AppleTV+ Announces New Docuseries ‘1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything’

The series, which arrives May 21, comes from a filmmaking team that includes figures from documentaries like ‘Amy.’

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Elton John
Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Apple TV+ has announced plans to adapt David Hepworth’s critically-acclaimed book, Never a Dull Moment: 1971 The Year That Rock Exploded, into a new, eight-part docuseries.

1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything, will combine archival footage with new interviews to explore the explosive impact rock ‘n’ roll and R&B had during the politically divisive time.

The series, which arrives May 21, comes from a filmmaking team that includes figures from documentaries like Amy, Exit Through the Gift Shop, and Senna. 1971 will focus on numerous masterpieces from that year, from the Who’s Who’s Next to Marvin Gaye’s What’s Goin’ On. It also has a heavy emphasis on the socio-political climate that made much of this music vital and lasting.

1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything,

Photo: AppleTV+

Asif Kapadia is the show’s series director, and takes an executive producer role along with James Gay-Rees, David Joseph, and Universal Music Group’s Adam Barker.

Says Gay-Rees, “When we first engaged with David Hepworth, who wrote the book, I remember sitting in a room with him as he gave me the context of what was happening socially and politically that year, alongside which albums were coming out that year. And, like a lot of people, I’m a massive fan of some of the artists we feature in the series. But it was a slightly jaw-dropping moment, because the list just seemed to never end, and I couldn’t believe that all those records came out of that one year. I mean, some of these months alone are kind of iconic moments for music.”

Music stories covered in the series range from The Concert for Bangladesh to key moments for stars like Aretha Franklin, who had her music of the period featured in a recent mini-series.

1971 will expand its focus to include artists who found greater stardom or impact later but were having some deeply seminal moments during that year, from Elton John (who was interviewed for the series) to David Bowie, who can be heard over the opening credits saying: “We were creating the 21st century in 1971.”

Explore more seminal classic albums from the 1970s on vinyl.

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