Monday, June 28, 2021

Purple Rain — Prince’s breakthrough hit started life as a country song

It became an arena classic for the ages — but the track was originally conceived as a duet with Stevie Nicks

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 11:24AM
Monday, May 24, 2021

Quinn the Eskimo — Bob Dylan’s nonsense song struck a chord

The singer confessed he didn’t know what it was about — but that didn’t prevent it from being widely covered, and sung

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:45PM
Monday, March 15, 2021

Heaven on their Minds — how Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber sparked a storm

Their musical Jesus Christ Superstar caused controversy, while its opening song has had a colourful afterlife

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 08:48AM
Monday, January 18, 2021

Rumble — how Link Wray brought the sound of slashed speakers to rock guitar

The brutal-sounding instrumental track was hugely influential

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 07:15AM
Monday, January 11, 2021

Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City — a soul track indelibly linked with a hair metal band

The song first recorded by Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland in 1974 became a Whitesnake staple

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 08:53AM
Monday, January 4, 2021

Love Hurts — a song recorded 60 years ago by the Everly Brothers has had a colourful afterlife

The track has shown remarkable agility in hopping across genres and styles

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, December 28, 2020

The Final Countdown — Europe’s song became the soundtrack to the last days of Brexit

The Swedish band left the song off their first two albums because it was too ‘unusual’

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:10AM
Monday, December 21, 2020

I Wanna Be Sedated — how The Ramones’ track emerged from Christmas limbo

The ultimate anthem to desensitisation is a festive song, of sorts

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:02AM
Monday, December 14, 2020

Corpus Christi Carol — an ancient song steeped in mystery

Jeff Buckley sang what is probably the best-known rendition of a carol whose meaning is still debated

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:01AM
Monday, December 7, 2020

Mah-Nà Mah-Nà — an absurd earworm made popular by The Muppets

From soft porn to satire, this wordless song has a long and surprising history

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, November 30, 2020

Paper Planes — M.I.A.’s 2008 hit skewered xenophobic paranoia

The British-Sri Lankan rapper’s song is musically and thematically wide-ranging

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:16AM
Monday, November 23, 2020

Friday on My Mind — how The Easybeats helped dispel Australia’s ‘cultural cringe’

The group’s 1966 hit established a distinctive sound and attitude

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:11AM
Monday, November 16, 2020

Rocket Man — Elton John’s 1972 hit boosted his ascent to superstardom

Lyricist Bernie Taupin was inspired by a science fiction story

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:01AM
Monday, November 9, 2020

Venus in Furs — The Velvet Underground’s chilling drone-rock track was highly influential

Punk bands were beguiled by Lou Reed’s song based on a torrid 1870 novella

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:05AM
Monday, November 2, 2020

Atomic Dog — how George Clinton relaunched his career with the funk classic

The reverberations from this seismic 1982 track are still being felt today

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:11AM
Monday, October 26, 2020

Danny Boy — a closing-time classic with curious origins

A song that speaks of Ireland and absence has a fascinating heritage

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:04AM
Monday, October 19, 2020

Hurricane — Bob Dylan’s howl of protest still resonates today

The hard-hitting 1975 ballad tells the story of a black boxer framed and jailed for murder

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:02AM
Monday, October 12, 2020

War Pigs — how Black Sabbath’s epic pushed heavy metal into a new era

The eight-minute track’s complex structure proved highly influential

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:14AM
Monday, October 5, 2020

Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag — how James Brown invented funk

The singer’s 1965 hit brought a new kind of music to the charts

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:25AM
Monday, September 28, 2020

Also sprach Zarathustra — a fanfare that has echoed down the years

Kubrick and Copland are among those who have felt the force of Richard Strauss’s piece

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:04AM
Monday, September 21, 2020

Ol’ Man River — a powerful indictment of black oppression

Paul Robeson sang the definitive version of this beautiful, rousing tune

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:01AM
Monday, September 14, 2020

Red Right Hand — Nick Cave’s song packs a powerful punch

The story of a devilish figure has been widely covered and had a rich afterlife on TV soundtracks

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, September 7, 2020

Streets of Laredo was already steeped in history when singers such as Marty Robbins tackled it

The ‘cowboy’s lament’ is one of the most widely discussed and dissected songs in the folk canon

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, August 31, 2020

I Don’t Want to Hear it Anymore — Randy Newman’s song is more than just a tale of scandalised neighbours

A track first recorded by Jerry Butler in 1964 has shed light on the tides of 20th-century history

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, August 24, 2020

Kung Fu Fighting — Carl Douglas’s 1974 hit capitalised on the martial arts craze

A mash-up of global cultures and styles, the song has a surprisingly long history

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, August 17, 2020

Fly Like an Eagle — The Steve Miller Band’s hit tapped into a yearning for freedom

The song was one of a number of 1970s paeans to the iconic bird

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, August 10, 2020

Scarborough Fair — the ancient ballad that sparked a modern-day grudge

While Martin Carthy and Paul Simon were not speaking, many other singers gave voice to this mysterious melody

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, August 3, 2020

MacArthur Park — Richard Harris rose (just) to the challenge of Jimmy Webb’s epic

Since it was a hit in 1968, many singers — including the big beasts of the larynx — have tackled this daunting song

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, July 27, 2020

Rivers of Babylon — Boney M’s hit has a history stretching back thousands of years

The song’s story is a tale of exile, lamentation, liberation — and disco

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, July 20, 2020

Kashmir — was this hypnotic epic the pinnacle of Led Zeppelin’s achievements?

The song that became a fixture in their live shows was inspired by a dusty road trip — but not to Kashmir

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:00AM
Monday, July 13, 2020

I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry — Hank Williams’s track is the saddest and simplest of songs

Few have matched the power of the country singer’s 1949 original

SOURCE: The Financial Times Subscription at 12:00AM

All that Chat

REOPEN BROADWAY SEASON
Sep 14, 2021: Chicago - Ambassador Theatre
Oct 17, 2021: Dana H. - Lyceum Theatre
Mar 28, 2022: Plaza Suite - Hudson Theatre
Apr 07, 2022: The Minutes - Studio 54