Music

Mary J. Blige has made a career out of baring her soul. It's why her fans fell in love with her when she made her debut 25 years ago, and it's why they remain so loyal today. Her music is her catharsis, Blige says — and she's had to deal with her fair share of disappointment. She overcame a rough childhood, abuse and addiction with the help of her husband of 13 years; that marriage is now ending in an ugly divorce. But if there's a silver lining, it's that Blige works her pain out in her music.

As the 50th anniversary of the greatest rock album of all time rapidly nears, Capitol Records is sharing a previously unreleased outtake from the Sgt. Pepper's recording sessions. The clip, premiered at The Guardian, is a stripped-down version of the album's opening title cut and includes some fantastic chatter between John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.


Multi-instrumentalist, composer, spiritual leader and the wife of John Coltrane, Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda (1937-2007) long stood in her husband's shadow. Some certain number of more casual jazz fans, if they have known her name at all, only know it from sidewoman credits on some of his albums, and not for her own performances and recordings.

Jonathan Demme may be best remembered for directing The Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia, but in the following breath Stop Making Sense will no doubt follow.

The concert film, which documents the surrealistic live show of Talking Heads in the band's prime, became one of the most celebrated documents of live music we have; frontman David Byrne's oversized cream suit, the beautiful choreography, its whimsy and touching humanity.

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