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Robert Sandall

Robert Sandall

For some years the chief rock critic for the London SUNDAY TIMES, Sandall also contributed to Q, MOJO, ROLLING STONE, GQ and WORD. He was also Director of Publicity at Virgin Records in London, and co-host of the groundbreaking BBC Radio 3 show "Mixing It". Tragically, Robert succumbed to cancer in July 2010.

List of articles in the library by artist

Aerosmith: A Quiet Word In Your Ear

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, November 1989

Aerosmith? Mere jumpers on the heavy metal bandwagon? Struggling Stones-meet-Zeppelin copyists? Run-DMC’s backing band? For years they’ve been one of the America’s biggest, most influential ...

Aerosmith: Pump

Review by Robert Sandall, Q, October 1989

NOW ON to their tenth album and with sales of the previous nine topping 25 million in the States, Aerosmith are still just about unknown ...

Lily Allen: Talented, Troubled and Wallowing in Her Father's Footsteps

Profile by Robert Sandall, Sunday Times, January 2009

WHATEVER AMOROUS tale they really told, the ostensibly loved-up paparazzi shots that flashed around the world in early January telegraphed the fact that Lily Allen ...

The Beatles, Ringo Starr: Ringo Starr

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, January 1991

"LAST YEAR," says the man with more rings in his ears than on his fingers, "I was sittin' round wondering what I was gonna do ...

Björk: 'This Time It's Intuition Only – No Brain, Please'

Interview by Robert Sandall, Daily Telegraph, August 2004

Icelandic singer Björk has made a compelling new album that contains not a single musical instrument and is named after the Latin for 'marrow'. Robert ...

Blur, Gorillaz: Damon Albarn: From Pop to Opera

Interview by Robert Sandall, Sunday Times, November 2008

He's indifferent to money and drugs. He hates the celebrity circus. And he famously said no to Tony Blair – but yes to getting drunk ...

David Bowie: The star looks very different today

Comment by Robert Sandall, Sunday Times, August 2003

SO FAR AS the world knows, David Bowie has been cruising in an enviable holding pattern for at least 10 years: a wealthy rock aristo ...

James Brown

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, September 1991

Fresh out of jail, James Brown got back on the good foot with a couple of UK shows last month. Backstage afterwards, Robert Sandall met ...

Kate Bush: The Sensual World

Review by Robert Sandall, Q, November 1989

ROMPING HOME a close second to the Blue Nile in the increasingly competitive Studio Marathon stakes, Kate Bush's sixth album has finally arrived almost exactly ...

Captain Beefheart: Clear Spot

Review by Robert Sandall, Sunday Times, February 1997

WHILE NOBODY questions his status as one of rock's great originals, Captain Beefheart's madcap variations on the blues are an acquired taste. Armed with a ...

Nick Cave: Makes Darkly Melodic Records of Rare Beauty

Interview by Robert Sandall, Word, The, March 2003

He gets up at five a.m. and works. He leads an ordered domestic life. Bob Dylan likes him. He is clean and sober. ...

Eric Clapton: From Sex and Drugs to Domestic Bliss

Interview by Robert Sandall, Daily Telegraph, August 2005

It's day four of Eric Clapton's week off from paternal duties, and the born-again family man doesn't know what to do with himself. On Monday ...

Eric Clapton: The Solo Artist

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, January 1990

Quietly reinvented, curiously coiffeured, steadfastly single, and with an unprecedented 18 sold-out shows at the Albert Hall, Eric Clapton enters the '90s more a battered ...

Elton John, Eric Clapton: Ray Cooper: Who Are Those Blokes Up There With Ray?

Profile and Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, October 1990

Wherever stellar rockular personages gather together he's there at the back, shiny of pate and blurred of hand. But who is this Bongo Basher By ...

Ry Cooder: Rock'n'Roll Outlaw

Profile and Interview by Robert Sandall, Sunday Times, August 2003

TO MOST VISITORS and residents, Santa Monica is Los Angeles-on-sea, a breezy, oceanside reprieve from the bad air, nose-to-tail buildings and car-choked "boulevards" that sprawl ...

David Lindley, Ry Cooder: Ry Cooder & David Lindley: Hammersmith Odeon, London

Live Review by Robert Sandall, Sunday Times, July 1990

A backroom Stone slides into town ...

