March 21, 2011
Last weekend, The Independent published a great piece by Sam Delaney called Pages Of Innocence, with the subtitle "Devotees are creating an online archive of the magazines that chronicled their youth." It covers the burgeoning number of online blogs - they highlight three - that scan partial or full issues of British music magazines, most now defunct.
Awhile back, I blogged about Brian McCloskey's excellent site Like Punk Never Happened. This is an amazing source for full issues of Smash Hits, moving chronologically. He is up to March 1981, as of this post. My God, that is THIRTY years! Life flying by in song.
Also included are two other blogs:
Select Magazine Scans, which primarily covers the 90's Britpop era. Check out this example from an April 1993 issue with Suede on the cover. or this November 1995 page which has The Chemical Brothers reviewing Pulp's epic single Sorted For E's And Whizz.
Archived Music Press covers the now "deceased" Melody Maker. Check out this reviews page from May 6, 1989, with Simple Minds' Street Fighting Years as the lead review ("The intentions are epic... we like it that way," they write).
There is an irony to The Independent piece that says a lot about big business media in 2011: Nowhere in the online version is there an actual link to any of these blogs. They just don't get it, do they? The record companies are now catching up; not so The Independent.
Though the CD is dying, it's not dying as fast for the 30-60 year old demographic that might be remasters right now. From my viewpoint, these new magazine sites work in tandem with labels (like Cherry Red and Rhino) who are remastering/packaging older CDs. News and critique-based blogs like So Hip It Hurts and The Second Disc are indispensable sources of info.
My pocket is deeply lined with nostalgia.