The Old Grey Whistle Test (2001)

Genres - Music  |   Sub-Genres - Concerts, Music Show [TV], Vocal Music  |   Run Time - 190 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Mark Deming

Between 1971 and 1987, The Old Grey Whistle Test was the leading showcase for "serious" rock music on British television. Created by the BBC as an outlet for the breed of progressive rock artists who didn't fit the format of the nation's leading pop music show, Top of the Pops, The Old Grey Whistle Test played host to nearly every major British rock act of the day, as well as a large number of high-profile visitors from the United States. While the series never aired in North America, The Old Grey Whistle Test became a legend among Anglophile rock fans, and this DVD release brings together a number of classic live performances from the show's archive, as well as thoughts from many of the program's former hosts about favorite artists and notable appearances. The Old Grey Whistle Test includes appearances by John Lennon, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, the Wailers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, U2, R.E.M., Bonnie Raitt, Tom Waits, Curtis Mayfield, the Police, and many more. (By the way, the name of the show came from an old Tin Pan Alley expression; music publishers would refer to the elderly men who worked as doormen and porters as "old greys," and it was thought if they would whistle along with a song after hearing it only two or three times, it had passed the "old grey whistle test" and was destined to be a hit.)



archival-footage, British, concert-footage, progressive-rock, rock-music, television