Magazine – Virgin Records – 1978

Shot By Both Sides

My Mind Ain’t So Open

Gloriously fine debut 7″ single from Magazine. Dedicated to all the folk that travelled down to London to see the reformed band (less John McGeoch of course) perform these last two nights, and for those travelling up to Manchester today.

Photograph is of Howard Devoto hanging down the Roxy club in Covent Garden during 1977.

Text from Da Wikki…

The band was formed in Manchester by Howard Devoto shortly after he left The Buzzcocks in early 1977. In April 1977 he met guitarist John McGeoch, then an art student, and they began writing songs, some of which would appear on the first Magazine material. They then recruited Barry Adamson on bass, Bob Dickinson on keyboards and Martin Jackson (previously of The Freshies) on drums, to form the first line-up of the band, which signed to Virgin Records. The band played their debut live gig at the Rafters, in Manchester, on 28 October 1977.


Dickinson, whose background was in classical and avant-garde music, left shortly after a number of gigs in late 1977, and in early 1978 the band released their first single ‘Shot By Both Sides’, recorded by the band as four-piece and an only guitar-bass-drums sound similar to punk. Shortly after the single’s release, Dave Formula,who had also played with a 1960’s shortly famed rock band from Manchester called St. Louis Union, joined as keyboardist. ‘Shot By Both Sides’, the chorus of which shared the same progression as The Buzzcocks’ ‘Lipstick’ reached the Top 50 in the UK singles chart. Its cover was an early example of the goth influence in punk. The band, with Formula on keyboards, made its first major TV appearance on Top Of The Pops in February 1978, performing the single.


Following a British tour to promote their first album ‘Real Life’, Jackson left in late July, and was replaced briefly by Paul Spencer, who performed with the band for gigs across Europe and some television appearances, including the Old Grey Whistle Test, where they played ‘Definitive Gaze’. Spencer quit partway through the tour, joining The Speedometors shortly afterwards, and he was replaced in October by John Doyle, who completed the Real Life promotional tour and remained in the band.


In 1979 the second album, ‘Secondhand Daylight’, a more experimental and more keyboard and synthesizer based material, followed. The same year, McGeoch, Adamson and Formula joined electronic project Visage, recording and releasing the single ‘Tar’.


After the release of the album, Devoto decided to change producer, choosing Martin Hannett, who produced their next album in the same year, ‘The Correct Use of Soap’. Following its release John McGeoch decided to leave the band, tired of the low sales of the band’s previous recordings and their not so guitar playing-oriented songs joining Siouxsie And The Banshees. To replace him the band called Robin Simon, who previously was in Ultravox and Neo. That line-up toured across Europe and Australia, recording their next release, the live album ‘Play’. Simon made some initial recordings and rehearsals for the ‘Magic Murder And The Weather’ album, including co-writing the song ‘So Lucky’, but he left the band before the album was released so that he could record on the John Foxx solo album The Garden.


Again without a guitarist, Devoto called in his former college mate at Bolton, Ben Mandelson (former Amazorblades member). This lineup completed the recording of ‘Magic, Murder And The Weather’ in 1981, but Devoto quit in May of the same year months before its release of the album. A year later, ‘After The Fact’, the first Magazine compilation was released.


Adamson continued collaborating with Visage, and also began to work with The Birthday Party and Pete Shelley, Formula continued as member of Visage and joined Ludus, Mandelson joined The Mekons, and Doyle joined The Armoury Show in Scotland in 1983, along with John McGeoch.

  1. luggy
    February 14, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    So were the old egghead & co any good then?

  2. slyme68
    February 14, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    yes, they were super. excellent guitarist. they’d packed the venue so much you could hardly move, though, let alone dance. the girls got a bit scared at one point it was so squashed. spizz was hanging out with new boots on holding up this flashing light message thing saying he’s playing at the 100 club in may.

  3. shammy leather
    shammy leather
    February 14, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    I loved this track by Magazine, remember watching them perform it on TOTP on BBC 1, and recall how impressed I was by the guitar solo. Who said that “punk bands” couldn’t play? Later seeing them on the Old Grey Whistle Test doing “the light pours out of me” WOW amazing track !

  4. John No Last Name
    John No Last Name
    February 14, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    R.I.P John McGeoch easily one of the most talented and innovative guitar players of the era.

  5. Stewart
    February 14, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    One of my most favouritest bands in the world, ever… Correct Use of Soap I would say is actually their best album, but they were always a cut above most others, lyrically and musically 🙂

  6. jon (ex-from bromley)
    jon (ex-from bromley)
    February 15, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    i was at the thursday gig and extremely impressed. still sounds incredibly innovative and far more adventurous than most of the post-rock stuff i listen to these days.
    noko did an excellent job on guitar and it was good that he limited himself to using the same gear as McGeoch
    good review of Fridays gig in the Guardian on saturday that commented on the audience being “mainly black clad males of a certain age”. I for one was partly clad in green 🙂

  7. John No Last Name
    John No Last Name
    February 18, 2009 at 2:03 am

    Thanks for posting that Luggy, though I must admit to having a hard time dealing with how much Howard Devoto looks like Dr Evil these days. They still sound great though and Barry Adamson is still about the coolest person ever to play bass while wearing a hat.

    Also in their post Magazine bands you managed to omit the fact that original drummer Martin Jackson played drums for “swing out Sister” on their annoying hit “breakout”.

  8. John Serpico
    John Serpico
    February 19, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    On a similiar note, I saw Buzzcocks playing the Paradiso in Amsterdam the other week – playing the first two albums in their entirety – and I’m pleased to report they were in excellent form. Pete Shelley was in fine voice and Steve Diggle seemed to be having the time of his life. Not sure if it was still the bassist and drummer from Lack of Knowledge but they were really good too, particularly the drum solo at the end of Late For The Train. It frightens me to imagine how old they are now but they’re showing no signs of tiring. Good stuff.

  9. bob
    March 27, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Looks like that vids been taken down by Magazines new label, didn’t even get a chance to download it! Here’s Light Pours out of me from Oxford, I did a few on a very cack camera but there’s loads more still on the tube, ey it took me back….

    And I was in red (and black) 🙂

  10. Pete
    June 25, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Does anybody please know when Magazine played in Oxford New Theatre 1979 – 80 ish and who supported them, thanks

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