Feast Your Eyes and Ears on Soundbreaking: Stories From the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music

Soundbreaking The Beatles Chris Ware/Keystone/Getty Images

The eight-part documentary series Soundbreaking (PBS, Nov. 14-18 & 21-23 at 10pm ET) is a revealing look at the history of the music industry, and how music has been created, recorded, sold and consumed for a century. Made in association with legendary Beatles producer Sir George Martin, who passed away in March, Soundbreaking features more than 150 exclusive and original interviews — and more than 40 songs per episode — from some of music’s biggest innovators.

Soundbreaking Episodes, Themes & Featured Tracks

1) “The Art of Recording” (Nov. 14) The music producer joins the band.
Playlist:
“That’s All Right, Mama,” Elvis Presley
“Eleanor Rigby,” The Beatles
“Be My Baby,” The Ronettes
“Free Falling,” Tom Petty
“Straight Outta Compton,” N.W.A

2) “Painting With Sound” (Nov. 15) Multi-track recording turns the studio into a sonic laboratory.
Playlist:
“Tomorrow Never Knows,” The Beatles
“Good Vibrations,” The Beach Boys
“On the Run,” Pink Floyd
“Loser,” Beck

3) “The Human Instrument” (Nov. 16) Technology captures the human voice’s raw emotion.
Playlist:
“I’m a Fool to Want You,” Frank Sinatra
“Georgia on My Mind,” Ray Charles
“Beautiful,” Christina Aguilera
“Rolling in the Deep,” Adele

4) “Going Electric” (Nov. 17) Music changes — and gets louder — by plugging in.
Playlist:
“Got My Mojo Workin’,” Muddy Waters
“Satisfaction,” The Rolling Stones
“Bold as Love,” The Jimi Hendrix Experience
“Superstition,” Stevie Wonder
“I Feel Love,” Donna Summer

5) “Four On the Floor” (Nov. 18) Music has a good beat and you can dance to it.
Playlist:
“Keep a Knockin’,” Little Richard
“Evil Ways,” Santana
“Holiday,” Madonna
“Go,” Moby
“Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” Beyoncé

6) “The World Is Yours” (Nov. 21) Sampling gives rise to hip-hop.
Playlist:
“Rapper’s Delight,” The Sugarhill Gang
“King of Rock,” Run-D.M.C.
“Rebel Without a Pause,” Public Enemy
“No Sleep Till Brooklyn,” Beastie Boys
“Can It Be All So Simple,” Wu-Tang Clan

7) “Sound & Vision” (Nov. 22) Videos give music a new dimension.
Playlist:
“Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” Eurythmics
“Thriller,” Michael Jackson
“Like a Virgin,” Madonna
“Where Did You Sleep Last Night,” Nirvana
“Haunted,” Beyoncé

8) “I Am My Music” (Nov. 23) Vinyl, tapes, CDs and mp3s changed the world.
Playlist:
“Hound Dog,” Elvis Presley
“In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” Frank Sinatra
“Like a Rolling Stone,” Bob Dylan
“What’s Going On,” Marvin Gaye
“Tom’s Diner,” Suzanne Vega

 

About Ryan Berenz 2009 Articles
Devotee of Star Wars. Builder of LEGO. Observer of televised sports. Member of the Television Critics Association. Graduate of the University of Wisconsin. Connoisseur of beer. Consumer of cheese. Father of two. Husband of one. Scourge of the Alaskan Bush People. Font of Simpsons knowledge. Son of a Stonecutter.