221 episodes

Andrew Hickey presents a history of rock music from 1938 to 1999, looking at five hundred songs that shaped the genre.

A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs Andrew Hickey

    • Music
    • 5.0 • 21 Ratings

Andrew Hickey presents a history of rock music from 1938 to 1999, looking at five hundred songs that shaped the genre.

    Song 173: “All Along the Watchtower”, Part One: “He’s Not the Messiah”

    Song 173: “All Along the Watchtower”, Part One: “He’s Not the Messiah”

    For those who haven’t heard the announcement I posted , songs from this point on will sometimes be split among multiple episodes, so this is the first of a two-episode look at the song “All Along the Watchtower”. This one is on the original version by Bob Dylan, while part two will be on Jimi Hendrix’s cover version.
    Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.
    Patreon backers also have a half-hour bonus episode, on “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” by Arlo Guthrie.
    Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/

    (more…)

    Song 172, Hickory Wind by the Byrds: Part 4, Hour of Darkness

    Song 172, Hickory Wind by the Byrds: Part 4, Hour of Darkness

    For those who haven’t heard the announcement I just posted , songs from this point on will sometimes be split among multiple episodes, so this is the fourth and final part of a four-episode look at the Byrds in 1966-69 and the birth of country rock, this time mostly focused on what Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman did after leaving the band.
    Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.
    Patreon backers also have a twenty-minute bonus episode, on “The Dark End of the Street” by James Carr.
    Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/

    (more…)

    Song 172, Hickory Wind by the Byrds: Part 3, The Parsons Tale

    Song 172, Hickory Wind by the Byrds: Part 3, The Parsons Tale

    For those who haven’t heard the announcement I just posted , songs from this point on will sometimes be split among multiple episodes, so this is the third part of a four-episode look at the Byrds in 1966-69 and the birth of country rock.
    Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.
    Patreon backers also have a half-hour bonus episode, on “Fire” by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown.
    Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/

    (more…)

    Song 172, “Hickory Wind” by the Byrds: Part Two, Of Submarines and Second Generations

    Song 172, “Hickory Wind” by the Byrds: Part Two, Of Submarines and Second Generations

    For those who haven’t heard the announcement I just posted , songs from this point on will sometimes be split among multiple episodes, so this is the second part of a multi-episode look at the Byrds in 1966-69 and the birth of country rock.
    Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.
    Patreon backers also have a half-hour bonus episode, on “With a Little Help From My Friends” by Joe Cocker.
    Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/

    (more…)

    Song 172, “Hickory Wind” by the Byrds: Part One, Ushering in a New Dimension

    Song 172, “Hickory Wind” by the Byrds: Part One, Ushering in a New Dimension

    For those who haven’t heard the announcement I just posted , songs from this point on will sometimes be split among multiple episodes, so this is the first part of a multi-episode look at the Byrds in 1966-69 and the birth of country rock.
    Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.
    Patreon backers also have a half-hour bonus episode on “My World Fell Down” by Sagittarius.
    Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/
    (more…)

    Announcement Regarding Schedule

    Announcement Regarding Schedule

    This is just a brief announcement. The fact that I’ve released stuff so inconsistently over the last year, along with the last episode being so long that it actually caused problems for Tilt’s editing softwaere has caused me to reconsider how I’m breaking these episodes up.
    I have had very good reasons for making the episodes longer rather than doing multiple parts — we would have had episodes titled “White Light/White Heat”, “Eight Miles High”, and “Good Vibrations” which literally didn’t mention at all the bands they were ostensibly about, and people would have got very annoyed at listening to an episode supposedly about the Beach Boys and finding it was entirely about a Soviet inventor in the 1920s. But the balance has tipped the other way now. Things have got a bit ridiculous.
    So what I’m doing npw is I’m still writing the scripts the same way I always do, as one long narrative, but then once a script is finished I will break it into sections of about 5-10,000 words (somewhere in the 45-minute to ninety minute range) depending on where natural cliffhangers come, and I will release those parts fortnightly. There still might be gaps between the last part of the previous song and the first part of the next, but probably nothing like as long as they have been.
    The actual content will still be the same — just for example the Velvet Underground episode would have been split into three or four parts, with the first part ending with John Cale joining the story, and me saying “join us in two weeks time”.  But it’ll be broken up into more manageable parts which hopefully won’t cause Tilt’s editing software to explode, and if you like listening to it all in one go you can just wait until the final part of that story and then listen to it all.
    So today you’re going to get, not ‘Episode 172, “Hickory Wind” by the Byrds’, but ‘SONG 172: “Hickory Wind” by the Byrds: Part 1, Ushering in a New Dimension”, and then Song 172 part two two weeks later.
    I want to emphasise that this will still be *exactly the same content* as it would otherwise be. The stories will go on as long as they need to. Some will be a single episode, some will be three or four. But breaking it up like this should mean you get more consistent releases and I can get ahead. Indeed, it *might* mean I could go back to weekly episodes — I’ve averaged somewhere in the region of thirty thousand words per month last year on the main podcast, which would be four seven-thousand-word episodes — but I won’t even think about that unless I start to actually build up a backlog.
    The stories should be getting shorter anyway as we finally move out of the late sixties, so the rate of storytelling *should* get faster, but this way at least you’re going to get regular episodes.
    So listen to today’s episode, and then join me again in precisely two weeks as Gram Parsons joins the story.

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
21 Ratings

21 Ratings

Commuter 365 ,

Brilliant Podcast Series

A must for music fans . Incredible insight into the history of rock music. Andrew has nailed it .

Just another music nerd ,

Excellent music podcast

This is an excellent podcast that I would recommend to anyone interested in the history of rock music. It is well researched and presented, and goes into an admirable level of detail. I would consider myself a lifelong rock-music nerd and I am completely hooked.

Bro_Rock ,

Monumental project

If you have any interest in late 20th century pop music, this is the series for you. And if you think you already know something about it, Andrew Hickey will probably make you think again. Every time a story comes round that I think I know, it turns out there’s a fascinating angle that I hadn’t considered, or that the received account doesn’t do justice to the facts. I’m not even a particular fan of 50s music (which is as far as we’ve got at time of writing) and still every episode is riveting.

Hickey has a keen eye for cultural context and a nice line in finely-judged irony (“in the future, everyone will have been lead singer in The Drifters for fifteen minutes”; a particular song “wasn’t even the best song Tommy Steele recorded that afternoon, and the bar doesn’t get any lower than that”). It takes the journey nice and slowly, and you’ll feel you’re getting to know the landscape intimately as you go. And you will definitely find your ears opened to music you disregarded or dismissed, even to music practically lost to posterity. This is a labour of love but also of deep, lifelong research, and it’s monumental in ambition and execution. Outstanding.

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