A podcast on what music does to our brains, and why it moves us.
The Sex Pistols perform in Memphis, Tennessee during their 1978 American tour.
Banned from the BBC, denied its rightful place on the charts, 'God Save the Queen' – released 40 years ago this month – remains one of the most controversial protest songs of all time.
Brahms’ piano quartet in G minor was composed for a piano, a violin, a viola and a cello.
The 29-year old Johannes Brahms had his first major public success with his piano quartet in G minor, but not everyone gave it glowing praise.
Prince performs during the 2013 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
For those on Rolling Stone's list of 100 Greatest Artists, their life expectancy is on par with the people of Chad, the nation with the lowest life expectancy in the world.
A Grateful Dead fan wears a shirt commemorating the band’s farewell tour.
In the internet era, musical artists freely distribute their songs and encourage fans to attend live shows. The Dead did this for 40 years.
The Byrds in 1965.
Sony Music Entertainment
Fifty years ago, in the first half of 1965, the British invasion was officially under way – at least, in music. It seemed like all the biggest hits on the American pop charts came from British bands. Ever…
The US version of the Rollings Stones’ 1965 LP Out of Our Heads featured Satisfaction.
Fifty years ago, the Rolling Stones released their breakthrough single (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, which debuted in the US during the first week of June 1965. The band’s previous singles had done well…
BB King performs in Hamburg, Germany in this 1971 photograph.
Before being crowned the "King of the Blues," a young Riley King honed his on-stage persona and made crucial contacts as a radio DJ.
When bands "return to their roots," is it a genuine search, or a way to court critics and sell records?
Hordes of Jack Kennedy fans would greet the candidate during his 1960 campaign for President.
Songs no longer relay party platforms. Instead, they're used to promote "celebrity" candidates.
Kurt or Kurdt?
It's important not to conflate and confuse Cobain's varying personas.
Object, artwork, memory.
As Record Store Day shows, there's a lot more to the vinyl revival than simple nostalgia.
The ‘Blurred Lines’ verdict is only the most recent copyright ‘Controversy’ to erupt – just ask Prince.
Like ambulance chasers, gimlet-eyed entertainment lawyers have been trained to detect the most trivial copyright infringements.
In ‘The Last Time,’ the band’s country, gospel and blues influences would be put on display.
The band's first US hit wasn't 'Satisfaction.' Released in March 1965, 'The Last Time' possessed stylistic flairs that would predict the band's future success.
Through his music, Lead Belly rejected the stereotype that country music was the domain of white artists, while blues music was reserved for blacks.
Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection depicts the fully-formed artist – a blues musician, yes, but also a performer of string-band, country and pop songs.
Ma Rainey was one of Paramount Records’ most popular artists.
JP Jazz Archive/Redferns
In the 1920s, many black musicians were exploited by record companies, and faded into anonymity. Here are some of their stories.
Rock musicians, such as Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin, have experimented with the length and breadth of songs since the 70s.
My daughter came home from school orchestra rehearsal one day and said: Daughter: We are learning a great new song by Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 5. Me: Song, darling? I’d call it a piece. Daughter…
Drummer Nick Mason and guitarist David Gilmour dug into recording sessions from 1994’s The Division Bell to mine material for their professed last album: The Endless River
For a band that once sang “Every year is getting shorter / Never seem to find the time” – which followed an explosion of alarm clocks – Pink Floyd’s songs always seemed to take their time. During the band’s…
Country music’s soaring popularity in the Northeast isn’t so much a novelty as it is a rebirth.
This past June, radio conglomerate Clear Channel (now known as iHeartRadio) announced it was converting Boston’s 101.7 FM to a country station. The story they told the Boston Globe was a familiar one…
Yeah, I love Harry Belafonte, me.
Steve Parsons/PA Wire
To call Mike Read’s recently withdrawn UKIP calypso an appropriation of “black” culture is to do a disservice to the cultural traditions usually identified under that name. Still, something grates about…