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FT Podcasts

Each week the arts podcast brings you interviews and studio discussions on the latest arts stories and cultural trends, with contributions from the FT’s roster of critics and commentators.

You can find more arts news and reviews from the Financial Times on the FT website and listen to more episodes of FT Arts on iTunes, Stitcher, Audioboom or Soundcloud.

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. Set against a backdrop of protest and upheaval, the songs released in 1968 represent a turning point in music. FT pop writers David Cheal and Peter Aspden are joined by author Tot Taylor to debate the year's most important songs and artists, from Tyrannosaurus Rex, The Beatles and Pink Floyd to Joni Mitchell and Tim Buckley.

  2. What makes a good Christmas song? Should it be cheesy or serious? And why do millennials love them? 

    FT pop writers discuss festive classics old and new - from carols to Mariah Carey, Greg Lake to Phil Spector, Sufjan Stevens to Run-DMC. Plus, which 2017's best Christmas song: Gwen Stefani's 'You Make it Feel Like Christmas' or Sia's 'Santa's Coming for Us'?

  3. Billie Holiday’s 1939 'Strange Fruit' was called 'the first significant protest in words and music, the first unmuted cry against racism'. Other singers attempted it, from Nina Simone and Diana Ross to Jeff Buckley and Kanye West. But could any match the power of the impassioned original? FT pop writers David Cheal, Fiona Sturges and Helen Brown discuss the song's origins and afterlife.

  4. From Bob Dylan to Adele, the song that was first called 'a spare ballad undermined by greetingcard lyrics' is now a karaoke tearjerker. FT pop writers David Cheal and Helen Brown debate the origins, meanings and cover versions of 'Make You Feel My Love'.

  5. In a special episode to mark the publication of The Life of a Song book, FT pop critics Helen Brown, David Cheal and Ludovic Hunter-Tilney debate whether a song can really change the world. Hear the stories behind the hits, from Bowie's 'Starman' to Jay-Z's 'Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)'.

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