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Rock - Released January 1, 2007 | Virgin Catalogue

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Howard Devoto had the foresight to promote two infamous Sex Pistols concerts in Manchester, and his vision was no less acute when he left Buzzcocks after recording Spiral Scratch. Possibly sensing the festering of punk's clichés and limitations, and unquestionably not taken by the movement's beginnings, he bailed -- effectively skipping out on most of 1977 -- and resurfaced with Magazine. Initially, the departure from punk was not complete. "Shot by Both Sides," the band's first single, was based off an old riff given by Devoto's Buzzcocks partner Pete Shelley, and the guts of follow-up single "Touch and Go" were rather basic rev-and-vroom. And, like many punk bands, Magazine would likely cite David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and Roxy Music. However -- this point is crucial -- instead of playing mindlessly sloppy variants of "Hang on to Yourself," "Search and Destroy," and "Virginia Plain," the band was inspired by the much more adventurous Low, The Idiot, and "For Your Pleasure." That is the driving force behind Real Life's status as one of the post-punk era's major jump-off points. Punk's untethered energy is rigidly controlled, run through arrangements that are tightly wound, herky-jerky, unpredictable, proficiently dynamic. The rapidly careening "Shot by Both Sides" (up there with PiL's "Public Image" as an indelible post-punk single) and the slowly unfolding "Parade" (the closest thing to a ballad, its hook is "Sometimes I forget that we're supposed to be in love") are equally ill-at-ease. The dynamism is all the more perceptible when Dave Formula's alternately flighty and assaultive keyboards are present: the opening "Definitive Gaze," for instance, switches between a sci-fi love theme and the score for a chase scene. As close as the band comes to upstaging Devoto, the singer is central, with his live wire tendencies typically enhanced, rather than truly outshined, by his mates. The interplay is at its best in "The Light Pours out of Me," a song that defines Magazine more than "Shot by Both Sides," while also functioning as the closest the band got to making an anthem. Various aspects of Devoto's personality and legacy, truly brought forth throughout this album, have been transferred and blown up throughout the careers of Momus (the restless, unapologetic intellectual), Thom Yorke (the pensive outsider), and maybe even Luke Haines (the nonchalantly acidic crank). © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2007 | Virgin Catalogue

Magazine's final studio album, Magic, Murder and the Weather, finds Dave Formula's washes of cold, brittle keyboards dominating the bitter and cynical music. Occasionally, Howard Devoto's weary lyrics surface through the icy mix, but it's clear that Devoto and Magazine have both had better days. It's not a graceful way to bow out, but the album has enough strong moments to prevent it from being an embarrassment as well. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2007 | Virgin Catalogue

This is something of a return to standard operational form for Magazine, who thawed after recording Secondhand Daylight to throw together an energetic batch of colorful and rhythmically intricate songs. It's an unexpected move considering that they enlisted Martin Hannett (Joy Division, A Certain Ratio, Crispy Ambulance), master of the gray hues, as the producer. A looser, poppier album than its predecessors -- somewhat ironically, a cover of Sly & the Family Stone's "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" is the most subdued song -- it features the rhythm section of John Doyle and Barry Adamson at their taut, flexible best and guitarist John McGeoch at his most cunningly percussive. Save for the called-for razzle-dazzle on "Sweetheart Contract," keyboardist Dave Formula takes more of a back seat, using piano more frequently and no longer driving the songs to the point of detracting from the greatness of his mates, as the most frequent complaint of Secondhand Daylight goes. Howard Devoto's lyrics are also a little less depressive, though they're no less biting. The closing "A Song from Under the Floorboards" -- another near-anthem, an unofficial sequel to "The Light Pours Out of Me" -- includes sticking Devoto-isms like "My irritability keeps me alive and kicking" and "I know the meaning of life, it doesn't help me a bit." His themes of distrust and romantic turbulence remain focal, evident in "You Never Knew Me" ("Do you want the truth or do you want your sanity?") and "I Want to Burn Again" ("I met your lover yesterday, wearing some things I left at your place, singing a song that means a lot to me"). "Because You're Frightened" is the closest they came to making a new wave hit, zipping along with as much unstoppable buoyancy as Lene Lovich's "New Toy" or the Teardrop Explodes' "Reward," yet it's all fraught nerves and paranoia: "Look what fear's done to my body!" Song for song, the album isn't quite on the level of Real Life, but it is more effective as a point of entry. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2007 | Virgin Catalogue

