The History of Rock & Roll: This summer, America will celebrate fifty years of rock 'n' roll, and Warner Home Video (WHV) has the ultimate DVD to mark the momentous anniversary. WHV's The History of Rock 'n' Roll will be released for the first time ever on DVD on July 6, 2004 for $99.98 SRP.
"This DVD collection is the definitive documentary on the people and music that built rock 'n' roll into one of America's cultural pillars," said Christine Martinez, WHV Vice President, Non-Theatrical Franchise Marketing. "The History of Rock 'n' Roll is a must-have for any music lover and Warner Home Video is thrilled to be releasing this title on DVD just in time for the 50th anniversary of rock 'n' roll."
Rock historians worldwide have declared the official beginning of rock 'n' roll to be July 5, 1954, the day Elvis Presley recorded "That's All Right" at Sun Studio in Memphis. This pivotal moment in rock history is considered "the big bang" in the dawn of the rock 'n' roll era, launching a movement that would change the spirit and culture of America forever. This year on July 5th, Memphis will lead the nation in a celebration of the 50th anniversary of rock with a "Global Moment in Time," a nationwide radio tribute where radio stations across the nation will simultaneously play Elvis' "That's All Right," the song that started it all.
Since 1954, rock 'n' roll has become the most popular and enduring form of music in America, and The History of Rock 'n' Roll is the definitive documentary on the stars, songs and history that have made the past fifty years so memorable. With nearly 10 hours of exclusive interviews, classic footage and unforgettable concert performances from rock 'n' roll's biggest stars, fans can experience their favorite rock moments all over again and get an inside look at all the moments they didn't see. Features exclusive interviews with Mick Jagger, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Pete Townshend, Ozzy Osbourne, Jimmy Page, Jerry Garcia, Jerry Lee Lewis, Peter, Paul & Mary, B.B. King, and many, many more era-defining artists whose personalities and music styles have dominated the airways and the culture of America.
The DVD set includes ten episodes, beginning with the early rock 'n' rollers of the fifties and the opposition they faced in defining this never-before-heard style. The program then journeys through the '60's, with the British musical invasion, soul music, and the counterculture bands that emerged late in the decade. In the '70's and '80's the show explores the great guitarists of the day, the backlash against disco, punk and much more, ending with an inside look at the MTV revolution and the rise of superstars like Prince and Madonna.
The History of Rock 'n' Roll was executive produced by Quincy Jones (Tupac Shakur: Thug Angel, 68th Annual Academy Awards) and is narrated in part by Gary Busey (The Hand Job, Fallacy). Originally released in 1995 in VHS format, the collection has become known as the definitive documentary on rock 'n' roll. The History of Rock 'n' Roll on DVD will be essential for any music lover and DVD collector.
Episode 1- Rock 'n' Roll Explodes
A fast paced overview of the entire series- we see rare performances and learn how the pioneers of Rock and Roll influenced music for the next 40 years. Next we see recordings by the first people to put it all together: Little Richard, Fats Domino and Ray Charles. The episode ends with Elvis Presley's first television appearance in January 1956.
Episode 2- Good Rockin' Tonight
Rock's first golden era, a period in the 50's that saw the emergence of Rock and Roll's first superstars: Elvis, Chuck Berry, Ray Orbison, Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers. The music genre soon goes through a period of transition with Elvis in the Army, Berry in prison and Buddy Holly dead. New artists take the helm in the form of The Beach Boys, The Drifters and Phil Spector.
Episode 3- Britain Invades, America Fights back
A new revolution begins in 1964 when the Beatles burst onto the scene. Although they had a string of top hits, they were quick to be challenged on the charts by a diverse American counter-offensive, which included Motown groups as well as the new California sound of the Beach Boys.
Episode 4- The Sounds of Soul
James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles combine gospel, R&B and dramatic showmanship that created the sound that defined black music in the 60's. We also see classic performances by other soul legends that paved the way to the present for the modern sounds of soul in the music of Luther Vandros, Whitney Houston and others.
Episode 5- Plugging In
The folk-rock boom in the mid 60's liberated the language of Rock and Roll and how other artists from Elvis to the Beatles played their music. The result of this was exemplified in Bob Dylan's famous concert at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. The movement rapidly picked up momentum leading to the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, which features legendary performances from Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.
Episode 6- My Generation
In the late 60's drugs, political dissent and utopian visions became enmeshed in a counterculture that formed with Rock and Roll as the soundtrack. The period peaks at Woodstock, but the good vibes are soon quashed by the deaths of Hendrix, Joplin and Brian Jones. The episode ends on a positive note as the Grateful Dead show that you can survive on good vibes and good music.
Episode 7- Guitar Heroes
Rooted in the 70's and featuring such legends as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Duane Allman, this episode goes back and forth in time presenting the story of an instrument that defined Rock and Roll- the electric guitar. Demonstrations from Carlos Santana, Eddie Van Halen and BB King detail how their unique styles influenced several generations of players.
Episode 8- The 70's: Have a Nice Decade
In the mid 70's rock was divided into several camps, with country rock, heavy metal, and disco developing at the same time. From Elton John's wild outfits to Led Zeppelin's first live performance we will see and hear the mix of the various styles that came to embody the expressive spirit and culture of the 70's.
Episode 9- Punk
As Rock and Roll became bigger and bigger in the 70's, it was time for another revolution- a return to a basic, raw, three cord sound, namely: punk. From the streets of New York to the underground of London, punk turned the status quo on its head. While most of the bands did not become successful, they were extremely influential to the history of Rock and Roll. The punk legacy continues in bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Nine-Inch Nails.
Episode 10- Up From the Underground
MTV rules and makes superstars out of Madonna, Prince and Michael Jackson. In this last episode we follow the interweaving stories of rap and MTV from the early 1980's to 1994. We hear many artists talk about the creative opportunities offered by MTV, and just as many who criticize the new medium. The episode concludes by visiting the 1994 Lollapalooza Festival.