Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Indispensable: MOJO Magazine

Long before the advent of the internet, anyone who was interested in rock music could get information through several various channels. Number 1 was the radio. You also had TV in the form of The Old Grey Whistle Test. You had your mates, who would come up with all sorts of info and recommendations. And you also had The Music Press.
In my formative years of the 70s, we had 2 really big publications for anyone interested in Rock music. The Melody Maker, first published in 1926 and went right through to its merger with NME in 2000 and Sounds who were the new kids on the block and was published from 1970 - 1991.
These were the setters of taste, the suppliers of information and ne stop shop for anything Rock. I used to get these two EVERY week. I bought many an album on the basis of reviews from these papers. You got to know the journalist's taste. Writers such as Chris Welch and Paulo Hewitt.
Another major British music paper was first published way back in 1952 and was a mainstay of music journalism all through the 1960s was NME ( New Musical Express). When punk arrived in the mid 70s, jumped wagon and became the New Wave mag of choice.
I bought NME infrequently and relied on Melody Maker and Sounds for my musical info. Now all these were 'papers' and looked and felt exactly like the current newspapers.
One short lived 'magazine' was SFX which produced its work on a C60 cassette. I think I may even have a couple in the attic. this lasted about a year from 1981-82.
But the big breakthrough came in 1986 with the publication of the first Q magazine.
established by journalists David Hepworth & Mark Ellen, it brought a fresh new face to Rock Journalism in the UK. Featuring colour photographs and more in-depth articles, it quickly became the place to go for quality Rock journalism. Today, it has more of a POP bias but can still contain some good articles.
However, as Q was starting to follow a more Pop template, it left a gap for the more mature music fan. This was duly filled on October 1th 1993 by MOJO magazine.
Since I bought the first publication back in '93, MOJO has become my music Bible. The quality of journalism is fantastic and it has alerted me to many a great new band while still keeping us informed on the comings and goings on our favourite artists.
 It now includes a monthly CD with lots of great music every month and some excellent themed CDs such as the St Pepper CD where various bands produced cover versions of the songs on  the albums.

They also have a great end of year list of the Best Albums in all the differing genres.


I have received MOJO since edition one and have subscribed for most of that time. Subscribers get some nice souvenir covers as seen in the 20th Anniversary Edition below.
MOJO also has an excellent online presence and social media offering which gives excellent up to date information if you're out and about or on the move.
But nothing is quite like getting your hands on the magazine.
It's the magazine I look most forward to popping on the doormat every month.
Twitter - @MOJOmagazine

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