FT Arts

FT Arts

United Kingdom

Each week the arts podcast brings you interviews and studio discussions on the latest arts stories and cultural trends, with contributions from the FT’s roster of critics and commentators

Episodes

The Life of a Song: Radiohead's No Surprises  

Twenty years after they headlined Glastonbury, Radiohead return to the British music festival. FT pop writers Ludovic Hunter-Tilney and David Cheal discuss the band's lullaby of despair 'No Surprises' from their 1997 album OK Computer. Credits: Sire/Warner Bros, mudhutdigital.com, XL Recordings, Easy Star, SKIP Records

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

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

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.

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The Life of a Song: Je T'aime... Moi Non Plus  

Helen Brown looks at how Serge Gainsbourg's infamously salacious love song originally written for Brigitte Bardot would become a hit for the French composer and his English girlfriend Jane Birkin, despite facing widespread bans and condemnation. Credits: Mercury France, Mercury Music Group, Rarity Music, Parlophone UK, Barclay.

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The Life of a Song: The Message  

Ian McCann takes a look at one of the greatest and most culturally influential rap songs by genre pioneers Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five. A hit urban anthem, it almost wasn't recorded... Credits: Castle Communications, Warner Bros, Wagram Music, The Island Def Jam Music Group, Atlantic Records

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The Life of a Song: Tainted Love  

Sue Norris explores how a B-side by a little known American singer, Gloria Jones became a cult hit on the 1970s English northern soul scene, before being turned into one of the most recognizable pop songs of all time by Soft Cell. Credits: Universal Music TV, Universal Music Enterprises, Parlophone UK, Interscope Records, The Island Def Jam Music Group, Tacca Musique

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The Life of a Song: Let It Go  

Helen Brown looks at how the most successful Disney song of all time became an unlikely favourite among prisoners and a "coming out anthem" for the LGBT community. Credits: Walt Disney Records, Black Crow Records

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The Life of a Song: O Sole Mio  

Ian McCann looks at how a turn-of-the-century Neopolitan ballad was adapted into a hit for Elvis, before becoming an anthem for ice cream lovers and football fans alike. Credits: Bongiovanni, Delta, AP Music Ltd, Nuova Canaria, Randy's Group, Inc, Autarc Media GmbH

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The Life of a Song: Hotel California  

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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The Life of a Song: Midnight Train to Georgia  

Sue Norris on how Cissy Houston and Gladys Knight respectively transformed the sound, and meaning, of Jim Weatherly's country number. Credits: X5 Music Group, Jim Weatherly, Carinco AG, Capitol Records LLC.

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The Life of a Song: 9 to 5  

Harriet Fitch Little on how Dolly Parton's anti-work anthem went from the movies to the White House to a muddy field in Glastonbury. Credits: Sony Music Entertainment, Capitol Steps, Pumpin' UK Records, Dolly Records, BBC/Glastonbury

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The Life of a Song: Try A Little Tenderness  

Amy Walker on how a saccharine love song was transformed by Otis Redding into a provocative and impassioned soul classic. Credits: Baierle Records, Cool Note, 104pro Media, Daxa production, Digital Remasterings, ABKCO Music & Records Inc., Rhino Atlantic, Universal Island Records, Roc-A-Fella Records, LLC/Shawn Carter

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The Life of a Song: Wild is the Wind  

David Cheal traces the song's journey from a forgotten 1950s melodrama to an enduring love ballad covered by Nina Simone, David Bowie and George Michael. Credits: Old Style, Blooming Jazz Records, Rhino/Warner Bros., Parlophone UK, One Little Indian Ltd, Lakeshore Records, Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd.

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The Life of a Song: Sukiyaki  

The Japanese hit has been renamed and redefined by western artists from the Gipsy Kings to Snoop Dogg. Credits: JB Production, K-Tel, New Jersey, 2012 Carinco Neue Medien AG

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The Life of a Song: My Way  

Paul Anka originally wrote the song for, and in the persona of, Frank Sinatra, claiming he'd "never written something so chauvinistic, narcissistic, in-your-face and grandiose."

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The Life of a Song: The Long Black Veil  

For more than 50 years, this ballad's haunting charms have proved irresistible to many of the world's leading musicians. Credits: Firefly Entertainment, Black Sheep Music, X5 Music Group, Manhattan Records, UMC, Mute/BMG, Sony Music Classical, RCA Records Label

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The Life of a Song: I Put a Spell on You  

Songs can be mixed blessings. Screamin' Jay Hawkins' most famous one brought bliss to all who touched it - except its composer. Credits: AP MUSIC LTD, Universal Music International Ltda., Rhino

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The Life of a Song: Some Velvet Morning  

The song crystallises a moment in time between the optimism of the Summer of Love and the darkness on the desert horizon. Cathi Unsworth explores its history. Credits: Boots Enterprises, Inc., 4AD, Columbia, Ever

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The Life of a Song: She's Lost Control  

Joy Division's stripped-down sound signaled a new direction for music in 1978, but the lyrics to this song would prove horribly portentous. Credits: WM UK, London Records, Universal Music International Ltda, Palare, BBE

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The Life of a Song: Red Red Wine  

Ian McCann charts the transformation of UB40’s number one hit, from Neil Diamond’s country ballad to iconic reggae ditty. Credits: Virgin Records, Universal Music International Ltda, Sanctuary, Capitol Records, Authentic Jamaican Music, K-Licious Music

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