This browser doesn't support Spotify Web Player. Switch browsers or download Spotify for your desktop.

FT Life of a Song

By Financial Times

Each month FT music critics and contributors discuss the story of a song, from its origins and early recordings through cover versions good and bad. Formerly called FT Arts.

  1. 1.
    Sincerity or self-branding: what defines millennial music?20 April 2018
    21:15
  2. 2.
    Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights15 March 2018
    26:06
  3. 3.
    1968: The Year that Music Changed23 January 2018
    28:32
  4. 4.
    The best Christmas music: a definitive guide19 December 2017
    19:47
  5. 5.
    The Life of a Song: Strange Fruit17 November 2017
    22:09
  6. 6.
    The Life of a Song: Make You Feel My Love19 October 2017
    15:30
  7. 7.
    The Hits that Shook the World15 September 2017
    36:35
  8. 8.
    The Life of a Song: Wild Thing14 August 2017
    17:59
  1. 9.
    The Life of a Song: Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel18 July 2017
    18:15
  2. 10.
    The Life of a Song: Radiohead's No Surprises13 June 2017
    20:08
  3. 11.
    The Life of a Song: (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction 21 May 2017
    7:40
  4. 12.
    The Life of a Song: A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall14 May 2017
    7:52
  5. 13.
    The Life of a Song: Je T'aime... Moi Non Plus 7 May 2017
    7:17
  6. 14.
    The Life of a Song: The Message 30 April 2017
    7:01
  7. 15.
    The Life of a Song: Tainted Love 23 April 2017
    6:58
  8. 16.
    The Life of a Song: O Sole Mio 23 April 2017
    7:06
  9. 17.
    The Life of a Song: Let It Go16 April 2017
    6:07
  10. 18.
    The Life of a Song: Hotel California 3 April 2017
    6:51
  11. 19.
    The Life of a Song: Midnight Train to Georgia26 March 2017
    6:51
  12. 20.
    The Life of a Song: 9 to 519 March 2017
    7:14
  13. 21.
    The Life of a Song: Try A Little Tenderness12 March 2017
    7:18
  14. 22.
    The Life of a Song: Wild is the Wind5 March 2017
    7:16
  15. 23.
    The Life of a Song: Sukiyaki26 February 2017
    8:00
  16. 24.
    The Life of a Song: My Way19 February 2017
    7:41
  17. 25.
    The Life of a Song: The Long Black Veil12 February 2017
    8:28
  18. 26.
    The Life of a Song: I Put a Spell on You5 February 2017
    7:55
  19. 27.
    The Life of a Song: Some Velvet Morning29 January 2017
    7:02
  20. 28.
    The Life of a Song: She's Lost Control22 January 2017
    6:52
  21. 29.
    The Life of a Song: Red Red Wine 15 January 2017
    6:56
  22. 30.
    The Life of a Song: The Chain8 January 2017
    7:12
  23. 31.
    The Life of a Song: Stairway to Heaven30 December 2016
    7:35
  24. 32.
    The Life of a Song: '1999' 23 December 2016
    7:05
  25. 33.
    The Life of a Song: Good King Wenceslas19 December 2016
    7:39
  26. 34.
    The Life of a Song: I Believe in Father Christmas9 December 2016
    7:33
  27. 35.
    The Life of a Song: Not Fade Away2 December 2016
    6:24
  28. 36.
    The Life of a Song: I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free28 November 2016
    7:46
  29. 37.
    The Life of a Song: Over the Rainbow20 November 2016
    7:41
  30. 38.
    The Life of a Song: Hallelujah11 November 2016
    8:05
  31. 39.
    The Life of a Song: Yesterday6 November 2016
    7:02
  32. 40.
    The Life of a Song: 'Ike's Rap II'31 October 2016
    7:25
  33. 41.
    The Life of a Song: Smoke on the Water22 October 2016
    5:32
  34. 42.
    The Life of a Song: Like a Rolling Stone14 October 2016
    6:42
  35. 43.
    The Life of a Song: Wade in the Water10 October 2016
    7:48
  36. 44.
    The Life of a Song: Rasputin 18 September 2016
    7:27
  37. 45.
    The Life of a Song: Born in the USA 12 September 2016
    5:35
  38. 46.
    The Life of a Song: Me and Bobby McGee 5 September 2016
    8:49
  39. 47.
    The Life of a Song: God Bless the Child 28 August 2016
    9:25
  40. 48.
    The Life of a Song: Running Up That Hill21 August 2016
    8:29
  41. 49.
    The Life of a Song: My Favourite Things14 August 2016
    7:59
  42. 50.
    The Life of a Song: La Vie en Rose 7 August 2016
    7:09
  43. 51.
