Magazine (band)

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Magazine (English band).jpg
Magazine performing at the Hop Farm Festival, 2011
Background information
Origin Manchester, England
Years active1977–1981, 2009–2011
Associated acts
Past members Howard Devoto
John McGeoch
Barry Adamson
Martin Jackson
Bob Dickinson
Dave Formula
Paul Spencer
John Doyle
Robin Simon
Ben Mandelson
Jon "Stan" White

Magazine were an English post-punk band active from 1977 to 1981, then again from 2009 to 2011. The band was formed by Howard Devoto after leaving punk band Buzzcocks in early 1977. Devoto had decided to create a more progressive and less "traditional" rock band.

Post-punk is a broad type of rock music that emerged from the punk movement of the 1970s, in which artists departed from the simplicity and traditionalism of punk rock to adopt a variety of avant-garde sensibilities and diverse influences. Inspired by punk's energy and DIY ethic but determined to break from rock cliches, artists experimented with sources including electronic music and various other styles like dub, funk, and disco; novel recording and production techniques; and ideas from art and politics, including critical theory, modernist art, cinema and literature. These communities produced independent record labels, visual art, multimedia performances and fanzines.

Howard Devoto English singer-songwriter

Howard Devoto is an English singer and songwriter, who began his career as the frontman for the punk rock band Buzzcocks, but then left to form Magazine, one of the first post-punk bands. After Magazine, he went solo and later formed indie band Luxuria.

Punk rock is a rock music genre that emerged in the mid-1970s in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in 1960s garage rock and other forms of what is now known as "proto-punk" music, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. They typically produced short, fast-paced songs with hard-edged melodies and singing styles, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produce recordings and distribute them through independent record labels.


Magazine reunited in 2009 for a UK tour, with almost all the remaining members of the "classic" lineup, with the exception of guitarist John McGeoch, who died in 2004. He was replaced by Noko, who had played with Devoto in Luxuria. Magazine released an album of new material, No Thyself , in October 2011, followed by a short UK tour.

John McGeoch Scottish rock guitarist

John Alexander McGeoch was a Scottish pop music guitarist who played with several bands of the post-punk era, including Magazine, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Visage, and Public Image Ltd.

Noko is an English multi-instrumentalist musician, composer and producer, has formed and/or played with a number of bands primarily as a guitarist or bassist. In chronological order they were: Alvin the Aardvark and the Fuzzy Ants, The Umbrella, The Pete Shelley Group, The Cure, Luxuria, Apollo 440, Stealth Sonic Soul, Fast, Maximum Roach, James Maker and Noko 440, Magazine, Raw Chimp, Levyathan, SCISM, Am I Dead Yet? and The Buzzcocks.

Luxuria were a British pop music band made up of vocalist Howard Devoto and instrumentalist Norman Fisher-Jones, aka "Noko." The band was active in the 1980s and early 1990s.


Devoto formed Magazine in Manchester, shortly after he left Buzzcocks in early 1977. In April 1977, he met guitarist McGeoch, then an art student, and they began writing songs, some of which would appear on the first Magazine album. [1] They then recruited Barry Adamson on bass, Bob Dickinson on keyboards [2] and Martin Jackson (previously of the Freshies) on drums, forming the first lineup of the band. After signing to Virgin Records, Magazine played their debut live gig at the Rafters in Manchester on 28 October 1977.

Manchester City and metropolitan borough in England

Manchester is a major city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 545,500 as of 2017. It lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous urban area, with a population of 2.7 million, and third-most populous metropolitan area, with a population of 3.3 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority for the city is Manchester City Council.

Barry Adamson English rock musician

Barry Adamson is a Mercury-nominated English pop and rock musician, composer, writer, photographer and filmmaker. He came to prominence in the late 1970s as a member of the post-punk band Magazine and went on to work with Visage, The Birthday Party, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and the electro musicians Pan Sonic. In addition to prolific solo work, Adamson has also remixed Grinderman, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Recoil and Depeche Mode. He created the seven-minute opus Useless remix for the latter band in 1997. He also worked on the soundtrack for David Lynch's surrealistic crime film Lost Highway.

Martin Jackson is a British drummer who has played with several bands from Manchester, although his most successful roles were with Magazine in 1978 with the release of the influential Real Life album, and Swing Out Sister in 1986, with the hit song "Breakout".

"Motorcade" co-writer Dickinson, whose background was in classical and avant-garde music, left shortly after several gigs in late 1977. In early 1978, the band released their first single, "Shot by Both Sides", a song Magazine recorded as a quartet. It featured a guitar-bass-drums sound similar to punk rock. Shortly after the single's release, Dave Formula, who had played with a briefly successful 1960s rock band from Manchester called St. Louis Union, joined as keyboardist. "Shot by Both Sides" used a chord progression suggested by Pete Shelley, which was also used in the Buzzcocks track "Lipstick". [3] The Magazine single just missed the UK Top 40. The band, with Formula on keyboards, made its first major TV appearance on Top of the Pops in February 1978, performing the single.

