Trouser Press

Last updated
Trouser Press
Cover of the April 1983 issue of Trouser Press magazine (#84), featuring The Clash.
Categories Music magazine
Frequency Monthly
Founder Ira Robbins, Dave Schulps and Karen Rose
First issue March 1974;44 years ago (1974-03)
Final issue
April 1984 (1984-04)
Company Trans-oceanic Trouser Press
Country United States
Based in New York City
Language English
ISSN 0164-1883

Trouser Press was a rock and roll magazine started in New York in 1974 as a mimeographed fanzine by editor/publisher Ira Robbins, fellow Who fan Dave Schulps and Karen Rose under the name "Trans-Oceanic Trouser Press" (a reference to a song by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and an acronymic play on the British TV show Top of the Pops). Publication of the magazine ceased in 1984; the unexpired portion of mail subscriptions was completed by Rolling Stone sister publication Record, which itself folded in 1985. Trouser Press has continued to exist in various formats.

Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s from musical styles such as gospel, jump blues, jazz, boogie woogie, and rhythm and blues, along with country music. While elements of what was to become rock and roll can be heard in blues records from the 1920s and in country records of the 1930s, the genre did not acquire its name until 1954.

A magazine is a publication, usually a periodical publication, which is printed or electronically published. Magazines are generally published on a regular schedule and contain a variety of content. They are generally financed by advertising, by a purchase price, by prepaid subscriptions, or a combination of the three.

Fanzine magazine published by fans

A fanzine is a non-professional and non-official publication produced by enthusiasts of a particular cultural phenomenon for the pleasure of others who share their interest. The term was coined in an October 1940 science fiction fanzine by Russ Chauvenet and first popularized within science fiction fandom, and from there it was adopted by other communities.



The magazine's original scope was British bands and artists (early issues featured the slogan "America's Only British Rock Magazine"). Initial issues contained occasional interviews with major artists like Brian Eno and Robert Fripp and extensive record reviews. After 14 issues, the title was shortened to simply Trouser Press, and it gradually transformed into a professional magazine with color covers and advertising.

Brian Eno English musician, composer, record producer and visual artist

Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno, RDI is an English musician, record producer, and visual artist best known for his pioneering work in ambient music and contributions to rock, pop, electronic, and generative music. A self-described "non-musician", Eno has helped introduce a variety of conceptual approaches and recording techniques to contemporary music, advocating a methodology of "theory over practice, serendipity over forethought, and texture over craft" according to AllMusic. He has been described as one of popular music's most influential and innovative figures.

Robert Fripp English guitarist, composer and record producer

Robert Fripp is an English guitarist, composer and record producer. As a guitarist for the progressive rock band King Crimson, Fripp has been the only member to have played in all of King Crimson's line-ups from their inception in the late 1960s to the present. He has also worked extensively as a studio musician, notably with David Bowie on the albums "Heroes" and Scary Monsters , Brian Eno, David Sylvian and contributed sounds to the Windows Vista operating system. His complete discography lists more than seven hundred releases over five decades.

Trouser Press badge (button), circa 1982. Trouser Press badge.jpg
Trouser Press badge (button), circa 1982.

As the 1970s music scene transformed, so did the magazine's editorial focus. From 1976 on, Trouser Press frequently centered on the growing punk movements in both London and New York. The magazine provided in-depth articles on bands such as the Sex Pistols, The Boomtown Rats, The Clash, The Damned, the Ramones, Television, and many other similar groups, long before other U.S. music publications did. In 1980, the magazine introduced "America Underground", a recurring column devoted to local music scenes from different areas of the country. By the early 1980s, the magazine's focus was almost exclusively on new wave, alternative rock, and underground rock from both sides of the Atlantic. Starting in 1982, flexi-discs were included with every issue, totaling 27 releases. [1] Although the magazine seemed to be thriving, with an ever-growing circulation, editor Robbins ceased publication after the April 1984 issue (#96), citing a lack of interest in the continuing but stagnating new wave scene that left his writers with very little to say.

Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed 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 and other informal channels.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States and thus also in the state of New York. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.


As a concept, Trouser Press continued to evolve after the publication of the magazine ceased. In 1983, The Trouser Press Guide to New Wave Records, edited by Robbins, was published by Charles Scribner's Sons. [2] The book was sufficiently popular for four more substantially updated editions, with varying titles and publishers, to be issued over the years, culminating in 1997's The Trouser Press Guide to '90s Rock. [3] This final edition featured all-new entries on over 2,000 bands and reviews of approximately 8,500 records and CDs. The contents of all five volumes are currently available on the Trouser Press website, which is updated with entries on new bands, as well as revisions/expansions of old articles, by Robbins and other writers. went online in August 2002. [4]

Charles Scribners Sons American publisher

Charles Scribner's Sons, or simply Scribner's or Scribner, is an American publisher based in New York City, known for publishing American authors including Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Kurt Vonnegut, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Stephen King, Robert A. Heinlein, Thomas Wolfe, George Santayana, John Clellon Holmes, Don DeLillo, and Edith Wharton.

See also

The album era was a period in English-language popular music from the mid 1960s to the mid 2000s in which the album was the dominant form of recorded music expression and consumption. It was primarily driven by three successive music recording formats, the 33​13 rpm LP record, the audiocassette and the music Compact disc. Rock musicians were often at the forefront of the era.

<i>Christgaus Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies</i>

Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies is a music reference book by American music journalist and essayist Robert Christgau. It was first published in October 1981 by Ticknor & Fields.

<i>Christgaus Record Guide: The 80s</i> book by Robert Christgau

Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s is a music reference book by American music journalist and essayist Robert Christgau. It was published in October 1990 by Pantheon Books as a follow-up to Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981).

