Pop

Forget Bowie – our times are ripe for Black Sabbath’s worldview

30 September 2017 9:00 am

To get a reminder of how strange the 1970s were, there’s no need to plough through lengthy social and political…

Modishly morose but full of fine moments: LCD Soundsystem's American Dream reviewed

23 September 2017 9:00 am

Grade: B+ Number one. Everywhere, just about. You have to say that the man has a certain sureness of touch.…

One of the most compelling pop singers right now is a gender-fluid observant Jew

22 July 2017 9:00 am

The most compelling pop singers in music right now — at least in the branch where pop singers still play…

Peter Perrett’s How The West Was Won is a beautiful work, lush with swirling melodies

24 June 2017 9:00 am

Much though I loved it at the time, not a great deal of lasting worth came out of that fervid…

Flower power: the members of Geranium Pond

The legacy of Sgt. Pepper that’s really worth celebrating is toytown pop – not prog rock

3 June 2017 9:00 am

Pop’s counterfactuals tend to be built on questioning mortality: what if Jimi Hendrix had lived? Or Buddy Holly? Rarely does…

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…

I’ve got Mick Jagger’s lost memoir

18 February 2017 9:00 am

I’ve got it. But you may never see it

The sound of very earnest millennials making music: The xx’s I See you reviewed

21 January 2017 9:00 am

The xx is a trio of Londoners whose eponymous first album, released in 2009, has defined the way pop music…

When blacking up carried the death penalty

14 January 2017 9:00 am

Black background A Morris dancing troupe with blacked-up faces had to abandon its performance in a Birmingham shopping centre after…

I should never have been ashamed to love Status Quo

31 December 2016 9:00 am

I bought a record in a second-hand shop in the summer of 1981. A double album. I made sure nobody…

Elvis would have loved it: Elvis in Concert at the O2

3 December 2016 9:00 am

Elvis Aron Presley departed this world on 16 August, 1977. Even if you delight in conspiracy theories and believe the…

Too much of a good thing? Ricky Gervais in ‘David Brent: Life on the Road’

Some comedies should never be resurrected – this is one of them: David Brent – Life on the Road reviewed

20 August 2016 9:00 am

I should probably nail my colours to the mast and state that The Office is possibly my favourite TV sitcom…

Was 1966 really as grim as this BBC4 documentary suggests?

30 July 2016 9:00 am

In the song ‘All the Young Dudes’, David Bowie gamely tried to reassure the youth of the Seventies that, despite…

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…

He’s in the bestselling show: David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust, New York, 1973

Bowie realised there was more to life than art

16 January 2016 9:00 am

The DJ and sage Mark Radcliffe once said that he didn’t think he could ever like anyone who didn’t love…

Why I’m stepping down after 28 years as The Spectator pop critic

10 October 2015 9:00 am

Pop's place in culture has changed drastically. Marcus Berkmann explains why, after 27 years, it is time to step down as The Spectator's pop critic

In praise of cheap box sets

12 September 2015 9:00 am

This column does like a bargain. Indeed, it not only esteems and relishes a bargain, it has also worked long…

Hans-Joachim Roedelius (Photo: Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns)

Four of the best albums to write books by

8 August 2015 9:00 am

I have been writing a book this summer, in the usual mad tearing hurry. (Much as I admire those who…

London shouting: The Clash at the ICA, 1976

Why plotting a sound map of London is impossible

18 July 2015 9:00 am

It’s easy to tag the city’s terrain by writer. But what, wonders Philip Clark, might a map of its music look like?

Why do we always beat up on drummers?

11 July 2015 9:00 am

It’s rare that I see a piece about music that makes me want to cheer from the rafters and shake…

Beat generation: the indispensable Ringo Starr in 1964

Ringo's no joke. He was a genius and the Beatles were lucky to have him

4 July 2015 9:00 am

Ringo’s no joke, says James Woodall. He was a genius and the Beatles were lucky to have him 

Michael Eavis has brought more joy to more people than almost any Englishman alive

4 July 2015 9:00 am

I had meant to write a dispassionate account of this year’s Glastonbury, really I had. But I’m afraid my plans…

Amy Winehouse: ‘not a fake bone in her tiny body’

Masterly and heartbreaking: Amy reviewed

4 July 2015 9:00 am

Asif Kapadia’s documentary about Amy Winehouse, whom Tony Bennett describes as ‘one of the truest jazz singers that ever lived’,…

Glastonbury Festival, where the absence of authority results in order, not anarchy

Steve Hilton's model for policy reform: Glastonbury (yes, really)

20 June 2015 9:00 am

Glastonbury is a model for radical policy reform, says Steve Hilton

Three tiny cheers for Mumford & Sons’ new album

13 June 2015 9:00 am

Like a lot of essentially cautious people, I like my music to take some risks, play with fire and damn…