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Classic Pop

Classic Pop March 2020

Classic Pop magazine is the ultimate celebration of great pop and chart music with star interviews, features, news and reviews. From pop to electronic and new wave, dance and indie – it's all here…

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United Kingdom
Anthem Publishing
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min
pete astor you made me

FAUX-LUX/GARE DU NORD For his 10th solo album, one-time Weather Prophet Pete Astor hooks up with assorted indie luminaries for an album of covers – plus one original tune, the witty, rumbling Chained To An Idiot. His casual yet rich vocal pays dividends: Generation X’s Dancing With Myself gets a tender reworking, matched by an intimate reading of Astor’s kindred spirit Loudon Wainwright III’s One Man Guy, and a lo-fi interpretation of Joe Strummer’s Nitcomb is touching, too. John Martyn’s Solid Air, meanwhile, is almost unrecognisable, far less flash yet still oddly hypnotic.…

8 min
vienna ultravox

Were it not for Vienna sleeve designer Glenn Travis’ bold typography reassuring fans that the stark monochromatic cover photo by Brian Griffin was indeed Ultravox, the band’s fourth album could well have escaped the attention of their fanbase, such was the radical change of direction of the group with new lead singer Midge Ure. The stylish image overhaul reflected the musical shift on the encased record, with the glam-influenced art-rock of the band’s previous three albums replaced by sparse synth-pop and killer melodies resulting in a less pretentious entity that was capable of breaking them to a mainstream audience. As the 70s drew to a close, the disarray within Ultravox at the time made the break-up of the band a very real prospect. The lack of commercial success for the John Foxx-fronted…

2 min
the boomtown rats citizens of boomtown

BMG It’s unclear what persuaded Bob Geldof the world needs a new Boomtown Rats record 36 years since their last, not to mention a decade since his own How to Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell. Whatever the inspiration, he and the band’s three remaining members intend to make the most of the situation: coinciding with this seventh album is a book of Geldof’s lyrics, while a documentary’s on the way, plus a UK tour. Despite having reached retirement age, then, the quartet have plenty of energy, even if, like Citizens Of Boomtown itself, it’s largely devoted to looking back. Certainly, their musical references are spliced together in brazen fashion. Trash Glam Baby finds Geldof evocatively recalling the 1970s while leaning heavily on Ziggy Stardust and ‘Heroes’-era Bowie, and Sweet Thing’s no…

3 min
toyah the slade rooms, wolverhampton

18 JANUARY Toyah Willcox is not an easy figure to pin down. From her early days as ‘Punk’s Princess’, she morphed into a multi-coloured pop star, before enjoying later success with presenting, musical theatre and, perhaps most unexpectedly, children’s television. Hard to imagine for those who recall her in Derek Jarman’s Jubilee or leaping about on TOTP, but there’s a generation of 20-somethings out there who only know Toyah from Teletubbies, Brum, and as the lead character in Barmy Aunt Boomerang. Yet whatever path she’s chosen, many of her decisions seem underpinned by a certain rebelliousness, a restlessness, a need to be challenged, and a need not to conform. Out in support of last year’s repackaging of 2008’s In The Court Of The Crimson Queen, tonight’s a relatively intimate appearance, and therefore bit…

1 min
andy bell variance iii – the torsten in queereteria remixes

CHERRY RED Since first playing the semi-immortal, gender-fluid adventurer Torsten at Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2014, Andy Bell has released three albums as “The Bareback Saint”. Each LP also has a remix set, with volume three getting a new twist: Bronski Beat offer a remix of the project’s early single I Don’t Like, as well as a moody take on the recent We Hadn’t Slept For 20 Years. The album highlight is a pulsing, dramatic Matt Pop mix of the same track, though Jerome Froese’s ambient version of Lowland Lowriders runs it a close second. The three radio edits of its parent album’s singles are dispensable except to collectors, as is a solo version of If We Want To Drink A Little, as the fun of the original was Hazel O’Connor’s guest…

15 min
tales of the city

If there was ever a band destined to make a record called City Of Love, it’s Deacon Blue. After all, these themes – of hearts full of hope, and cities full of dreamers – have been the twin engines of their passionate, anthemic Celtic soul music for more than 30 years. It’s a philosophy that arrived fully-formed on their million-selling debut album, 1987’s Raintown – a romantic but clear-eyed portrait of inner city Glasgow at the fag-end of the Thatcher years – and one that’s run like a watermark through their songbook ever since. “I guess songwriters tend to be city people,” muses Ricky Ross, the Dundee-born former English teacher who assembled Deacon Blue in Glasgow 35 years ago. “When you think of the Brill Building, Lennon and McCartney coming out…