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50 Years of Rock Excess

Episode Guide

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Rock music survives where other genres of music die. It accounts for a quarter of all music sold worldwide and provides the soundtrack for millions of lives all over the world - young and old, in clubs, bars, homes and stadiums.

There's no doubting that rock music's loud, theatrical and excessive glory has contributed to its enduring appeal. But how does it capture the imagination, and who began the genre's deep-rooted celebration of excess?

Rock has the wildest stories, the weirdest characters and a propensity to never take itself too seriously. Its history is rich, varied and well-documented; the great rock stories may make us squirm, but they also allow us to vicariously experience the rock-star lifestyle that we all secretly aspire to.

First shown as part of Channel 4's Rock Night, and featuring contributions from Josh Homme, Andrew W.K. and Alice Cooper, this programme tells the story of how the giant bands of the 1970s changed rock - and rock-star behaviour - for ever.

These bands were the superstars of a golden age of rock but now, decades later, in the shadow of these 70s giants and in a fragmented, new, digital music industry, how has rock, and how can rock, continue to evolve?

This is a loud, funny and tongue-in-cheek journey that uses all of the greatest stories of extravagance, excess and indulgence from the world of rock, taking in huge tours and huge hair, drugs, sex, backstage demands, mythical anecdotes and budget-busting stage shows, to navigate the history of one of the world's most enduring and best-loved musical genres.

50 Years of Rock Excess synopsis

Documentary recounting how rock music's loud, theatrical nature and deep-rooted celebration of excess contributed to its enduring appeal

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