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Magazine – Real Life (1978)

February 22, 2020

[Album 727/1001]

Is this the real life?

Is this just fantasy?

I’m guessing when assembling their fantasy lineup for a music supergroup, most people don’t choose Martin Jackson as their drummer.

Admittedly, prior to this album, I was unfamiliar with his work.220px-Magazine_-_Real_Life

Although he may not unseat Stewart Copeland behind the drum kit in my lineup just yet, Martin’s subtle details really enhanced the 9 tunes here.

Mr. Jackson reminds me a lot of Phil Rhodes (Gin Blossoms), especially with a couple of his delightful details on the opener, Definitive Gaze:

1. Delayed cymbal hits (on the 2nd beat, rather than on the downbeat)

2. Opening the hi-hat towards the end of a song section, to increase the urgency

For me, it’s those sorts of details that take a song or an album from Good to Great.

I suppose having a producer like John Leckie (The Stone Roses, The Bends) probably didn’t hurt either.

And seeing that I was also frequently reminded of Supergrass when listening to Magazine’s debut, if this is indeed the Real Life, life is good!


Verbalize the Positive

Cheers to the years 1977-1983. I used to think that window was a relatively weak era for music.

How wrong I was & how nice it’s been to be proven wrong, repeatedly!

From → 1970s

  1. Only know a little Magazine, but 1977 to 1983 is great. Elvis Costello, Talking Heads, The Jam, Blondie, The Clash, Joy Division/New Order, The Cure.

    • A formidable list for sure – though surprisingly, even though The Cure is by far my favourite group from that list, I think each of the others had a stronger 77-83. Though The cure from 85-2000, I don’t think many artists can compare!

      • I don’t quite have a handle on my favourite Cure stuff yet. I’ve been enjoying Wish lately – never checked it out until very recently.

      • It’s among my favourites – especially Doing the Unstuck, as perfect a track as I’ve heard!

    • Squeeze. Im really digging them lately.

  2. This album is one of the greats. 77-83 wasn’t bad I lived it.

  3. On the VC list to check out further. Ta.
    Every era has it’s gems and gooseberries, doesn’t it?

    • Fortunately, this would be closer to an era gem!
      Speaking of gooseberries, I remember having a white wine years ago (I believe from NZ?) named, “Cat’s Pee on a Gooseberry bush” – despite the unappetizing name, it was surprisingly potable!

  4. I think you should pack it in as a teacher Geoff and become a producer. I mean I make my case here with these 2 points…

    1-Delayed cymbal hits (on the 2nd beat, rather than on the downbeat)

    2. Opening the hi-hat towards the end of a song section, to increase the urgency

    Wowzers Fella your a pro!

    • Cheers Deke – though I fear I’d overuse those 2 details. It would probably lose its effectiveness if every single song had the delayed cymbals / open hi-hats!

      • You sound like a seasoned producer with that kind of talk.

  5. John McGeoch was a game-changing guitarist too, this and his work with Siouxsie and the Banshees … Phew!

    • Good to know – I still have to get to a couple of Siouxsie albums, looking forward to hearing his work there!

  6. I only know a few bits and pieces of Magazine, but liked what I heard. I’ll throw this on the ‘check out’ list.

    • And that probably sounds like my experience – after 1 album I feel like I’ve only heard a bit of their work, but I certainly liked what I heard!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. 1978 | 1001albumsin10years

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