Fifty years ago, did John Lennon tell us not to pray?
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Regularly topping lists for ‘greatest song of all time,’ the former Beatle’s classic 1971 song is taken by many as an atheistic anthem.
Charlie Watts – a humble drummer behind a humble kit.
Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Charlie Watts was the Rolling Stones’ drummer for almost six decades. A scholar of music – and a Stones fan – describes what he brought to the band.
David Byrne redefined the idea of what a band onstage looks like. Spike Lee has made a film about Byrne and his band that stands up with the best.
A winter dawn in Brisbane.
With his wonderful voice, fondness for strings and whistling and sad, beautiful stories, this American singer-songwriter lifts the spirits.
University music programs need to move away from curricula that privilege European theory and compositions.
The recent furor from senior academics in response to a public lecture about the whiteness of music education reflects a longstanding race problem in music — it’s time to address this.
AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams
It may seem counter-intuitive to turn to Leonard Cohen’s ‘depressing’ songs during times of grief and uncertainty. But he shows there is always a reason to keep on keeping on.
Samantha Morton in Code 46.
BBC Films, BBC, Kailash Picture Company
A somewhat obscure 2003 science-fiction film has a luminous soundtrack, which brings surprising solace to a locked down world.
Formed in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Laibach has offended all points of the political spectrum
Pedro Ruiz/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
His single Yeke Yeke was the first African song to pass a million in sales, but it’s meaning was best understood in Guinea, home of the griot and kora star.
Emblues Beer Band in the streets of São Paulo, Brazil.
Photo by Daniel Bacchieri
Busking has long been a way for musicians to gain performance experience and garner a following. Digital platforms are powerful tools that can transmit local artists to global audiences.
Even though the way we access pop music has changed and gone digital, hitmakers lag behind other industries in terms of globalisation.
A poster for the 1963 film Beach Party.
Alta Vista Productions
Surf music was born in 1960. Its twangy instrumentals can be traced through many artists from The Shadows and Fleetwood Mac to Australia’s The Sunnyboys and The Cruel Sea.
Peter Hook at a recent Joy Division Orchestrated performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
VDImages & Yannis Hostelidis
The music alone, despite its unquestionable majesty, cannot entirely explain the enduring appeal of a band that existed for barely two years before its lead singer took his own life.
David Bowie in the film clip for Space Oddity: the song would become an anthem for space exploration with an enduring appeal.
Fifty years ago, on July 11, 1969, David Bowie released Space Oddity. With its adventurous orchestration, unsettling harmonics and melancholy narrative, the now classic song captured a moment.
Kate Miller-Heidke performs Zero Gravity during the Grand Final of the 64th annual Eurovision Song Contest: an oddball, meteoric and sincere performance.
Long known as a spectacle of quirky Euro-kitsch, this year’s contest more closely resembled singing TV shows such as The Voice. Notable exceptions, however, were Iceland’s Hatari and our own Kate Miller-Heidke.
The Walker Brothers performing in 1965.
The music of Scott Walker was central to the Golden Age of songwriters. It has inspired a multitude since, from David Bowie to Thom Yorke.
Michael Jackson performing with guitarist Slash in 1999.
Sexual abuse in the music industry is a systemic, ongoing problem that won’t be resolved by just hacking away at the canon.
There are some great women guitarists but they struggle to make it into the rock canon.
There are numerous women guitar virtuosos, from Joan Jett to Orianthi to St Vincent. Why are they so conclusively excluded from the rock canon?
Leonard Cohen pictured in July 2008. His 2016 letter to his ‘muse’ Marianne Ihlen went viral after his death in the same year.
Leonard Cohen’s letter to his former girlfriend on her death bed became a viral phenomenon. But the words that circulated on social media were a paraphrased version, not his own.
A copy of the original White Album signed by George Martin: his son Giles Martin and mix engineer Sam Okell have remixed the album on its 50th anniversary.
Julien''s Auctions/Supplied by WE/AAP
Remixing a Beatles album might be seen as both artistically redundant and cynically commercial. But this remixed classic allows us to experience the album in a new way.