NEW YORK – Chrissie Hynde wouldn’t make her own mark on the music until a few years later, but her memories of how the daily soundtrack of 1971 linked to time remain vivid.
“Music said something,” said the leader of the Pretenders and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the start of “1971: The Year Music Changed Everything”, an eight-part documentary series that will premiere on the streaming service Apple TV + on Friday.
Hynde had just dropped out of Kent State University in Ohio, where four students were shot and murdered by the National Guard a year earlier. Neil Young’s inflammatory song about the incident, “Ohio,” was played as she told her story.
Her three words essentially provide the thematic explanation for the series’ producers. They document, through indelible work created that year by Marvin Gaye, Carole King, John Lennon, and many others, how musicians responded at a time when the 1960s dream was about to die and it was unclear what would replace it.
“Some people run and hide in drugs,” said James Gay-Rees, one of the series’ executive producers. “Some people write protest music and some people find their identity. It really is such a great turning point. ”
It was the year of Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” No. 1 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. “Blue” by Joni Mitchell. King’s “Tapestry.” Lennon’s “Imagine.” The “Sticky Fingers” of the Rolling Stones. Sly & the Family Stone’s “There’s a Riot Goin ‘On.” David Bowie’s hit “Changes”. Gil Scott-Heron’s song that became a catchphrase: ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’.
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