Mangled Magazine Interview With Jim

A quick interview with Jim from 1979. I feel vindicated about my thoughts on cassettes. Lol

See…I don’t get the comparisons to Magazine, either. But I’d have died to have seen one of those gigs now!

As for the “Secondhand Simplicity” review title? A lazy alliteration…that’s all it was. I seem to remember it was a pretty good review otherwise. I’m sure I have it posted here on the blog somewhere.

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A Tune With Alice

The stories Alice has of his drinking days. How he ever survived, I don’t know. The man must have had (still has, though he obviously stopped drinking LONG ago) a cast iron liver.

I’ve got to say, I am looking forward to October and the gig at the O2 in London.

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I Love You, You Big Dummy – Magazine Mania

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These things take hold with me at strange, perplexing and kind of random times. I am a rather habitual beast. When I get gripped by something…if it really takes hold, it becomes quite an obsession for a time. And then they remain habits.

I’ve been trying to branch out my musical taste. It really is quite limiting, I guess, and I have never been that good at absorbing new discoveries. I tend not to give things enough of a chance to wow me. If it isn’t immediate – and therein lies the hypocrisy because very rarely has any musical love I have gained of a group or artist been THAT instantaneous – I tend to give up rather quickly.

These days, I tend to try in small doses until such time as my interest gets super piqued and the thing starts to bite and then I start to OD.

The newest bite is Magazine.

I KNOW! But honestly, the “new” music that is around these days rarely takes hold with me. A few acts filter through, but very few of them sound genuinely new.

So…Magazine. There had been bugger all of their stuff on Spotify for AGES. So much the case that when I wanted to take a listen of Real Life again last week, I went straight to YouTube. It was only a couple of days later did I go and take another look at Spotify. Blow me down with a feather! Quite a bit of the Magazine catalogue is now up there – Real Life, Secondhand Daylight and The Correct Use Of Soap up there for a start…and quite a bit besides.

I suppose the thing that got me diving in again was this. Seeing Howard Devoto’s words on Pete Shelley and hearing that snippet of their most recent musical collaboration it got me wanting to explore Magazine again.

I’ve listened to the first three albums several times over this past week. I think that for me…despite some of the more well-known tracks being on Real Life (Shot By Both Sides, Definite Gaze, The Light Pours Out Of Me) and The Correct Use Of Soap (A Song From Under The Floorboards, Sweetheart Contract, Thank You (Fallentinme Be Mice Elf Again) – Sly And The Family Stone cover), my fave album of the three so far is Secondhand Daylight. And the fact that was the album they were touring with when SM were their support touring with Life In A Day – God I wish to fuck I had a TARDIS!

To start, apart from their own material, they do STELLAR covers! I titled this post “I Love You, You Big Dummy” because I just fell in love with it on the first listen. Revealing my musical ignorance, I had NO IDEA it was a cover of a Captain Beefheart song. I was at least familiar with Thank You (Fallentinme Be Mice Elf Again) and its origins, thanks to a certain Mr Kerr. I’d love to ask him what he thinks of Magazine’s version, but I am trying not to harass the man currently. Best not to badger. Leave the insipid enthusiasm for the blog, eh?

I think back to my interview with Bruce and him saying he tried to get Simple Minds out of their contract with Arista earlier than they did. That he approached Simon Draper some 18 months before they signed to Virgin. At that point, Draper was unconvinced, “Why would we want Simple Minds on our books when we already have a “Simple Minds” – Magazine?” Perhaps I am nuts…biased…wear rose-tinted glasses – but I really don’t hear that much of a musical similarity. Certainly not to the point Simon Draper was making – that they were TOO SIMILAR to be record label stable mates. WTF? Well, as it transpires, it would seem that Simple Minds’ signing to Virgin seemed to signal some kind of death knell for Magazine. They released one album shortly after the SM signing – Magic, Murder And The Weather. Then there is nothing new until the band reforms in 2009 (a rather short-lived reformation).

I am yet to listen to Magic, Murder And The Weather…I really am quite absorbed with the other three for now.

My favourite track? I heard it for the first time proper last night, and then immediately played it again…and then again…and again. I just found it jaw-dropping. Not really sure why. I just loved what I felt was an edginess and rawness to it. Actually I do know why…fuck me…that bassline from Barry Adamson!!! FUCK OFF!

Yes…I can feel a new love affair blossoming. It’s very rarely “love at first sight” for me musically. Most things are a slow burn.

Magazine are the latest slow burn to suddenly become a fireball. Will they remain a powerful flame? Will they fizzle out and simmer away in the background like many of my recent other new loves? Roxy Music, Talking Heads…

All I know is the appreciation is finally there.

The Wright Stuff

The full piece on Andy Wright from the latest Classic Pop issue below. If at the main site, click on the post header to then view the pages by clicking on them and accessing zoom options on the bottom right of the page.

If at the post page already…just click on the thumbnails!

The Master Of The Art

I’m always flicking through the pages of the music mags. Not much really has me stopping for too long. (Perhaps to my detriment? A slow reader’s curse that to be drawn in to read something, you REALLY have to grab their attention – going by my own experience anyway.)

I suppose I am finding myself studying Lou Reed quite a bit of late. Not in an involving and methodical way like I have done with others who end up deeply piquing my musical interest. Bowie very much became a study piece as much as a musical exploration. If I’d have taken an OU degree in English Lit. say, Bowie in some way or other could have ended up the subject of my thesis.

I can feel it possibly going that way now with Lou Reed. Exploring his work deeper. I am certainly starting to feel that sense of the story itself being as important as the music. But I think that is what usually pulls me in to those musical artists I admire and covet most. They are great storytellers, either by encapsulating the narrative verbally, or creating a visual palette of what is being told with an inner visual artist flair. (John Foxx’s description of Jim Kerr being the “the best internal movie director” always springs to mind. It is my favourite description of Jim as a songwriter and it is just so…”on point”, as the whippersnappers say these days).

I really am starting to get that there is much more to Lou than meets the eye.