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Magazine

After leaving the Buzzcocks in 1977, vocalist Howard Devoto formed Magazine with guitarist John McGeoch, bassist Barry Adamson, keyboardist Bob Dickinson, and drummer Martin Jackson. One of the first post-punk bands, Magazine kept the edgy, nervous energy of punk and added elements of art rock, particularly with their theatrical live shows and shards of keyboards. Devoto's lyrics were combinations of social commentary and poetic fragments, while the band alternated between cold, jagged chords and gloomy, atmospheric sonic landscapes.

Magazine performed their first concert in the fall of 1977 and were signed to Virgin Records by the end of the year; by that point, Dickinson had left the group. The band recorded its first single, "Shot by Both Sides," as a quartet; Devoto had written the song with his former Buzzcocks partner, Pete Shelley. Appearing in early 1978, the single gathered good reviews on both sides of the Atlantic and charted in the U.K., peaking at number 41. Before they recorded their debut album, keyboardist Dave Formula joined the lineup. Real Life, released later in 1978, continued the confrontational, arty pop-punk of "Shot by Both Sides." Following their first tour, Jackson left the group and was replaced by John Doyle. The new lineup recorded the band's second album, Secondhand Daylight (1979). Secondhand Daylight was somewhat of a departure from the debut, featuring more keyboards, smoother rhythms, and streamlined lyrics from Devoto. Despite its ambitiousness, the record was poorly received by the press. During this time, McGeoch played with Siouxsie & the Banshees, while Adamson, Formula, and McGeoch were part of Visage, along with Steve Strange. At the beginning of 1980, the band released its third album, The Correct Use of Soap.

In the summer of 1980, Magazine released "Sweetheart Contract," which became their second and last British chart hit, peaking at number 54. After it hit the charts, McGeoch left the band to become a full-time member of Siouxsie & the Banshees; he was replaced by Robin Simon. Magazine toured America and Australia and recorded a live album called Play, which was released at the end of 1980. Simon left at the end of the tour, with former Amazorblades guitarist Bob Mandelson taking his place. Magic, Murder and the Weather was released in the spring of 1981; it proved to be Magazine's last album until three decades later. Devoto left the group in May of 1981 to pursue a solo career and the band broke up shortly afterward.

Devoto's activities after the breakup of Magazine included a solo album (1983's Jerky Versions of the Dream), an appearance on This Mortal Coil's It'll End in Tears (lead vocals on a cover of Big Star's "Kangaroo"), two albums as part of the duo Luxuria (1988's Unanswerable Lust and 1990's Beast Box), and an album with Buzzcocks' Pete Shelley as ShelleyDevoto (Buzzkunst, 2001). Adamson was more active than any of his former bandmates; he played with the Birthday Party and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds and recorded regularly as a solo artist, beginning with Moss Side Story (1988). McGeoch left the Banshees in 1982, joined the Armoury Show (beside Doyle) for four years, and then linked with John Lydon's Public Image Ltd. from 1986 through 1992. He passed away in 2004. In 2009, Devoto, Adamson, Formula, and Doyle -- along with Devoto's Luxuria partner, Noko, as guitarist -- reunited for a handful of performances. After Adamson departed and was replaced by Jon "Stan" White, the band recorded No Thyself -- its fifth studio album -- and released it in 2011. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Andy Kellman
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: No Thyself

1. Do The Meaning

2. Other Thematic Material

3. The Worst Of Progress....

4. Hello Mister Curtis (With Apologies)

5. Physics

6. Happening In English

7. Holy Dotage

8. Of Course Howard (1979)

9. Final Analysis Waltz

10. The Burden Of A Song

x

Track List: A Definitive Guide To Magazine (Where The Power Is)

1. Shot By Both Sides

2. Motorcade

3. The Light Pours Out Of Me

4. Definitive Gaze

5. Parade

6. Rhythm Of Cruelty

7. Back To Nature

8. Permafrost

9. Feed The Enemy

10. Sweetheart Contract

11. Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

12. You Never Knew Me

13. A Song From Under The Floorboards

14. Because You're Frightened

15. About The Weather

16. This Poison

x

Track List: Magic, Murder And The Weather

1. About The Weather

2. So Lucky

4. Vigilance

5. Come Alive

7. This Poison

8. Naked Eye

9. Suburban Rhonda

x

Track List: The Correct Use Of Soap

1. Because You're Frightened

2. Model Worker

3. I'm A Party

4. You Never Knew Me

5. Philadelphia

6. I Want to Burn Again

7. Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

8. Sweetheart Contract

9. Stuck

10. A Song From Under The Floorboards

x

Track List: Secondhand Daylight

1. Feed The Enemy

2. Rhythm Of Cruelty

3. Cut-Out Shapes

4. Talk To The Body

5. I Wanted Your Heart

6. The Thin Air

7. Back To Nature

8. Believe That I Understand

9. Permafrost

x

Track List: Real Life

1. Definitive Gaze

2. My Tulpa

3. Shot By Both Sides

4. Recoil

5. Burst

6. Motorcade

7. The Great Beautician In The Sky

8. The Light Pours Out Of Me

9. Parade

x

Track List: Play.

4. The Light Pours Out Of Me

8. Because You're Frightened

Comments

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Pool
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Sadly John mcgeoch was terribly underused and often got buried under Dave ' Formula's keyboards. That said, the correct use of soap is one of my faves of the era
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Boring, pretentious, contrived and with phony affectations . Unnecessary for my musical entertainmen t . Thumbs down
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metapoptart
Howard Devoto, I love you man!! Pandora where's Luxuria..Una n s w e r a b l e Lust is one of my favorite records :)
Report as inappropriate
Tremendous sound. Tremendous music. Looking forward to more material.
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john.morton7 6
simply the best band ever but too weird for broad appeald
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Classic bass lines!
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At last a real 80's song. Do not crash on the moogs. Tubeway Army & Devo forever. Ditch the spud hat CULT OF L. Sounds a little of Book of Lovish :0)
Report as inappropriate
Huge influence on me. Early Magazine, early Ultravox, early Clash, early P-Furs...all the rough edge stuff before the roaring gay, synthesized mid 80s is way better.
Report as inappropriate
damoyal6
huge influence on Radiohead
Report as inappropriate
This is an example of one of the most under-rated groups in the period. Magazine, XTC, Siouxse n the Banshees, Echo and the Bunnymen.... T h e y may not have been "influentual " but they put out some of the best post punk music...edge
Report as inappropriate
Interesting, none of the yawling of 'Buzzcocks'. Almost an arena-rock sound.
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Secondhand Daylight is one of my favs, memories of getting Dick Martin to play permafrost on KLSU late nights via request, then bash on his playlist reviews...
Report as inappropriate
this music is timeless i can still put it on at the club and people will dance i bet devoto never figured that would happen
Report as inappropriate
I say there...pard o n me...may I drug you and f**k you on the permafrost? Hmmm? Would that suit you? Hmmm? No? Well then, how about some delicious tea? Oh, you'd like that would you? Haha! I have put some knock out drops in it! Now then! Off to the permafrost we go!
Report as inappropriate
these guys are so cool still, lots of memories

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