The music of the ‘70s went through vast changes in the course of its short ten years. Perhaps more changes in a single decade of music than any that preceded it, and any that came after. Once punk music began to proliferate, and then scale back, a post-punk movement started that was highly innovative. A UK band going by the name of Magazine is credited as being one of the first to herald that movement.
Magazine formed in 1977 after its mainstay, Howard Devoto, left his brief position with the influential band, Buzzcocks. During his short time with Buzzcocks, Devoto and fellow band mate, Pete Shelley, released an important four-song EP, Spiral Scratch. However, that version of the band would not remain as Howard Devoto left and eventually started a new band known as Magazine.
Magazine’s sound was bold, refreshing, and highly engaging as they attempted to survive in a post-punk world. The release of their first album, Real Life in 1978 jumped up the UK charts. Real Life set expectations very high for fans. With songs like “Shot By Both Sides,” “The Light Pours Out Of Me,” and the remaining seven tunes, Real Life was loved by new-found Magazine fans.
Magazine’s lifespan would be brief, just until 1981. With only four albums to their catalog, they left behind an enduring legacy that is still talked about to this day, although their last album (Magic, Murder, And the Weather - 1981) has fans split as to its worth.
Magazine called it quits after Howard Devoto left just months before the actual release of the Magic, Murder and The Weather. Devoto went on to release a strong solo album (Jerky Versions Of The Dream - 1983), and subsequently formed a new band, Luxuria.
In 2009, Devoto reformed Magazine taking the band out for concert appearances. With the exception of John McGeoch (guitars), who died in 2004, and Barry Adamson (bass), who had prior commitments, the reformed band is largely comprised of original members (Devoto, Dave Formula, John Doyle), with longtime Luxuria member, Noko, replacing McGeoch, and Jon White replacing Adamson.
On October 24 in the UK, (November 22 in the US), the reformed Magazine will do what many fans have dreamed of, release a new album. The album, which will be called No Thyself, features ten new tracks. There is a direct to consumer pre-release Limited Edition digipak that will offer a bonus track (“Blisterpack Blues”). There is also a pre-release ‘pre-tour bundle’ that offers the eleven-track Limited Edition, along with a 10” vinyl issue of “Hello Mr Curtis (with apologies)” b/w “Holy Dotage”, a 2011 Pretty Polyp tee-shirt, and digital download rights for the album. No Thyself will issue on CD, LP, and DD versions.
If you’re a Magazine fan, or you just want to hear great music, the promise of No Thyself is huge.The Burden Of A Song by Magazine