    The Life of a Song: Let's Stick Together 31 July 2016
    6:44
  44. 52.
    The Life of a Song: Mr Tambourine Man25 July 2016
    7:24
  45. 53.
    The Life of a Song: Amazing Grace 20 July 2016
    7:18
  46. 54.
    The Life of a Song: A Change is Gonna Come15 July 2016
    6:11
  47. 55.
    The Life of a Song: Someday My Prince Will Come8 July 2016
    6:34
  48. 56.
    The Life of a Song: Ode to Billie Joe1 July 2016
    6:58
  49. 57.
    The Life of a Song: Will You Love Me Tomorrow24 June 2016
    6:53
  50. 58.
    The Life of A Song: By The Time I Get To Phoenix17 June 2016
    6:10
  51. 59.
    The Life of a Song: Apache10 June 2016
    7:52
  52. 60.
    Is music streaming making us better listeners?8 June 2016
    15:28
  53. 61.
    The Life of a Song: I Feel Love3 June 2016
    6:42
  54. 62.
    The Life of a Song: Skinny Love27 May 2016
    6:37
  55. 63.
    Ben Lerner reads his poem 'Index of Themes' 20 May 2016
    2:32
  56. 64.
    The Life of a Song: So What20 May 2016
    6:16
  57. 65.
    Digital memory in the age of social media19 May 2016
    13:23
  58. 66.
    The Life of a Song: Every Rose Has Its Thorn13 May 2016
    7:16
  59. 67.
    The Life of a Song: Everything I Own6 May 2016
    6:30
  60. 68.
    The Life of a Song: In The Air Tonight29 April 2016
    6:55
  61. 69.
    The Life of a Song: Song to the Siren22 April 2016
    7:31
  62. 70.
    The Life of a Song: This Land Is Your Land15 April 2016
    7:04
  63. 71.
    The Life of a Song: Living in the Past8 April 2016
    6:35
  64. 72.
    The Life of a Song: Bridge Over Troubled Water1 April 2016
    6:45
  65. 73.
    The Life of a Song: Grandma's Hands 25 March 2016
    6:40
  66. 74.
    The Life of a Song: Dem Bones18 March 2016
    6:57
  67. 75.
    The Life of a Song: Amsterdam11 March 2016
    7:25
  68. 76.
    The Life of a Song: Lady Marmalade 4 March 2016
    6:28
  69. 77.
    The Life of a Song: Dark was the Night, Cold was the Ground26 February 2016
    6:12
  70. 78.
    The Life of a Song: Cherokee19 February 2016
    6:28
  71. 79.
    The Life of a Song: War12 February 2016
    6:31
  72. 80.
    The Life of a Song: Smells Like Teen Spirit5 February 2016
    6:20
  73. 81.
    The Life of a Song: Good Times5 February 2016
    6:16
  74. 82.
    The Life of a Song: Surf's Up22 January 2016
    6:29
  75. 83.
    The Life of a Song: Mack the Knife15 January 2016
    6:21
  76. 84.
    The Life of a Song: Sunshine of Your Love8 January 2016
    5:29
  77. 85.
    The Life of a Song: Auld Lang Syne23 December 2015
    5:32
  78. 86.
    The Life of a Song: The Holly and the Ivy 18 December 2015
    5:36
  79. 87.
    Short story: ‘Winter Letter’ by Lydia Davis18 December 2015
    28:59
  80. 88.
    The Life of a Song: To Love Somebody11 December 2015
    6:18
  81. 89.
    The Life of a Song: Johnny Remember Me4 December 2015
    7:14
  82. 90.
    Norse code for Christmas1 December 2015
    4:32
  83. 91.
    The life of a song: Walk on the Wild Side27 November 2015
    6:17
  84. 92.
    The life of a song: Rocket 8813 November 2015
    6:25
  85. 93.
    The life of a song: Nessun Dorma6 November 2015
    7:12
  86. 94.
    The life of a song: Beat It30 October 2015
    7:45
  87. 95.
    The life of a song: I Heard It Through the Grapevine23 October 2015
    5:50
  88. 96.
    The Life of a song: Going Back to My Roots16 October 2015
    6:11
  89. 97.
    The life of a song: Goodnight, Irene9 October 2015
    6:08
  90. 98.
    The life of a song: Night on Disco Mountain2 October 2015
    6:14
  91. 99.
    The life of a song: Money (That's What I Want)25 September 2015
    6:15
  92. 100.
    The life of a song: Toxic18 September 2015
    5:32
  93. 101.
    The life of a song: Starman11 September 2015
    5:51
  94. 102.
    The life of a song: Night Train3 September 2015
    6:43
  95. 103.
    The life of a song: I'm in the Mood for Love28 August 2015
    6:37
  96. 104.
