Johnnie Walker's Long-players

Johnnie Walker looks at some favourite classic albums.

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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Paul Simon's Graceland20120604

In a special edition of 'Johnnie Walker's Long Players', Johnnie talks to his friend and musical hero Paul Simon about the 25th anniversary of a true landmark.

In 1986 Paul Simon travelled to South Africa to record new songs with local artists. He has said the resulting album 'Graceland' is his greatest work and that the title track is his favourite composition. The album sold 14 million copies worldwide and spawned the classics 'You Can Call Me Al', 'Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes' and 'Under African Skies'.

Paul will be discussing the making of the album, his collaboration with Ladysmith Black Mambazo and many others, the unprecedented (at the time) double win at the 1987 Grammys, the iconic Chevy Chase video and the five year Graceland Tour.

Most importantly Paul will talk about his time in the political crossfire, as his decision to create an African-American fusion of world music led to him being accused of breaking the UN cultural boycott of South Africa, designed to end the Apartheid regime.

02Elton John's 'goodbye Yellow Brick Road'2012020920120827

Another chance to hear Johnnie Walker's look at Elton John's 1973 classic Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

Elton's seventh studio album was produced by Gus Dudgeon at the Honky Chateau in France, with some preparation and recording in Kingston, Jamaica.

It features the famous Marilyn Monroe tribute, Candle in the Wind, as well as three successful singles: Bennie and the Jets, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, and Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting, alongside cult favourites like Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding.

The programme features highlights from the double album, with comment and cultural history from Johnnie and broadcaster and critic David Hepworth, alongside archive interviews with many of the key players.

In the second of five programmes, Johnnie Walker looks at favourite classic albums. This week it's Elton John's 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' from 1973.

The programme will feature highlights from the double album with comment and cultural history from Johnnie and broadcaster and critic David Hepworth alongside archive interviews with many of the key players.

Johnnie Walker looks at favourite albums. This week Elton John is on the Yellow Brick Road

0320120216

Johnnie Walker looks at his favourite classic albums. This week it's Lou Reed's 'Transformer' from 1972 and Paul Simon's 'Still Crazy After All These Years' from 1975.

'Transformer' was produced by Mick Ronson and David Bowie (both of whom were influenced by the Velvet Underground) and contains some of Reed's best work - 'Walk on the Wild Side', 'Perfect Day' and 'Satellite of Love', some written in the VU days. Novices could be forgiven for thinking it was Lou Reed's 'Greatest Hits'.

'Still Crazy' was Paul Simon's fourth solo studio album, winning the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1976. It also reunited him with his former partner Art Garfunkel (on the track 'My Little Town') for the first time since 1970.

Simon also recruited a veritable 'Who's Who' of english speaking (and Belgian) world class players and singers (including Patti Austin, Toots Thielemans, Valerie Simpson, Tony Levin, Ralph McDonald, Phoebe Snow, David Sanborn, Hugh McCracken, Bob James and Michael Brecker) for the tracks which included '50 Ways To Leave Your Lover' and 'Gone At Last'.

The programme will feature highlights from the albums with comment and cultural history from Johnnie and broadcaster and critic David Hepworth alongside archive interviews with many of the key players.

Looking at classic LPs, this week it's Transformer and Still Crazy After All These Years.

0420120223

As this short series continues, Johnnie Walker highlights more favourite LPs. This week it's Cat Stevens' 'Tea For The Tillerman' and Van Morrison's 'Moondance'.

The former broke Yusuf Islam (then known as Cat Stevens) in the United States and has created many well known cover versions. His second album of 1970 included 'Where Do the Children Play?', 'Hard Headed Woman', 'Wild World', 'Sad Lisa' and 'Father and Son'.

Van Morrison's third solo album followed his move to Woodstock, New York with his family. He wrote the album in the months following the release of 'Astral Weeks' and it was recorded in New York City in 1969 and released in 1970. The track listing is a wonder in itself, tracks included 'Into The Mystic', 'And It Stoned Me', the title song, 'Glad Tidings' and 'Crazy Love'.

