Fame. Fortune. Success. Betrayal. Addiction. Glory. Triumph.
Not only are these some of the words that are part of the famous Behind the Music intro, they are also words that have been consistently used throughout the VH1 series to describe some of the most successful and sometimes most notorious artists and bands in music history.
Originally running from 1997 to 2006, Behind the Music documents musical artists or groups who are profiled through interviews, clips, photos and of course music. Each episode concentrates on one artist or band and those who are interviewed discuss how their careers became successful and what hardships they undertook.
VH1 recently announced that the show’s 15th season would begin and their new subjects would include Train, Toni Braxton, Carrie Underwood, Gym Class Heroes, Nicole Scherzinger and Ne-Yo. There was also an announcement that T.I. and Pink’s episodes would be updated.
So why do we care that Behind the Music is back? If you’re a music fan, hearing how your favorite artist or band got their start or chose their name or found each other is interesting and seeing old footage and photos is always fun. It’s like looking at old high school photos and laughing at the outfits you used to wear or looking at college photos and realizing that it’s already been 10 years. The show also reminds us how hard it is to make it in the music business – even now that things are way different than they used to be.
Although the show clearly emphasizes drama whenever possible, everyone likes to hear the stories behind the story. Whether it is drug addiction, car wrecks, breakups or deaths, fans want to know what happened to the people behind the songs they love. People also love a good comeback story so if a band rose to fame quickly, fell hard and came back again that’s always bait for a Behind the Music episode.
Another aspect of the show I like, besides narrator Jim Forbes’ voice, is that I usually learn something. While I like to think that I do a pretty good job at keeping up with the music world no one knows it all so it’s fun when these episodes teach me something new. For example in the recent Train episode I learned about all the crazy drug turmoil the band went through and why lead singer Pat Monahan remains sober. In the Carrie Underwood episode I watched yesterday I learned that the powers that be in Nashville gave her a hard time in the beginning when she was winning so many awards because they didn’t like that she came from American Idol.
Now don’t get me wrong – I don’t love all Behind the Music episodes. If the show profiles a band or singer I’m not interested in then I probably won’t watch. For example I most likely won’t watch the episode about former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger. Never been a fan so I don’t have any interest in hearing her story.
There are so many musicians who have been profiled over the years it’s amazing they still have new people to interview but I’m glad they do. These mini documentaries provide music history and I’ll always support that. Also, if VH1 wants to function as the history channel of music I’m excited about that too. Welcome back Behind the Music!
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