Little Village, Ry Cooder: Ry Cooder: At Home In The Village

Profile and Interview by Robert Sandall, Sunday Times, February 1992

Robert Sandall talks to Ry Cooder about the band that has given his guitar-playing a new sense of pleasure and purpose ...

Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins: Beyond The Nightmares: Billy Corgan

Interview by Robert Sandall, Daily Telegraph, June 2005

THE YOUNGER ONES recognise him and stop to say hello, but heaven knows what the older visitors make of Billy Corgan as we wander around ...

Country Joe & The Fish: Country Joe McDonald: No Ordinary Joe

Interview by Robert Sandall, Independent, The, December 2002

THERE'S LITTLE ABOUT the small, stocky frame of the 60-year-old Country Joe McDonald that would lead one to pinpoint him as a firebrand political activist ...

Cowboy Junkies: The Cowboy Junkies: Chill out

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, March 1991

THERE IS something about 547 Crawford Street with its beer crate-strewn hallway, ashtray-scented kitchen (replete with moist, green furry organisms in the unlikeliest of places) ...

Crosby Stills and Nash: Crosby, Stills & Nash: My, How You've Grown!

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, June 1992

On the physique front at least, Crosby, Stills & Nash have paid top whack for the years of drug abuse, gunplay and prison visits, but ...

The Cure: Wish

Review by Robert Sandall, Q, May 1992

IT'S LATE AT NIGHT; a couple of echoey electric guitars are plinking and howling at each other across a doom-laden backbeat; a frail and young-sounding ...

The Cure: Caught In The Act

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, May 1989

He denies any grasp of promotional ploys, yet The Cure have built up a vast international following. Is there, behind all that lipstick and conspicuous ...

Deacon Blue: Glasgow Skyline

Profile and Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, August 1991

IF A BAND’S success could be measured simply in terms of gold, silver and platinum discs earned, then Deacon Blue have clearly had a lot ...

Depeche Mode: 101

Review by Robert Sandall, Q, April 1989

72,000 sunny Californians go monkey-poo to the pitch-perfect sound of Depeche Mode. ...

Dire Straits: On Every Street

Review by Robert Sandall, Q, October 1991

THE REASONS FOR the six-year absence are well known: Brothers In Arms – the 15-million-selling album and 250-date world tour – banished an unassuming bloke ...

Nick Drake: Brighter Very Much Later: Nick Drake

Retrospective by Robert Sandall, Daily Telegraph, May 2004

POSTHUMOUS ACCLAIM is not uncommon in rock - "death sells" and all that - but the clamour surrounding the English singer-songwriter Nick Drake gets more ...

Duran Duran: The Old Romantics

Profile and Interview by Robert Sandall, Independent, The, September 2004

IN A POP WORLD full of ageing Peter Pans with expensive habits to service, ex-wives to maintain and children to educate, attempted comebacks are common, ...

Earth Wind and Fire: Earth, Wind and Fire: Relighting the Fire

Report and Interview by Robert Sandall, Daily Telegraph, September 2005

MAYBE IT'S AN effect of the baking late-August heat, but the concert scene in Houston, Texas has gone all topsy-turvy. ...

Echo & The Bunnymen: Ian McCulloch: Mustn’t Grumble

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, March 1992

Ian McCulloch’s commercial appeal may be "more selective" than it was in the glory days of Echo And Bunnymen, but at least he’s found a ...

Electric Light Orchestra, Jeff Lynne, Traveling Wilburys: Jeff Lynne: "I've worked with The Beatles and Dylan. I've lived every fan's dream"

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, February 2007

ELO's founder, he has also played inside a spaceship and gripped George Harrison with his bum. ...

Brian Eno: Back to the Future: Brian Eno

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, November 1990

The teenage keyboard pioneer with the left-field dress sense evolved into the amiable egghead in the "gardening clothes". And in between – via the avant-garde, ...

Extreme

Profile and Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, October 1992

"I HATE IT, I hate it, I hate it," says Nuno Bettencourt, nodding at the 48-track mixing console of the New River Studio, Fort Lauderdale, ...

Peter Gabriel: Us

Review by Robert Sandall, Q, November 1992

THE '80S BOOM IN world music generated much tourism but comparatively few settlers: quick excursions into Township jive, brief flirtations with hot Latin rhythms, the ...

