Join Noddy Holder, Cliff Richard, Shaun Ryder, Gary Kemp and a host of other famous faces for a nostalgic trip through the history of British pop music in BritBox's one-off documentary Feel the Noise: The Music That Shaped Britain.
Exclusive to the streaming service, the feature-length special tells the story of British music and the impact it had on each generation over four decades from the days of Beatlemania in the 1960s to the 1990s when the Spice Girls took the world by storm.
Here’s everything else we know about Feel the Noise: The Music That Shaped Britain.
Feel the Noise: The Music That Shaped Britain release date
The documentary will be available on streaming service BritBox in the UK on Thursday 26 August. Find out how to subscribe to BritBox below.
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Who’s in Feel the Noise: The Music That Shaped Britain?
The documentary features contributions from performers who played a part in different eras of music, including Cliff Richard, Slade singer Noddy Holder, Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder, Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp and Alex James from Blur, as well as cultural icons such as former model Twiggy and fashion designer Zandra Rhodes.
Other faces from the world of music include Glen Matlock, who was the bass guitarist in the original line-up of punk band Sex Pistols; drummer Mick ‘Woody’ Woodmansey, who was in David Bowie’s band The Spiders from Mars in the early 1970s; Sonya Madden, the lead singer from 1990s Indie band Echobelly; music producer Pete Waterman; and music journalist Paul Morley, who worked with Frankie Goes to Hollywood in the 1980s and was responsible for coming up with the slogan Frankie Says Relax.
More about Feel the Noise: The Music That Shaped Britain
The whistle-stop tour through 40 years of British music begins in the 1960s with chart-topper Cliff Richard and the arrival of The Beatles, exploring how their new sound and style sparked a revolution among Britain’s youth. "Rock and roll was an actual art form and we Brits have played a big part in that," says Cliff, proudly.
The rise of four working-class lads from Liverpool inspired Britain’s young people to find their voice, question the establishment, and believe that anything was possible, which paved the way for social change. "It's difficult to describe the impact that The Beatles had," says Pete Waterman. "But it was colossal".
"It was just so exciting," adds Twiggy who had chart hits herself in the 1970s. "So much was changing and it felt like it was the beginning of young people being listened to."
The film also explores the glam rock era of the early 1970s, with Noddy Holder at the forefront as the lead singer in Slade, whose hits included Cum On Feel The Noize.
"The whole scene was changing, from music to fashion," explains Noddy. "Everyone experimented and people would soak it up. It was a great time to be growing up."
The film looks at how glam rock was like an explosion of glamour, glitter, colour and fun at a time when things looked bleak in Britain with rising inflation, high unemployment rates, strikes, and power cuts.
"In times of strife, people were turning to music and entertainment," adds Noddy. "Glam rock took them into a fantasy land and Slade were probably the epitome of that. Certainly, working-class kids associated with us. I think a lot of them felt left out from what was going on at the time because they packed our gigs out. It was a release."
The documentary also looks at the anarchic punk movement led by the Sex Pistols in the 1970s and examines how pop music changed after Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979, with bands like The Specials, The Smiths and Frankie Goes to Hollywood reacting to some of her controversial policies. We also discover how the premier’s stance on Africa led to Bob Geldolf’s historic fundraising concert Live Aid in 1985.
As the story of British music rocks into the 1990s, we learn about the ‘Madchester’ phenomenon which saw the success of Manchester bands like The Stone Roses, Charlatans and Happy Mondays, before moving on to the culture of Acid House and the rise of Britpop, led by Oasis and Blur.
The musical tour ends with a look at the arrival of the Spice Girls who were the first group to cause such a frenzy since the days of The Beatles, despite dividing opinion in the music industry…
"I can’t say I was a fan but young girls and guys loved them," says Cliff.
Ginger, Scary, Sporty, Baby and Posh found success in an era that saw the end of a tribe culture among pop fans. Long gone are the days of a huge following of certain kinds of music, as Britain saw with Beatlemania, glam rock, the punk movement and Britpop.
"Britpop was interesting in the sense that it was a summary of what was great about British pop music but it was also a conclusion of British pop music," says Paul Morley. "That tribal quality of British youth and the rapid turnover of appearance represented by a certain sound of music I guess it started to move over to a different place where those tribes aren’t as important."
Is there a trailer?
Yes! BritBox have just released this trailer…
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