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Classic Pop

Classic Pop July-August 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
ellie goulding

BRIGHTEST BLUE POLYDOR Five years since the massive Delirium, Ellie Goulding returns with a fourth album cast as “two-sided”, and not just because, at 18 tracks and an hour long, an interval’s a sensible idea. ‘First side’ Brightest Blue addresses her relationship struggles, and the second, EG.0, her newfound confidence, but it’s easy to lose track: two songs in, Power, a wobbly yet pounding anthem that boldly rejects Madonna’s 80s values – “I’m not a material girl” – is in fact predictably empowering. Still, Woman is a tender piano ballad on which Goulding’s tremulous delivery sounds like a girlish Dolly Parton, and Flux adds strings to soften her cheerleading confusion: “I’m still in love with the idea of loving you… / It’s not enough”. The title track, meanwhile, is a velveteen ode to love notable…

1 min

THE MAKING OF YOU GLASS MODERN Formed by singer Anna Sheard and ex-Soup Dragon guitarist Jim McCulloch, Snowgoose command heavyweight attention. Belle and Sebastian’s Chris Geddes, The Bluebells’ David McCluskey and Pearlfishers’ David Scott guest on their second LP. They’re best showcasing Sheard’s voice at its purest, whether hovering between 70s West Coast folk rock – Counting Time recalls Joni Mitchell and Leonard the more resigned Dory Previn – or Britain’s Fairport Convention, with Sheard’s Scottish lilt on The Optimist reminding us of their roots.…

1 min
cutting crew’s orchestral live plans

Cutting Crew plan to tour their new orchestral album next year. The band released Ransomed Healed Restored Forgiven in April featuring a whole host of their favourite songs given a symphonic makeover. When the world comes out of isolation, Nick Van Eede is taking it on the road with a rather famous band. “We are touring next February with the orchestra in the UK,” said Van Eede, teasing a secret support slot with a major act. “I’ve been told by their manager that I can’t tell you the name of the band, but it’s a big 80s band and us with the orchestra. I think there’s six gigs in the tour so far, so that’s really exciting. God willing, we’ll all still be alive and kicking.” Naturally, the new album features a fresh…

4 min
q+a roger o’donnell

The Cure’s keyboardist since 1987, Roger O’Donnell is also a respected classical and electronica composer. Roger’s fifth solo album, 2 Ravens features vocals for the first time. Touring comedowns in Devon, life with the Thompson Twins and hints of The Cure’s new LP… Roger’s life is certainly entertaining. What was the starting point for 2 Ravens? There were three. Firstly, my director friend Mark Gill had acquired the rights to the story of a Japanese photographer’s amazing life. He took photos of his wife every day, until she said: “If you don’t stop, I’m divorcing you.” He didn’t stop; she divorced him. Instead, he began taking photos of ravens. His wife came back when he was in a coma after he fell down stairs drunk. It’s such an interesting, romantic story. Then…

1 min
the levellers

PEACE ON THE FIDDLE The Levellers are much like a vintage VW camper van: a bit scruffy, they’ve been knocked about a bit and aren’t to everybody’s taste, but no one can deny they’re solid, dependable survivors. Recalling a late 80s Waterboys – but with their eyes on the pub, not the heavens – they remain fired up with a righteous, justifiable indignation, and their Doc Marten rock is still festooned with folkish fiddle like it’s going out of fashion, which of course it probably is. But fashion’s unimportant when you’ve got a social conscience, and they whip us awake with Food, Roof, Family – “Doesn’t everybody want the same thing?” – while Generation Fear reminds us “it’s a fucked up world out there”, which is hardly news but nonetheless true. Still, if Born…

1 min

OPEN WIDE CANDY/THE STATE 51 CONSPIRACY Hailed as an influence by Lady Gaga and Marilyn Manson, performance artist Leigh Bowery was also the inspiration for Boy George’s musical Taboo and a muse for Lucien Freud. Bowery died in 1994 aged 33, just as his band Minty were gaining notoriety for their scatological performances – Bjork and Alexander McQueen attended a Soho residency that was closed down by Westminster City Council for breaking decency laws. Completed after Bowery’s death by his surviving three bandmates, Open Wide is an extraordinary legacy, the missing link between Genesis P Orridge and Scissor Sisters. On Open Wide’s completion, Pulp promptly invited Minty to be the support band on their Different Class tour. Here’s why. Useless Man is LCD Soundsystem in fetish wear, Hold On is The B-52s gone…