Related Research Articles

<i>Flip Your Wig</i> 1985 studio album by Hüsker Dü

Flip Your Wig is the fourth album by American band Hüsker Dü, released in September 1985. It was the band's first self-produced album. It was the best-selling album to that point for the band's label SST Records, and the last album they made for that label. The band spent months in the studio to achieve higher-quality production for the album's melodic power pop songs.

<i>Pottymouth</i> 1993 studio album by Bratmobile

Pottymouth is the debut studio album by the American punk rock band Bratmobile, released on June 8, 1993 by Kill Rock Stars.

<i>A Bell Is a Cup</i> 1988 studio album by Wire

A Bell Is a Cup... Until It Is Struck is the fifth studio album by the British post-punk group Wire.

<i>Adolescent Sex</i> 1978 studio album by Japan

Adolescent Sex is the first album by the English band Japan, released in April 1978 by record label Hansa. To avoid controversy over the title, the album was renamed simply as Japan in some countries.

<i>Whats THIS For...!</i> 1981 studio album by Killing Joke

What's THIS For...! is the second studio album by English rock band Killing Joke. It was released in June 1981 by record label E.G.

The League of Gentlemen were a band active during March–December 1980 that featured guitarist Robert Fripp of King Crimson fame. Other members included bass guitarist Sara Lee, keyboardist Barry Andrews and percussionist Johnny Toobad, replaced late in the band's tenure by Kevin Wilkinson.

Get Smart! (band)

Get Smart! was a three piece band formed in Lawrence, Kansas in 1980 consisting of Marc Koch, Lisa Wertman Crowe and Frank Loose.

Martin Rushent English record producer

Martin Rushent was an English record producer, best known for his work with The Human League, The Stranglers and Buzzcocks.

Red Rockers were a musical band from New Orleans, Louisiana, active from 1979 to 1985. Originally formed as a hard-charging punk rock band, they changed their style to a smoother, more melodic sound and released two albums in the new wave vein of their record label, 415. They are best known for their 1983 hit single "China".

<i>Real to Real Cacophony</i> 1979 studio album by Simple Minds

Real to Real Cacophony is the second studio album by Scottish rock band Simple Minds. It was released in November 1979, through record labels Zoom and Arista.

<i>Ladies, Women and Girls</i> 2000 studio album by Bratmobile

Ladies, Women and Girls is a studio album released by Bratmobile in 2000, after a six-year hiatus.

<i>Wanna Meet the Scruffs?</i> 1977 studio album by The Scruffs

Wanna Meet the Scruffs? is the debut studio album by American power pop band The Scruffs, released in 1977 by record label Power Play.

"Anything That's Rock 'n' Roll" is the second UK single from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' self-titled debut album. It was their first UK hit, peaking at #36 the week ending July 2, 1977. It was not released as a single in the United States.

<i>Go Girl Crazy!</i> 1975 studio album by The Dictators

Go Girl Crazy! is the debut album by American punk rock band The Dictators. It was released on March 1975 and is considered one of the first examples of punk rock.

<i>The Sound of Sunbathing</i> 1979 studio album by The Sinceros

The Sound of Sunbathing is the debut album from The Sinceros, a new wave and power pop band from England. The album, with initial copies pressed on orange vinyl, was released worldwide and achieved moderate commercial success. This is the only album so far released on CD, the follow-up being Pet Rock. The Sunbathing CD was released on 18 May 2009 with the catalogue number CDM RED 396. One track from this album, "Take Me to Your Leader", has appeared on the compilation albums New Wave Hits of the 70's & 80's and Big Hits, Skinny Ties: New Wave in the U.K.

<i>Pure Mania</i> 1977 studio album by The Vibrators

Pure Mania is the debut album by the punk band the Vibrators. It was released in 1977 on Epic Records and reached No. 49 in the UK Albums Chart. The song "Baby Baby" was released as a single and punk band Stiff Little Fingers got their name from the song of the same name from this album.

Dan Stuart musician

Daniel Gordon "Dan" Stuart is an American musician best known as the lead singer of the rock band Green on Red, and for his teaming with Steve Wynn as Danny & Dusty.

Greg Adams ran the independent reissue record label Beehive Rebellion Records before writing for the All-Music Guide, penning liner notes for numerous reissue record labels and compiling greatest hits anthologies as an A&R coordinator. Beehive Rebellion issued two releases in the 1990s: a reissue of the New Zealand band Electric Blood's previously cassette-only album Electric Easter and a reissue of Sex Clark Five's Strum & Drum! that contained the band's complete self-released Records to Russia recordings. The latter was ranked by Goldmine magazine as one of the 50 best U.S. power pop albums of all time. An intended third release, a reissue of the Electric Blood cassettes Acoustic Splendour and Actual Stuff, to be titled The Man Who Tasted Shapes, never materialized. The label was reactivated in 2013 to release the album An Instructive Amusement by his band Cozy Catastrophes, which currently records for Jigsaw Records.

<i>Bucketfull of Brains</i>

Bucketfull of Brains is a London-based music magazine, founded in 1979. An associated record label was launched in 2010.


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-04-19. Retrieved 2015-04-09.
  2. Robbins, Ira A. (1983). The Trouser Press Guide to New Wave Records. Charles Scribner's Sons. ISBN   978-0684179438.
  3. Robbins, Ira A. (7 March 1997). The Trouser Press Guide to '90s Rock. Simon & Schuster. ISBN   978-0684814377 . Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  4. "". Trouser Press. Retrieved 2008-05-22.