Classical music broad tradition of Western art music

Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western culture, including both liturgical (religious) and secular music. While a more precise term is also used to refer to the period from 1750 to 1820, this article is about the broad span of time from before the 6th century AD to the present day, which includes the Classical period and various other periods. The central norms of this tradition became codified between 1550 and 1900, which is known as the common-practice period.

Avant-garde music is music that is considered to be at the forefront of experimentation or innovation in its field, with the term "avant-garde" implying a critique of existing aesthetic conventions, rejection of the status quo in favor of unique or original elements, and the idea of deliberately challenging or alienating audiences.

Shot by Both Sides 1978 single by Magazine

"Shot by Both Sides" is a song written by Howard Devoto and Pete Shelley, and performed by the English post-punk band Magazine. It was released in January 1978 as the band's first single and appeared a few months later on their debut album, Real Life. The song has been cited as a seminal work of the post-punk genre.

Following a British tour to promote their debut album Real Life (which made the UK Top 30), Jackson left Magazine in late July. He was replaced briefly by Paul Spencer, who performed with the band for gigs across Europe and some television appearances, including The Old Grey Whistle Test , where they played "Definitive Gaze". Spencer quit partway through the tour, joining the Speedometors shortly afterwards. He was replaced in October by John Doyle, who completed the Real Life promotional tour and remained in the band. [4]

<i>Real Life</i> (Magazine album) 1978 studio album by Magazine

Real Life is the debut studio album by English rock band Magazine. It was released in June 1978 by record label Virgin. The album includes the band's debut single "Shot by Both Sides", and was also preceded by the non-album single "Touch and Go", a song from the album's recording sessions.

<i>The Old Grey Whistle Test</i> television program

The Old Grey Whistle Test was a British television music show.

The Speedometors or Speed-O-Metors are a new wave/punk rock band from London. They were formed in 1976 in Shepherd's Bush by Martin Finlay, Robbie Watson and Lol Gellor and joined shortly thereafter by Ian "Toose" Taylor, later of the Mike Batt-produced group Houdini.

Magazine's second album, Secondhand Daylight , was released in 1979, reaching the UK Top 40. The album featured a greater use of synthesisers. That same year, McGeoch, Adamson and Formula joined electronic project Visage, recording and releasing the single "Tar".

<i>Secondhand Daylight</i> 1979 studio album by Magazine

Secondhand Daylight is the second studio album by English post-punk band Magazine. It was released on 30 March 1979 by record label Virgin. One single, "Rhythm of Cruelty", was released from the album.

Visage were a British synthpop band, formed in London in 1978. The band became closely linked to the burgeoning New Romantic fashion movement of the early 1980s, and are best known for their hit "Fade to Grey" which was released in late 1980. In the UK, the band achieved two Top 20 albums and five Top 30 singles before the commercial failure of their third album led to their break-up in 1985.

Tar (song) song

"Tar" is the debut single by the British pop group Visage, released in 1979.

After the release of Secondhand Daylight, Devoto decided to change producers. He chose Martin Hannett, who produced their next album, The Correct Use of Soap , released the following year and again making the Top 30. Following its release, McGeoch decided to leave the band, tired of Magazine's low sales and their less guitar-oriented songs. He soon joined Siouxsie and the Banshees. To replace him, the band hired Robin Simon, who had been in Ultravox and Neo. That lineup toured across Europe and Australia, recording their next release, the live album Play . Simon made some initial recordings and rehearsals for what would be the next Magazine album, including co-writing the song "So Lucky", but he left the band before the album was released so that he could record the John Foxx solo album The Garden.

Again without a guitarist, Devoto called in his former college friend at Bolton, Ben Mandelson (a former Amazorblades member). This lineup completed the 1981 recording of the band's fourth studio album, Magic, Murder and the Weather , but Devoto quit in May of the same year, months before its release, and the remaining members decided to disband. A year later, After the Fact , the first Magazine compilation, was released.

Adamson continued collaborating with Visage, and also began to work with Shelley, the Birthday Party and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Jackson later played with the Chameleons, Swing Out Sister and the Durutti Column); Formula continued as a member of Visage and joined Ludus; and Mandelson joined the Mekons. [5] Doyle joined the Armoury Show in Scotland in 1983, which also featured McGeoch; the latter later played guitar for Public Image Ltd. After a brief solo outing and two albums with Luxuria, Devoto quit music to become a photo archivist, until a new collaboration with Shelley produced the Buzzkunst album in 2002.


