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Lucy O'Brien

Lucy O'Brien

O'Brien is the author of the bestsellers Annie Lennox (1991) and Dusty (1989/99), which has been adapted for the forthcoming Maverick/VH1 film The Dusty Springfield Story. Her groundbreaking She Bop: The Definitive History of Women in Rock, Pop and Soul has been reissued as She Bop II by Continuum (2002). O'Brien has also contributed to the GUARDIAN, the SUNDAY TIMES, the OBSERVER, MARIE CLAIRE, Q, NME and THE FACE.

List of articles in the library by artist

All Saints: Follow That Band!

Report and Interview by Lucy O'Brien, Q, May 1998

Envy All Saints, but only a little bit, because Brit Awards mean nothing when you're in Miami, working your hits off. Lucy O'Brien is along ...

The Associates, Billy Mackenzie: Those Last Impressions: Billy MacKenzie

Retrospective by Lucy O'Brien, Q, 1997

When Billy MacKenzie committed suicide in January, he was about to re-launch a career that sparkled briefly but brilliantly with The Associates. Lucy O'Brien recalls ...

Björk: Call Of The Wild: Bjork

Interview by Lucy O'Brien, Vox, October 1995

Bjork hasn’t let two years of critical kudos and VIP bullshit go to her head. As she heads out on a major world tour, VOX ...

Blondie, Debbie Harry: Debbie Harry

Profile and Interview by Lucy O'Brien, MOJO, October 2007

DEBORAH HARRY'S road manager is a tall Californian called Machine. He has a moustache, a firm handshake, and is ineffably polite. "Deborah will be with ...

The Cardigans, David Bowie, Smashing Pumpkins: David Bowie, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cardigans: The White Room

Report and Interview by Lucy O'Brien, Q, March 1996

"THE BEST THING was when we had Tora Tora, or The Artist Formerly Known As Prince," says Chris Cowey, the noticeably effusive producer of The ...

Billy Bragg: Talking With The Taxman About Poetry

Review by Lucy O'Brien, NME, September 1986

SUBTITLED 'THE difficult third album', this is Billy growing into a Big Boy. Decorating the sleeve with Mayakovsky's poem, Bragg takes seriously his role as ...

John Cale, Patti Smith: John Cale and Patti Smith: How We Met

Interview by Lucy O'Brien, Independent on Sunday, August 1996

JOHN CALE, 55, rock musician and composer, was born in South Wales, moved to New York in the early 1960s and became a founder member ...

Eliza Carthy, Kate Rusby, Kathryn Williams: Sandals Out, Piercing In: The New Folk Sirens

Overview by Lucy O'Brien, Guardian, The, August 2000

LIVERPUDLIAN ARTIST Kathryn Williams is among the nominees for this year’s Mercury music prize – and hotly tipped to win. Last year Kate Rusby was ...

Nick Cave: Your Funeral…My Trial

Review by Lucy O'Brien, NME, November 1986

MANSON KILLED a woman. Burroughs killed a woman. Nicholas Cave, performance artist, amoral Baal-like poet and tortured balladeer, sings of killing a woman. ...

Tracy Chapman: She’s Gotta Ticket: Tracy Chapman

Interview by Lucy O'Brien, City Limits, May 1988

TRACY CHAPMAN is fresh, focused – and making her points with hard – hitting folk. Lucy O’Brien talked to a new kind of star. ...

Natalie Cole: The Unforgettable Ms Cole

Interview by Lucy O'Brien, Guardian, The, September 2008

Natalie Cole is the superstar's daughter who became a Black Panther, a cocaine addict – and a huge success in her own right. As she ...

Elvis Costello, Joe Strummer, The Pogues: A Fistful Of Pesetas

Report and Interview by Lucy O'Brien, NME, September 1986

In the badlands of Spain, a strange scenario... JOE STRUMMER is shooting everyone in sight, SHANE MACGOWAN has been killed, ELVIS COSTELLO is serving coffee... ...

Destiny's Child: Destiny’s Child: Invasion Of The Booty-Snatchers

Interview by Lucy O'Brien, Q, 2000

What’s "up" with Destiny’s Child, R&B’s only three-piece quartet? Members keep getting whacked and replaced by ringers, but millions of fans – many of them ...

Destiny's Child: The Writing's On The Wall (Columbia) ***

Review by Lucy O'Brien, Q, August 1999

En Vogue-esque girl power R&B From Texas' latest export. ...

Melissa Etheridge: One of the Boys

Interview by Lucy O'Brien, Guardian, The, November 1995

As a woman, Melissa Etheridge’s success in the major league of American rock is remarkable, as an out lesbian it’s unique. Lucy O’Brien meets a ...

Everything But The Girl: Tracey Goes To Dollywood

Interview by Lucy O'Brien, NME, August 1986

"ROB OUR drummer turned up to the first rehearsal with the idea we were vaguely bossa nova-ish. The first thing I said was 'd'you like ...

Fun Lovin' Criminals: De Westercas Fabriek, Amsterdam

Live Review by Lucy O'Brien, Q, May 1997

"WHEN WE STARTED, people would throw stuff at us for free. We got $25,000 this time," says Huey, lead singer and guitarist of New York ...

