Presented by comedian and musician Bill Bailey, 'Earth, Wind, For Hire' traces the history of the tribute band phenomenon, examining some of the more unusual acts that are playing today, how they manage to recreate the sounds and the look of the original artists, and what they add to the music of the bands they're covering.
Each half hour show features interviews with members of big and small tribute bands, finding out why they've decided to take this particular musical route, plus views from academics about how the nature of tributes tap into popular feelings of nostalgia.
There will also be a wide range of music featured from The Bootleg Beatles to Bjorn Again, The Counterfeit Stones to Greenish Day, highlighting just how close to the sounds of the original artists tributes can get, whilst still being talented and successful musicians in their own right.The series starts with a brief history of tribute acts as we know them today, tracing their emergence in Australia, through to today's most successful tributes, some of which have achieved a global following.
In Britain, we look at the 'Stars in their Eyes' phenomenon of the 1990's and examine how the Tribute Band industry is now big business.
The second programme takes an in-depth look at arguably the most famous tribute act in the world, The Bootleg Beatles.
We examine the problems of performing songs that the original Fab Four never performed live, how years of performing as someone else has affected their own musical styles, how The Bootlegs preserve The Beatles' legacy and what they think the future holds for them.
The third show in the series focuses on the growth in the number of smaller-scale tribute bands and acts that have sprung up in the last few years.
We examine what sort of a market there is for these acts, and how the ever more crowded scene means there can be dozens of tributes to the same original performers.
And we find out why many smaller tribute acts now make a living covering bands that are still going rather than the traditionally defunct ones.
Exploring some of the more unusual tribute acts, as they mix musical styles, genres and even gender to create a unique sound and image.
With contributions from Beatallica, The Iron Maidens and Lez Zeppelin.