PODCAST

Song Exploder

Hrishikesh Hirway

Song Exploder is a podcast where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made. Each episode features an artist discussing a song of theirs, breaking down the sounds and ideas that went into the writing and recording. Hosted and produced by Hrishikesh Hirway.


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Kevin Morby - This Is a Photograph
Kevin Morby - This Is a PhotographArooj Aftab - MohabbatPartners: Robert Plant & Alison KraussPeaches - Boys Wanna Be HerSteve Reich - Different Trains: America, Before the WarReissue: Perfume Genius - Slip AwaySarah Kinsley - The KingBrandi Carlile - You and Me On the Rock (feat. Lucius)Franz Ferdinand - Take Me OutJoy Oladokun - Look UpDanny Elfman - What’s This? (from “The Nightmare Before Christmas”)Halsey - You Asked for ThisHans Zimmer - DuneThe War On Drugs - I Don't Live Here Anymore (feat. Lucius)Willow - Transparent Soul feat. Travis BarkerHrishikesh Hirway TED Talk - What You Learn When You Listen CloselyJohn Lennon - God
Earlier this year, I got an amazing email—the estate of John Lennon said that they have a treasure trove of audio material from his life, and they were wondering if I would be interested in making an episode around the song “God,” from John Lennon’s first solo album. I’ve never tried making a posthumous episode before, because hearing directly from the artist is at the heart of Song Exploder. But with all the interview archives that they have of him speaking, plus all the isolated tracks from the recordings, and the original demo, it actually seemed possible. So this is a very different and special episode of the show. In September 1969, John Lennon told the rest of the Beatles that he was leaving the group. Their breakup was announced publicly in April 1970, and that December, John Lennon released his first solo album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. The Plastic Ono band was the name for a rotating group of musicians that John and his wife, the artist Yoko Ono, had put together. For the making of “God,” the band included Ringo Starr on drums, Billy Preston on piano, and Klaus Voormann on bass. I got to interview Klaus Voormann about his experiences making this track, and in this episode, you’ll hear from him along with the archival interviews with John Lennon, Ringo Starr, and Billy Preston. You’ll also hear the original demo for “God,” and outtakes from the recording sessions at Abbey Road studios. They recorded the final version of this song on October 9, 1970—John Lennon’s 30th birthday. Archival audio sources: - John Lennon's audio was excerpted from an interview with Rolling Stone's Jann S. Wenner, recorded on December 8, 1970. The full interview can be found here. With grateful thanks to Jann S. Wenner for his permission and collaboration. - Arthur Janov and Billy Preston's quotes came from interviews conducted in 2005 owned by Yoko Ono Lennon. With grateful thanks to Yoko Ono Lennon for her permission and collaboration. - Ringo Starr's audio came from the 2008 Classic Albums documentary on John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band, directed by Matthew Longfellow. With grateful thanks to Ringo Starr for his permission and collaboration. For more, visit songexploder.net/john-lennon.
Oct 6 2021
26 mins
Lucy Dacus - ThumbsMustafa - Air ForcesLykke Li - I Follow Rivers