Book review – music history

Rebooting the sordid glamour of 1970s New York: Nick Valensi, The Strokes’s guitarist

How 9/11 revived New York’s music scene

19 August 2017 9:00 am

‘New York stories in a way are always real estate stories,’ says the journalist Alan Light in Lizzy Goodman’s bustling…

Putting the guitar centre stage: skiffle king Lonnie Donegan in 1962

Nostalgia for skiffle – and the first stirrings of British pop

10 June 2017 9:00 am

‘It was easy, it was cheap, go and do it,’ sang the Desperate Bicycles on their self-funded debut single in…

Lou Reed takes a walk on the wild side in 1972

When real rock stars roamed the world

20 May 2017 9:00 am

David Hepworth is such a clever writer — not just clever in the things he writes, but in the way…

Was 1971 really the best ever year for music?

2 April 2016 9:00 am

According to David Hepworth, the year he turned 21 was also the year when ‘a huge proportion of the most…

Big names and broken souls: storm clouds gather over Woodstock’s summer of love

26 March 2016 9:00 am

In 1963, when the bloom was still on the rose, Bob Dylan described Woodstock as a place where ‘we stop…

Dusty Springfield at the Royal Variety Performance in 1965 (Getty).

Everything you always wanted to know about Sixties pop —and more

28 November 2015 9:00 am

It might seem an odd choice, but after reading Jon Savage’s new book, I think if I had a time…

Detail of the bridge of the kora, a harp made from calabash and cow hide, with strings aligned in a perpendicular plane

The polyphonous Babel of global music

17 October 2015 8:00 am

‘Following custom, when the Siamese conquered the Khmer they carried off much of the population, including most of their musicians,…

The times really were a-changin’ — when Dylan electrified his fans

29 August 2015 9:00 am

Five songs, only three of which were amplified. Thirty-five minutes, including interruptions. That’s how long Bob Dylan played for at…

Copyright: the great rock’n’roll swindle

4 July 2015 9:00 am

For a music fan, the quiz question, ‘Who wrote “This Land is Your Land”?’ might seem laughably easy. Yet if…

While I was wining and dining bands, the future of the music industry was stealing CDs in North Carolina

13 June 2015 9:00 am

In 1994 I was working in marketing at London Records, a frothy pop label part-owned by the Polygram Group —…

Ginger Baker plays the drums at Cream’s first live performance at the Windsor Festival, 31 July 1966

The poor drummer is music’s goalkeeper — you only notice him if he screws up

16 May 2015 9:00 am

Tony Barrell can’t play the drums, but he’s in awe of those who can. ‘A band without a drummer is…

Count Basie, Aretha Franklin, Elvis, Bob Dylan - all the greats ultimately owe their fame to the faceless ‘record men’

21 February 2015 9:00 am

The crucial thing to remember about the music business is that it’s a business. If you happen to be creating…

Chris Barber should let someone meaner tell his story

16 August 2014 9:00 am

Chris Barber, still going strong with his big band, was born in 1930. He heard jazz as a schoolboy on…

The yes-no-maybe world of Harrison Birtwistle

31 May 2014 9:00 am

For better or worse, we live in the age of the talking composer. Some talk well, some badly, a few…