It’s 50 years since Paul McCartney came up with Hey Jude while driving from London to Surrey – and made a song that’s sung everywhere from football terraces to Oxford colleges. Here’s the story of how it came to be
You could argue forever about which of the Beatles’ songs is the greatest. According to the Daily Telegraph, it’s something nostalgic: In My Life. According to the NME, it’s something psychedelic: Strawberry Fields Forever, which wasn’t even the best song on the single it appeared on, alongside Penny Lane. According to Rolling Stone and USA Today, it’s something epic: A Day in the Life, which often does well in polls, perhaps because it’s written by both Lennon and McCartney.
The debate is diverting but doomed. The Beatles’ range was so broad that it would be easier to name Matisse’s best painting or Meryl Streep’s best performance – which wouldn’t be easy at all. This isn’t just apples and oranges, it’s the whole fruit stall, so if we must use superlatives, we’d better narrow them down. The most covered Beatles song is Yesterday, the biggest seller is She Loves You and the biggest crowdpleaser is Hey Jude.
A multimedia show from the Russian punk activists still being persecuted for anti-Putin protest is as funny as it is nerve-shredding
Pussy Riot might put the punk rock in modern protest, but their musical chops have always been a little less clear. You will likely know that two of the Russian feminist disrupters were arrested and sentenced to nearly two years in a labour camp for performing their “punk prayer” performance in an orthodox cathedral in Moscow in 2012, drawing international outrage and attention on how Russia treats its dissident artists. But can you remember the serrated riot grrrl riffage of the song that soundtracked it, Mother of God, Drive Putin Away? Or, for that matter, any of their other classics, such as Putin Zassal (roughly, “Putin Has Pissed Himself”)?
Also uncertain is what you’re going to get when you see Pussy Riot billed anywhere. Or, rather, who you’re going to get. Their cast is seemingly interchangeable, like a balaclava-ed Sugababes, with the two global faces of the group staging contrasting endeavours at separate times, of varying artistic quality. The first Pussy Riot tour in North America this spring featured one of those faces, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and band playing some of their new anti-Putin agit-electro. At the Edinburgh fringe, meanwhile, the collective’s other leading rioter, Maria “Masha” Alyokhina, is presenting Riot Days, a mix of music, documentary footage and scathing political commentary based on her memoir of the same name.
At least 14 people were taken to hospital after a metal structure at a concert in Oklahoma fell.
Barack and Michelle Obama say singer ‘helped us feel more connected to each other, more hopeful, more human’
When the death of Aretha Franklin was announced on Thursday morning, one US president paid tribute to a voice that offered “a glimpse of the divine”, in which Americans could feel “our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect”.
Pope to visit World Meeting of Families, which says there is no space for Rainbow stall
An organisation representing LGBT Catholics around the world has been denied permission for a stall at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, which Pope Francis is attending on 25 August.
The Global Network of Rainbow Catholics, which represents 60 organisations, has been told that “logistical considerations” and uncertainty regarding the amount of space available mean that it has not been allocated a booth in the gathering’s exhibition hall.
Tanks and weapons were on display at Nashestviye festival – a show some called “military propaganda”.
Hello! I’m Mark Olsen. Welcome to another edition of your regular field guide to a world of Only Good Movies.
Recently, no less an expert in the field that Reese Witherspoon asked on Twitter: “Why aren’t there more romantic movies?” The Times’ Amy Kaufman takes a look at the state of the rom-com…
The action film star, who was granted Russian citizenship in 2016, is to improve ties with the US.
Dance is a form of protest in a country where tensions between liberal youths and far-right groups run deep.
All-female heavy metal band, Slave to Sirens, brings girl power to Lebanon.