Take a look in HMV and tell me what you see. For while the conveyor belt of the craven book publishing world rolls on, the art world preens and lumbers in search of the next concept, and our once glorious world of music has had its guts ripped out by the internet. Yet the musician persists in his efforts to have the cloth-eared hear his songs.
David Bowie gave courage to many whom never felt quite regular, were perhaps in despair, felt other, or isolated.
Former Smith and Meat Is Murder singer, Morrissey has once again made his blinkered views known on meat eaters. Branding belief in the abattoir equal to support of Auschwitz, he has definitely taken a step in making vegetarianism appear like an extremist religion.
Polly Harvey is my best friend and I know her to be meticulous and considered in everything she does. The amazing line up of guests for Today she was able to draw from is testament to how well thought of she is.
Imagine that you take out a 20-year mortgage, pay back five times what you borrowed and the bank still owns your house at the end of it. Banks don't do that simply because it would not be allowed.
'David Bowie, Elton John, Pink Floyd, The Beatles..it is hard to believe that a single individual would be involved with so many all time greats' I tell legendary sound engineer and producer Ken Scott.
Some of my favourite albums of 2013 have also been some of the most talked about (Yeezus, Drake's Nothing Was The Same, Haim's Days Are Gone, Lorde's Pure Heroine), so rather than re-tread already covered ground, I thought I'd highlight my five favourite lesser-known releases of the year.
Fleming speaks of Jimi's other-worldliness, of a man who could stand next to you in a room while giving you the impression he was elsewhere. But for Fleming the creative high point of the decade was 1967, the year that gave the world the Monterey Pop Festival.
We forget that music, when written by the individual behind the performance, is simply a way of expressing an emotion. That emotion can certainly be feisty independence, but it doesn't mean it has to be, and songs and artists shouldn't be left off the list because they don't fit this dubious criteria.
On 28 December 1978, Rolling Stone magazine voted Some Girls by The Rolling Stones as 'Album of the Year.' Some Girls saw the Stones back with a bang, on an explosive mission to show the world's 'new punks' who was boss...
Often derided as a location for spiriting away unwanted tracks the humble b-side has thrown up numerous classics over the years. Inevitably there have been plenty of Christmas singles with more illustrious matter on their flipside and so what follows is a veritable packed sleigh full of songs that have become festive standards in their own right...
Christmas music will never be cool, despite the fact that it has inspired plenty of cool music - don't tell me Louis Armstrong's Zat You Santa Claus? isn't the bees knees? Scoring a Christmas hit can often lead to a gold trimmed pension for the composer and/or artist who records it.
y fondness for great EPs dates back to the years before CDs, when bands used to start their careers releasing 4-song 12" singles. The Smiths, Pavement and scads of other bands started out releasing great singles that garnered the interest of the record and radio industries.
When we came to think about making the video for the single 'Take Hold', which is all about that incredible feeling of liberation, I wanted to try to capture a bit of that spirit - and the idea was born that we should feature some swimming, in particular, some underwater swimming.
Glen Campbell is our real life 'lineman'; he's told us countless tales in his songs over the years, he's played on some of our favourite records. Thanks, Glen, we're going to miss you and that guitar of yours.
The enduring success of All I Want For Christmas Is You should not be a surprise. Whether because of Mariah's iconic video (frolicking in the snow, wearing her Santa-themed micro dress), the recording's upbeat joyfulness or the timeless quality (even though it was produced and written by Mariah with Walter Afanasieff), the track has something for everyone.