The People's Songs: The Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records
is a radio series on BBC written and narrated by Stuart Maconie. Each episode focuses on one particular pop song and tells the story of the song as well as what social trends it mirrored, for instance the episode on Telstar by The Tornadoes
focuses on the technological progress, especially in space travel and music, and the story of songwriter and record producer Joe Meek. 25 episodes have been broadcast
, including ones on Dizzee Rascal's Bonkers and 21st Century Britain
, Cornershop's Brimful of Asha and the British-Asian experience
, and Serge Gainsbourg's Je T'aime and sex
. There are 25 more to come
. There is also a blog
and profiles of the songs already discussed
. [Previously on MeFi]
One of pop music's trailblazers was tone-deaf.
Even if you've never heard of Joe Meek
), you've probably heard
his 1962 single "Telstar"
many times. This online compilation offers an exciting glimpse into Meek's unconventional
way of composing, as he recorded and rerecorded in an attempt to communicate the music in his mind to musicians. Hear "Telstar"
in various levels
centers around Joe Meek
, Britain's first independent record producer, whose DIY engineering wizardry
would transform record-making during the Sixties. Five years after an international #1 hit in the Tornadoes' space-age Telstar (Windows Media or RealPlayer)
, he would self-destruct, in an end not without tragedy
. His works
--along with his trademarked name