Like any good Greatest Hits, this exhibition presses pause on the present to celebrate achievements to date. Since its foundation in 1988 as the world's first research institute dedicated to popular music, the Institute of Popular Music (IPM) has not only generated wide-ranging research but gathered together an archive encompassing many formats and time periods, from gramophone records and 8-track tapes to fanzines and handwritten notes. Greatest Hits showcases both the research and the archive through a co-curated exhibition of 'hits' so far.

Archives and music have a lot in common. Both can capture a moment in time - an experience, an event, an emotion, whether yours or someone else's. Both a song and an artefact can serve as a keepsake of times past. Songs are the soundtrack to our lives while archives are the record of those lives: the documentary evidence and the material culture which say 'we were here'. Yet archives and music are more than nostalgia. They can come to embody a meaning, represent a movement, mark a change or define an era. We look back to look forwards. We sample and remix our greatest hits, and our under-appreciated b-sides, to create our present, our future history; the contents of our Greatest Hits Volume II.

Copyright Information

All of the items featured in the Greatest Hits exhibition are physical artefacts cared for by the Institute of Popular Music Archive. Descriptions and images of the items are provided here for purposes of illustration in support of the exhibition of said items for non-commercial public benefit and education. Images are provided sufficient to enable understanding of the accompanying text but their usage seeks to remain proportional, insubstantial and fair. The exhibition features contributions which examine and analyse the items in detail. Limited quotation is provided for the purposes of criticism and review, as permitted by Section 30 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988). If you are a rights holder and feel copyright has been infringed, please refer to our Takedown Statement and Procedure.