Songbook Returns To Sky Arts

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Uncover hidden secrets behind the world’s favourite songs in the second series of Songbook; with a unique performance by Duran Duran

Sky Arts 1 and Sky Arts HD
TX: Begins 5th February 2009
8 x 60 minutes

Discover the inspiration behind some of the UK’s best loved songs in the second eight part series of Songbook. Critically acclaimed and in high definition, the Sky Arts 1 series explores the art and craft of song-writing, featuring legendary artists such as Duran Duran, Jarvis Cocker, Donovan, Albert Hammond and Ian Broudie.

Made by Liberty Bell exclusively for Sky Arts, Songbook will feature a diverse mix of musicians who have each achieved massive success as a result of their writing. Each iconic artist offers an insight into their unique musical inspiration and song writing processes before performing intimate versions of some of their seminal songs.

As part of this fascinating look at how these artists create their music, Pulp lead man Jarvis Cocker uncovers the unlikely inspiration behind Common People, the hit that captured the essence of the new rock revolution and launched Pulp into superstardom - his grandmother’s old Casio keyboard. Another episode sees ballad genius Donovan regale the story of Linda Lawrence, his Sunshine Supergirl, and the effect of his friendship with sculptor-turned-fellow-song-writer Gypsy Dave on his music.
With Albert Hammond OBE, we are offered a rare insight into his creative process as he discusses his 40 year song writing career, encompassing the 360 million copies of songs sold that he has written, and his relationship with the artists who have performed his work to high acclaim, from Julio Englesias to Whitney Houston. Then, Ian Broudie, who has enjoyed critical and commercial success both as the lead singer and songwriter of the Lightning Seeds and later as a music producer, reveals how early childhood memories of his father and uncle motivated him to collaborate with Skinner and Baddiel in Three Lions.


In a thrilling one-off for this series, the iconic band, Duran Duran will record their Songbook performances in London in front of a live audience. Combining some of their greatest hits with new, exclusive material, their ten song set will add a previously unexplored dimension to the series.
Unlike the other acoustic performances being recorded, Duran Duran will play with their full band; for what promises to be an electric performance.

Songbook is presented by music journalist and author of Guitar Man and Song Man, Will Hodgkinson.

“The pop song is a powerful art form, simple and universal yet hugely difficult to get right,” comments Hodgkinson. “Learning from song-writing greats about how they wrote their most famous songs has been a fascinating, rewarding experience.”

“We’ve brought Songbook back for a second series because we’ve seen how popular it is with our viewers – there is a huge appetite for this kind of unprecedented insight into the important song-writing process,” comments John Cassy, channel manager at Sky Arts. “We’re particularly excited about the Duran Duran performance. We are sure it will offer our viewers yet another dimension to the programme; as it promises to be a fantastic performance that is completely exclusive to Sky Arts and Sky Arts HD.

“We are committed at Sky Arts to celebrating not only the end product - in this case, the finished song - but also the journey the artists go on to reach it. Songbook is a great example of how crucial that journey is to any art form.”