Secondhand Daylight, the second Magazine album, sounds like it must have been made in the dead of winter. You can imagine the steam coming out of Howard Devoto's mouth as he projects lines like "I was cold at an equally cold place," "The voyeur will realize this is not a sight for his sore eyes," "It just came to pieces in our hands," and "Today I bumped into you again, I have no idea what you want." You can picture Dave Formula swiping frost off his keys and Barry Adamson blowing on his hands during the intro to "Feed the Enemy," as guitarist John McGeoch and drummer John Doyle zip their parkas. From start to finish, this is a showcase for Formula's chilling but expressive keyboard work. Given more freedom to stretch out and even dominate on occasion, Formula seems to release as many demons as Devoto, whether it is through low-end synthesizer drones or violent piano vamps. Detached tales of relationships damaged beyond repair fill the album, and the band isn't nearly as bouncy as it is on Real Life or The Correct Use of Soap -- it's almost as if they were instructed to play with as little physical motion as possible. The drums in particular sound brittle and on the brink of piercing the ears. Despite the sub-zero climate, the lack of dance numbers, and the shortage of snappy melodies, the album isn't entirely impenetrable. It lacks the immediate impact of Real Life and The Correct Use of Soap, but it deserves just as much recognition for its compellingly sustained petulance. Even if you can't get into it, you have to at least marvel at "Permafrost." The album's finale, it's an elegant five-minute sneer, and as far as late-'70s yearbook scribbles are concerned, "As the day stops dead, at the place where we're lost, I will drug you and f*ck you on the permafrost" is less innocuous than "All we are is dust in the wind." © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2008 | Virgin Catalogue

Virgin issued the contents of this set, in the same order, as the third disc of the three-disc Maybe It's Right to Be Nervous Now, a Magazine box set released in 2000. Once again, here are the band's four sessions for John Peel's BBC program: February 14, 1978 (just prior to the recording of Real Life); July 24, 1978 (three months after Real Life's release); May 8, 1979 (just after the release of Secondhand Daylight); and January 7, 1980 (prior to the recording of Magic, Murder and the Weather). Had Virgin not kept the single-disc Where the Power Is in print, this would be a decent introduction to the band, as it features some of their best material -- in addition to a slowed, seething take on Buzzcocks' Devoto-era "Boredom" -- in vigorous condition. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1978 | Virgin Records

Howard Devoto had the foresight to promote two infamous Sex Pistols concerts in Manchester, and his vision was no less acute when he left Buzzcocks after recording Spiral Scratch. Possibly sensing the festering of punk's clichés and limitations, and unquestionably not taken by the movement's beginnings, he bailed -- effectively skipping out on most of 1977 -- and resurfaced with Magazine. Initially, the departure from punk was not complete. "Shot by Both Sides," the band's first single, was based off an old riff given by Devoto's Buzzcocks partner Pete Shelley, and the guts of follow-up single "Touch and Go" were rather basic rev-and-vroom. And, like many punk bands, Magazine would likely cite David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and Roxy Music. However -- this point is crucial -- instead of playing mindlessly sloppy variants of "Hang on to Yourself," "Search and Destroy," and "Virginia Plain," the band was inspired by the much more adventurous Low, The Idiot, and "For Your Pleasure." That is the driving force behind Real Life's status as one of the post-punk era's major jump-off points. Punk's untethered energy is rigidly controlled, run through arrangements that are tightly wound, herky-jerky, unpredictable, proficiently dynamic. The rapidly careening "Shot by Both Sides" (up there with PiL's "Public Image" as an indelible post-punk single) and the slowly unfolding "Parade" (the closest thing to a ballad, its hook is "Sometimes I forget that we're supposed to be in love") are equally ill-at-ease. The dynamism is all the more perceptible when Dave Formula's alternately flighty and assaultive keyboards are present: the opening "Definitive Gaze," for instance, switches between a sci-fi love theme and the score for a chase scene. As close as the band comes to upstaging Devoto, the singer is central, with his live wire tendencies typically enhanced, rather than truly outshined, by his mates. The interplay is at its best in "The Light Pours out of Me," a song that defines Magazine more than "Shot by Both Sides," while also functioning as the closest the band got to making an anthem. Various aspects of Devoto's personality and legacy, truly brought forth throughout this album, have been transferred and blown up throughout the careers of Momus (the restless, unapologetic intellectual), Thom Yorke (the pensive outsider), and maybe even Luke Haines (the nonchalantly acidic crank). © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2009 | Virgin Catalogue

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Rock - Released January 1, 2009 | Virgin Catalogue

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Rock - Released January 1, 2000 | Virgin Records

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Rock - Released October 28, 2011 | Wire-Sound

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Rock - Released January 1, 1979 | Virgin Catalogue

