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The 12 best breakup albums – Adele, Coldplay, Fij and Bickers

A negative emotional state, when channelled, can lead to out-of-this-world musical achievements. Just think of the singles ‘Nothing Compares 2U‘ by Sinead O’Connor (and actually written by Prince), ‘Un-break my Heart‘ by Toni Braxton, Bon Iver’s ridiculously sad cover of Bonnie Raitt’s ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’, or even the upbeat ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ by …

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Sadie HaleThe 12 best breakup albums – Adele, Coldplay, Fij and Bickers
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The Smiths albums re-invented as theatre posters

A London-based Etsy shop has redesigned the Smiths’ iconic album covers as eye-catching theatre posters. Simon James, the man behind Standard Designs, has cleverly incorporated the original studio album designs into bold posters, featuring the fictional ‘Royal Northern Theatre’ and with the ‘opening night’ date reflecting the real-life release date of each album. Handmade with ink and 200gsm Premium Archival Paper, these are …

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Sadie HaleThe Smiths albums re-invented as theatre posters

Ten superb songs about swimming #SwimmingWeek

It might not yet be customary to don a waterproof iPod and headphones while looping the lanes at your local pool, but there are plenty of swim-themed tunes to keep you occupied on dry land. In keeping with this week’s swimming theme, we’ve put together a list of the best.   Peter Gabriel – I Go Swimming (1983) There are many …

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Sadie HaleTen superb songs about swimming #SwimmingWeek
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Everything you ever wanted to know about David Bowie’s Space Oddity

45 years old today, Space Oddity is celebrated here by Simon Poulter of the excellent What Would David Bowie Do? blog. Exactly nine days before Neil Armstrong made history by becoming the first human to make physical contact with another planetary object, the man who gives title to this very blog released a single that, 44 years later, came full …

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AshleyEverything you ever wanted to know about David Bowie’s Space Oddity
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The year’s best selling vinyl albums so far – few surprises

It’s been no secret that the music industry has been suffering of late. Sales of CDs and MP3s are down, and while some people might try and blame piracy, chances are the convenience of streaming services that don’t bring in as much profit are likely to blame. But there is a saviour on the horizon, a resurrected musical messiah: the humble …

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Tom PritchardThe year’s best selling vinyl albums so far – few surprises
kasabian

So why does everyone hate Kasabian then?

I don’t know about you, but over the past few days my social media feeds have been dominated by a series of moans about 1, Glastonbury in general and 2, Kasabian in particular. Here’s a sample ‘They’re just a cocky, indie-dance-pub-glam-rock band with a ludicrous sense of self-importance, dodgy fashion sense & poor tunes…’ Ouch! Obviously Kasabian have their fans, …

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AshleySo why does everyone hate Kasabian then?
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Anton Newcombe of The Brian Jonestown Massacre chooses his 10 top psychedelic pop songs

The Brian Jonestown Massacre, the cult guitar band who have inspired a generation of psychedelic popsters, are back with a superb new album Revelation. You can read an interview with lead singer Anton Newcombe in this month’s Shindig Magazine and also online here. To celebrate Revelation’s lunch Anton, who is well worth following on Twitter at @antonnewcombe, chose his ten …

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AshleyAnton Newcombe of The Brian Jonestown Massacre chooses his 10 top psychedelic pop songs
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The 10 greatest Glastonbury performances of all time

Apparently it is Glasto this weekend. Who knew!? Anyhow we asked some Glasto veterans to come up with their top ten performances of all time and here’s what they said Johnny Cash in 1994 – Johnny Cash playing Glasto at the height of Brit Pop. Surely this wasn’t going end well!? Nevertheless the singer’s star had been rising over the …

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AshleyThe 10 greatest Glastonbury performances of all time
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The other side of the 80s – Ben Vendetta’s Wivenhoe Park review

Personally I am with Jarvis Cocker, who takes the view that 80s were quite possibly the worst decade to be young in post war Britain. AIDS, Thatcherism, looming nuclear apocalypse, Stock, Aitken and Waterman – boy did we suffer. Still there was some great music made in the 80s and almost none of it made by fellas in frilly shirts, …

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AshleyThe other side of the 80s – Ben Vendetta’s Wivenhoe Park review
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10 albums every man should own #daveberrystyle

Music industry type Dave Berry has caused a bit of kerfuffle today by compiling a list of ten albums that every man should own. Let’s just say it is a bit of a conservative list. I think that David Cameron’s would be racier. Sure Beatles, Oasis and Portishead are great, but saying you like the Fabs is a bit like …