In July 2008, Devoto and Magazine confirmed that they would reform for five dates in February 2009. The lineup included Devoto, Formula, Adamson and Doyle. In November 2008, the band announced that Noko, Devoto's bandmate in Luxuria (who had also played with the Cure and Apollo 440), would be the guitarist in the reformed lineup,[ citation needed ] taking the place of McGeoch, who died in 2004.

The sold-out shows received widespread critical acclaim. [6] [7] [8] The group then went on to play at festivals in the UK and abroad over that summer, before performing "The Soap Show" in Manchester, Edinburgh and London. At these concerts, the band played two sets: a performance of The Correct Use of Soap in full, followed by a set composed of other songs from their catalogue.

In January 2010, Noko officially joined the band, becoming a full member of Magazine. The band started work on new material. In November 2010, Barry Adamson left to concentrate on his film work and solo recordings. Jon "Stan" White joined as bass player on the new recordings and debuted live on 30 June 2011 at Wolverhampton Slade Rooms where Magazine were playing a warm-up show for their Hop Farm Festival appearance two days later.

A new studio album, No Thyself , was released worldwide by Wire Sound on 24 October 2011, and the band embarked on a UK tour in November.

On 16 April 2016, as part of Record Store Day, the band released Once @ the Academy, a live 5-track 12" EP recorded at their reunion shows at Manchester Academy in February 2009.


Magazine's music continues to be an influence today. While rooted in the punk and new wave movements, [2] Magazine combined elements of avant-garde and pop.[ citation needed ] Radiohead in particular draw on the lyrical style of the group, and have performed "Shot by Both Sides" in concert. Morrissey, a fan and acquaintance of Devoto's, covered "A Song from Under the Floorboards" as a B-side to his 2006 single "The Youngest Was the Most Loved". "Floorboards" was also covered by My Friend the Chocolate Cake on their 1994 album Brood . Swedish rock group Lolita_Pop recorded a cover of "A Song from under the Floorboards" on the album "Love Poison" released in 1989. Half Man Half Biscuit have performed live covers of a number of Magazine songs. "The Light Pours Out of Me", from Real Life, has been covered by the Mission, Peter Murphy, Sleep Chamber, Zero Boys, and Ministry. Swedish punk band No Fun at All did a cover of "Shot by Both Sides" on their record And Now for Something Completely Different. Devoto co-wrote two songs with Mansun, "Everyone Must Win" and "Railings", contributing vocals to the latter, and the band later covered "Shot by Both Sides" for John Peel Sessions. In issue 66 (May 2011) of Bass Guitar magazine [9] Duff McKagan cited Magazine's album Real Life as an influence, particularly on tracks where McKagan uses a chorus effect. Johnny Marr cited Magazine as one of his main influences when promoting his debut solo album, The Messenger in 2013. [10]



Magazine (band)


Magazine discography
Studio albums5
Live albums4
Compilation albums7
Video albums2

The Magazine discography consists of five studio albums, four live albums, seven compilation albums, two video albums, one extended play and 10 singles.

All titles were released by Virgin Records; except where indicated.

Studio albums

YearTitle UK
1978 Real Life 29
1979 Secondhand Daylight 38
1980 The Correct Use of Soap 28
1981 Magic, Murder and the Weather 39
2011 No Thyself
  • Label: Wire-Sound

Live albums

YearTitle UK [11]
1980 Play 69
1993BBC Radio 1 in Concert
  • Label: Windsong International
2009Real Life & Thereafter
Live And Intermittent (Restored And Remastered) (08.79 + 09.79 + 09.80)
  • Label: Wire-Sound


YearTitle UK
US Dance
1978"Shot by Both Sides"41Real Life
"Touch and Go"Non-album single
"Give Me Everything"
1979"Rhythm of Cruelty"Secondhand Daylight
1980"A Song From Under the Floorboards"The Correct Use of Soap
"Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)"42
"Upside Down"Non-album single
Sweetheart Contract (EP)54The Correct Use of Soap
1981"About the Weather"Magic, Murder and the Weather
2011"Hello Mr Curtis"
  • Label: Wire-Sound
No Thyself

Compilation albums

1982 After the Fact
1987Rays and Hail 1978–1981: The Best of Magazine
1991Scree – Rarities 1978–1981
2000Where the Power Is
Maybe It's Right to Be Nervous Now
2008The Complete John Peel Sessions
2009Touch & Go: Anthology 02. 78–06. 81

Video albums

1989Magazine (VHS)
2009Real Life & Thereafter DVD/CD
  • Label: Wire-Sound

Further reading

See also

Related Research Articles

Buzzcocks British punk rock band

Buzzcocks are an English punk rock band formed in Bolton, England in 1976 by singer-songwriter-guitarist Pete Shelley and singer-songwriter Howard Devoto. They are regarded as a seminal influence on the Manchester music scene, the independent record label movement, punk rock, power pop, and pop punk. They achieved commercial success with singles that fused pop craftsmanship with rapid-fire punk energy. These singles were collected on Singles Going Steady, described by critic Ned Raggett as a "punk masterpiece".

