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The 80s – Music’s Greatest Decade?: With Dylan Jones (S1EP1 BBC Two Sat 23 Oct 2021)

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The multi-award winning journalist and author Dylan Jones celebrates the towering influence of the music of the 80s, with an aim to inspire a newfound respect for this maligned musical era. He’ll argue that the 80s is one of the most inventive periods of pop culture – a kaleidoscopic display of musical experimentation in which genres were born and evolved with dizzying rapidity – which continues to fascinate to this day.

The series features contributions from Nile Rodgers, Mark Ronson, Jazzie B, Trevor Horn, Bananarama’s Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward, Gary Kemp, Mark Moore, Cookie Crew’s Cookie Pryce and Suzie Q, Bobby Gillespie, UB40’s Ali Campbell and Astro, The Fall’s Brix Smith, Sarah Jane Morris and more.

In this first episode, against a colourful background of rare archive from the BBC vaults and beyond, Dylan sets out his claim: that the 80s was the most creative musical decade ever. He’ll assert that the 80s, unlike other decades, was undefinable by monolithic musical movements such as punk, disco or Britpop, and unleashed a myriad of new musical genres in just 10 years. To support his theory, he’ll hear from some of the leading musicians and producers of the era, who were at the forefront of the incredibly diverse music creation.

Speaking in the programme, Nile Rodgers says: “The 80s was the pinnacle for a lot of us musicians who had come from the 60s and the 70s. Reaching that place you had this great explosion of artistry in the 80s that ran the gamut.”

Keren Woodward from Bananarama says: “You’d hear something and think, oh that’s Bananarama, that’s Culture Club, that’s Duran Duran – and everyone looked their own way as well.”

Airdate: Sat 23 Oct 2021 at 20:55 on BBC Two

Season 1 Episode 1

Award-winning author Dylan Jones celebrates the music of the decade, arguing that this maligned era is one of the most inventive periods of pop culture and hearing from leading musicians and producers who were at the forefront. .