    The life of a song: Nature Boy21 August 2015
    7:07
  97. 105.
    The life of a song: Georgia on My Mind14 August 2015
    7:50
  98. 106.
    The life of a song: My Funny Valentine6 August 2015
    8:04
  99. 107.
    Behind the podcast renaissance4 August 2015
    19:27
  100. 108.
    The life of a song: Watermelon Man31 July 2015
    8:03
  101. 109.
    The life of a song: Summertime24 July 2015
    0:43
  102. 110.
    The life of a song: Silver Dagger17 July 2015
    0:43
  103. 111.
    The life of a song: Ghost Town10 July 2015
    0:43
  104. 112.
    The life of a song: Hell Hound On My Trail3 July 2015
    6:28
  105. 113.
    The life of a song: Shipbuilding26 June 2015
    6:08
  106. 114.
    The life of a song: St James Infirmary19 June 2015
    0:12
  107. 115.
    The life of a song: Peg12 June 2015
    5:28
  108. 116.
    The life of a song: Misirlou29 May 2015
    5:53
  109. 117.
    The life of a song: Without You8 May 2015
    5:43
  110. 118.
    The life of a song: Downtown1 May 2015
    5:11
  111. 119.
    The life of a song: Enter Sandman24 April 2015
    6:21
  112. 120.
    The life of a song: Me and Mrs Jones17 April 2015
    0:43
  113. 121.
    The life of a song: Song of Solomon2 April 2015
    4:55
  114. 122.
    Life of a song: Ice Ice Baby27 March 2015
    4:42
  115. 123.
    The life of a song: I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself20 March 2015
    5:37
  116. 124.
    The life of a song: Guantanamera13 March 2015
    5:52
  117. 125.
    The life of a song: Baltimore6 March 2015
    5:50
  118. 126.
    Bureaucracy: friend or foe?6 March 2015
    15:47
  119. 127.
    The life of a song: I’m a Believer27 February 2015
    5:43
  120. 128.
    The life of a song: When the Levee Breaks20 February 2015
    5:21
  121. 129.
    The life of a song: Always On My Mind13 February 2015
    5:30
  122. 130.
    No wonder Europe is annoyed with Greece6 February 2015
    0:43
  123. 131.
    Reel lives: Jan Dalley on falsity in film30 January 2015
    6:56
  124. 132.
    IP or not IP? Jan Dalley on the Luc Tuymans case23 January 2015
    0:43
  125. 133.
    Florence and the machines: the British Library Sound Archive9 January 2015
    7:31
  126. 134.
    Keep it complex: Peter Aspden on art and identity2 January 2015
    6:04
  127. 135.
    Cover story: the golden age of Esquire23 December 2014
    6:26
  128. 136.
    A new short story for the holidays19 December 2014
    38:35
  129. 137.
    2014 Comeback Special: Peter Aspden on ‘Elvis at the O2’19 December 2014
    6:22
  130. 138.
    Loan goal: Peter Aspden on the Elgin Marbles12 December 2014
    0:43
  131. 139.
    Past masters: Peter Aspden on Terry Riley and Joni Mitchell5 December 2014
    0:43
  132. 140.
    Kitchen-sink commandments: ‘Decalogue’, 25 years on28 November 2014
    0:43
  133. 141.
    Hitting the arts jackpot21 November 2014
    0:43
  134. 142.
    Revolution for sale: Peter Aspden on Nike and The Beatles14 November 2014
    0:43
  135. 143.
    Beginnings and endings: Taylor Swift and Sylvie Guillem7 November 2014
    0:43
  136. 144.
    Show us what you’ve got31 October 2014
    7:07
  137. 145.
    Rich pickings: Peter Aspden on spectator apartheid24 October 2014
    0:43
  138. 146.
    Rhythm and bruises: Peter Aspden on Boy Blue17 October 2014
    0:43
  139. 147.
    Rembrandt right or wrong10 October 2014
    0:43
  140. 148.
    Flux and the city: Peter Aspden on urban art3 October 2014
    6:18
  141. 149.
    Happy Birthday, Leonard Cohen19 September 2014
    6:52
  142. 150.
    Roll over, rock ’n’ roll: Peter Aspden on Miley Cyrus12 September 2014
    5:28
  143. 151.
    Computers versus connoisseurs9 September 2014
    6:17
  144. 152.
    Sun, sea and tragic wisdom: Peter Aspden on cultural tourism5 September 2014
    6:28
  145. 153.
    In praise of boiled string29 August 2014
    5:50
  146. 154.
    Snap judgment: Bendor Grosvenor on photography in galleries22 August 2014
    5:56
  147. 155.
    The loser’s guide to movie-going15 August 2014
    5:18
  148. 156.
    Vintage women: Jan Dalley on late flourishing8 August 2014
    6:53
  149. 157.
