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It’s been an up and down week. On the plus side, had the pleasure of attending the Ironhorse Reggae Night in Romford, Essex, on Saturday and I am glad to report, as one of the world’s biggest experts in this kind of music (ahem), there were several tunes that had me foxed. Luckily the DJs weren’t the type to tell you to take a hike when you asked them what they were. On the negative side, on Tuesday I went down with a stomach virus and I feel rougher than 40 grade sandpaper. I am typing this from my sick bed, and found myself deliriously dreaming about going into a charity shop and finding a 12” of Al-Naafiysh (The Soul) by Hashim for a quid. Which sounds like a fantasy, but was a bit of a pointless dream, as that actually happened at the weekend. When you are dreaming about finding records you have already found, you have got to be ill. Or at obsessive at least…

Strange, being ill – when I was a kid I remember being off school in bed with measles and listening to Radio 1 all day. I don’t think there’s a single radio station I could listen to all day now without it driving me bonkers. I suppose the more music you know, the harder it is to listen to someone else’s selection. There’s also much more extraneous matter on the radio these days – not so many madly irritating jingles perhaps, but more news, more travel, more sports news, more ads. That’s partly because the more music is played, the more the stations have to pay. There’s also the idea of an all-round service rather than it just being about non-stop pop. It’s all a lot busier, and music has been pushed aside to some extent. It means that my listening has necessarily become more selective, and a lot of knob-twiddling goes on. In a purely radio sense, I might add…

Still more letters have arrived about the Please Please Me story; including variants we haven’t listed, or so it appears at first glance. We’ll have a sift through and will be printing the best of them in issue 403. In the meantime, Beatles books have been read and rated by Spencer Leigh, a long-time friend of RC who is a definite Fabs expert. You’ll find his conclusions in the next issue, along with The Small Faces, an interview with Richard Hawley and much more…

Hope you’re feeling well yourself


Ian McCann, Record Collector Editor


In the next Record Collector…


  RC May


In this issue:

The Beatles – Which is the rarest edition of their first album? How many were pressed? In more depth than ever achieved before! Plus a review of recent developments in Fab Four books and a story that looks at some of the less-appreciated elements of their tale.

A major feature on one of the most enduring punk bands, Cockney Rejects (and they’re more than just punk, as those who heard their later albums will know).

An interview with Madness in which they take us back to their ska days

We meet “the German Pink Floyd”, Eloy

And we hear from The Smiths’ Mike Joyce about a new project which includes something big and unseen about the band.



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