Cover image of FT Life of a Song
(13)
Arts
Performing Arts

FT Life of a Song

Updated 4 days ago

Arts
Performing Arts
Read more

Each month FT music critics and contributors discuss the story of a song, from its origins and early recordings through cover versions good and bad. Formerly called FT Arts.

Read more

Each month FT music critics and contributors discuss the story of a song, from its origins and early recordings through cover versions good and bad. Formerly called FT Arts.

iTunes Ratings

13 Ratings
Average Ratings
12
0
1
0
0

Really? Not.

By Shankar Fan - Aug 21 2019
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And The Beatles 1967 Sergeant Pepper album doesn’t beat out the 1968 album mentioned in this podcast as the first concept album? What are you thinking? This is just wrong wrong wrong. And I don’t like any of the tunes played either. Sorry! Not.

Love it!

By ALEX> - Oct 12 2017
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This is a fantastic show! Really love it and the song histories they go through!

iTunes Ratings

13 Ratings
Average Ratings
12
0
1
0
0

Really? Not.

By Shankar Fan - Aug 21 2019
Read more
And The Beatles 1967 Sergeant Pepper album doesn’t beat out the 1968 album mentioned in this podcast as the first concept album? What are you thinking? This is just wrong wrong wrong. And I don’t like any of the tunes played either. Sorry! Not.

Love it!

By ALEX> - Oct 12 2017
Read more
This is a fantastic show! Really love it and the song histories they go through!
Cover image of FT Life of a Song

FT Life of a Song

Updated 4 days ago

Read more

Each month FT music critics and contributors discuss the story of a song, from its origins and early recordings through cover versions good and bad. Formerly called FT Arts.

Rank #1: Real to reel

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Documentary films are breaking UK box office records and are, arguably, having more success than ever before. As "The Queen of Versailles", one of the hits of this year's Sundance Film Festival, heads for UK cinemas, Raphael Abraham discusses the new appetite for reality with critics Nigel Andrews and Leslie Felperin For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Aug 23 2012

19mins

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Rank #2: The Life of a Song: Mr Tambourine Man

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Bob Dylan’s cryptic number is one of the signature songs of the 1960s, signalling a shift in his career. It helped launch The Byrds to stardom and was pivotal in the development of indie rock. Richard Clayton follows its history.

Credits: Columbia, Legacy, Spectrum, Naxos

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Jul 25 2016

7mins

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Rank #3: The life of a song: When the Levee Breaks

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From recordings by Memphis Minnie and Led Zeppelin to sampling by Dr Dre, Eminem and Massive Attack, David Cheal traces the various incarnations of ‘When the Levee Breaks’. Credits: Columbia, Atlantic, The Chronic Interscope For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Feb 20 2015

5mins

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Rank #4: The Life of a Song: In The Air Tonight

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The coolification of Phil Collins is among pop's most curious turnarounds. Richard Clayton explains what the song owes to gangsta rap, "gated reverb" - and a drumming gorilla. Credit: Rhino, Atlantic, Def Jam For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Apr 29 2016

6mins

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Rank #5: The Life of a Song: Because the Night

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Fiona Sturges follows Patti Smith's lustful 1970s song of youthful abandon.

Credits: Arista, Columbia, Coqueiro Verde Records, Stun Volume For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Oct 02 2016

6mins

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Rank #6: The Life of a Song: Stairway to Heaven

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David Honigmann follows Led Zeppelin's 'Stairway' from its origins in a Welsh cottage to 'Wayne's World', the White House and bedrooms everywhere For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Dec 30 2016

7mins

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Rank #7: Bryte star: Peter Aspden on Nick Drake

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Neglected in his lifetime, the singer-songwriter is now revered, as an event devoted to his album ‘Bryter Later’ demonstrates. But it’s doubtful his genius would have flourished any better in today’s impatient world, the FT’s arts writer says For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Oct 18 2013

7mins

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Rank #8: The Life of a Song: Amsterdam

