The People's Songs: The Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records is a radio series on BBC written and narrated by Stuart Maconie. Each episode focuses on one particular pop song and tells the story of the song as well as what social trends it mirrored, for instance the episode on Telstar by The Tornadoes focuses on the technological progress, especially in space travel and music, and the story of songwriter and record producer Joe Meek. 25 episodes have been broadcast, including ones on Dizzee Rascal's Bonkers and 21st Century Britain, Cornershop's Brimful of Asha and the British-Asian experience , and Serge Gainsbourg's Je T'aime and sex. There are 25 more to come. There is also a blog and profiles of the songs already discussed. [Previously on MeFi]
The 'About' page of UK music website Popjustice also doubles as a pop fan manifesto.
Music! - A 1968 documentary by the National Music Council of Great Britain, featuring folk singing, The Beatles, and even early electronic music produced by tape splicing. Part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5.
Popular: Every UK #1 single since 1952, reviewed in chronological order by Tom Ewing. He's up to 1987.
It's the story that has Britain in uproar*: Cliff Richard and General Franco: the 1968 Eurovision mystery. Did General Franco scupper the judging? Exhibit A: Cliff's UK entry, Congratulations. Exhibit 2: Spain's winning entry by Massiel, La la la. For added measure, exhibit iv: here's Cliff's 1973 entry, which believe it or not also did not win, Power to all our Friends (though Cliff's spectacular moves should not sway your opinion on the controversy* in any way). [*not really].
Music photography goodness - some UK-based photographers with plenty of image galleries of rock and pop bands: Peter Hill (also see his livejournal for more pics), Ami Barwell, Michael Williams, Scarlet Page, Graham Smith (on livejournal too), Emma Porter, and the already mentioned Andrew Kendall (lj). Also UrbanImage which licenses the work of several photographers and has sections on jazz, hip hop, grime, reggae, punk, etc. as well as travel photography and other cool stuff (free registration required to access single galleries and images).
Every single UK chart position from 1952 to 2003. EveryHit.com is a searchable database of every single artist that's charted in the UK Top 40 chart, EVER. It's fully searchable by date, artist, chart position - everything. Want to find out how many times your favourite band charted, and when, and for how long? It's all here. There's also more statistics and all sorts of trivia and records than you could shake a stick at! Win your next pub quiz armed with this information!