Behind The Music

Sunday 9:00 PM on VH1 Premiered Aug 17, 1997 In Season



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Behind The Music

Show Summary

"Behind The Music" chronicles the personal lives of many of the most popular musical acts of the rock era, and occasionally strays into related subjects, such as Woodstock, Hair and radio pioneer Alan Freed, as well as 'year' episodes, which tell the events and issues of certain years through the music of the time. The series was born following the success of a VH1 documentary about heroin abuse. The producers strictly follow a policy of having complete cooperation from their subjects, even when delving into embarrassing issues, which prevents the show from falling into the pitfall of tabloid sleaze. They hunt down possible interviewees, sometimes using detectives, and ask direct, probing questions, which prompt revealing, and brutally honest (we hope) responses. Nominated for the Emmy for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series for four consecutive years, BTM has established a rigid formula. We explore humble beginnings, meteoric rises, major setbacks, personal struggles, crippling vices, devasting falls, and climaxes that include revivals, deaths, and career changes. Unfortunately (for us), success has crept in. As BTM became VH1's top-rated show, it also has become a vehicle for commercialism. In 2000, the market was flooded with BTM books, CD's, and videos, and the recording industry started to realise the direct influence the show has on music sales. Vanilla Ice reportedly sold four times more albums after his episode aired, and many back catalogue sales have increased. So the later episodes have veered away from the 'classic' artists, and feature trendy, marketable newer acts. Hence, there sometimes is precious little drama to the artists' stories, and the series has turned rather uneven. Still, there is an occasional worthy tale, though VH1 produces only three or four new episodes per season these days. It's sister show, "VH1's Storytellers", has also been revived .moreless

    Blog Spotlight: VH1 "Behind the Music" Returns


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    • A Legendary series

      the old late 1990's episodes of Behind The Music are amazing (just like the singers/bands that agree to do it), even today in 2015. they should get re-aired on TV or remastered on DVD, something like that. the 2012 episodes didn't really interest me
    • One of my favorites.

      Great information. Love it.
    • There once was a time when VH1 was something more than a wasteland of mindless drek aimed at teens who have the attention span of a sound bite. Some say it is a legend. But I was there. I saw it all! This was it's finest hour.moreless

      Once upon a time, there existed a superb cable channel called VH1. It was a breath of fresh air from MTV, which had left music behind in favor of Beavis and Butthead and teen gameshows. This station would truly explore the wonders of music history. It was intelligent. It had a slogan...Music First. It has been long gone for some time now, replaced by more intelligent fare like Richest celebreties, red carpets, hottest divorces, hairstyles, Flava Flav. Arrrrrrrrgggghhhhh!!!!! And the ultimate joke that reflects just where our young society (the main moneymaking commodity in the world ) is today?...VH1 is prospering and thriving. Um...Can you say, like.... idiotic, mindless sheep? But it once WAS something worthwhile! I was there! I saw it! It did exist! This was it's finest hour. I have always been a major music fan. I've been collecting my music since I was five years old, no lie. I have thousands of records, (anybody remember those), which i refuse to get rid of..many long since put aside in favor of my CD's. For as long as i can remember, I've been obsessed, not only with listening to the music, but studying the artists and the history behind the music. Since 1955, the music called Rock and Roll has shaped , molded and warped every conceivable aspect of American culture and beyond. It influences and dictates what we do, how we love, how we think, dress, talk, drive...on an and on. Music, beyond televison, movies and books, is the most powerful medium in our society..and indeed, our history. By the same token, much of American and world history has influenced the growth and flux of the medium. The eddies and currents have been rippled by events in the personal lives of these performers, poets and troubedors . I've always been fascinated with the big bangs, short circuits, and such that have come to blend together over the years to form the history of Rock and Roll. This exceptional program focused on the incredible legends. people who were once normal.. like you and I, who created incredible music. What were these people like? Where did they come from. What brought them to a place where they were affecting peoples lives with their notes and words? Was there a plan? Or did things just happen? What are the stories behind the triumphs and tragedies. Behind the Music provided these answers in a deep, compelling, and often riveting way. From self-abusive metal gods, to forgotten teen Idols, In band fights, careers that were tragicly cut short, to focusing on certain years and events in the Rock and roll timeline..Vh1 spared no questions and little expense to make sure every person and event was covered thoroughly, and edited and paced in such a way that the viewer would easily and willingly wait through the commercial break to see the next act. As stated in the summery above, VH1 joined forces with the record corporations, effectively abandoning established music legends, and the wealth of performers and stories still available and not yet covered...and opted instead to go with with younger, fresher artists, to cover the younger demographic..and faster cash flow. The results, not suprisingly to anyone with half a brain, were dismal. These artists had virtually no history, and nowhere near the substance to create the kind of quality episodes that had gone before. Behind the Music had become now for VH1, the lowest priority on their list...and with a new company running the show, came a total revamping of format, and quality. VH1 has virtually nothing to do with music anymore, yet still, amazingly still maintains the "Music First" slogan. It truly baffles the mind that the tried and true creedo of.. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" was just ignored as it was. Behind the Music was an emmy-winning, critically aclaimed show several times over. And given the deep dank levels the show (When it's produced..there have been no new episodes since 2006) has the network has sunk to.. it is unlikely, if the show ever does return, that it will ever see the kind of quality that it had in it's glory days. I don't think it's audience could handle it, having been exposed to such mind-numbing trash for so long. And i see no signs of any DVD sets coming out in the near future. It's a shame really. talks...and we all know what walks. Shame on you , Vh1.moreless
    • behind the music is a documetnary series that talks about popular artists / bands's lives inside ond outside the music industry.

      behind the music is a documentary series that talks about popular artists / band's lives inside and outside the music industry . really the same thing as i stated above :P . anyways , behind the music is a very good show and interesting to watch . it is interesting to hear about some of my many favorite bands ; kiss , ratt , pantera , motley crue etc . ( im a'n 80 and early 90's metal fan , basically ). so if you wanna watch an interesting show talikng about your favorite artist / band's story watch this show .moreless
    • one of the best shows vh1 has to offer!!!

      Behind the music is one of my favorite shows! Being a music fan as i am this is the show to watch. mostly when thay would profile one of my favorite bands and when thay would profile certain years when big musical events happend. The show did come on a standerd season, fall through spring. Now its just random. Vh1 hasnt had a new episode in over a year the last being about pantera and ratt. I hope thay didnt stop make the show because it is indeed the best show vh1 has had(next to the i love the 90's and 80's)!!!moreless

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    celebrity profiles, Biography, fame and fortune, celebrity life, Art & Artists