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'


Not dead, but gone to Hereford


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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn