I first became familiar with British composer, musician, and music presenter extraordinaire Howard Goodall on August 7, 2017, when his documentary Sgt. Pepper’s Musical Revolution aired on Wisconsin Public Television. As a lifelong Beatlephile who knows a thing or two about the Beatles and their music, I was immensely impressed with the quality and content of this documentary. I especially liked his detailed analysis (vis-à-vis Alan W. Pollack) of what makes the music of the Beatles so extraordinary, and his obvious enthusiasm for the subject. After watching this wonderful hour-long (yes, no commercials!) programme, I vowed to do two things:
- Purchase an official DVD copy of Sgt. Pepper’s Musical Revolution
- Find out more about Howard Goodall and his work
#1 Sad to say, periodic searches have only turned up bootleg copies from questionable sources. When will the DVD finally be released?
#2 Somehow I missed it when it was originally broadcast on PBS, but I was delighted to find Howard Goodall’s Big Bangs available through Netflix, so I recently ordered it.
First broadcast in the UK in the autumn of 2000, Howard Goodall’s Big Bangs is a series of 50-minute documentaries on five transformative developments in the history of Western music. They are
- Equal Temperament
- The Piano(forte)
- Recorded Sound
I just finished watching this series, and would highly recommend it for anyone interested in music history.
I enthusiastically look forward to other music documentaries by Howard Goodall. After watching Sgt. Pepper’s Musical Revolution, I believe that he may well be the best person in the world to develop an entire documentary series on the music of The Beatles. Here’s hoping!