Peter Gabriel: Gawp Factor Ten

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, July 1993

NOBODY LIKES being stuck inside one of those old red telephone boxes with a suspect handset and Peter Gabriel is clearly not a happy man. ...

Gang of Four: The Gang's All Here – Again

Retrospective and Interview by Robert Sandall, Daily Telegraph, January 2005

LIKE THE VELVET Underground a decade before them, Gang of Four were one of those bands who never had a proper hit but who created ...

George Harrison: Jolly George – The Unsung Story

Interview by Robert Sandall, Sunday Times, October 2003

In a rare interview, George Harrison's widow Olivia tells Robert Sandall of his hidden circle of friends and fun, and that attack ...

PJ Harvey Steps into the Light

Interview by Robert Sandall, Sunday Times, September 2007

ON THE FACE OF IT, precious little has changed in the world of PJ Harvey in the 14 years since we first met. On that ...

Chris Isaak

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, September 1991

"We're playing the same halls as before, we just get to go on a few hours later." ...

Elton John, Bernie Taupin: Bernie Taupin: Him Indoors

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, July 1992

The 25-year You-wash-I'll-dry relationship between Elton John and lyric-writing househusband Bernie Taupin has never been happier. ...

Lenny Kravitz: Fancy Seeing You Here!

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, April 1991

"OH MAN, people are always hitting me with this retro thing. And they're all missing the point. A lot of bands now are being psychedelic ...

Lenny Kravitz's Record Collection

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, November 1995

LENNY KRAVITZ'S record collection is, mostly, in his new house in New Orleans, not far from the pair of Jimi Hendrix's purple flares which he ...

Led Zeppelin: 'People Go On About The Bad Blood Between Us. There Can't Be That Much If We're In A Room Together.'

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, January 2008

The return of was the music event of the year. On the eve of their comeback show at London's O2 arena, here for the first ...

Jerry Lee Lewis: Last Wild Man Of Rock 'N Roll Standing

Profile and Interview by Robert Sandall, Sunday Times, February 2007

The six wives, the shootings, the arrests, the addictions – Jerry Lee Lewis was the original wild man of rock'n'roll. And at 71, he still ...

Madonna: Why Madonna's Still A Material Girl

Profile by Robert Sandall, Sunday Times, April 2009

Turning 50 and divorcing Guy Ritchie doesn’t seem to have dented Madonna’s fortune – or her bankability. Robert Sandall investigates the business of being a ...

The Mission: Carved In Sand

Review by Robert Sandall, Q, March 1990

THE GOOD NEWS is that The Mission's third album is easily their best. ...

Joni Mitchell: A Joni Mitchell Interview

Interview by Robert Sandall, Sunday Times, September 1990

"WHAT DO I THINK of the new Joni Mitchells?" Joni Mitchell grins, sucks appreciatively on another cigarette and thinks hard, as she often does, before ...

Mock Turtles: The Mock Turtles

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, September 1991

THE FACT THAT HE is considerably more famous now than at any point in his previous 30 years has come as no particular surprise to ...

Mock Turtles: The Mock Turtles: Two Sides

Review by Robert Sandall, Q, September 1991

AS PROVIDERS OF the best rock single of the year, the entrancingly tuneful, head-to-toe tapper 'Can You Dig It?', the Mock Turtles find themselves now ...

Van Morrison: CD Reissues

Review by Robert Sandall, Q, September 1989

Earthy but out of this world: at last on CD, Van Morrison's swinging '70s. ...

Morrissey: "A gentle adoration"

Report by Robert Sandall, Q, January 1992

Morrissey's US shows have been the scenes of riotous affection. And nobody can figure it out. "It's the intensity of the reverence..." ...

Randy Newman: He Shoots From The Lip

Interview by Robert Sandall, Sunday Times, September 2003

Randy Newman’s barbed-wire lyrics and arch social commentary are bang on today – and his new album proves it, says Robert Sandall ...

New York Dolls Release Fourth Studio Album

Interview by Robert Sandall, Sunday Times, April 2009

Only David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain remain from 1970s line-up for mix of classic rock and roll and reggae-style 'Trash' ...

Sinead O'Connor: I Do Not Want What I Have Not Got

Review by Robert Sandall, Q, April 1990

ON THE FACE of it, Sinead O'Connor is an unlikely person to be setting such a cracking pace into the new decade. ...

