The Single Story

Sixty years ago this year, RCA Victor launched a small, round, plastic and – weirdly - green disc on the listening public, which heralded a revolution in popular music.

Initially the result of what we might now call an 'audio format war' between record companies, the single was always aimed at the younger generation. While the LP originally catered for a middle-aged, middle-class, well-heeled audience, the cheaper, cooler 45 took on the poorer, cooler youth market.

The vinyl single launched rock and roll, pop and the 'teenager' on the world and provided a lynchpin for Western popular culture. It has defined the popular music of last sixty years and shows no signs of dying.

David Quantick looks at the extraordinary impact the single has had on the way we've listened to music for the last sixty years. This is a chance to examine one of the most important revolutions in the modern music business.

Contributors include Tom Jones, actor Martin Freeman, Myleene Klass, songwriter Diane Warren, musician Soweto Kinch, Bob Stanley from St. Etienne, Michael Bradley from The Undertones, the Reverend Run, DJ Cosmo, Pete Shelley from The Buzzcocks, Pete Waterman, Mike Read, David Jensen, Johnnie Walker, Bob Harris and Neil Fox

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0120090310Sixty years ago this year, RCA Victor launched a small, round, plastic and – weirdly - green disc on the listening public, which heralded a revolution in popular music.

Initially the result of what we might now call an 'audio format war' between record companies, the single was always aimed at the younger generation. While the LP originally catered for a middle-aged, middle-class, well-heeled audience, the cheaper, cooler 45 took on the poorer, cooler youth market.

The vinyl single launched rock and roll, pop and the 'teenager' on the world and provided a lynchpin for Western popular culture. It has defined the popular music of last sixty years and shows no signs of dying.

David Quantick looks at the extraordinary impact the single has had on the way we've listened to music for the last sixty years. This is a chance to examine one of the most important revolutions in the modern music business.

Contributors include Tom Jones, actor Martin Freeman, Myleene Klass, songwriter Diane Warren, musician Soweto Kinch, Bob Stanley from St. Etienne, Michael Bradley from The Undertones, the Reverend Run, DJ Cosmo, Pete Shelley from The Buzzcocks, Pete Waterman, Mike Read, David Jensen, Johnnie Walker, Bob Harris and Neil FoxDavid looks at the 'war of the speeds', the early glory days of the vinyl single and a brave new world of cheap 'portable' record players.

0220090317David Quantick looks at the early days of the charts and the cultural impact the single had society, especially upon on that new phenomenon, the teenager.

David Quantick looks at the birth of the charts and the effect the single had on society.

0320090324David Quantick looks at the studios behind the singles industry, including Stock, Aitken and Waterman's 'hit factory', and the power of the DJ for the single.

David Quantick looks at the studios behind the singles business and the power of DJs.

04 LAST20090331David Quantick looks at the iconic status of the single, the influence the single has had over the DJ, obsessive singles collectors and the survival of the indie record store.
4 LAST20090331