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The latest issue of the monthly Record Collector magazine is on the shelves for a short while longer – see below for more details.
Well, we at Record Collector are in a terrible state about Westlife splitting up. This is the worst news since Take That got back together. (And we pray that Northside don’t follow suit and reassemble to fill the void in compass point bands.) Joking aside, there’s no doubt that teen bands do a lot for the music industry. If someone isn’t selling millions of records to poor innocent teenage girls, where does the cash come from to sign new rock bands? And it’s always possible that a teen band might eventually create something musically worthwhile. Remember that most people’s first experience of The Beatles was as something to be screamed at. Nik Cohn wrote that girls were so, uh, upset at The Stones in the 60s that afterwards the auditorium ponged of something personal and unpleasant. Even The Monkees made some of the most intriguing records of the 60s, and I don’t just mean on the soundtrack of Head. Slade, T Rex, Bowie; all made it as teen acts. While Westlife didn’t grow up to write 19th Nervous Breakdown, Alternate Title or John, I’m Only Dancing, they did serve a purpose, which is to keep the music biz simmering in hard times and provide some of their fans an entrée into the magic of music.
It’s strange, but in a multimedia world where music is pushed in our faces around the clock, it’s not always easy to find out about the obscure and the specific things you are looking for. Like last weekend, purely by accident, I discovered that my favourite DJ-remixer, Onur Engin, was over from Turkey and doing gigs in London. I found this out too late to actually attend any. A few weeks back I learnt that The Blackstones, a vocal group I have a soft spot for, were playing a gig virtually on my doorstep that same evening (I expect the neighbours were pissed off by this – how dare we hold a gig on the doorstep, virtually). Sometimes it seems that the more information there is, the more likely it is that the news you need will be missed. This, of course, is why mags like Record Collector still thrive: you can search forever on the internet and never quite get the news you need even if it is there; a magazine filters that news and cuts out the waste. Someone sang a song about this media phenomenon: here’s an unusual version of it.
What’s been happening with us? We’re putting the finishing touches to the next issue: great interviews with Roy Harper and Jethro Tull; a visual feast from the 2 Tone era; a word or two about the great Hank Williams; Deep Purple, INXS, Steve Hackett and Marmalade (the fathers of The Jam?), Beach Boys… and I’m wittering on about The Stylistics. Honest. And frankly, I’d say the mag will be worth buying for the Not Forgotten section alone (well, I would, wouldn’t I?), which features The Ethiopians, Bert Jansch, Sylvia Robinson and John Du Cann. And I’ve not even mentioned the cover story, which brings you some astonishing rare sleeves by some of rock’s biggest acts. But it’s still some way off yet, so you’ll have to jump in a jar and contain yourself. And so will I.
Thanks for reading,
Until next week
Editor-in-Chief, Record Collector
The latest issue of the Record Collector magazine includes:
Elvis: in search of the man behind the myth; Ryan Adams talks… plus his vinyl gems;
the roots of Kid Creole, the Tropical Gangster;
The Story Of Rough Trade and 42 collectables;
Studio One rarities and WIN The Smiths £250 box set plus Sandy Denny and Iggy goodies!
You can subcribe to the magazine by clicking here.