Johnnie highlights more favourite LPs - this week it's Tea For The Tillerman and Moondance

05 LASTRod Stewart's Every Picture Tells A Story & Some Girls From The Rolling Stones20120301

Johnnie Walker looks at his favourite classic albums. This week it's Rod Stewart's third solo album Every Picture Tells A Story, released in 1971 and Some Girls by the Rolling Stones.

Rod persuaded his friends from the Faces to play on the album, according to the rather vague sleeve credits, along with great characters such as Danny Thompson, Madeline Bell and Long John Baldry. Highlights were Reason To Believe, Maggie May and Mandolin Wind.

Ronnie Wood, as well as writing Rod's title track, later took up a role in The Rolling Stones. In 1978 their 14th album, Some Girls, marked his first appearance as a full member. Guests on the record, which featured Beast of Burden, Respectable and Miss You, included another Face Ian McLagan, Don Was and John Fogerty.

The programme will feature highlights from the albums with comment and cultural history from Johnnie and broadcaster and critic David Hepworth alongside archive interviews with many of the key players.

Classic LPs this week are Some Girls by the Stones and Rod's Every Picture Tells A Story.

0101Hunky Dory - Aladdin Sane20120202

This week it's David Bowie's Hunky Dory and the follow up to Ziggy Stardust - 'Aladdin Sane'.

Both produced by Ken Scott (with help from Bowie as the 'actor' on 'Hunky Dory' and arrangements by Mick Ronson on 'Aladdin Sane') at the legendary Trident Studios during 1971 and 1972, 'Hunky Dory' was the first album to feature the subsequent Spiders From Mars line up and 'Aladdin Sane' followed the breakthrough 'Ziggy Stardust' album and fitted between legs of the famous tour.

Very much a fan favourite, the first album combines the huge hits 'Changes' and 'Life On Mars' with cult classics like 'Kooks' and 'The Bewlay Brothers' and pays sideways tribute to heroes like Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol and the Velvet Underground.

'Aladdin Sane' is a tougher sound with 'Drive In Saturday', 'Panic in Detroit', a cover of 'Let's Spend The Night Together' and 'The Jean Genie' being the stand out tracks.

The programme will feature highlights of the albums, with comment and cultural history from Johnnie and broadcaster and critic David Hepworth alongside archive interviews with many of the key players.

0102Elton John's 'goodbye Yellow Brick Road'2012020920120827

Johnnie Walker looks at favourite albums. This week Elton John is on the Yellow Brick Road

Another chance to hear Johnnie Walker's look at Elton John's 1973 classic Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

Elton's seventh studio album was produced by Gus Dudgeon at the Honky Chateau in France, with some preparation and recording in Kingston, Jamaica.

It features the famous Marilyn Monroe tribute, Candle in the Wind, as well as three successful singles: Bennie and the Jets, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, and Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting, alongside cult favourites like Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding.

The programme features highlights from the double album, with comment and cultural history from Johnnie and broadcaster and critic David Hepworth, alongside archive interviews with many of the key players.

0102Goodbye Yellow Brick Road2012020920120827

In the second of five programmes, Johnnie Walker looks at favourite classic albums. This week it's Elton John's 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' from 1973.

Elton's seventh studio album was produced by Gus Dudgeon at the Honky Chateau in France, with some preparation and recording in Kingston, Jamaica.

It features the famous Marilyn Monroe tribute, 'Candle in the Wind', as well as three successful singles: 'Bennie and the Jets', 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road', and 'Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting' alongside cult favourites like 'Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding'.

The programme will feature highlights from the double album with comment and cultural history from Johnnie and broadcaster and critic David Hepworth alongside archive interviews with many of the key players.

Another chance to hear Johnnie Walker's look at Elton John's 1973 classic Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

The programme features highlights from the double album, with comment and cultural history from Johnnie and broadcaster and critic David Hepworth, alongside archive interviews with many of the key players.

0103Transformer - Still Crazy After All These Years20120216

Johnnie Walker looks at his favourite classic albums. This week it's Lou Reed's 'Transformer' from 1972 and Paul Simon's 'Still Crazy After All These Years' from 1975.

