The Great Bleep Forward

The Great Bleep Forward

The BBC has posted a four part audio series about the history of electronic music titled, “The Great Bleep Forward”. Thank goodness main stream Europe “gets” synth and computer music.

“The story of modern music is one of subversion and experimentation, of heroes and villains. But what if we’ve got it all wrong? What if the real subversives didn’t wear leather and denim but smart suits and white lab coats? What if the true experimentation wasn’t with LSD but with DX7′s and S900s? What if the real heroes of music aren’t John, and Paul, Mick and Keith, but Ralf, Florian, Robert and Wendy!

The Great Bleep Forward is a series four programmes, presented by Andrew Collins exploring the history of electronic music. Hear the first baby’s cry of the moog synthesiser, embrace the difficult childhood of prog rock, grapple with the ‘experimental’ teenage years of the New Romantics and discover the middle aged maturity and nostalgia of the present day. You’ll also get a sense of the sound of the future.” –

Don’t forget to also catch the superb BBC Documentary Synth Britannia:

It drives me crazy to listen and watch these type of things because they were so integral in my own life. I love this stuff. What about you?

For more info:

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on October 26, 2009 at 5:08 am, filed under interviews, music and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.


18 Responses to “The Great Bleep Forward”

  1. raytrace says:

    I watched Synth Britannia when it was on last week – it was great stuff – also had Simon Reynolds (Energy Flash book) commentating at some bits. Andy McCluskey from OMD was absolutely hilarious too. I know you’re a massive DM fan Oliver, and some of the early footage in the docu is priceless (although I’m pretty sure you’ve probably already seen it) – Dave Gahan is wearing some type of cream satin thing that looks like one of those Pierrot The Clown outfits or something…

    • I’ve met Simon a few times and was happy to be mentioned in that book (shameless plug I know)! Yep I love DM I have a ton of old videos saved on bootleg VHS tapes I bought at Bleecker Bobs in NYC, etc…

  2. Paul says:

    The Synth Britannia docu was good, and had me dashing back and forth to dig out old CDs and vinyl, brush the dust off and feel old!
    The years have not been too kind on Richard H Kirk, reassuringly grumpy though.


  3. simon says:

    Pity the radio feature trod a well worn path of Moog, Wendy Carlos and then onto Prog. Early electronic music was so much more than this. OK Buchla got a little mention but most of the pioneers were overlooked. Now for my shameless plug.

    If you want to hear a bit more in depth electronic music history check out a radio series I produce called The Tone Generation. Now into its 16th episode the series can be downloaded from

  4. I just finished watching Synth Britannia and was blown away by it. I grew up in England in the early 80s and remember watching Top Of The Pops religiously every week. I used to have some Yazoo, Human League, and DM appearances on old VHS tape. I wonder whatever happened to those? Mum & Dad’s attic maybe? Must check next time I’m back in England visiting family.

  5. Raytrace says:

    it is ‘out there’ in the world of torrents I believe :p

  6. jj0b says:

    The Great Bleep Forward appears to have been removed from the BBC. Anyone know where it might still be available?

  7. Raytrace says:

    i can see your point tbh, it does appear to be very well seeded though so it probably would be pretty quick

  8. Paul says:

    I stumbled across this:,g/SBWnA.html

    can’t vouch for it, but in theory it’s what you’re after.

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