Pop: Bob Dylan and Van Morrison

Pop Tim Perry

The Critics: Rock: Scary Prodigy, Weak Prodigy and Temp Prodigy

Offering a defence of the Prodigy may seem like offering Chris Evans a payrise. After all, it hasn't been a bad year for the band, what with releasing an album that's topped the charts in countries most people haven't heard of, and, more importantly, in one country most people have heard of - America. None the less, the Prodigy's annus hasn't been quite as mirabilis as expected. In January, they were pegged as untouchable pop divinities, but The Fat of the Land (XL) had nothing on it that matched "Breathe" and "Firestarter", the tracks which had already been released. At this end of the year, the Prodigy's song-titles and videos are clogging up a lot more column inches than their music.

Master of reality

Ozzy Osbourne gets a grip.

Comedy: Small moments of magic

John Shuttleworth - The Beast Of John Shuttleworth

Music: Old devils of heavy metal make a new pact

Cardinal Ratzinger of the Vatican must be pleased, wherever he is. Black Sabbath, a band he once condemned as an instrument of the Devil, is back. Despite years of biting the heads off bats and being surrounded by the smell of patchouli oil, the original Brummie heavy-metal band is planning a two-night get-together in their home-town next month.

live kd lang Apollo, Manchester

It was, according to kd lang, not so much a concert as a convention. The queue for the ladies, stretching from the foyer halfway into the centre of Manchester, was an early clue. Noddy Holder, there to feel the noise, presumably, was in a tiny minority in the audience; he was male and straight. This was a night for girls, to quote Damon Albarn, who like girls.

Pop: Happiness is a hard luck story

After decades spent on the cusp of folk and rock, art and commerce, Richard Thompson is still making his mind up about some things. Like the Eagles and New Wave. By Andy Gill

Book review / From our friends in the past

THE BEAT GOES ON: The Rock File Reader eds Charlie Gillett & Simon Frith, Pluto Press pounds 10.99

a stranger in paradise

Last week, 13-year-old child bride Sarah Cook embraced life in a Muslim culture. Here, Elizabeth Parker remembers the day she fell foul of Islamic law

One time casualty of the famed rock lifestyle, Ozzy Osbourne now messes with little more harmful than his 'natural endorphins'

the interview OZZY OSBOURNE, ROCK LEGEND TALKS TO BEN THOMPSON

Not dead, but gone to Hereford

REAL LIVES THE SUZI FEAY COLUMN

Exhibitions English Candies

It's 20 years this month since the last great British pop revolution was heralded with a roar of hatred and despair by the ultimate punk band, the Sex Pistols. Love, peace and hippies and the glam rock of Gary Glitter, the Sweet and Mud - glittery, star-studded and ultimately hollow - were shoved aside by the likes of the Clash, Stiff Little Fingers and the Undertones in the stampede to shock the establishment. Never before had a musical movement been so angry, so radical, so charged with political and social overtones and so much a product of underprivileged white youth.

Awards bang gong for heavy metal

THIS was the music awards ceremony from hell. Held with delightful inappropriateness in the crypt of a church and sponsored rather more appropriately by Jack Daniel, K Cider, Carlsberg, Black Death Vodka and Death Cigarettes, heavy metal had its moment of glamour last night.

THEATRE / Broom for improvement: Paul Taylor reviews the 'operamusical' Which Witch at the Piccadilly Theatre

WHICH Witch: it sounds like a consumer-guide on the lines of Which? Microwave or Which? Laptop. Would they be recommending us to snap up the latest state-of-the-art model equipped with broom-phone and self-worming cat? All that I left with, I fear, was a splitting headache and the spooky suspicion that Which Witch is not so much an 'operamusical' with a 16th-century witch hunt setting as Norway's dastardly revenge on the rest of the world for the way it has been treated in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Castle reduces gearing ratio

CASTLE Communications has added fuel to the accounting debate on the worth of intangible assets, by revaluing its audio copyrights upwards by nearly pounds 9m.
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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
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor