If vocals are the heart of a song, the rhythm track, the beat, is its body; the element that hits a primal part of us and makes us move. This show looks at rhythm in music, breaks the beat down and examines the endless experimentation.


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dermot Mulroney ... Narrator (voice)
The-Dream ... Self
Christopher Stewart ... Self
Jason King Jason King ... Self
Todd Boyd Todd Boyd ... Self
Chuck Connor Chuck Connor ... Self
Nelson George Nelson George ... Self
Robbie Robertson ... Self
Vivien Goldman ... Self
Paul Anka ... Self
Dion DiMucci ... Self (as Dion)
Jeff Beck ... Self
Lamont Dozier ... Self
Smokey Robinson ... Self
Greg Phillinganes ... Self


If the vocal track is the heart of a song, the rhythm track--the beat--is its body. It is the sonic element that taps into the most primal part of us and makes us want to move. The Rhythm Track breaks the beat down, and examines the endless experimentation that has taken place in its core, the very bedrock of all music. Charting the progression of the beat from drum and bass to beatbox and beyond--from Little Richard and James Brown to disco and EDM--Episode Five listens in on the ongoing dialogue between dance floor and recording studio, and captures the ever-evolving process of building an irresistible beat.

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The Beat's the Thing
9 January 2017 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

This installment discusses how the finding of a beat is what gives us the primal sense in popular music. Of course, the real music goes back to the black influence. While the percussionist is often overlooked, he or she is at the center of dance music. We look first to gospel and then evolve to Little Richard. Racism at first put a stop to this music. There is a clip of Pat Boone singing a Little Richard song. His covers sold way more records than nearly all the soul singers. He had to be the most boring performer of all time. Of course, the religious community were all over him. But the person who brought it on the most was James Brown. Rhythm was all over his music. Even disco should not be overlooked because it brought rhythm back and the dance.

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Release Date:

18 November 2016 (USA) See more »

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Show of Force See more »
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