A couple of my Christmas presents from Mrs MPT were Magazine related.
First up is Magazine – The Biography. It’s a timely read given the praise feted on the band’s legacy in the last 12 months. But, as the book reminds you, such universal praise didn;t exist in the band’s lifetime. Indeed around the time of second LP ‘Secondhand Daylight’ the band suffered something of a post-punk backlash for the record’s alleged proggier influences.
Devoto’s relationship with the press at the time was somewhat fraught and I particularly liked the story of how Sounds journalist and arch Devoto critic Dave McCullogh was effectively dumped in an abandoned warehouse for an interview with the great man.
Fascinating though the book is, it’s pretty short and around 120 pages of text. Nonetheless given the involvement of all the surviving band members, it’s an essential read. Get it here.
Less satisfactory is the ‘Live and Intermittent’ CD. It’s indisputable that some of the material on here IS interesting but the sound quality on much of the set is average bootleg quality. Now to be fair, that is acknowledged up front, but it’s still questionable why such material should be made commercially available when there is at least one official recording (The Russell Club show which spawned some B-sides in the ‘Soap’ era that hasn’t surfaced.
Another oddity is that half the CD is devoted to the post McGeoch era, with recordings of the band on the same Australian tour that was documented on ‘Play’. It seems peculiar that the majority of the officially available live material (the vast majority if you include the reunion CD/DVD) doesn’t feature McGeoch particularly since band members admit in the biography thaht the band wasn’t the same after he left.
So ‘Live and Intermittent’ is really one just for completists (who will probably already have it.) You can get it here.
Happy New Year when it comes.