Seven Ages of Rock, BBC2

by | May 19, 2007 | All, Reviews

Did we like it?

The makers of Lost Highway and Soul Deep – BBC Bristol producer William Naylor and his team – have won plenty of awards with their series on country and soul – and they’ll get another haul with their latest work, a beautifully compiled, intelligent delve into the history of raucous rock music.

What was good about it?

• The format of concentrating on one icon for each period of rock looks like being effective. Jimi Hendrix was the star of this 1960s opener – and you don’t get more inventive, unique and iconic than him.

• The show doesn’t set out to be an encylopaedic jack-of-all-trades which means that it can concentrate on making a few strong points rather than becoming a pointless scattergun survey.

• The archive footage of Hendrix the showman and guitar genius was stunning.

• The expert contributors mixed enthusiasm with informed insights (and, hooray, the overused Paul Gambaccini wasn’t among them).

• New Rose by The Damned – one of’s Top 20 singles ever – was the theme song.

What was bad about it?

• The snippets of music left us wanting more. As soon as we got into the groove with Hendrix, Howlin’ Wolf, the Stones, the Who and co, the beat switched to an interview – which is always a drawback of music documentaries. Saying that, it gave us enough of a flavour to make us want to explore more.

• None of the contributors dared to point out any weaknesses in Hendrix’s style. Not everyone loves or loved him.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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