Life and Style

Google Doodle celebrates the Year of the Horse

Letter: Aretha's no softie

Aretha's no softie

Drivers at ease with middle-of-the-road melodies

When it comes to drive-time music, Britain's motorists are relentlessly middle-aged and middle-of-the-road in their tastes, it seems. A survey of the songs listened to behind the wheel shows most drivers reject life in the musical fast lane, and prefer safe - some might say bland - easy- listening music of the Seventies over more cutting-edge melodies.

RECORDS ROCK

ROCK

Pop Albums: Curtis Mayfield - New World Order

Warner Bros 9362-46348-2

Got to find a way

Revered soul daddy Curtis Mayfield was left a quadriplegic when a freak storm hit in 1990. He can no longer play guitar, but he's back with a new album.

Party rancour mars Clinton's big day

Reprimand for Gingrich and differences over budget sour atmosphere, writes Rupert Cornwell

A parallel world: same problems

PARALYMPICS: British squad of 244 look to record haul of gold medals in Atlanta, reports Chris Maume

Lives of the great songs / Bridge over troubled water

ART GARFUNKEL sang this song, but Paul Simon wrote it and he thought it could have turned out differently. 'The demo of 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' will show you that it was a much less grandiose thing than the record. It was a humble little gospel hymn song with two verses and a simple guitar behind it . . .'

He'll never let you down: The Seventies may have been a terrible decade for pop music, but in retrospect, one man, Rod Stewart, stands out as a mentor for the young: a man of questionable taste in almost everything, except good pop music

YOU WANT classic early Seventies albums, I got 'em. The entire Al Green back catalogue, Let's Get It On, There's No Place Like America Today, Grievous Angel, After the Goldrush, Blood on the Tracks . . . Unimpeachable classics, every one, and while others may have to bury their Cat Stevens and James Taylor albums away when fashionable friends come round to borrow a cup of balsamic vinegar, I have nothing to hide. Those pre-Ramones years were difficult to pick your way through, but I seem to have managed it quite brilliantly. If there was a smarter, more forward-thinking, more retrospectively modish young teenager around than me between 1971 and 1975, I have yet to meet him.

Centrefold: Alice in suburbia: Wonderland gets a Nineties revamp

It survived a plot to blow it up, it was a Mecca for intellectuals, and it's the place where time stands still. No, it's not the new British Library, but the Royal Observatory at Greenwich. If you want to catch Patrick Moore mooching around, you'll be disappointed - the working observatory is now in Cambridge. But the idyllic Old Observatory garden is now to host Hot Air's new musical version of Alice in Wonderland.

CINEMA / Loathed, loved, and laughing: His movies have grossed a billion dollars. So why isn't John Landis more feted? Maybe because he's too entertaining. Anthony Quinn listens to him

FROM THE lounge of John Landis's hotel suite come these . . . noises, a little like someone doing an impersonation of Jerry Lewis doing an impersonation of Tarzan, followed by howling gales of laughter. Apparently he's always this way, even when jet-lagged and cooped up on a sweltering June day giving interviews. Suddenly Landis explodes into the room, followed by two GLR radio reporters looking pretty shell-shocked after their allotted hour with him. Bearded and bespectacled, kitted out in regulation preppy jacket and tie, he has the look of a maths professor and the mile-a-minute chatter of a used-car salesman. 'You're from the Independent? One of your photographers was here yesterday; she's the one who photographs these men dressed up as babies] No kidding] Just take a look . . .' He leaps to the other side of the room to pluck a magazine from his bag and show the photos to the PR team. 'They wanted to take my picture with me wearing a wolf mask] I don't know why - but I didn't mind.'

BOOK REVIEW / Jerry, Jerry, quite contrary: 'Rhythm and the Blues: A Life in American Music' - Jerry Wexler and David Ritz: Cape, 14.99

IN HIS introduction to this book, David Ritz tells us how, when he questioned Jerry Wexler's use of a word like 'ratiocination' even for educated readers, Wexler would reply 'Send the f***ers to the dictionary.' This is told admiringly, but it introduces to us a contradictory man, at once contemptuous and insecure, and a man of whom his mother might have said 'You would think a boy who knew all those big long words could find a more apt one for his readers.'

ROCK / Wonders of Creation: The record label that gave us the Jesus and Mary Chain is 10 years old. Ben Thompson meets the proud father

ALAN McGEE - jet-setting Glasgow exile, British Rail clerk turned indie-music mogul - sits in the corner of a London brasserie, sipping a cappuccino in the refined manner of his hero, Paul Weller. His much-celebrated ginger hair is short, but his sentences are long. He talks very quickly, in rolling, fervent cadences in which the phrases 'Do you know what I mean?' and 'and all that bollocks' act as commas and colons. For a man renowned for his abrasive qualities, who has just flown back, via lunch with executives in Tokyo, from the LA earthquake zone ('It was as if someone was kicking the room'), McGee is affable in the extreme.

Lives of the great songs / Cheatin' meeting of minds: The Dark End of the Street

'THIS IS probably one of the greatest songs that's ever come out of black American music,' announces Ricky Ross over the piano intro to Deacon Blue's live version of 'The Dark End of the Street' (1991). 'I first heard it done by Gram Parsons, and then by a guy called Ry Cooder . . .'

ARTS / Lives of the Great Songs: But it's lasted so very long: You Send Me: Some songs are born great. And some have greatness thrust upon them. Nick Hornby continues our series

SAM COOKE may or may not have been the first soul singer, just as Iggy Pop may or may not have been the first punk, and Joe Turner the first rock'n'roll singer, and 'Mouldy Old Dough' by Lieutenant Pigeon the first ambient house record. It doesn't really matter much either way. But Cooke is certainly the first and most uncomplicated example of a gospel singer who went secular to make hits.
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
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The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
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Karen Dunbar performs
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The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
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Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

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US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

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Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

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Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
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Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

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Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

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Jack Pitt-Brooke

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How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

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