The Youngest Was the Most Loved 2006 single by Morrissey

"The Youngest Was the Most Loved" is the second single from the Morrissey album Ringleader of the Tormentors, which reached #14 in the UK and #11 in the U.S. Singles Sales. The single was released internationally on 5 June 2006 and was released on June 27, 2006 in the United States. The title track was written by Morrissey and Jesse Tobias. It was performed on the popular UK television chat show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on 19 May 2006 and again on Later with Jools Holland on 2 June 2006.

The Armoury Show were a British new wave band, formed in 1983 and consisting of Richard Jobson on vocals, Russell Webb on bass guitar, John McGeoch on guitar and John Doyle on drums. Each member had previously been in critically acclaimed and commercially successful bands; Jobson and Webb were in The Skids, whilst McGeoch and Doyle had been in Magazine.

Dave Formula British musician

Dave Formula, is an English keyboardist and film-soundtrack composer from Manchester, who played with the post-punk bands Magazine and Visage during the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s and in the "world music" band The Angel Brothers.

<i>The Correct Use of Soap</i> 1980 studio album by Magazine

The Correct Use of Soap is the third studio album by British post-punk band Magazine, released by Virgin Records in 1980. It contains some of Magazine's best-known and most popular songs, including the singles "A Song from Under the Floorboards" and "Sweetheart Contract" and their cover of Sly and the Family Stone's "Thank You ". A different version of this album was released in Canada in 1980, by then distributor Polygram Records. This version was titled An Alternative Use of Soap.

<i>Magic, Murder and the Weather</i> 1981 studio album by Magazine

Magic, Murder and the Weather is the fourth studio album by English post-punk band Magazine, and their final album until the band's reformation in 2009. It was released in June 1981 by record label Virgin. One single, "About the Weather", was released from the album.

<i>Jerky Versions of the Dream</i> 1983 studio album by Howard Devoto

Jerky Versions of the Dream is the only solo album recorded by Howard Devoto, the original singer of Buzzcocks and Magazine. It was his only studio album, which was released at the time with two singles, "Cold Imagination" and "Rainy Season", being a short-lived solo career for Devoto, who in 1986, went to form a band alongside guitarist Noko, which later was named Luxuria.

Ben Mandelson British musician

Ben Mandelson is an English world musician, and also manager and producer.

"Touch and Go" is the second single by post-punk band Magazine, released on 14 April 1978. A non-album single, it did not appear on their debut album, Real Life, released two months later.

<i>After the Fact</i> (album) 1982 compilation album by Magazine

After the Fact is the first compilation album released by English post-punk band Magazine. It was released as a vinyl LP in 1982 by I.R.S. Records in the United States and Virgin Records (International), ), following the dissolution of the band in late 1981. The compilation drew from tracks from each of the band's studio albums and several singles. The artwork was created by Malcolm Garrett with liner notes by Paul Morley.

<i>No Thyself</i> 2011 studio album by Magazine

No Thyself is the fifth and final studio album by the band Magazine, and the first since their 2009 reformation. It was released on the Wire-Sound label on 24 October 2011, about 30 years after the release of their previous studio album, Magic, Murder and the Weather.

<i>Play</i> (Magazine album) 1980 live album by Magazine

Play is the first live album by English post-punk/new wave band Magazine. It was released in December 1980 by Virgin Records (International) and in April 1981 by I.R.S. Records (US). It peaked at No. 69 on the UK Album Chart. It was Magazine's sixth 1980 release.


  1. Real Life CD album reissue booklet (2007)
  2. 1 2 Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Magazine | Biography | AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  3. Perry, Andrew (11 February 2009). "Howard Devoto Makes a Comeback with His Inspirational Band, Magazine. – Telegraph". The Telegraph . Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  4. Secondhand Daylight album reissue booklet (2007)
  5. Strong, M. C., ed. (1998). The Great Rock Discography. Giunti. p. 112. ISBN   88-09-21522-2.
  6. Petridis, Alexis (14 February 2009). "Pop Review: Magazine, Forum, London | Music | The Guardian". The Independent . Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  7. "Magazine – 'These Gigs Are a Cherry on a Cake' – Features, Music – The Independent". The Independent . London. 20 February 2009. Archived from the original on 27 February 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  8. Paphides, Pete (16 February 2009). "Magazine at the Forum London NW5". The Times . Retrieved 29 December 2014.(subscription required)
  9. Archived 7 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  10. Swift, Jacqui (22 February 2013). "Johnny Marr on The Messenger: It's the right time to do a solo album..I can't play music I don't believe in | The Sun |Showbiz|SFTW". London: The Sun. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  11. 1 2 3 "Magazine". Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  12. "Magazine". billboard. Retrieved 3 July 2019.