About

Ian Sharp: Music Writer

The stories behind classic rock music,
carefully researched and absorbingly written.

Listening to music is not the same as hearing music. I encourage you to sit down and bring full attention to your listening. 

Monochrome portrait of Ian Sharp: Music Writer
Ian Sharp: Music Writer

I might be retired from my professional career, but I’m determined to use my time to become the classic rock music writer I could have been had I chosen a different path many years ago.

We hear music as we go about our day, in the way we hear the traffic or people talking. Unless we listen, music is just another disposable background noise. I’m developing an Active Listening Manifesto.

I focus on listening to music actively, not passively. This is because the best rock albums are carefully sequenced to tell a musical and lyrical story. The ‘shuffle’ button is a feature of streaming services to be avoided.

What to expect when you subscribe

Paid Subscribers

A paid subscription, annual or monthly, supports my continued writing. It also supports musicians as I invest in buying new music. In addition to all the content sent to free subscribers (below), your paid subscription brings you:

An extended ‘Long Gaze’, with a deeper view of an artist, band, or aspects of classic rock – for example, a long piece on concept albums will appear soon, and other pieces reflecting my growing interest in the psychological effects of music. In May 2024 work on The Beatles, with The Who and Genesis to follow in the coming months.

Paid subscribers also receive full access to my archive of Glimpses (five-minute reads on classic albums) and my Gems album-length playlists of new music.

Free Subscribers

Once a week I write a ‘Glimpse’ of a classic album – a five-minute read, often including my memories from the time I acquired the record, gigs I attended, and insights into the songs themselves. Read past articles here.

Each week, I compile a playlist of new tracks, plus an older classic or two, sequenced as if it was a vinyl compilation album – around 40-45 minutes, with virtual sides one and two. These are on Spotify and Apple Music, with references and notes for you as an LP subscriber. Listen to past playlists here.

I also review new albums. I’ve been listening to music for over fifty years and love to make space for new releases.

Bryan Padrick, Substack

Lifetime Membership

Includes all of the above; a one-off payment giving lifelong access to all of LP. Just sit back and enjoy music even more deeply.

Background

Before writing about music, I was a lecturer in further and higher education for over 25 years. I studied extensively with the Open University (BA and MA in Education).

I’m writing a book about the classic rock album Who’s Next – more news in due course.

For years, my extensive collection of LPs, singles, compact discs and cassettes grew, all to be played on a top-end hi-fi. Why I no longer have them is another story to be told – one day.

I live in Olney, Buckinghamshire, UK, with my partner Jane, and two monochrome animals: A border collie (Maisie), and a cat (Cocoa).


Kevin Alexander, Substack

Subscribe to LP