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Ashley10 albums every man should own #daveberrystyle
mondo-mercury

An alternative Mercury Prize shortlist – five great albums that shouldn’t be overlooked

Tomorrow the wonderful Lauren Laverne will rip open an envelope and announce the albums that make up this year’s Mercury Prize shortlist. It will be predictably unpredictably- if that is possible – with nods to a folk album or two, a bit of jazz and classical and maybe something completely off the wall. But making the running will be the …

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AshleyAn alternative Mercury Prize shortlist – five great albums that shouldn’t be overlooked
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Opening bands of the greatest music festivals of all time – Glastonbury, Woodstock

Ever wondered who were the very first band to play your favourite music festival? Who kicked off the shenanigans at Glastonbury back in 1970, or who preceded all the greats at Monterey and Woodstock? And what ever happened to them? Did they achieve greatness or become a musical footnote just dragged out in features like this? Here are your answers. …

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AshleyOpening bands of the greatest music festivals of all time – Glastonbury, Woodstock
Status+Quo

One of 2013′s most influential bands – The Status Quo – yes really

I have been listening a fair bit to the new album Inventions from the ultra cool Nashville psych band The Sufis and been scratching my head to work out what their key influences are. Sure there’s plenty of Revolver era Beatles, and they have obviously mastered all the key elements of the Syd Barrett songbook. There’s also a whiff of …

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AshleyOne of 2013′s most influential bands – The Status Quo – yes really
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The ten best Psych albums of 2013 – so far… Sufis, Hidden Masters, Foxygen

If you like a Beatley melody, some twangy guitar, a smidgen of sitar and the odd bonkers middle eight 2013 has been a vintage year so far. The rush of new psych bands that emerged in 2012 has blossomed into a worldwide movement. And it isn’t all about 60 re-treads. Some of the new bands are clearly inspired by this …

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AshleyThe ten best Psych albums of 2013 – so far… Sufis, Hidden Masters, Foxygen
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How Paul McCartney invented the hipster look and indie pop

When Paul McCartney left The Beatles in 1970 he decided to drop out of public life for a while. Taking his wife and children Macca headed off to his newly bought farm house in the Mull of Kintrye to raise sheep, walk on the beach and pen gentle folky ditties. It wasn’t until a year later in 1971 when the …

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AshleyHow Paul McCartney invented the hipster look and indie pop
nile-rodgers

REVIEW: Nile Rodgers Presents – The CHIC Organization “Up All Night” (Greatest Hits)

The Don of Disco; the Patriarch of Pop: you love Nile Rodgers’ music even if you don’t know the man behind the tunes. It occurred to me and my pals that a beast of an all-night house party playlist we’d put together was unwittingly made up of at least 50% Rodgers related tracks, be they from his Chic days, the …

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Gerald LynchREVIEW: Nile Rodgers Presents – The CHIC Organization “Up All Night” (Greatest Hits)
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Scott Walker to play live gigs in 2014 shocker! Tells mag that he’s on the case

Once Scott Walker was among the most reclusive pop stars with a profile that rivalled Syd Barrett. These days however, he seems a lot happier chatting to people about his music and his ideas. There has been one area though which has been pretty much no go for awhile and that is live dates. Back in 2008 Walker did organise …

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AshleyScott Walker to play live gigs in 2014 shocker! Tells mag that he’s on the case
AMPAS Gold Standard Series

David Bowie to play Glastonbury? The bets are on.

Everyone knows that The Rolling Stones are the main attraction at Glastonbury this weekend. However the internet has been awash with rumours that a certain other vintage pop star who is on the comeback trail, might play a secret set at the fest. Yep William Hill is offering odds of 6/1 on David Bowie playing Glasto with him at 10/1 …

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AshleyDavid Bowie to play Glastonbury? The bets are on.
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David Woodcock releases Same Things debut single reinvents Brit Pop, but in a good way

Essex has a bit of form when it comes to delivering maverick pop geniuses with a gift for mixing a smidgeon of music hall with a dash of 60s pop and creating inspired, but intelligent tunes. And the latest to join such luminaries as Ian Dury, Jake Shillingford and Damon Albarn is Blow Up record’s new signing Southend boy David …

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AshleyDavid Woodcock releases Same Things debut single reinvents Brit Pop, but in a good way