What Makes A Good Pop Song?

Posted on: 24 April 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Songbook reveals all with exclusive interviews and performances by Phil Collins, Gary Kemp and David Gray.

Every song has a story behind it and every songwriter has their own unique way of working. Sky Arts explores the fascinating art and craft of song writing in an eight part High Definition series featuring some of the most acclaimed and successful artists in the music industry.

Ever wondered what was Phil Collins' inspiration behind In the Air Tonight or where Gary Kemp wrote True? Songbook reveals all with in depth interviews about the unique musical inspiration and creative processes of eight iconic musicians. Each artist performs an intimate acoustic set of a selection of their seminal songs thus the eight part series runs like a greatest hits of the past four decades.

Presented by music journalist and author of Guitar Man and Song Man, Will Hodgkinson, Songbook kicks off on May 1st with the multi-award winning and internationally renowned Phil Collins. He talks frankly about his divorce from his first wife being the catalyst to his song writing career and reveals bittersweet anecdotes relating how he wrote the lyrics for In the Air Tonight "on the back of the decorator’s notepaper who went off with the wife." Along with Another Day in Paradise, You'll be in My Heart and In the Air Tonight Collins treats Sky Arts viewers to a special rendition of Against All Odds which he performs for the first time since the 1985 Live Aid concerts.

Sky Songbook - Gary KempFurther episodes will feature Gary Kemp, the creative force behind Spandau Ballet's 23 hit singles including Through the Barricades, Inexperienced Man and True.

Travis' Fran Healy reveals his motivation for song writing and performs the all round crowd pleaser Driftwood along with classics, Sing, 20 and Friends.

Other great musicians in the line up include double Ivor Novello award winner David Gray who performs intimate renditions of This Year's Love, You're the World to Me, The One I Love and Breath, former lead singer of cult band Echo and the Bunnymen's Ian McCulloch and the creative minds behind Squeeze, Chris Difford and Glen Tilbrook.

Sky Songbook - David GrayHaving recently announced the imminent demise of Simply Red in 2009, Mick Hucknall reflects on the origins of some of the band’s greatest hits, including Holding Back the Years, For Your Babies, You've Got It and Someday In My Life, in a  career spanning over 20 years and selling over 50 million records worldwide.

Songbook ends with the original guitarist, singer and song writer for The Stranglers, Hugh Cornwell. The musical icon rewards viewers with tremendous renditions of hits encompassing Strange Little Girl, Cadiz, Never Say Goodbye and Layback on Me Pal.

Songbook is on Thursdays at 8pm from 1st May Sky Arts channel (267).


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