One thing I regret about my lifelong addiction to music is that I only picked up on Magazine after the band broke up, and so, until they reformed a few years back, I never got to see them in the flesh.  Part of my ignorance of the band was that I was very much a Buzzcocks boy, and was too stubborn to take notice of those friends who said I should check out the work of the man who was the real inspiration behind the band but who had left before success to pursue his own musical dreams.

So it wasn’t until 1982 that I bought my first Magazine LP – a compilation effort called After The Fact. For weeks, it was the only thing I was listening to….and so the next logical step was to buy all of the band’s back catalogue.

Magazine quickly took their place as one of my all time favourite bands. And just as I was really getting into the band I became a really happy chappy when I read that Howard Devoto was in the midst of recording a solo LP.

Prior to the album, there was a single – Rainy Season. It wasn’t anything like I expected as it was far lighter and poppier than the stuff that Magazine had done. But, I thought then, and still think today, that it is a fantastic record that really should have cracked the charts.

Then the LP – Jerky Versions Of The Dream – hit the shops.

It was a real let-down. I thought it was a rather limp and dull affair and other than the initial single, nothing really jumped out at me. I probably listened to it no more than three or four times, before loaning it to someone. I never ever asked for its return.

But not long after starting the original blog and re-igniting my passion for vinyl I found a second-hand vinyl copy while I was living and working in Toronto in the summer of 2008 together with a copy of the follow-up single taken from the album.

I was therefore able to listen to Jerky Versions Of The Dream for the first time in more two decades and was pleased to realise that it is a work that has aged well. I’m not saying it’s a tremendous and ‘must-have’ record, but it is certainly far better than I recall it being back at the time of its release.

It came on the scene just around the same time as a band called The Smiths were emerging while there was also the huge distraction of so many fresh sounding and exciting bands that I was seeing in and around my home city.  I suppose with hindsight that I was comparing it with all of what was going on and feeling it just wasn’t good enough…..but now I’m prepared to admit that Howard’s debut album that came out just at the wrong time in my life to be properly appreciated.

Here’s the two singles in their 12″ glory:-

mp3 : Howard Devoto – Rainy Season (12″ version)
mp3 : Howard Devoto – Cold Imagination (12″ version)

And how about I throw in the b-side to the latter single simply for the stellar cast that played on it:-

mp3 : Howard Devoto – Out Of Shape With Me

Barry Adamson (bass guitar)
Howard Devoto (guitar & ARP Bass)
Andy Diagram (French horn & trumpet)
Dave Formula (F.S.E. & piano)



  1. Hello JC,
    I’m a huge Magazine fan too. I was lucky enough to catch on to them while they were still going, but I never saw them live (At least, they played live on the French TV show Chorus 1978 and it’s the only time I saw moving images of the band at the time – the show’s on YouTube now).
    I take the opportunity of this post to draw your attention to my latest book. Titled “Discographie personnelle de la New Wave”, it’s sort of my own version of the famous “International discography of the New Wave” volume. Mine is simply a compilation of 200+ record reviews. Magazine are heavily featured, of course, and you can even see a pic of the hand-made “Real life” t-shirt a friend drew for me in early 1980.
    I must warn you that the book is written in French, but it is available as a free download at http://vivonzeureux.fr/newwave So, no risk taken, and and you can also enjoy my four thematic YouTube playlists.
    All the best,
    JC Brouchard

  2. Lovely! I only discovered this very recently, and I think if I’d listened to it alongside Magazine I would have been disappointed. But now it has surprising strengths.

  3. I agree JC, as time has passed, Devoto’s solo effort has gained in my own estimation. It has a sort of maturity that was lost on me at twentysomething but has sounded right for the past decade or so.
    I will add here that I am a Luxuria fan as well. Devoto seems to have a way of reaching me lyrically that goes back to the earliest Magazine songs all the way up to 2011’s No Thyself.

  4. Am I the only one who loved this album from the get-go? I jumped the Magazine train after reading about them in a local New Wave paper. They seemed like prime goods that appealed to the “right” reviewers in said paper, so when I saw a copy of the US LP of “The Correct Use Of Soap,” in the cutout bins I pounced. It had a very different, white/off white cover that I wish I hadn’t traded in after buying the UK CD in 1988. But within a year their [seemingly] final album dropped and the band were history for a long time afterward. Not that they ever would have played where I live at the time. I got the US “After The Fact,” which had lots of non-LP B-sides and alternate versions, in addition to a red sleeve. Why were they always changing the color of Magazine LP sleeves over here? I waited a few years for Devoto to re-emerge with this album. Then he went underground for another few years before Luxuria appeared. “Redneck” had by Noko’s hand my favorite guitar solo in the latter half of the 1980s.

  5. While not in the top 10, I would still include this on the long list of my favorite albums. Magazine appeared on Later with Jools Holland a couple years ago – Devoto still is very charismatic.

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