Cubans In Surgical Gloves


Howard Devoto

So much for not wanting to spend any more money as a result of this blog – Spoilt Victorian Child has drawn to my attention the imminent reissue of the remastered Magazine back catalogue.

Given that a) their first 2 LPs are well up on any all-time list, and b) I don’t own either on CD then more money is likely to be spent.

For the uninitiated, Magazine were led by former Buzzcock Howard Devoto and were one of the first true post-punk bands although oddly they don’t seem to have been a tremendous influence over the years. Whilst debut single ‘Shot By Both Sides’ was close enough to be punk subsequent records saw the band ditch any punk comparisons quite quickly.

If Devoto was the band’s lyricist, at the musical heart of the best of Magazine, were John McGeoch’s guitar and Dave Formula’s keyboards. McGeoch, who sadly died in 2004, was one of my early guitar heroes whilst Formula’s keyboards were one of the distinctive features of the band.

Third LP ‘The Correct Use of Soap’ is often held up as the band’s masterpiece but I confess that it’s not my favourite. I’d have a difficult time choosing between debut LP ‘Real Life’ and second outing ‘Secondhand Daylight’ but last LP ‘Magic Murder & The Weather’ is generally regarded as a substandard outing (McGeoch had by this time left) and general isn’t wrong.

As well as the LPs Magazine also released a number of non-album singles and today’s track comes from one of these.

Give Me Everything

The Magazine back catalogue has been periodically reissued over the years. The LPs are on at least their 4th pressing (2 on vinyl and 2 on CD) whilst there have been at least 4 compilations.

The last major outing was a Best of ‘Where The Power Is’ which was pretty good and a box set which over 2 CDs rehashed a rarities collection ‘Scree’ and a dodgy live LP (after Mcgeoch had left) ‘Play’. Its saving grace though was a third CD which collected the band’s Peel Sessions.

Magazine are another band in which anyone interested in UK post punk rock should take an interest and the reissues can be bought here or here.

An excellent unofficial Magazine site (from whence the photo above has been grabbed) can be found here although it doesn’t seem to have been updated recently.

One Comment

  1. Excellent posting. But I don’t agree with you on the ranking of the LPs. The whole of side one of ‘Soap’ is nigh on perfect. ‘Secondhand Daylight’ is spoiled by ‘The Thin Air’ which is a nice bit of music, but out of place…

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