to celebrate John Lennon’s birthday, where 11 bands perform some of the group’s most famous songs.

9:30pm Monday, April 2 on Prime

Documentary

Amazing Journey: The Story Of The Who (Part Two)

From the makers of acclaimed documentary films No Direction Home: Bob Dylan and Dogtown and Z-Boys comes Amazing Journey: The Story Of The Who, the authorized portrait of the defining live act in popular music history, told in their own words. Discover how four diverse Londoners – Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon – combined to create their own style of rock music, built a dedicated fan base the world over, and how they have survived at the top for over forty amazing years. Crammed with masses of never-seen-before footage, rare concert performances, and exclusive interviews in which the band and those close to the band share their thoughts and memories of The Who, their music, and their history. From their roots as a 1960s pub cover band, through all the fascinating ups and downs, twists and turns, stops and starts, successes and failures, follow them as they evolve through four decades of rock.