When “Wuthering Heights” was released 40 years ago this year, it became the first song written and performed by a woman to reach number one in the UK charts. What was the song’s — and Bush’s — special appeal? Why have there been more parodies than straight covers? And why is it so popular now, with re-enactments of the music video taking place around the world? FT music writers Jude Rogers, Helen Brown and David Cheal discuss the song and its afterlife.
Set against a backdrop of protest and upheaval, the songs released in 1968 represent a turning point in music. FT pop writers David Cheal and Peter Aspden are joined by author Tot Taylor to debate the year’s most important songs and artists, from Tyrannosaurus Rex, The Beatles and Pink Floyd to Joni Mitchell and Tim Buckley.
What makes a good Christmas song? Should it be cheesy or serious? And why do millennials love them?
FT pop writers discuss festive classics old and new – from carols to Mariah Carey, Greg Lake to Phil Spector, Sufjan Stevens to Run-DMC. Plus, which 2017’s best Christmas song: Gwen Stefani’s ‘You Make it Feel Like Christmas’ or Sia’s ‘Santa’s Coming for Us’?
Billie Holiday’s 1939 ‘Strange Fruit’ was called ‘the first significant protest in words and music, the first unmuted cry against racism’. Other singers attempted it, from Nina Simone and Diana Ross to Jeff Buckley and Kanye West. But could any match the power of the impassioned original? FT pop writers David Cheal, Fiona Sturges and Helen Brown discuss the song’s origins and afterlife.
From Bob Dylan to Adele, the song that was first called ‘a spare ballad undermined by greetingcard lyrics’ is now a karaoke tearjerker. FT pop writers David Cheal and Helen Brown debate the origins, meanings and cover versions of ‘Make You Feel My Love’.
In a special episode to mark the publication of The Life of a Song book, FT pop critics Helen Brown, David Cheal and Ludovic Hunter-Tilney debate whether a song can really change the world. Hear the stories behind the hits, from Bowie’s ‘Starman’ to Jay-Z’s ‘Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)’.
It achieved distinction in an era of elemental riffs, and journeyed effortlessly to and fro across the Atlantic. It also marked a turning point in the career of the greatest guitarist who ever lived: Jimi Hendrix. FT pop writers Peter Aspden and David Cheal discuss “Wild Thing” 50 years after Hendrix’s groundbreaking performance at the Monterey Pop festival.
The singer’s old label boss called the song ‘a morbid mess’, but it shot to number one in the US. Ahead of the 40th anniversary of Elvis’s death in August, FT pop writers Peter Apsden and David Cheal discuss the song’s origins, dark appeal and afterlife.
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Twenty years after they headlined Glastonbury, Radiohead return to the British music festival. FT pop writers Ludovic Hunter-Tilney and David Cheal discuss the band’s lullaby of despair ‘No Surprises’ from their 1997 album OK Computer.