Welcome to Readers Recommend/Song Bar:
Update: At the end of 2015 the Guardian announced it was
discontinuing RR after a successful ten year run. The
blog had undergone many changes over the years - new
gurus, a switch from a newspaper column to an online
feature, and finally, two years ago, a switch to the
readers rotating as gurus with Peter Kimpton
stickhandling the logistics and introducing the topics.
The RR community was quick to react and protest the
closure of a beloved venue. A letter writing campaign to
various management staff at the Guardian led to a
decision to continue RR but without Peter as our host.
Peter decided to go his own way and set up his own blog,
Bar. Here is a
calendar of scheduled gurus for Song Bar.
The Guardian resurrection of RR also had a few issues
but rookie host
Matthew Holmes has been responsive to the
community and the bugs were fixed.
Although it is a bit more work, I am following
both blogs and compiling their results here. I am not
indicating which topic is from which blog except in the
A-Z by Song page and the topic pages themselves.
This site is dedicated to indexing and cataloguing
the Readers Recommend column and blog from The Guardian
newspaper in the UK for easy reference. Beginning in
January 2014, the column changed to being authored by
Peter Kimpton rotating with guest gurus from the ranks
of the RR community. As of Aug. 23,
2012, the column was an online feature written by Peter Kimpton and Marta Bausells on alternate weeks with
occasional fill-ins by members of the RR community.
Community members wrote the columns exclusively from
Aug. 30, 2012 until Oct. 31, 2013. Adam Boult
oversaw the project. Before that, (from January 6,
2011 to Aug. 16, 2012) Readers Recommend was an online feature of the
Guardian website hosted by Jon Dennis. Prior to that, Readers
Recommend was a Friday feature in the Guardian
from 2005 to the end of 2010. Founded by Guardian writer Dorian Lynskey,
the blog and column was taken over by The Guardian's Maddy Costa on
April 18, 2008. Rob Fitzpatrick took up the reins from
February 13 to May 22, 2009 while Maddy was on maternity
leave and Paul MacInnes was at the helm from May
29, 2009. Paul took a new position in November 2010 and
Rob Fitzpatrick took up the reins once more on Nov. 26,
2010 until the column was discontinued a few weeks later.
an article by Richard Clayton (DarceysDad)
looking back at five years of RR and looking forward to
the future online version. Here is a
statistical look at the first five years of RR
(compiled by myself).
For a quick guide to how the Readers Recommend blog
works, check out the Guardian's
FAQ page or our
New to RR page.
This index is divided into several parts. The first
is the A-Z index by topic. The second is the A-Z index
by artist. This is the same index that The Guardian
posts on its website as the A-Z of all songs ever listed
but refined and with topics added. The third is the A-Z
index by song which is divided into two parts. The first
page accessed lists all the songs recommended in the
current year. This page also has a link to a page
listing all the songs from previous years (a rather
large page) The final part of
this website is the Topics By Date index. This lists all
Readers Recommend columns by date. The main page lists
the current year and has links to the other years.
But there's more. Some of the indexes link to pages for each
topic. These Topic Pages include links to the blog and
column for that topic as well as listing the ten
selections made for the column. The writers often
include a B List of songs in the blog that did not make
it. In more recent cases these B Lists are also
With this index you can now go back and read the
columns and blogs you missed that may interest you.
A short note on naming conventions: If
you are trying to find an artist alphabetically, here is
how I have organized them.
- Solo Singers: alphabetically by last name
- Duets: e.g. Al Bowlly & Anona Winn - listed
under each singer individually by last name. The
song title will include (with name of other artist)
in front of the song title.
- Groups with a front man: e.g. Nick Cave & the
Bad Seeds - listed under the last name of the singer
- Groups named after one of the members: e.g.
Spencer Davis Group or Dave Clark Five - listed
alphabetically by the first name of the person
Acknowledgements: Thanks to fourfoot who
did most of the leg work on compiling the data up to
August 2008 in a marvellous spreadsheet. Thanks to
DarceysDad and goneforeign for sending me the
spreadsheet. Thanks to GarethI, ejaydee and
Toffeeboy for support of this project. Thanks to
Maddy for her enthusiastic support and encouragement
and sending along useful info and answering the odd
question. Thanks to the RR regulars who always make
reading the blog entertaining.
with any corrections or additions.