The more things change…

 In Music, News, Opinion / Rant

I’ve just discovered new magazine The History of Rock.  It’s a monthly that collects the interviews and writing from issues of the NME and Melody Maker, with each issue dedicated to a whole year – starting with 1965.  While that’s far short of a complete history it’s probably fair to say that the 50 years since then covers quite a lot of change.  The two issues I have so far are certainly weighty. The History of Rock 1966With the material drawn from 2 weekly publications there is presumably plenty to work with and I’m enjoying the decision to create a comprehensive coverage rather than simply picking the ‘best’ bits.  It’s fascinating to read the articles, columns and interviews exactly as they were presented at the time (all be it collected together in handy artist themed segments) rather than the normally reorganised and reanalysed that are a natural product of contemporary biographies or reviews that document the era.

1965 and 1966 are unsurprisingly very full of The Beatles, The Stones, Dylan and “new rave” The Who; but I’ve loved finding the unexpected other little nuggets such as 4 pages on the status and future of Pirate Radio (Caroline, London and Luxembourg) and an interview with jazz pianist Bill Evans in issue 1.  It’s also rather odd to see the tone of the writing – respectful and factual rather than the cynical and opinionated that is more normal these days and in 1965 everything (and I mean everything) seems to be “knockout”. It’ll take around 5 years before they get to ‘now’ if they manage to keep going at a rate of 1 year per month and it will be interesting to track how the relationship between writer, press and artist develops.

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