PJ Harvey: Queen of the Night: P.J. Harvey

Profile by Lucy O'Brien, Guardian, The, June 1995

SHE’S TAKING America by storm. She’s very fashionable at the moment. She’s hipper than hip. That’s what Paul McGuinness says; he’s the manager of U2 ...

Chrissie Hynde, The Pretenders: Chrissie Hynde: The Great Pretender

Interview by Lucy O'Brien, Guardian, The, April 1999

CHRISSIE HYNDE, wild woman of rock, sits in a private members' club in London's Portman Square in a finely tailored pinstripe suit. Despite the elegance ...

Billy Idol: Whiplash Smile

Review by Lucy O'Brien, NME, October 1986

THIS IS an ode to peroxide. Bottle Blonde spikes and matted hair. Gel by the ton. A sneer, a whiplash smile, a surly pout. The ...

Patti LaBelle: Patti Labelle: Labelle Of The Ball

Interview by Lucy O'Brien, NME, November 1986

"I LOVE Madonna. I do. I just don't like the way she stepped on my feet. We were at the American Music Awards, in the ...

Madonna: The Crucifixion Of A Junkyard Angel

Comment by Lucy O'Brien, John McCready, NME, December 1986

Madonna: The Crucifixion Of A Junkyard Angel, part 1Lucy O'Brien ...

Madonna: Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret

Retrospective by Lucy O'Brien, Q, March 2002

Plagued by accusations of bimboism and blasphemy, Madonna put on her conical bra, reduced her body fat to an "unhealthy level" and began playing with ...

Marillion: Bournemouth Winter Gardens

Live Review by Lucy O'Brien, NME, April 1983

THIS HAPPY breed came to town with Black Sabbath and Thin Lizzy emblazoned on the back of their jackets. Patches, denim and undyed hair were ...

Moloko: These Boots Are Made For Walkin'…

Interview by Lucy O'Brien, Q, September 2000

…and today they're going to walk all over Q. For she is Roisin Murphy and they are Moloko, the Euro-chart topping Lee 'n' Nancy who ...

Alanis Morissette: Rock and Rage: Alanis Morissette Sings Her Heart Out

Interview by Lucy O'Brien, Sunday Express Magazine, November 1998

THERE IS SOMETHING quite disarming about the way Alanis Morissette slips into the room. The 24-year-old rock star has sold 28 million records, she has ...

Sinead O'Connor: An Inconvenient Woman: Sinead O’Connor

Profile and Interview by Lucy O'Brien, Guardian, The, April 1997

Sinead O’Connor bothers people. American audiences were outraged when she shunned their national anthem, the pop establishment was vindictive when she refused a Brit, and ...

Nina Simone: Diva Of The Dives

Interview by Lucy O'Brien, Guardian, The, November 1992

APPROACHING 60, Nina Simone, Princess Noir with the famed attitude, has got used to putting punters in their place. A one-time classical musician she should ...

Nina Simone: Stocky And Wild-Eyed: Nina Simone at the Royal Festival Hall

Live Review by Lucy O'Brien, MOJO, September 1999

"EVERY GENERATION has to discover Nina Simone. She is evidence that female genius is real," says Germaine Greer, introducing tonight’s show, one of the highlights ...

Siouxsie & The Banshees: Siouxsie and the Banshees: A Kiss in the DreamHouse

Book Excerpt by Lucy O'Brien, 'Love is the Drug' (Penguin), 1994

ALTHOUGH SHE'D been one of punk's founding fathers, as it were, Siouxsie Sioux never really looked like she could last the distance. She's still here ...

Skunk Anansie: Second Skin

Interview by Lucy O'Brien, Telegraph Magazine, 2000

SKIN WALKS into her manager's house in St. John's Wood and immediately shows off her jeans. "I wanted a pair of trousers that go VROOM ...

Skunk Anansie: The Year Skunk Broke: Skunk Anansie

Report and Interview by Lucy O'Brien, Vox, September 1995

Two indie EPs have been enough to catapult Skunk Anansie from British cult status to the silver screens of Hollywood. VOX joins them for a ...

Dusty Springfield: You Started Something: Dusty Springfield

Profile and Interview by Lucy O'Brien, Observer, The, February 1999

Dusty Springfield, now battling with cancer, is finally being recognized as the first queen of Britpop after 40 years in the business. ...

Suzanne Vega

Interview by Lucy O'Brien, Independent, The, February 1997

"I can't listen to Days of Open Hand without feeling like I'm getting hives. It was such a difficult album to make, I was doing ...

Tammy Wynette: The Mad Life And Crazy Death of Tammy Wynette

Overview by Lucy O'Brien, Q, August 1999

Burt Reynolds nearly died in her bath, George Jones escaped on her lawn-mower, and her second husband traded pictures of her in the nuddy. She ...

List of genre pieces

She Bop II: Rock Chicks Fight Back

Comment by Lucy O'Brien, Guardian, The, September 2003

Lucy O'Brien reflects on her monumental history of the music business ...

Rock’n’Role: Are Singers The New Feminist Icons?

Overview by Lucy O'Brien, Guardian, The, December 1998

IN THE US, they call it the Third Wave – a new feminism for a new generation. It is fuelled by popular culture in general ...

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