Pop Past
Music

The Band's Discontented Third LP, 1970's 'Stage Fright', Represented a World Braving Calamity

Released 50 years ago this month, the Band's Stage Fright remains a marker of cultural unrest not yet remedied.


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Music

The 10 Best Experimental Albums of 2015

Music of all kinds are tending toward a consciously experimental direction. Maybe we’re finally getting through to them.

Music

The Beatles' 'Help!' Redefined How Personal Popular Music Could Be 55 Years Ago

Help! is the record on which the Beatles really started to investigate just how much they could get away with. The album was released 55 years ago this week, and it's the kick-off to our new "All Things Reconsidered" series.

Film

The 10 Best Films of Sir Alan Parker

Here are 10 reasons to mourn the passing of one of England's most interesting directors, Sir Alan Parker.

Music

The 15 Best Americana Albums of 2015

From the old guard reaffirming its status to upstarts asserting their prowess, personal tales voiced by true artists connected on an emotional level in the best Americana music of 2015.

Film

Robin Williams' 10 Greatest Film Performances

From a career filled with amazing highs and several cinematic lows, the late Robin Williams will always be the benchmark between stand-up skill and dramatic depth.

Music

20 Timeless Songs of Summer

Whether you're at the beach, hanging out in the park, or stuck in a tiny flat, these 20 timeless summer classics are sure to make the summer sun shine a little bit brighter.

Music

Counterbalance 26: Prince - 'Sign o' the Times'

Prince’s 1987 Sign o' the Times was His Royal Badness’ second double LP. Counterbalance discuss this critics’ darling over starfish and coffee.

Music

The 20 Best Electronic Albums of 2015

Electronic music is one of the broadest reaching genres by design, and 2015 showcased that spectacularly well with a bevy of albums still heavily represented on playlists today.

Music

The 10 Best Flaming Lips Sci-Fi Songs

In honor of the band with the most U.F.O.s and robots, here are the ten best Flaming Lips songs based on all things science fiction. The psychedelic band's new LP, American Head, releases this September.

Music

Counterbalance 25: Television - 'Marquee Moon'

Television’s 1977 masterpiece Marquee Moon is the 25th Greatest Album of All Time, but is it too “too too” to put a finger on? Counterbalance sees it all backward.

Music

The 12 Best Brian Wilson Songs

From massive hits to obscure, experimental pop compositions, Brian Wilson's music is always thoughtful, idiosyncratic, and as thrilling today as it was in the 1960s.

Music

12 Essential Kate Bush Songs

While Kate Bush is a national treasure in the UK, American listeners don't know her as well. The following 12 songs capture her irrepressible spirit.

Music

Counterbalance 24: The Doors - 'The Doors'

Before you slip into unconsciousness, Counterbalance has put together a few thoughts on the Doors' 1967 debut album. It's number 24 on the Big List.

Film

Contemporary Urbanity and Blackness in 'New Jack City'

Hood films are a jarring eviction notice for traditional Civil Rights rhetoric and, possibly, leadership -- in other words, "What has the Civil Rights movement done for me lately?"

Playlists

Rock 'n' Roll with Chinese Characteristics: Nirvana Behind the Great Wall

Like pretty much everywhere else in the pop music universe, China's developing rock scene changed after Nirvana. It's just that China's rockers didn't get the memo in 1991, nor would've known what to do with it, then.

Music

Counterbalance 23: Bob Dylan - 'Blood on the Tracks'

Bob Dylan makes his third appearance on the Acclaimed Music list with his 1975 album, Blood on the Tracks. Counterbalance’s Eric Klinger and Jason Mendelsohn are planting their stories in the press.

Music

The Top 20 Punk Protest Songs for July 4th

As punk music history verifies, American citizenry are not all shiny, happy people. These 20 songs reflect the other side of patriotism -- free speech brandished by the brave and uncouth.

Music

Between the Grooves of Nirvana's 'Nevermind'

Our writers undertake a track-by-track analysis of the most celebrated album of the 1990s: Nirvana's Nevermind. From the surprise hit that brought grunge to the masses, to the hidden cacophonous noise-fest that may not even be on your copy of the record, it's all here.

Music

Counterbalance 22: Jimi Hendrix - 'Electric Ladyland'

“Have you ever been to Electric Ladyland?" Counterbalance's Eric Klinger and Jason Mendelsohn have, and they file this report.

Music

Smells Like MTV: Music Video and the Rise of Grunge

MTV's central role in delivering grunge to a national audience in the early 1990s demonstrated the network's power as a creator and definer of culture.

Music

The 10 Best Hip-Hop Tracks of 1991

1991's best hip-hop songs lean more towards beats production than the era's increasingly popular gangsta rap genre.

Music

Michael Jackson's 'Dangerous' and the Reinvention of Pop

Nirvana and company may have killed off '80s rock. But if pop was dead, its "king" Michael Jackson had successfully created alternatives.

Music

How the New Jack Swing Movement Redefined an Era

New Jack Swing was the soundtrack to young America of the late 1980s and early 1990s in the same vein that Motown was the soundtrack to young America of the 1960s.

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