February 2008 issue of Mojo
|First issue||October 1993, 26 years ago|
|Company||Bauer Media Group|
Mojo is a popular music magazine published initially by Emap, and since January 2008 by Bauer, monthly in the United Kingdom. Following the success of the magazine Q , publishers Emap were looking for a title that would cater for the burgeoning interest in classic rock music. Mojo was first published on 15 October 1993;in keeping with its classic rock aesthetic, the first issue had Bob Dylan and John Lennon as its first cover stars. Noted for its in-depth coverage of both popular and cult acts, it acted as the inspiration for Blender and Uncut . Many noted music critics have written for it, including Charles Shaar Murray, Greil Marcus, Nick Kent and Jon Savage. The launch editor of Mojo was Paul Du Noyer and his successors have included Mat Snow, Paul Trynka and Pat Gilbert.
While some criticise it for its frequent coverage of classic rock acts such as the Beatles and Bob Dylan, it has nevertheless featured many newer and "left-field" acts. It was the first mainstream magazine in the UK to focus on the White Stripes, whom it has covered as zealously as it has many older acts.
Mojo regularly includes a covermount CD that ties in with a current magazine article or theme. It introduced the Mojo Honours list, an awards ceremony that is a mixture of readers' and critics' awards, in 2004.
In early 2010, Mojo was involved in a controversial move by its new parent company, Bauer, to unilaterally impose a new contract on all photographers and writers, taking away their copyright, and offloading liability for libel or copyright infringement from the publisher onto the contributor. Two hundred photographers and writers from Mojo and Bauer's other music magazines, Kerrang! and Q , were reported as refusing to work under the new terms.
More recently, the magazine has taken to publishing many "Top 100" lists, including the subjects of drug songs (Mojo #109), rock epics (Mojo #125), protest songs (Mojo #126) and even the most miserable songs of all time (Mojo #127). To celebrate 150 issues, the magazine published a "Top 100 Albums of Mojo's Lifetime" list (essentially 1993 onwards). The top five for this list were:
In 2007, the magazine set out to determine "The Top 100 Records That Changed the World". The list was compiled and voted on by an eclectic panel of superstars, including Björk, Tori Amos, Tom Waits, Brian Wilson, Pete Wentz and Steve Earle. Little Richard's 1955 hit "Tutti Frutti" took the number one spot. Richard's record, dubbed "a torrent of filth wailed by a bisexual alien", beat the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" (2nd) and Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" (3rd). The magazine's editors claimed that "the 100 albums, singles and 78s that made up the list make up the most influential and inspirational recordings ever made". Hailing "Tutti Frutti" as the sound of the birth of rock 'n' roll, the editors went on to state that "one can only imagine how it must have sounded when the song exploded across the airwaves!"
The top ten on Mojo's 100 Records That Changed the World list are:
The magazine also published an issue in 2008 that celebrated the Beatles' "White Album", featuring a cover-mounted CD that included cover versions of tracks from the double album, including "Blackbird" sung in Scottish Gaelic by Julie Fowlis.
Other lists include a Top 50 of songs by a particular artist from time to time, usually compiled by a panel of music journalists and musicians. Featured artists have included David Bowie, Pink Floyd, The Beach Boys, The Who, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, among many.
After the success of an all-Beatles issue published to mark the release of The Beatles Anthology in 1995, many stand-alone, special editions of Mojo have been produced, devoting an entire magazine to one artist or genre. Three of the most successful were the series (produced by then special editions editor Chris Hunt) telling the story of the Beatles – one thousand days at a time. Featuring contributions from many of the world's leading rock critics and Beatles experts, such as Hunter Davies, Mark Lewisohn, Richard Williams, Ian MacDonald, Peter Doggett and Alan Clayson, the three magazines were published between 2002 and 2003, before being collected together by editor-in-chief Paul Trynka and published as the book The Beatles: Ten Years That Shook The World (Dorling Kindersley, 2004).
Other special editions have focused on Pink Floyd, Psychedelia, Punk and the Sixties. Mojo has also published four editions of "The MOJO Collection: The Greatest Albums Of All Time" (Canongate Books), originally edited by the magazine's founding features editor, Jim Irvin, and a series of short, definitive biographies under the imprint Mojo Heroes, starting in 2002 with Neil Young: Reflections In Broken Glass, written by Sylvie Simmons, a longtime Mojo contributing editor.