'Transformer' was produced by Mick Ronson and David Bowie (both of whom were influenced by the Velvet Underground) and contains some of Reed's best work - 'Walk on the Wild Side', 'Perfect Day' and 'Satellite of Love', some written in the VU days. Novices could be forgiven for thinking it was Lou Reed's 'Greatest Hits'.

'Still Crazy' was Paul Simon's fourth solo studio album, winning the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1976. It also reunited him with his former partner Art Garfunkel (on the track 'My Little Town') for the first time since 1970.

Simon also recruited a veritable 'Who's Who' of english speaking (and Belgian) world class players and singers (including Patti Austin, Toots Thielemans, Valerie Simpson, Tony Levin, Ralph McDonald, Phoebe Snow, David Sanborn, Hugh McCracken, Bob James and Michael Brecker) for the tracks which included '50 Ways To Leave Your Lover' and 'Gone At Last'.

The programme will feature highlights from the albums with comment and cultural history from Johnnie and broadcaster and critic David Hepworth alongside archive interviews with many of the key players.

Looking at classic LPs, this week it's Transformer and Still Crazy After All These Years.

0104Tea For The Tillerman - Moondance20120223

As this short series continues, Johnnie Walker highlights more favourite LPs. This week it's Cat Stevens' 'Tea For The Tillerman' and Van Morrison's 'Moondance'.

The former broke Yusuf Islam (then known as Cat Stevens) in the United States and has created many well known cover versions. His second album of 1970 included 'Where Do the Children Play?', 'Hard Headed Woman', 'Wild World', 'Sad Lisa' and 'Father and Son'.

Van Morrison's third solo album followed his move to Woodstock, New York with his family. He wrote the album in the months following the release of 'Astral Weeks' and it was recorded in New York City in 1969 and released in 1970. The track listing is a wonder in itself, tracks included 'Into The Mystic', 'And It Stoned Me', the title song, 'Glad Tidings' and 'Crazy Love'.

Johnnie highlights more favourite LPs - this week it's Tea For The Tillerman and Moondance

0105 LASTEvery Picture Tells A Story - Some Girls From The Rolling Stones20120301

Johnnie Walker looks at his favourite classic albums. This week it's Rod Stewart's third solo album Every Picture Tells A Story, released in 1971 and Some Girls by the Rolling Stones.

Rod persuaded his friends from the Faces to play on the album, according to the rather vague sleeve credits, along with great characters such as Danny Thompson, Madeline Bell and Long John Baldry. Highlights were Reason To Believe, Maggie May and Mandolin Wind.

Ronnie Wood, as well as writing Rod's title track, later took up a role in The Rolling Stones. In 1978 their 14th album, Some Girls, marked his first appearance as a full member. Guests on the record, which featured Beast of Burden, Respectable and Miss You, included another Face Ian McLagan, Don Was and John Fogerty.

The programme will feature highlights from the albums with comment and cultural history from Johnnie and broadcaster and critic David Hepworth alongside archive interviews with many of the key players.

Classic LPs this week are Some Girls by the Stones and Rod's Every Picture Tells A Story.

01SPECIALPaul Simon's Graceland20120604
0201Peter Gabriel's So20121002

In the first of a new series Peter Gabriel talks exclusively to Johnnie about the 1986 landmark album that changed his life, transforming him from prog rock cult artist into an MTV generation worldwide superstar, pioneer of World Music and hugely respected cultural and political figure.

So combined huge hits (backed up by ground breaking videos and concepts) with extraordinarily personal, experimental, haunting and memorable pieces such as In Your Eyes, Red Rain and Mercy Street. Peter talks about the unexpected recording history behind Sledgehammer and the endurance test that was the video shoot, with the talented team who went on to make Wallace and Gromit.

Peter describes the creation of the songs and the change to his previous thoughts, techniques and style; it was the first of his solo recordings to have a title (albeit it just one simple word) and an unadulterated portrait on the cover. He was also delighted to bring world music and artists such as Youssou N'Dour to a much wider audience.