The Only Ones: Academy 2, Sheffield

Live Review by Robert Sandall, Sunday Times, February 2009

IN THEIR on and (mainly) off 33-year existence, the Only Ones have never paid much heed to career management, and the Sheffield leg of their ...

Roy Orbison: It's Over: Roy Orbison

Obituary by Robert Sandall, Q, February 1989

Roy Orbison died on the crest of sudden universal acclaim for his soaring and deliciously mournful ballads, ending a 30-year recording career in which life ...

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Tom Petty: Full Moon Fever

Review by Robert Sandall, Q, June 1989

Sans Heartbreakers, Tom Petty revives the Golden Age of Pop. ...

Pink Floyd: The Third Coming

Retrospective and Interview by Robert Sandall, MOJO, May 1994

Three decades and 140 million albums later, the sheer familiarity of the Pink Floyd phenomenon obscures the strangeness of it all. Unlike any of their ...

Prefab Sprout: A Life Of Surprises: The Best Of

Review by Robert Sandall, Q, August 1992

Prefab Sprout: whatever happened to great songs? ...

Prince: Diamonds & Pearls

Review by Robert Sandall, Q, November 1991

THESE ARE TESTING times for little PR Nelson. His Graffiti Bridge movie, due out last autumn, has never been publicly shown, and the accompanying double ...

The Psychedelic Furs: Come In, Sit Down And Take The Weight Off Your Cheekbones

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, July 1991

SOME BRITISH ROCK MUSICIANS move to America to make their fortunes; others go to avoid sharing them with the Inland Revenue. Quite what the Psychedelic ...

Queen: Fifty Years of Great British Music: The '70s

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, March 2008

It wasn't all operatic rock and theatrical excess. As guitarist Brian May recalls, transsexual strippers played a part, too. ...

Chris Rea Goes Racing

Profile and Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, January 1994

Adopt Murray Walker voice: "Aaahnd aaas Nigel Mansell attempts radical chassis reshaping at Starkey's Bridge, whooo's this bringing up the rear?" It's Chris Rea, actually, ...

Chris Rea: Sunny Side Up?

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, April 1991

Whenever he makes an album nowadays, it duly finds its way inside a million houses. The biggest of budgets are his to command. And yet ...

The Red Hot Chili Peppers: Red Hot Chili Peppers

Interview by Robert Sandall, GQ, June 2006

Sex, drugs and a fatal overdose: the history of Red Hot Chili Peppers reads like a crash course in overindulgence. Here, in their own words, ...

Lou Reed: GQ Icons: Lou Reed

Profile by Robert Sandall, GQ, August 2008

ROCK STARS were never supposed to be regular guys, though that's the way most of the ones who stick around usually end up. It's hard ...

Lou Reed: Magic And Loss

Review by Robert Sandall, Q, February 1992

SINCE POWERING HIS WAY BACK info everybody's good books three years ago with the New York album, Lou Reed has become more creatively focused than ...

Lou Reed: Walk On The Mild Side

Interview by Robert Sandall, Sunday Times, Fall 2003

These days, he's more addicted to herbal tea than drink and drugs. So how, at 60, has Lou Reed remained on of the most enigmatic ...

Jonathan Richman: Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers

Review by Robert Sandall, Q, 1989

BESERKLEY HAVE re-issued their entire catalogue of Jonathan Richman albums but they should have stopped with this one, a brilliant piece of East Coast proto-punk ...

Rilo Kiley: Dark and interesting corners: Rilo Kiley

Interview by Robert Sandall, Sunday Telegraph, January 2005

MEETING HALF of the LA quartet Rilo Kiley in a London hotel, my first thought is how much nicer this pair are - as in ...

The Rolling Stones: A Game of Two Halves

Report by Robert Sandall, Q, August 1990

There are 287 workers on the Day Shift, ensuring the impeccable construction of the Stones' three gigantic stages as they "leapfrog" around the European stadium ...

The Rolling Stones: Alive and Kicking

Book Review by Robert Sandall, Sunday Times, August 2003

According To The Rolling Stones edited by Dora Loewenstein, Philip Dodd and Charlie Watts (Weidenfeld £30 pp359) ...

