BBC Two and BBC Music have today (September 23) announced a new four-part series called The 80s – Music’s Greatest Decade? With Dylan Jones.
Set to be broadcast on BBC Two in October, the series will see Jones celebrate the influence of the music of the ’80s. The programme will feature contributions from Nile Rodgers, Mark Ronson, Jazzie B, Trevor Horn, Bananarama’s Sara Dallin & Keren Woodward, Gary Kemp, Mark Moore, Cookie Crew’s Cookie Pryce and Suzie Q, Bobby Gillespie, UB40’s Ali Campbell & Astro, The Fall’s Brix Smith, Sarah Jane Morris and more.
An official press release stated Jones will “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 – and that whilst music continues to fascinate to this day, it will never be as varied as it was then.”
Speaking about the series, Lorna Clarke, BBC controller, pop, said: “I’m delighted that we’re going to dissect the impact and influence of the 80s decade, culturally - an experimental period of time that divides opinions hugely.”
Dylan Jones added: “Interminable television programmes still suggest the whole episode was nothing but a calamitous mistake, a cultural cul-de-sac full of rotten records by shameful individuals with orange skin and espadrilles. I’m here to tell you this couldn’t be further off the mark.”
In the first episode, Dylan sets out his claim that the 80s was the most creative musical decade ever. Episodes two, three and four will feature a mixture of archive performance and music video, handpicked by Dylan, which explore themes including the MTV generation - artists who benefitted from being ‘super-produced’ - the birth of hip hop, the emergence of house and the rise of the rebels, who deliberately eschewed all they believed to be ostentatiously 80s.
Some of the artists explored in the series include Madonna, Duran Duran, Eurythmics, The Sugarhill Gang, Public Enemy, Bronski Beat and Erasure.
The 80s – Music’s Greatest Decade? With Dylan Jones is produced by Plimsoll Productions. The Executive Producer is Siobhan Logue. It was commissioned by Owen Courtney, Commissioning Editor and Jan Younghusband, Head of Commissioning for BBC Music TV.
To accompany this series, on Friday October 29, BBC Radio 2’s weekly step back in time, Sounds of the 80s with Gary Davies (Fridays, 8pm-10m), will see Dylan Jones share four of his favourite 80s songs and why they are so special to him, as part of Sounds of the 80s regular feature, My 80s.