Secondhand Daylight, the second Magazine album, sounds like it must have been made in the dead of winter. You can imagine the steam coming out of Howard Devoto's mouth as he projects lines like "I was cold at an equally cold place," "The voyeur will realize this is not a sight for his sore eyes," "It just came to pieces in our hands," and "Today I bumped into you again, I have no idea what you want." You can picture Dave Formula swiping frost off his keys and Barry Adamson blowing on his hands during the intro to "Feed the Enemy," as guitarist John McGeoch and drummer John Doyle zip their parkas. From start to finish, this is a showcase for Formula's chilling but expressive keyboard work. Given more freedom to stretch out and even dominate on occasion, Formula seems to release as many demons as Devoto, whether it is through low-end synthesizer drones or violent piano vamps. Detached tales of relationships damaged beyond repair fill the album, and the band isn't nearly as bouncy as it is on Real Life or The Correct Use of Soap -- it's almost as if they were instructed to play with as little physical motion as possible. The drums in particular sound brittle and on the brink of piercing the ears. Despite the sub-zero climate, the lack of dance numbers, and the shortage of snappy melodies, the album isn't entirely impenetrable. It lacks the immediate impact of Real Life and The Correct Use of Soap, but it deserves just as much recognition for its compellingly sustained petulance. Even if you can't get into it, you have to at least marvel at "Permafrost." The album's finale, it's an elegant five-minute sneer, and as far as late-'70s yearbook scribbles are concerned, "As the day stops dead, at the place where we're lost, I will drug you and f*ck you on the permafrost" is less innocuous than "All we are is dust in the wind." © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1990 | Virgin Records

Scree: Rarities 1978-1981 is a thorough assemblage of A-sides and B-sides that essentially can't be found on any of Magazine's studio records. Even in the event of title duplication ("Rhythm of Cruelty," "The Light Pours Out of Me"), the disc offers alternative mixes. The strength of the disc isn't merely due to the excellence of non-album A-sides like "Touch and Go," "Give Me Everything," and "Upside Down"; in most cases, the B-sides rival the A-sides or, at the very least, would have made fine album material. The opening "My Mind Ain't So Open," which was the B-side to Magazine's debut single "Shot By Both Sides," is a hyperactive tune with bleating saxophones and screaming guitars, the most straight-ahead punk song the band recorded; unlike the remainder of the band's material, the structure is relatively traditional and doesn't feature the prominent keyboards that became integral to their sound. Covers of Captain Beefheart's "I Love You You Big Dummy" and John Barry's "Goldfinger" are as good as you'd expect (see Buzzcocks' Time's Up for a more faithful version of the former, recorded before Howard Devoto's defection to form this band), and a trio of live cuts from the Sweetheart Contract 12" ("Feed the Enemy," "Twenty Years Ago," "Shot By Both Sides") add icing to the cake. Altogether, the collection is just as essential as the band's first three studio albums. Apart from the live material on this disc, most of the tracks became available again in 2000 on the Maybe It's Right to Be Nervous Now box set. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2010 | EMI Catalogue

Magazine's debut LP was just beginning to gather dust in the bins when they played the Paris Theatre gig documented here. Weeks prior to the November 1978 show, the band's lineup had been improved by the replacement of the flat drumming Martin Jackson in favor of the more dextrous John Doyle. Though the band's first two singles and subsequent LP immediately introduced a post-punk band with a complex and open-minded sound, BBC Radio 1 Live shows that Howard Devoto's nervy band was more than capable of pulling off their studio magic on stage. Little is lacking in the performance, but the mix is pretty shaky in spots. Dave Formula's wild keyboard antics all but drown out John McGeoch's guitar during most of the proceedings, which is a shame; while it's true that a prime characteristic of Magazine's sound was indeed Formula's flashy work, McGeoch's guitar playing was equally vital. Barry Adamson's thick and propulsive bass is thankfully present from beginning to end, and Howard Devoto's vocal performance is strong and as clear as a bell. Doyle seems to have picked up on the band's material quite quickly, too. Though quality fare, it's no substitute for the band's studio work. Strictly diehard fodder. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Rock - Released September 21, 2009 | Wire-Sound

Engineered by the band's Dave Formula, who restored and remastered the material here, Live and Intermittent -- all previously unreleased -- pulls from 1979 performances recorded at New York's Hurrah and Los Angeles' Whisky A Go Go, as well as a 1980 gig at Sydney's Family Hotel, recorded 11 days prior to the show that made up Play. No song is duplicated, and the sets are made to melt into each other, so the disc has the feel of one extended set. Although these are mixing desk recordings, the New York and Los Angeles material is archivist-only territory, lacking clarity with the band sounding distant behind Howard Devoto. The Sydney gig, as decent as it is in a relative sense, still falls short of Play.'s quality. Worth a spin, but certainly not something to be pulled out with any regularity. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Rock - Released June 6, 2019 | Concert World Music

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released July 5, 2021 | ___Magazine

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released July 15, 2021 | ___Magazine

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 16, 2016 | Wire-Sound

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 22, 2017 | Wire-Sound

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Rock - Released September 21, 2009 | Wire-Sound