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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

Ron Howard’s Beatles documentary: The Fab Four’s best songs from their touring years

With Ron Howard’s recent announcement that he plans to make a documentary about the Fab Four’s glory days, it seems that Beatlemania is showing no signs of fading away. The Academy Award-winning director of A Beautiful Mind will infuse the documentary with his own Beatles obsession, and will use the most sophisticated technology to remaster old footage, hopefully creating an authentic visual and aural experience …

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Sadie HaleRon Howard’s Beatles documentary: The Fab Four’s best songs from their touring years
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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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Space Oddity at 45: five strange cover versions

On 11 July 1969, David Bowie’s Space Oddity was released as a single – making it 45 years old today. Reaching number five on the UK singles chart, the song propelled the young Bowie into the public eye and gained momentum over the years, achieving international success. Upon its 1973 re-release, it hit number 15 on the Billboard Chart, making it Bowie’s first hit …

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Sadie HaleSpace Oddity at 45: five strange cover versions
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Everything you wanted to know about Swimming

This is a big week for Brandish. We are not only properly re-launching the site,but we are also going live with the first of our special weeks. And for the first week, given the glorious weather and a passion for pools, we are going to focus on swimming. Over the coming days you’ll get to read top tips from the experts in open water swimming, the confessions …

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AshleyEverything you wanted to know about Swimming
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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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Ten reasons why Italia 90 was the best World Cup of all time

1966 was brilliant because football came home (and we won it). My dad raves about 1970 and England’s games against Brazil and West Germany and 2006 set the bar so high for a brilliantly organised and memorable World Cup with the weirdest twist in the final. However when it comes to the best World Cup of all time it has …

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AshleyTen reasons why Italia 90 was the best World Cup 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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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
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RIP James Gandolfini – the world has lost a giant

Simon Poulter of WWDB pays tribute to James Gandolfini, a great actor best known for his role as Tony Soprano in The Sopranos. Talk to any actor famous for a particular part and they will, more than anything else, do their level best to divorce fiction from reality. Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy even named his first autobiography I Am Not …

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AshleyRIP James Gandolfini – the world has lost a giant
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Kosmischer Läufer – the amazing story of East German Kraut Rock for athletes

As you all know West Germany during the 1970s was an explosion of musical creativitiy as bands like Can, Neu and Amon Duul married wonderful meandering psychedelic melodies to that very special Motorik Kraut Rock Groove. As for East Germany. Well the music soundtrack was just a little more conservative. With a totalitarian Communist government running the show and the …

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AshleyKosmischer Läufer – the amazing story of East German Kraut Rock for athletes
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The Quiet Loner’s guide to the top ten Quiet Loners

Quiet Loner is in fact the hugely talented Matt Hill who has released a series of excellent albums the latest of which, The Greedy Magicians is a passionate, politically charged suite of songs that has already got many incredible reviews. Here is his list of other Quiet Loners “He was a quiet loner who kept himself to himself”. So goes …

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AshleyThe Quiet Loner’s guide to the top ten Quiet Loners
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Why Blur’s Modern Life Is Rubbish is one of the most special albums ever

Today we are celebrating Blur’s Modern life Is Rubbish – you’ll find out why in mo – one of the most brilliant and influential albums of the 90s. Here’s ten reasons why you should give it a spin tonight (and every night). 1 It has the most amazing image on the cover That’s The Mallard, the art deco-esque train, coughs, …

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AshleyWhy Blur’s Modern Life Is Rubbish is one of the most special albums ever

RIP Ray Harryhausen – we pay tribute to the man who inspired Spielberg and Lucas

Ray Harryhausen, the special effects wizard who brought life to dozens of the silver screen’s most memorable stop-motion monsters has died aged 92. An industry legend, his work went on to inspire modern monster movie kings such as Peter Jackson, James Cameron, Steven Spielberg and Wallace and Gromit director Nick Park, all of whom paid Harryhausen and his pioneering work. …

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shinychrisRIP Ray Harryhausen – we pay tribute to the man who inspired Spielberg and Lucas
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A tribute to the king of album sleeve designs – Storm Thorgerson

Simon Poulter of What Would David Bowie Do? remembers a brilliant designer. If you were to ask me to make a list of the greatest albums of all time, I could start now and probably never finish. Magazines and radio stations regularly try to give it a go, but rarely come up with a top 10, top 100 or even …

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AshleyA tribute to the king of album sleeve designs – Storm Thorgerson
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Were the 60s Mods the footsoldiers who propelled Margaret Thatcher to power?

One of the most intriguing books about popular culture in a while went on sale last month. Richard Weight’s Mod: A Very British Style is not a rose-tinted, nostalgic romp through the history of a movement that has had profound impact on British culture, but a serious academic (yet still very readable) study of what Mod is and was and how the 60s Mods have influenced British society. It scope – which goes way beyond most books about Mods -has already attracted criticism from hardcore …

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AshleyWere the 60s Mods the footsoldiers who propelled Margaret Thatcher to power?
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Ten great vinyl only albums – The Beatles, Velvet Underground, The Cleaners From Venus and more

Not long to wait now. Record Store Day is coming a week on Saturday and I’ll be spending that day hunting down  obscure 80s indie singles and long lost psych albums. And to celebrate – well we have got in a tad early – here is a list of ten of the greatest albums that have are vinyl only and …

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AshleyTen great vinyl only albums – The Beatles, Velvet Underground, The Cleaners From Venus and more
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Amazing pics of the day The Beatles played to just 18 people

Take a look at this pic. It is quartet of likely looking fellas from the early 60s enjoying a sneaky beer. Look again though and it becomes clear that in the picture is a very young John Lennon and an even younger George Harrison – who at eighteen is only just old enough to be swigging from the bottle. It …

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AshleyAmazing pics of the day The Beatles played to just 18 people
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Billy Liar gets the Blu-ray treatment

As any Smiths fan knows the classic early single, William It Was Really Nothing, was Morrissey’s homage to the masterpiece of British new wave movies Billy Liar. Well, a few years after the death of Keith Waterhouse who penned the novel in 1959, the film is to be celebrated again with a feature-packed Blu-ray edition plus a couple of screenings. …

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AshleyBilly Liar gets the Blu-ray treatment
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Fantastic images from the golden age of Airships – graceful, modern and doomed

These days we associate Airships with football matches as the smooth flight of the ship enables camera crews to take long and steady overhead shots of stadiums. But there was a time in the 1930s when they were state of the art travel ships. If you wanted to get from Europe to the Americas you could either get a boat …

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AshleyFantastic images from the golden age of Airships – graceful, modern and doomed