The company behind the magazine, Bauer, also produced a digital radio station.[ citation needed ] This station was called Mojo Radio, and was transmitted on the digital television networks in the UK (Freeview channel 721 and Sky Digital channel 0182, though not Virgin Media) and online. The output of the station was based on that of the magazine. It was announced on 5 November 2008 that Mojo Radio would cease broadcasting on 30 November 2008, in order to save Bauer the financial outlay.
The magazine's current editor-in-chief, Phil Alexander, has a regular show on the UK digital radio station Planet Rock entitled Mojo Rocks, in which he follows a Mojo-inspired playlist.
The English rock band the Beatles are commonly regarded as the foremost and most influential band in popular music history. With a line-up comprising John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they sparked the "Beatlemania" phenomenon in 1963, gained international stardom in 1964, and remained active until their break-up in 1970. Over the latter half of the decade, they were often viewed as orchestrators of society's developments. Their recognition concerns their effect on the era's youth and counterculture, British identity, popular music's evolution into an art form, and their unprecedented following.
All Things Must Pass is a triple album by English rock musician George Harrison. Recorded and released in 1970, it was Harrison's first solo work after the break-up of the Beatles in April that year, and his third solo album overall. It includes the hit singles "My Sweet Lord" and "What Is Life", as well as songs such as "Isn't It a Pity" and the title track that had been turned down for inclusion on releases by the Beatles. The album reflects the influence of Harrison's musical activities with artists such as Bob Dylan, the Band, Delaney & Bonnie and Friends and Billy Preston during 1968–70, and his growth as an artist beyond his supporting role to former bandmates John Lennon and Paul McCartney. All Things Must Pass introduced Harrison's signature slide guitar sound and the spiritual themes present throughout his subsequent solo work. The original vinyl release consisted of two LPs of songs and a third disc of informal jams titled Apple Jam. Several commentators interpret Barry Feinstein's album cover photo, showing Harrison surrounded by four garden gnomes, as a statement on his independence from the Beatles.
Kerrang! is a British weekly magazine devoted to rock and metal music, currently published by Wasted Talent. It was first published on 6 June 1981 as a one-off supplement in the Sounds newspaper. Named after the onomatopoeic word that derives from the sound made when playing a power chord on a distorted electric guitar, Kerrang! was initially devoted to the new wave of British heavy metal and the rise of hard rock acts. In the early 2000s it became the best-selling British music weekly.
Q is a popular music magazine published monthly in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1986 by the journalists and broadcasters Mark Ellen and David Hepworth, who were presenters of the BBC television music series Whistle Test.
"Mr. Tambourine Man" is a song written by Bob Dylan, released as the first track of the acoustic side of his March 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home. The song's popularity led to Dylan recording it live many times, and it has been included in multiple compilation albums. It has been translated into other languages, and has been used or referenced in television shows, films, and books.
"I Want to Hold Your Hand" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and recorded on October 17, 1963, it was the first Beatles record to be made using four-track equipment.
"Something" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1969 album Abbey Road. It was written by George Harrison, the band's lead guitarist, and is widely viewed by music historians as having marked his ascendancy as a composer to the level of the Beatles' principal songwriters, John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Two weeks after the album's release, the song was issued on a double A-side single, coupled with "Come Together", making it the first Harrison composition to become a Beatles A-side. The pairing was also the first time in the United Kingdom that the Beatles issued a single containing tracks already available on an album. While the single's commercial performance was lessened by this, it topped the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States as well as charts in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and West Germany, and peaked at number 4 in the UK.
Thirty Three & 1⁄3 is the seventh studio album by English musician George Harrison, released in November 1976. It was Harrison's first album release on his Dark Horse record label, the worldwide distribution for which changed from A&M Records to Warner Bros. as a result of his late delivery of the album's master tapes. Among other misfortunes affecting its creation, Harrison suffered hepatitis midway through recording, and the copyright infringement suit regarding his 1970–71 hit song "My Sweet Lord" was decided in favour of the plaintiff, Bright Tunes Music. The album contains the US top 30 singles "This Song" – Harrison's satire on that lawsuit and the notion of plagiarism in pop music – and "Crackerbox Palace". Despite the problems associated with the album, many music critics recognised Thirty Three & 1⁄3 as a return to form for Harrison after his poorly received work during 1974–75, and considered it his strongest collection of songs since 1970's acclaimed All Things Must Pass.
