Charting how turntables (used as instruments), drum machines and "sampling" other artists' records spawned rap, techno and house music. Included: comments from Run-DMC; the Beastie Boys; Grandmaster Flash; producers Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons. Also: the impact of MTV.
Detailing rock's shift away from optimism includes comments from David Bowie, Lou Reed, Alice Cooper and members of KISS and the Doors. Also: archival footage; the rise of "glam rock"; the impact of how Julian Beck's "living theatre" on live concerts.
Interviews with members of the Sex Pistols, the Clash and the Ramones illustrate a look at punk music. Included: performance clips of Talking Heads; how using reggae rhythms helped punk artists find success.
“Respect” looks at the role of Motown Records in promoting black artists and their music to white audiences in the 1960s. Included are comments from Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett and Motown's founder, Berry Gordy Jr. Also: archival performance footage.
“In the Groove” considers the rise of the record producer in rock music. Included: Phil Spector's Wall of Sound; comments from the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson. Also: archival footage of the Ronettes, Ben E. King and “surf” guitarist Dick Dale.
The influence of American blues on British music. Included: comments from members of the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin; Eric Clapton and Van Morrison. Also: archival footage including performances by Jimi Hendrix, Cream and the Animals.
Bob Dylan and the Beatles are the focus of an hour that examines folk-based rock and the role of the singer-songwriter. Included: a 1966 radio interview with Dylan; archival footage; comments from producer George Martin; poet Allen Ginsberg; Roger McGuinn and David Crosby.
Charting the path of black music from James Brown's aggressive style of soul to disco in the 1970s. Included: archival footage; comments from George Clinton; members of Sly and the Family Stone and producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.
Exploring the impact of San Francisco's drug culture on rock music. Included: comments from members of the Grateful Dead; the Byrds; and Jefferson Airplane. Also: footage of Ken Kesey's "acid tests"; Woodstock; and Altamont.