Johnnie and Peter talk about the Otis Redding gig, which they both attended in Brixton in the 1960s and which made such a huge impression on everyone in the room, as well as the influence that the Stax sound had on some of the songs on the album.

Peter also plays some of the early demo versions and tracks that didn't make it onto the final release, discusses his live stage work and highlights the freedom that the success of So gave him.

In the first of a new series Peter Gabriel talks exclusively to Johnnie about the 1986 landmark album that changed his life, transforming him from prog rock cult artist into an MTV generation worldwide superstar, pioneer of World Music and hugely respected cultural and political figure.

So combined huge hits (backed up by ground breaking videos and concepts) with extraordinarily personal, experimental, haunting and memorable pieces such as In Your Eyes, Red Rain and Mercy Street. Peter talks about the unexpected recording history behind Sledgehammer and the endurance test that was the video shoot, with the talented team who went on to make Wallace and Gromit.

Peter describes the creation of the songs and the change to his previous thoughts, techniques and style; it was the first of his solo recordings to have a title (albeit it just one simple word) and an unadulterated portrait on the cover. He was also delighted to bring world music and artists such as Youssou N'Dour to a much wider audience.

Johnnie and Peter talk about the Otis Redding gig, which they both attended in Brixton in the 1960s and which made such a huge impression on everyone in the room, as well as the influence that the Stax sound had on some of the songs on the album.

Peter also plays some of the early demo versions and tracks that didn't make it onto the final release, discusses his live stage work and highlights the freedom that the success of So gave him.

0202Bruce Springsteen's Born In The Usa, And Don Henley's The End Of The Innocence20121009

Bruce Springsteen's seventh album from 1984 Born In The USA was a million miles away from its dark predecessor Nebraska, in terms of sound, if not politics and themes. It changed his reputation forever and encouraged him to embrace video promotion and a larger stadium performance ethic.

The programme features highlights from the albums, with interview clips, comment and cultural history from Johnnie and broadcaster and critic David Hepworth, both of whom have spent time with the Boss and the E Street Band.

Don Henley linked up with his friends JD Souther, Sheryl Crow, Edie Brickell, Jim Keltner, Patty Smyth and Bruce Hornsby for his third solo album The End Of The Innocence in 1989 and it became his biggest seller outside The Eagles. Listen out for Don's archive interview with the late Roger Scott for BBC Radio, recorded soon after the album's release.

0203Joni Mitchell's Blue, And Jackson Browne's Running On Empty20121016

In perhaps the first and only live album about life on the road Jackson Browne broke many rules and confounded his critics - no live versions of previous hit singles (although a cover did hit the UK singles chart), backstage secrets and tricks of the trade brought out into the open, and concert performances alongside rough and vibrant recordings from hotel rooms and tour buses.

Johnnie and critic David Hepworth remind us of Jackson's fifth album recorded in 1977 - Running On Empty, featuring his friends (and world renowned) musicians Rosemary Butler, Danny Kortchmar, Russ Kunkel and David Lindley.

It became one of his biggest sellers. As David says touring can be like a return to adolescence - simultaneously "the most boring and the most exciting time of your life".

Russ Kinkel also plays on Joni Mitchell's fourth album and perhaps her most honest masterpiece, Blue, from 1971. Johnnie and David hear from Joni herself, who feels she may have given too much away on the album, alongside contemporaries and friends like Graham Nash and David Crosby who both feel she changed the art of songwriting and performing forever.

In perhaps the first and only live album about life on the road Jackson Browne broke many rules and confounded his critics - no live versions of previous hit singles (although a cover did hit the UK singles chart), backstage secrets and tricks of the trade brought out into the open, and concert performances alongside rough and vibrant recordings from hotel rooms and tour buses.

Johnnie and critic David Hepworth remind us of Jackson's fifth album recorded in 1977 - Running On Empty, featuring his friends (and world renowned) musicians Rosemary Butler, Danny Kortchmar, Russ Kunkel and David Lindley.

It became one of his biggest sellers. As David says touring can be like a return to adolescence - simultaneously "the most boring and the most exciting time of your life".

Russ Kinkel also plays on Joni Mitchell's fourth album and perhaps her most honest masterpiece, Blue, from 1971. Johnnie and David hear from Joni herself, who feels she may have given too much away on the album, alongside contemporaries and friends like Graham Nash and David Crosby who both feel she changed the art of songwriting and performing forever.

0204U2's The Joshua Tree And Rem's Automatic For The People20121023

U2's fifth studio album The Joshua Tree is a love letter to America and part of their journey to discover real blues, soul and rock'n'roll music. It is also full of references to Irish roots music and social and political lyrics relating to Britain, Ireland, Africa and (North and South) America. Released in 1987 The Joshua Tree topped the charts in more than 20 countries. As Johnnie and David mention the album opened with three of the strongest singles ever released. At the time this was somewhat unusual and credit should go to the late Kirsty MacColl who, although not a great fan, agreed to her then husband Steve Lillywhite's request to help with the track sequencing. She reportedly claimed that it was easy, all she did was put her favourite song at the beginning, then her next favourite song, and so on...

Like many of the albums in the series Johnnie and David realised that although they love the R.E.M. singles you hear on the radio every day, it's been a while since they listened to the whole of Automatic For The People. In a similar vein to The Joshua Tree, the album, released in 1992, yielded many hit singles - Drive, Man On The Moon, The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight, Everybody Hurts and Nightswimming as well a mixture of unpredictable tracks, haunting hymns and hard political rock songs. Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones added beautiful orchestral arrangements.

The programme features highlights from the albums, with interview clips, comment and cultural history from Johnnie and broadcaster and critic David Hepworth. In 1994 Johnnie introduced U2 live on the BBC from the RDS in Dublin and David introduced R.E.M. on Whistle Test in the early days of their career.

0205The Who's 'who's Next' And Neil Young's 'after The Gold Rush'20121030

This week two albums which changed from soundtrack and stage projects to career defining highs.

Johnnie and David discuss The Who from 1971 and Neil Young from 1970. With both artists it's hard to choose their finest albums, but Who's Next and After The Goldrush must be high up on most lists.

The programme includes archive clips from Pete Townshend and Neil Young and includes Baba O'Reilly, Won't Get Fooled Again, After The Goldrush , Southern Man and Only Love Can Break Your Heart.

This week two albums which changed from soundtrack and stage projects to career defining highs.

Johnnie and David discuss The Who from 1971 and Neil Young from 1970. With both artists it's hard to choose their finest albums, but Who's Next and After The Goldrush must be high up on most lists.

The programme includes archive clips from Pete Townshend and Neil Young and includes Baba O'Reilly, Won't Get Fooled Again, After The Goldrush , Southern Man and Only Love Can Break Your Heart.

0206 LASTAnnie Lennox's Diva And Carole King's Tapestry20121106

In the final part of this series Johnnie Walker and critic David Hepworth look at two extraordinary female singer songwriters.

David believes that 1971 is the annus mirabilis for the rock album, as proved by previous programmes on Who's Next and Hunky Dory. It also saw the release of the flagship album for confessional songs from the flagship writer at New York's Brill Building. As David says "a bit like the scriptwriter becoming the lead actor", the then 29 year old Carole King decided to perform many of the love songs she had written (and co-written), for artists like Aretha Franklin and The Shirelles, on her own album.

Tapestry features her friends James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Russ Kunkel and Danny Kortchmar and has sold more than 25 million copies across the world.

Twenty one years on, the independent and inventive Annie Lennox decided to record her solo debut at home, with a producer well known for his work with the Art Of Noise, the Pet Shop Boys, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Grace Jones - Steve Lipson. The resulting album Diva, although more electronic and dependent on new technology than Tapestry, was just as well received by a new generation and successful in an equally crowded market.

Join Johnnie and David for a new series of Long Players in the spring.

In the final part of this series Johnnie Walker and critic David Hepworth look at two extraordinary female singer songwriters.

David believes that 1971 is the annus mirabilis for the rock album, as proved by previous programmes on Who's Next and Hunky Dory. It also saw the release of the flagship album for confessional songs from the flagship writer at New York's Brill Building. As David says "a bit like the scriptwriter becoming the lead actor", the then 29 year old Carole King decided to perform many of the love songs she had written (and co-written), for artists like Aretha Franklin and The Shirelles, on her own album.

Tapestry features her friends James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Russ Kunkel and Danny Kortchmar and has sold more than 25 million copies across the world.

Twenty one years on, the independent and inventive Annie Lennox decided to record her solo debut at home, with a producer well known for his work with the Art Of Noise, the Pet Shop Boys, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Grace Jones - Steve Lipson. The resulting album Diva, although more electronic and dependent on new technology than Tapestry, was just as well received by a new generation and successful in an equally crowded market.

Join Johnnie and David for a new series of Long Players in the spring.

0301Crowded House And The Beach Boys20130314

David Hepworth joins Johnnie to listen to the classic albums Woodface and Pet Sounds with archive clips from those involved in the performance and production of the releases.

Brian Wilson's masterpiece came out of his desire to emulate The Beatles and Crowded House finally got the audience acclaim they deserved, although this particular fraternal partnership between the Finn brothers was not to last long.

David Hepworth joins Johnnie to listen to the classic albums Woodface and Pet Sounds with archive clips from those involved in the performance and production of the releases.

Brian Wilson's masterpiece came out of his desire to emulate The Beatles and Crowded House finally got the audience acclaim they deserved, although this particular fraternal partnership between the Finn brothers was not to last long.

0302Dusty In Memphis And Otis Blue20130321

Johnnie Walker looks at classic albums, including Dusty in Memphis and Otis Blue.

Johnnie Walker looks at classic albums, including Dusty in Memphis and Otis Blue.

0303Abbey Road And All Things Must Pass20130328

The end of The Beatles but the start of solo careers with Abbey Road and All Things Must Pass tonight. Johnnie and David Hepworth introduce tracks and archive interviews from Sir George Martin, Sir Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George and Olivia Harrison and production engineers Chris Thomas and Geoff Emerick.

Johnnie Walker looks at The Beatles' Abbey Road and George Harrison's All Things Must Pass.

The end of The Beatles but the start of solo careers with Abbey Road and All Things Must Pass tonight. Johnnie and David Hepworth introduce tracks and archive interviews from Sir George Martin, Sir Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George and Olivia Harrison and production engineers Chris Thomas and Geoff Emerick.

Johnnie Walker looks at The Beatles' Abbey Road and George Harrison's All Things Must Pass.

0304Carly Simon And Randy Newman20130404

Johnnie Walker looks at classic albums by Carly Simon and Randy Newman.

0305Face Value And Hounds Of Love20130411

Both artists tonight forged new sounds on tracks like In The Air Tonight and Running Up That Hill. They also enjoyed producing, writing and performing on their own terms.

Johnnie and David listen to The Hounds Of Love, Kate Bush's most successful album to date, last heard memorably at the Olympic Stadium last summer and the first solo effort from the Genesis drummer Phil Collins, hugely successful but performed with his heart on his sleeve.

Both artists tonight forged new sounds on tracks like In The Air Tonight and Running Up That Hill. They also enjoyed producing, writing and performing on their own terms.

Johnnie and David listen to The Hounds Of Love, Kate Bush's most successful album to date, last heard memorably at the Olympic Stadium last summer and the first solo effort from the Genesis drummer Phil Collins, hugely successful but performed with his heart on his sleeve.

0306 LASTSheryl Crow And Linda Ronstadt20130418

Johnnie and David round off the series with Sheryl Crow's Tuesday Night Music Club, which came out of a weekly jam session of musicians in L.A. (plus the shelving of Sheryl's first album) and the unsung heroes (Linda Ronstadt herself, the multi talented Andrew Gold and the great British producer/collaborator and manager Peter Asher) on Heart Like A Wheel.