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Jacques Brel's impassioned tribute to the sailors and drunks of the port of Amsterdam inspired covers by Mort Shuman and Scott Walker. David Cheal traces its journey from David Bowie's stripped down version to Thierry Amiel's performance, which triumphantly returned the song to its original French. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Mar 11 2016

7mins

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Rank #9: The Life of a Song: Every Rose Has Its Thorn

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"Every Rose Has Its Thorn" by Poison's Bret Michaels was the last popular flourish of transvestism in rock. Ludovic Hunter-Tilney discovers what inspired the classic power ballad. Credit: Capitol Catalog, Hollywood Records, Kidz Bop, BMB/Poor Boy Records
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May 13 2016

7mins

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Rank #10: The Life of a Song: Smoke on the Water

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The origin of Deep Purple's 1971 hit is almost as famous as its instantly recognisable guitar riff.

Credits: Parlophone UK, Thompson Music P/L
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Oct 22 2016

5mins

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Rank #11: Florence and the machines: the British Library Sound Archive

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Peter Aspden visits the basement treasure-house where recordings of Florence Nightingale, 1940s electronica and other rarities are stored alongside some equally exotic audio technology For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jan 09 2015

7mins

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Rank #12: The Life of a Song: Not Fade Away

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Buddy Holly's 1958 London performance of the song inspired the young Mick Jagger to form his own band.

Credits: Universal, Not Now Music For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Dec 02 2016

6mins

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Rank #13: The life of a song: Starman

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“I had to phone someone so I picked on you-hoo-hoo”: David Cheal on the song that gave David Bowie his breathrough moment. Credits: Parlophone UK, RCA Records, EMI Records For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Sep 11 2015

5mins

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Rank #14: The Life of a Song: '1999'

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Prince wrote his song about partying in the face of nuclear threat during the cold war but it gets heavy rotation to this day For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Dec 23 2016

7mins

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Rank #15: Nap music: Peter Aspden on the UK’s first ‘sleeping gig’

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A concert sponsored by insurance company Direct Line aims to help time-challenged audiences snatch some shut-eye – but a wakeful FT arts writer finds that the relationship between art and sleep is not a straightforward one For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Nov 08 2013

6mins

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Rank #16: The Life of a Song: Rasputin

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Boney M's unlikely disco ballad was a hit on both sides of the iron curtain but was banned by Soviet authorities. Harriet Fitch-Little explores its indestructible appeal.

Credits: Ariola Express, Century Media, Super Cassettes Industries, MCI For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Sep 18 2016

7mins

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Rank #17: The Life of a Song: War

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Which song links a Haile Selassie UN speech with a Bob Marley vamp and the moment Sinead O’Connor was booed by 20,000 Bob Dylan fans? David Honigmann discusses “War”. Credit: Sony Legacy, 1992 Island Records, Rastafari Records, Keltia Musique For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Feb 12 2016

6mins

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Rank #18: The Life of a Song: Hotel California

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Peter Aspen looks at how The Eagles turned a few improvised chords into one of the most iconic, and enigmatic, rock songs of the 1970s. Credits: Rhino/Elektra, Parlophone UK, UMG Recordings, Elemental Records, Sony Music Entertainment

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Apr 03 2017

6mins

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Rank #19: The Life of a Song: (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction

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David Honigmann looks at how a sleeping Keith Richards dreamt up a riff that would later develop into a number one hit for Rolling Stones and become one of the most recognisable rock anthems of all times. Credits: ABKCO Records Inc, Universal International Music B.V, Rhino Atlantic, Virgin Records Ltd.

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May 21 2017

7mins

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Rank #20: The Life of a Song: A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall

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David Cheal looks at how Bob Dylan took inspiration from an old Scottish border ballad while writing this era-defining apocalyptic vision of what he saw as the violent, ignorant and hypocritical socio-political landscape of 1960s America. Credits: Sony Music Entertainment Inc, A Wing & A Prayer Ltd, Vanguard Records, Virgin Records. Patti Smith Nobel ceremony recording courtesy of: Nobelprize.org. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

May 14 2017

7mins

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