The Kinks

12 essential songs that defined 1967

It was perhaps the world’s finest hour of music during the Summer of Love, where the charts were dominated with psychedelic pop, drug-fuelled rock ‘n’ roll and tunes peppered with political messages. Graeme Ross rounds up the best tunes from each month of that glorified year

Be angry in your lyrics, not on the stand

News that Noel Gallagher is to take his brother to court reminds us there are few more dispiriting sights for dedicated music fans than seeing their heroes on the way to hearings. Trussed up in unfamiliar shirt and tie combinations, they look as uncomfortable as ex-lags at job interviews. It is bad enough when artists attend divorce proceedings or face the beak for falling asleep at the wheel, but far worse is when they have brought the suit (legal, not sartorial) themselves. Any dealings with the legal system are bound to make the protagonist look petty-minded, venal or underhand.

Dave Davies' new film takes fans on a mystical journey

As a founder of The Kinks, with brother Ray, Dave Davies was a pioneer of the British music explosion that ignited the Sixties. Yet, while he devised the trademark jagged guitar sound that inspired many other beat groups, the younger of the two warring brothers was also on a more ethereal quest.

John Walsh: Geishas might not do what you think

The niche eroticism of the Japanese never ceases to amaze, does it? Given the historic vulgarity of the professional British horizontale, the weirdness of Nipponese sexuality has always intrigued us. The 17th-century shoguns set up "pleasure quarters" where gentlemen could visit prostitutes (and wives were OK about it) but Japanese girls kept dragging the arts into the basic eroto-financial transaction, until male visitors could hardly find a genuine harlot anywhere among the dancers, singers, lute-fingerers and exponents of calligraphic skill.

Rock's Faustian pact with the theatre

From Mamma Mia to Jersey Boys, the stage is awash with kitschy jukebox musicals inspired by pop bands. But Damon Albarn's Monkey kicked off a credible age for the rock musical, as new works from Tori Amos, Fela Kuti and Sparks now show. Andy Gill reports

Album: Stackridge, A Victory for Common Sense (Helium)

Stackridge's brand of folk-prog-rock proved a little too parochial and well-mannered to follow in the footsteps of Jethro Tull and Yes back in the 1970s, though they can claim the distinction of being the very first band to play Glastonbury.

More headlines

Label Profile: President Records

The history of President Records, one of the first independent labels in the UK, is inextricably linked to that of music publisher Edward Kassner. Born in Austria to Jewish parents in 1920, Edward dreamed of becoming a composer but his orchestral aspirations were cut short when Hitler annexed Austria.

“He was tipped off by his friends that they were rounding up Jewish boys,” says David Kassner, Edward’s eldest son and now MD of President. “He fled through Belgium and got caught trying to cross the border at Aachen twice. On the third occasion a German soldier caught him but let him go saying that he hadn’t signed up to shoot young boys.”