Charlie Watts, The Rolling Stones: Charlie Watts: The Rock

Interview by Robert Sandall, MOJO, May 1994

INTERVIEWS WITH CHARLIE WATTS were once memorably described as being "as rare as rocking horse shit". Like many of the jazz players he admires so ...

Sade Emerges From Her Country Retreat

Interview by Robert Sandall, Times, The, January 2010

She's Britain's most successful female solo artist but has remained a glamorous enigma — until now. Sade emerges from her country retreat to tell how ...

Sade: America The Hard Way

Report and Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, December 1988

Hers was the face that graced a thousand magazine covers, the sound that became a fashion accessory, the image that seemed to encapsulate effortless video-age ...

Nancy Sinatra: Her Boots Are Walkin' On Back

Profile and Interview by Robert Sandall, Sunday Times, March 2006

Ol' Blue Eyes' daughter, Nancy Sinatra, is mixing with the cool crowd now, says Robert Sandall ...

Sisters of Mercy: Some Girls Wander By Mistake

Review by Robert Sandall, Q, June 1992

"I LIKE to think it was the songs that made this band," Andrew Eldritch writes in the sleevenotes, "I know it wasn't." And as this ...

Patti Smith

Interview by Robert Sandall, Sunday Times, April 2007

Nearly 30 years ago, Patti Smith turned her back on rock'n'roll. The woman they called the female Bob Dylan quit, choosing obscurity and her family ...

Snoop Doggy Dogg: A Pussycat?

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, April 1994

Who's a busy homeboy then? His CV already bulges with a prison sentence, a US Number 1 LP and a still-fresh murder charge. Now, gangster ...

Spandau Ballet: The Return Of Spandau Ballet

Interview by Robert Sandall, Sunday Times, September 2009

The band behind 'Gold', 'True' and 'Chant No 1', Tony Hadley and the Kemp brothers put their differences aside for reunion. ...

Joss Stone: The Undoctored Ms Stone, I Presume: Joss Stone

Interview by Robert Sandall, Sunday Times, February 2007

MEETING JOSS STONE in the Electric Lady recording suite in downtown Manhattan feels curiously appropriate. Set up in 1968 by Jimi Hendrix, who named his ...

David Sylvian: Weatherbox

Review by Robert Sandall, Q, January 1990

POP STARDOM, AND all the tabloid accolades which followed his unofficial award "Most Beautiful Man in Britain" 1981, did not agree with David Sylvian. ...

Tanita Tikaram: Do Not Disturb: Tanita Tikaram

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, February 1990

Bookish, Studious, unsurprisingly naïve, Tanita Tikaram sidestepped university at the age of 18 when her darkly sonorous vocals and "sixth-form poetry" suddenly found an international ...

U2: Flying High With a Jet Set

Report and Interview by Robert Sandall, Sunday Times, May 1992

HAVING, BY his own account, spent most of the 1980s "trying to dodge being a rock star," Bono aka Paul Hewson, the singer and most ...

The Waterboys

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, May 1991

"NOBODY SETS OUT TO BAFFLE PEOPLE; at least, I don't think they do." As general observations go, this sounds sensible enough, and it causes no ...

Paul Weller

Interview by Robert Sandall, Sunday Times, September 2007

RECOGNISING HIM is not a problem. As he strides purposefully across the concourse of Waterloo station it's easy to figure why Paul Weller is referred ...

Robert Wyatt: Triumph Of A Late Bloomer: Robert Wyatt

Interview by Robert Sandall, Daily Telegraph, October 2003

CONTRARY TO THE impression given by the list of cool, metropolitan mates who play on his latest album - Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, Paul Weller, ...

XTC: Toys in the Attic

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, April 1989

XTC’s Andy Partridge is from that eccentric, uniquely English school of songwriters that brought you Ray Davies and Vivian Stanshall. His problem has been his ...

Neil Young In Nashville

Interview by Robert Sandall, Sunday Times Magazine, November 2005

HIS COMPLEXION is perhaps a little ruddier than we're used to but otherwise Neil Young is looking pretty good for a man who turns 60 ...

List of genre pieces

The Q New Year Summit 1995: Where Are We Now?

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, February 1995

We teeter on the lip of a New Year, and, let's not flagellate around the shrub-like foliage here, The Future. In an attempt at stocktaking ...

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