Loadsatalent: Sting, Paula Yates and Jools Holland on the set of ‘The Tube’

Now that's what I call music...

A raft of tantalising comebacks and a new radio show are testament to the fact that we're finally recognising the Eighties for what it was: a decade of peerless pop, says Pierre Perrone

Album: Dawes, Stories Don't End (Mercury/Hub)

Album three from the LA four-piece whose Nothing is Wrong was one of my favourite records of 2011.

American rock group The Doors arrive at London Airport in 1968, they are, from left to right; John Densmore, Bobby Krieger, Jim Morrison (1943 - 1971) and Ray Manzarek.

Ray Manzarek: Keyboard player at the heart of the dark, brooding sound of The Doors

The keyboard player and songwriter Ray Manzarek was a founder-member of the Doors, the Los Angeles group who seemed to embody the possibilities, contradictions and limitations of the rock medium more than any other in the late Sixties. The tall, professorial-looking musician exuded a gravitas commensurate with the dark, questing nature of the band's tours de force "The End", "When The Music's Over" and "Riders On The Storm" and with the fate that befell their shamanic frontman Jim Morrison, who died in mysterious circumstances in Paris in July 1971. This added to the mystique around the group, who have sold over 100m albums and been the subject of several documentaries, and Oliver Stone's biopic (Kyle MacLachlan portrayed Manzarek).

Album: Jim Moray, Skulk (Niag)

Moray – with his bleeps and beats approach to trad folk – has never been afraid to attract attention.

Paul Vallely: Geldof turns nasty (well, he said he didn't like Mondays)

In his latest diary report, Paul Vallely joins 100 American protesters at Heathrow

Album: Wilson Phillips

California, COLUMBIA

Elton John, Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

After four relentlessly dull decades, stopping seems to be the hardest word

Letter : Come back Billy Bragg, Labour can't afford to lose you

So Billy Bragg has left New Labour. Thank God for that. Now I can continue to like his records without the nagging feeling that I am covertly supporting Blair's backsliding.
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