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It’s the nightmare haunting every talent scout since Decca rejected the Beatles in 1962 because “guitar groups are on the way out” – letting a global mega-hit slip through your fingers.

The Week In Arts: These over-dedicated followers of fashion

It's tempting to devote this space to querying how the Devon teenager Joss Stone won the urban music award at the Brits last Wednesday. But deconstructing the state of urban music on the mean streets of Paignton might cause the brain to implode.

The Week in Arts: These over-dedicated followers of fashion

It's tempting to devote this space to querying how the Devon teenager Joss Stone won the urban music award at the Brits last Wednesday. But deconstructing the state of urban music on the mean streets of Paignton might cause the brain to implode.

Rock and Pop: Blood on the stage

The family that sings together isn't always harmonious, says CHRIS MUGAN. Can the Bedingfields break the mould at the Brits?

Double Take: 'I Go to Sleep' - Peggy Lee/The Pretenders

Robert Webb's guide to pop's most intriguing cover versions

Music: What Kirsty did next

Though David Byrne has marvelled over her voice and Morrissey has drooled over her songs, the big time still seems to elude Kirsty MacColl. Perhaps the new album inspired by her travels in South America will do the trick?

The Joys of Modern Life 68: The single

THE SINGLE is disappearing. Sales of single recordings have fallen so low in the CD age that the music industry is going to phase them out. And so the brutal logic of the profit-and-loss chart puts paid to one of our great joys.

Film: Murray, king of the nerds

The Big Picture

Music: He's still the one

From bluegrass to boogie and bankruptcy to backing Bob Dylan, Tom Petty has taken his Heartbreakers through the whole American rock'n'roll tradition. And he's always done it his way. By Andy Gill

Band hopes bus song is just the ticket

IT'S THE kind of free advertising most managing directors can only dream about: a single by a trendy, arty band, singing exclusively about your company. It's all come right for National Express, the transport company, which has been immortalised in a new song by Neil Hannon and his band, The Divine Comedy.

Pop: Psychedelia revisited

THE OLIVIA TREMOR CONTROL THE GARAGE, HIGHBURY, LONDON

Pop: Heaven knows they're miserable now

BLACK BOX RECORDER DINGWALLS, LONDON

Stills from a life in moving pictures

Wim Wenders made his name with films like `Paris, Texas' and `Wings of Desire'. Now he fancies himself as a photographer as well.

Behind the song

You know the hit, but do you know how it came to be written? What was the inspiration? Today: Waterloo Sunset by The Kinks

Legends of rock put Britain on the map

THE LATE Kurt Cobain of the rock group Nirvana proposed to Courtney Love in TJ's nightclub in Newport, Wales, after arriving in a bright orange Skoda car.

Wednesday's Book: Waterloo Sunset (Viking, pounds 14.99)

A very English group, the Kinks were a hybrid of music hall and Noel Coward on electric guitar. At first they sounded like a garage band. Their three-chord smash hit "You Really Got Me" showed no sign of the mordant, world-weary melancholy to come. But in 1966 Ray Davies gave us "Waterloo Sunset", one of the most beautiful pop songs ever written. It's a perfect vignette, a classic English weepy.
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Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
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Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

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Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor