The Story of The Songs is packed with fascinating anecdotes about some of the biggest hits of the 20th century. Director Oliver Wright tells us how his pandemic project came together.

And really the unique thing about Madonna was how she rose to fame so rapidly and really tapped into culturally what was going on, especially with ‘Material Girl’. I mean, ‘Material Girl’ summed up the era. It was a materialistic age where everyone was spending. It was Dynasty, it was shoulder pads. It was bling.

There was a lot to say with those songs. With most, we tried to do as much as possible within the music videos that were available to us was to stretch them out across, tell the whole career story. But on occasions where we were limited, we found other ways of doing it.

With Madonna, I love the story of the songwriter of ‘Like A Virgin’ who finally got to meet her and was brushed off immediately.

That’s my favourite as well. I mean, it’s so telling, isn’t it?

I know. It’s like, ‘Ouch, that’s cold’. And so, I assume you intentionally didn’t approach the artists themselves to participate? It seems that you wanted their stories, but not as told by them?

Yes, that’s right. Because a bit like with Abba, getting the musicians to tell the tale, you get the real story. The problem is the moment you involve the artist, generally what tends to happen is they want to steer your editorial down a path that then just becomes a big advert for them. Whereas I think what you get in these shows is you get the real stories. You get the people who really knew them and tell it like it is.

Full article at SBS