Magazine tonight. Their third session for John Peel, recorded at the BBC on May 8, 1979. One of the seminal bands of the early New Wave movement, they were founded and fronted by ex-Buzzcocks founder Howard DeVoto, took what was rapidly becoming a Post-Punk atmosphere into experimental territory. Co-founded by former Art School student John McGeoch and joined by Classical and Avant-garde keyboard player Bob Dickinson, along with Barry Adamson on bass and Martin Jackson on drums, Magazine mixed these diverse elements into what would become the core of Magazine’s sound and did their first live gig in Manchester in 1977.
Although the lineup would change, with Dickinson leaving after several gigs and the band continuing as a quartet, Magazine were gathering a growing following. And even though their debut single, Shot By Both Sides just missed the UK singles charts, it was enough to warrant their debut on the BBC TV Show Top Of The Pops in February, 1978 performing their debut single.
This session comes two months after the release of their second album, Secondhand Daylight. The album received mixed reviews, with some calling it a retreat to early 70s Progressive, but it still climbed to Number 38 on the album charts. It came as a followup to their debut album Real Life from 1978 which received glowing reviews and hailed the band as one of the most important post-Punk/New Wave groups to come along in the late 70s.
Sadly, Magazine’s tenure lasted until 1981, with DeVoto quitting just after the recording of Magic, Murder and The Weather. It was ironic, as that album was seen as a breakthrough for U.S. audiences, with the single About The Weather getting huge amounts of airplay on FM stations all over the country.
The band did reform in 2009, performing five live dates in February of that year. The lineup which included Dave Formula, Barry Adamson and John Doyle released a new album in 2011 and embarked on a UK tour that year. And for Record Day on April 2016, they issued a 5-track ep of their reunion gig in 2009.
Here’s a reminder of the formative days and why Magazine were so influential at the time.