Smash Hits was a British Teen /pop music magazine aimed at young adults, that was originally published by EMAP. It ran from 1978 to 2006 and, after initially appearing monthly, was issued fortnightly during most of that time. The name survived as a brand for a spin-off digital television channel, now named Box Hits, and website. A digital radio station was also available but closed on 5 August 2013.
"Tomorrow Never Knows" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles, written primarily by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. It was released in August 1966 as the final track on their album Revolver, although it was the first song recorded for the LP. The song marked a radical departure for the Beatles, as the band fully embraced the potential of the recording studio without consideration for reproducing the results in concert.
Under the Red Sky is the 27th studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on September 10, 1990 by Columbia Records.
"Tutti Frutti" is a song written by Little Richard along with Dorothy LaBostrie that was recorded in 1955 and became his first major hit record. With its opening cry of "A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop-a-wop-bam-boom!" and its hard-driving sound and wild lyrics, it became not only a model for many future Little Richard songs, but also a model for rock and roll itself. The song introduced several of rock music's most characteristic musical features, including its loud volume and vocal style emphasizing power, and its distinctive beat and rhythm.
"Positively 4th Street" is a song written and performed by Bob Dylan, first recorded in New York City on July 29, 1965. It was released as a single by Columbia Records on September 7, 1965, reaching No. 1 on Canada's RPM chart, No. 7 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and No. 8 on the UK Singles Chart. Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song as No. 206 in their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.
"The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" is a 2003 special issue of American magazine Rolling Stone and a related book published in 2005. The lists were compiled based on votes from selected rock musicians, critics, and industry figures. The lists predominantly feature American and British music from the 1960s and the 1970s, topped by the Beatles' 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, with a top 10 that featured four entries from the Beatles, two from Bob Dylan, and one each from the Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye, the Rolling Stones and the Clash.
Paul Du Noyer is an English rock journalist and author. He was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, and educated at the London School of Economics. He has written and edited for NME, Q, and Mojo. Du Noyer is the author of several books on the music industry, rock musicians, London and on his hometown, Liverpool.
Mat Snow is an English music journalist, magazine editor, and author. From 1995 to 1999, he was the editor of Mojo magazine; he subsequently served in the same role on the football magazine FourFourTwo.
Peter Doggett is an English music journalist, author and magazine editor. He began his career in music journalism in 1980, when he joined the London-based magazine Record Collector. He subsequently served as the editor there from 1982 to 1999, after which he continued in the role of managing editor. He has also contributed regularly to magazines such as Mojo, Q and GQ.
Paul Trynka is a British rock journalist and author. He was the editor of the music magazine Mojo from 1999 to 2003, and has also worked as editorial director of Q and editor of International Musician. In 2004, he edited publisher Dorling Kindersley's compilation of the Mojo Special Limited Edition issues on the Beatles. He has also written for The Independent and Classic Rock magazine, and contributed articles on music, fashion, design or travel for The Guardian, Elle and Blueprint, among other publications. Before turning to journalism, he worked as a professional musician, recording albums for the Beggars Banquet and Fantasy record labels.
"The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time" is a special issue published by the American magazine Rolling Stone in two parts in 2004 and 2005 and updated in 2011. The list presented was compiled based on input from musicians, writers, and industry figures and is focused on the rock & roll era. It predominantly features American and British musicians.
Critic's Choice: Top 200 Albums is a musical reference book compiled by American-British journalist and broadcaster Paul Gambaccini. It was first published in the United Kingdom by Omnibus Press in January 1978, and then by Quick Fox in the US. The book comprises an annotated and illustrated list of the best albums in popular music, as selected from top-ten lists provided by its 47 contributors. As a multi-contributor work seeking to critique rock and pop albums, Critic's Choice preceded The Rolling Stone Record Guide and the Greil Marcus-edited Stranded: Rock and Roll for a Desert Island, both published in 1979. It was followed by several other books that classified the best pop recordings.