Behind the Music

Behind the Music

infobox television
show_name = Behind The Music
show_name_2 = VH1's Behind the Music

caption =
format = Documentary
runtime = 60-90 minutes
creator =
starring =
opentheme =
endtheme =
country = USA
network = VH1
first_aired = August 17, 1997
last_aired = June 10, 2006
num_episodes = 200
website =
imdb_id = 0159156
tv_com_id = 3317

"Behind the Music" was a television series on VH1 that ran from 1997 to 2006, and continues to air sporadically with new episodes.


Each show focuses on a musician or musical group, documenting both the successes of the musicians and the problems they faced during their careers. Except for the first two episodes (which focused on Milli Vanilli and M.C. Hammer), all programs are narrated by Jim Forbes. Forbes was later used to narrate the Milli Vanilli episode when it was modified to include the death of Rob Pilatus. The UK airings of the episodes focusing on Thin Lizzy and Genesis were narrated by Mary Anne Hobbs whilst Forbes narrated the US airings.

VH1's criterion for choosing the musicians who appear on the show is, in many cases, to profile those who are no longer in the music industry, or were moderately significant enough in rock history to appear on the series. This is as opposed to VH1's other biography show, "VH1's Legends", which profiles musicians that have been very significant to the industry. However, there are some artists that were profiled on both "Behind the Music" and "Legends", including Tina Turner, Queen, Elton John, John Lennon (although "Behind The Music" exclusively focused on the months and days leading to his murder in 1980) and Pink Floyd (although their "Behind the Music" was the U.S. airing of the BBC produced documentary "Behind the Wall" in June 2000). The "Pink Floyd: Behind the Wall" documentary focused mainly on the making of the band's 1979 album" The Wall", the concert shows that went with it and the making of the "" movie and features no narrator.

Another episode of "Behind the Music" on KISS was re-christened "KISS: Behind the Makeup" in July 2001 (which was 2-hours in length). This featured Matt Pinfield, formerly of MTV's "120 Minutes", as narrator instead of Jim Forbes.

"Behind the Music" came to be after Paul Gallagher and George Moll produced a one-hour special entitled "Dying in Vein" which first aired on VH1 in December 1996. While "Dying in Vein" was a magazine style show, its approach to storytelling served as the prototype for "Behind the Music".

A short-lived half-hour spin-off series titled "BTM2" (short for Behind the Music 2), chronicled the careers of newer upcoming artists.


The following is a list of artists who have appeared in episodes of the series:

Other features

Other than musicians, some episodes were documentaries on musical events, films, and non-musicians who were influential on the music world. The following appeared in episodes of the series:
* 1968
* 1970
* 1972
* 1975
* 1977
* 1981
* 1984
* 1987
* 1992
* 1994
* 1999
* 2000
* "Flashdance"
* Alan Freed
* The Day The Music Died
* "Grease"
* "Hair"
* Lilith Fair
* "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"
* "Saturday Night Fever"
* Russell Simmons
* Studio 54
* American Pie
* Top Gun
* Woodstock '69

In popular culture

* "Behind the Laughter" was an episode of "The Simpsons" that aired on the Fox network in 2000 and spoofed the style of the program. Jim Forbes also narrated this episode and many of the interstitial graphics used a style similar to "Behind the Music".
* The show was parodied on the "South Park" episode "".
* The show is also the base for the running parody "Behind the Music that Sucks", which has been produced by Internet humor site since 1998.
* "Saturday Night Live"'s "More cowbell" sketch was a fictitious episode profiling Blue Öyster Cult.
* Adult Swim's "Robot Chicken" did a skit where the Muppet band, "The Electric Mayhem", was profiled on "Behind the Music".
* Weird Al Yankovic mentioned the Lynyrd Skynyrd episode in his song "Trapped in the Drive-Thru".
*An episode of "What's New, Scooby-Doo?" had a spoof of the show, called "Rewind the Music".
* In the Family Guy episode "The Thin White Line", Brian explains to his psychiatrist, "You wanna know how pathetic my life is?" I've seen that 'Behind the Music' with Leif Garrett eighteen times."
*In the made for tv movie A Diva's Christmas Carol staring Vanessa L. Williams, the character of Ebony Scrooge watches her own episode near the end. This episode chronicles the life and tragic death in an ominous manner to force Ebony to change her ways.

ee also

* List of television programs

External links

* [ All Movie Guide entry for "Behind the Music"]
* [ Unofficial episode commentary]

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