Coinciding with its recent/ongoing PBS broadcast and coming off a critically acclaimed premiere at SXSW earlier this year, the star-studded, groundbreaking music documentary series Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music just made its Blu-ray and DVD debut via Athena, and RJL Entertaiment brand.
Produced in association with the late music producer Sir George Martin and the filmmakers Show of Force, LLC, this eight-part series took over 5 years to make and features more than 150 exclusive and original interviews with some of the most celebrated recording artists, producers, and music industry pioneers of all time sharing behind-the-scenes stories celebrating the art of recording.
Soundbreaking made its broadcast premiere on PBS on Monday, November 14, with next-day availability to buy digitally via multiple platforms including iTunes and Amazon Video (full series and individual episodes), as well as Vudu, Google Play, Microsoft Movies & TV, and Sony Interactive Entertainment. The series received a wholly deserved 2016 Critic’s Choice Awards nomination for Best Limited Documentary Series.
Soundbreaking includes interviews with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Elton John, Roger Waters, Joni Mitchell, Roger Daltrey, Linda Perry, Quincy Jones, B.B. King, Annie Lennox, Dave Stewart, Tom Petty, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Rosanne Cash, Steven Van Zandt, Billy Idol, Beck, RZA, and many more.
Mark Stevens, President of Acorn Brands at RLJ Entertainment, said, “With more than 150 exclusive interviews and rarely seen footage, Higher Ground, Sir George Martin, and Show of Force have created a remarkable, one-of-kind music documentary series sure to become iconic. Soundbreaking is exactly the kind of high caliber, non-fiction programming we seek out to offer consumers through our Athena brand.”
In eight captivating episodes, Soundbreaking charts a century’s worth of innovation and experimentation, offering behind-the-scenes looks at the birth of brand-new sounds. From The Beatles’ innovative use of multi-track technology to the synthesized stylings of Stevie Wonder, from disco-era drum machines to the modern art of sampling, the series highlights the dynamic tension between the artificial and the natural — between the man-made and the God-given — and explores the way in which that tension has continuously redefined not only what we listen to and how we listen to it, but our very sense of what music is and can be. In the end, Soundbreaking makes us hear the songs we love in a whole new way, and illuminates the sonic alchemy by which the music we listen to becomes a fundamental part of who we are.
Soundbreaking is presented by Higher Ground in association with the late Sir George Martin, and produced and directed by Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmakers Maro Chermayeff and Jeff Dupre of Show of Force. Martin is a six-time Grammy Award winner and recipient of the Recording Academy Trustees Award, and producer of more than 50 No. 1 hit records. Soundbreaking marks his final project.
Organized thematically, each episode of Soundbreaking tells stories of pop music icons who used their determination, ingenuity and guts to create works of art that have touched us all. The eight episodes are: The Art of Recording, Painting With Sound, The Human Instrument, Going Electric, Four on the Floor, The World Is Yours, Sound and Vision, and I Am My Music.
The additional 30 minutes of bonus footage on BD and DVD includes Elton John and George Martin in Conversation, Ringo Starr on Drums, Rosanne Cash on Sun Studios, Linda Perry on Writing “Get the Party Started” and Finding Pink, Les Paul on Charlie Christian (4 min.), and Tom Scholz Fires Up the Old Hammond B3.