    Graffiti and the gallery: Peter Aspden on Pure Evil1 August 2014
    6:21
  150. 158.
    Icons of dissent25 July 2014
    5:46
  151. 159.
    When violence gets real18 July 2014
    5:47
  152. 160.
    The art we deserve?11 July 2014
    5:52
  153. 161.
    ‘Downton Abbey’ and the gift of soft power27 June 2014
    6:28
  154. 162.
    To boldly go: Peter Aspden on Sajid Javid and Mark Cousins13 June 2014
    6:26
  155. 163.
    Outrage sells: Peter Aspden on Banksy and Bond Street6 June 2014
    5:49
  156. 164.
    Marxist melodies: Laura Battle on music from the left30 May 2014
    5:42
  157. 165.
    Snap judgment: Peter Aspden on the Prix Pictet23 May 2014
    5:40
  158. 166.
    Poop and post-poop: Peter Aspden on Hong Kong’s art scene16 May 2014
    6:03
  159. 167.
    Faith, hope and video: Peter Aspden on art and religion2 May 2014
    5:42
  160. 168.
    Just reach out: Peter Aspden on making culture accessible25 April 2014
    5:22
  161. 169.
    Fatale attraction: Ludovic Hunter-Tilney on the screen seductress17 April 2014
    5:23
  162. 170.
    Satire without a sting: Peter Aspden on ‘W1A’4 April 2014
    0:43
  163. 171.
    Show, don’t tell: Peter Aspden on documentaries28 March 2014
    6:12
  164. 172.
    Rubble cause: Peter Aspden on ‘Ruin Lust’7 March 2014
    5:49
  165. 173.
    Object lessons: Peter Aspden on memorabilia28 February 2014
    5:48
  166. 174.
    Showy business: Leo Robson on the ‘McConaissance’21 February 2014
    0:43
  167. 175.
    Social network of the damned: Peter Aspden on hell7 February 2014
    5:18
  168. 176.
    Folk/rock: Peter Aspden on Pete Seeger31 January 2014
    7:10
  169. 177.
    Degree show: Peter Aspden on Derek Jarman24 January 2014
    5:27
  170. 178.
    'Alien invasion in the G.L.A.C.' by Mohsin Hamid20 December 2013
    1:05
  171. 179.
    Restoration drama: Peter Aspden on Kenwood House29 November 2013
    5:12
  172. 180.
    Space adventure: Peter Aspden on Philippe Parreno22 November 2013
    5:42
  173. 181.
    Sitcom nation: Peter Aspden on daytime TV15 November 2013
    5:32
  174. 182.
    Nap music: Peter Aspden on the UK’s first ‘sleeping gig’8 November 2013
    6:44
  175. 183.
    Soul power: Peter Aspden on icons25 October 2013
    4:54
  176. 184.
    Bryte star: Peter Aspden on Nick Drake18 October 2013
    7:11
  177. 185.
    Auteur ego: Peter Aspden on Bertolucci11 October 2013
    5:44
  178. 186.
    Tomorrow people: Peter Aspden on FutureFest4 October 2013
    6:15
  179. 187.
    A messy business: Peter Aspden on sex27 September 2013
    5:35
  180. 188.
    Something old, something new: Peter Aspden on the classic with a twist20 September 2013
    5:13
  181. 189.
    Puccini vs the Twitterverse: Peter Aspden finds shelter in the stalls13 September 2013
    6:08
  182. 190.
    Look, don’t sketch: Peter Aspden on the V&A’s blockbuster dilemma6 September 2013
    5:21
  183. 191.
    Look at me: Suzi Feay on the perils of self-indulgent art30 August 2013
    5:50
  184. 192.
    Party on! Peter Aspden on beach bar music23 August 2013
    5:37
  185. 193.
    Art for all: Erica Wagner on the Gramsci Monument16 August 2013
    6:19
  186. 194.
    The Great Remembrance: Jan Dalley on the first world war centenary9 August 2013
    8:05
  187. 195.
    Going it alone: Erica Wagner on creative independence2 August 2013
    7:02
  188. 196.
    Spasticus artisticus: Peter Aspden on Ian Dury26 July 2013
    5:42
  189. 197.
    Sound of sci-fi: Peter Aspden on the Dr Who Prom19 July 2013
    6:09
  190. 198.
    Ordinary megastar: Raphael Abraham on Amy Winehouse12 July 2013
    4:52
  191. 199.
    Howdy, Podner! Peter Aspden on Las Vegas’s heritage impulse5 July 2013
    5:04
  192. 200.
    After the spring: Peter Aspden on the Shubbak Festival28 June 2013
    5:42

Listen to FT Life of a Song now.

Listen to FT Life of a Song in full in the Spotify app