Arts and Entertainment Dusty, Heard Them Here First

Various Artists, Ace: An entertaining and inspiring collection

Radio VIVA! 963AM The launch

Few men, if they're honest about it, understand women. So one of the great services that can be performed by Viva!, London's new station run by women for women, is to give men some idea of what's going on in women's minds. And the first day and a half of transmission has been an eye-opener.

Food and Drink: A la recherche du temps fondu: It's truly a dinner to forget. Sadly, Rosie Millard remembered

'Well, I always thought fondue sets were fun,' I said defensively to my friend Alison, with regard to my lovely new fondue set complete with sweet little forks bearing plastic multicoloured handles. 'A fondue set?' she shrieked. 'How couple-ish, how ghastly, how Seventies]'

Obituary: Major Lance

Major Lance, singer: born Chicago 4 April 1941; married (nine children); died Decatur, Georgia 29 August 1994.

ROCK / Thirty years on, and worth their wait in gold

'WE WERE in an elevator, me and Mick Jagger and Ringo Starr,' says Ronald, lead singer of the Isley Brothers. 'Ringo said, 'Can we make a record of your 'Twist and Shout'?' We said, 'Sure, as long as you do it like we do it, with the oohs.' '

Travel: Detroit: hitsville is just the pitsville

RUSSIA'S FOOTBALLERS must be cursing their luck. Honolulu and Las Vegas were among the glamorous but unsuccessful bidders wishing to stage World Cup matches. Even places with a modicum of soccer heritage, such as Tampa Bay, were turned down. So Russia (along with Romania, Sweden and Switzerland) has been consigned to Detroit, America's prototype for post-industrial devastation, probably the worst place in the United States for a football match - or anything else.

Letter: Significance of Kurt Cobain's death

Sir: There is something poignant in the untimely death by his own hand of Kurt Cobain, whose life was so excellently chronicled by Chris Salewicz's obituary (11 April). This unhappy event is not just another rock'n'roll tragedy. This young man blew out his own brains. He does not therefore automatically join the 'Too fast to live, too young to die' club of Joplin, Hendrix and Morrison (the 'stupid club', as Cobain's mother described them). No, Cobain teams up, instead, with the 'non-copers', those who found the pressures all too much, and pursued a self-destructive lifestyle that led to their early demise. I am thinking of such unhappy performers as Marvin Gaye, Little Willie John, Frankie Lymon, the Temptations' Paul Williams and David Ruffin, and the Supremes' Mary Wilson.

ROCK / The old Young again

THE New York Times once wrote of Paul Young: 'Of the many soul singers to emerge from the British pop scene in the last five years, no one captures the intense kinetic energy of a '60s soul revue with more brio.' That was in 1985. In 1994 there is a 'Where are they now?' feel about him, though he was in the Top 20 only last October, with 'Now I Know What Made Otis Blue'.

The ultimate career move?: Early deaths have given the music business a constant run of lucrative anniversaries. Next month it's Marvin Gaye's 10th. Next year it will be Jimi and Janis's 25th. Be prepared with our selective guide to the living dead

ROCK DEATHS seem so dated, so Seventies, now. The vultures may have circled when Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain collapsed in Italy a few weeks ago, but they went away hungry. The excitement generated by the rumour, however - some American radio stations rushed to announce his 'death' - emphasised just how rare this kind of scare has become. River Phoenix may have supplied his generation in Hollywood with their own James Dean, but most of today's big rock stars have planned their futures too wisely to consider overdosing in a plush hotel room as a smart career move. Dangerous excess is either a phase they've 'recovered' from (Eric Clapton) or one they've apparently never considered (Madonna: too healthy). And the survivors - Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, Keith Richards - seem to be getting the last laugh over the idea that premature death is the supreme myth-maker. Even middling rock stars, such as Aerosmith, can receive huge contracts (in 1991 they got dollars 25m to stay with Sony) and expanding sales well into middle age, thanks to the kind of global marketing Jim Morrison never had.

ARTS / Everything was a song: Curtis Mayfield's voice used to be one of the sweetest sounds in soul music. Three and a half years ago it fell silent, when Mayfield was paralysed. Now, as the stars pay tribute on an album of his songs, he gives a rare and candid interview

'THERE'S not really much to talk about,' Curtis Mayfield said. 'It happened, and it happened fast. I never even saw it coming.' And then, gathering momentum, he started to describe the events of a late-summer day in 1990.

COMEDY / Vic and Bob's mad, mad world

BOUGHT-IN seats bolted on to wooden floorboards give the Wolverhampton Civic Hall the festive formality of an impending school play. Tonight's entertainment, The Smell of Reeves & Mortimer, will certainly have a juvenile streak, but the commendable reluctance of its perpetrators to give themselves airs should not be allowed to obscure the seriousness of their achievements. It's no accident that this crowd feels less studenty than your average comedy assembly. Vic and Bob have built a uniquely democratic world of laughter, transcending social and economic divisions to appeal equally to all who live in thrall to showbusiness.

ROCK / Some of the little things he does are still magic

THE POLICE were on Thirty Years of Top of the Pops the week before last: skinny and nervous, jerking their way through the jittery reggae verses and rushing punk choruses of 'Roxanne'. Gaps kept appearing in the thin fabric of their late-Seventies sound, exciting and over-excited hesitations which Sting's current, super-competent band iron out of their version of the song at the Albert Hall. Drummer Vinnie Colaiuta crowds the bare guitar riff with splashes of cymbals; keyboardist David Sancious plays a solo half as long as the original song; Sting himself stretches its title into a call-and-response with the audience. And they're all smiling.

INTERVIEW / Cyndi: my life with Ken and Barbie: Quite against expectations, the new Cyndi Lauper album, Hat Full of Stars, turns its attention to domestic violence, back-street abortion and incest. Joseph Gallivan catches up with the girl who once just wanted to have fun

Clothed throughout the 1980s in wacky skirt and jacket combinations and sporting hair that changed colour more often than that uniquely infantile voice changed key, Cyndi Lauper might easily have been left in the pop music sub-directory marked 'Madonna Wannabes - Unwanted'. Less comely, less talented and less successful than the first lady of telegenic dance pop, Lauper the faint- hearted feminist would probably have been herstory a year from now, were it not for the reprieve she has created for herself in the shape of a new album, Hat Full of Stars. 'Cyndi Lauper is back. And this time, it's personal]' she exclaims and bursts out laughing.

BOOK REVIEW / No pop, still fizzy: 'Corona, Corona' - Michael Hofmann: Faber, 5.99

THE DEATH of the German writer Gert Hofmann this summer may seem to have deprived contemporary English poetry of one of its most productive enmities. The second half of his son Michael's brilliant collection of poems Acrimony (1986), dedicated 'For my Father and Mother', consisted solely of poems of hate for the incommunicative monster with 'anal pleats' beneath his eyes - an honest, vulnerable, unmalicious hatred, laid out with skewering precision. But the complete success of this sequence exhausted its source, and the long interval between Acrimony and its successor suggests that Michael Hofmann has already had to retrain himself to raise new poems without the presiding ogre of the old.

PolyGram stakes future on golden oldies: Larry Black looks at the legendary label started by Berry Gordy in a dollars 700 studio

THE SALE of Motown, arguably the most successful black business enterprise of all time, marks the end of an era in pop music.

Then and Now: Label swapping

1963: Berry Gordy's new Motown record label has established itself with a string of black dance hits. The company would launch Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross and the Supremes and Stevie Wonder.
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