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Classic Pop

Classic Pop November-December 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

4 min
this month in pop november 1987

O4 Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr and Adam Clayton grace the cover of this week’s Smash Hits. Also featured inside are interviews with Wet Wet Wet, Sting, T’Pau and Black, while The Smiths’ I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish is reviewed in the Singles section. Oh, and if you wanted a poster of Morten Harket for your wall, this was your lucky week. 11 Three weeks on from the stock market crash of 1987, U2 play a free ‘Save the Yuppie’ concert at the Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco. Later, an arrest warrant is issued after Bono spray paints the words “Rock n Roll Stops Traffic” on a fountain. “I am an artist, and that was not an act of vandalism,” the singer said in his defence. 15 T’Pau begin the second of…

12 min
“we were the sound of 200 television sets playing simultaneously”

Has there ever been a band in history quite as reviled as Sigue Sigue Sputnik? Back in 1986, it was almost impossible not to hold an opinion about this gaggle of fishnet-masked, fetish-clad, firework-haired outlaws. Described by their quote-machine bassist Tony James as “hi-tech sex, designer violence and the fifth generation of rock and roll” and with a tabloid-baiting motto of “fleece the world”, Sigue Sigue Sputnik always felt like a band that had slipped through some wormhole from the future, and for most people in ‘86, that future looked frankly horrifying. “I still think our records sound ahead of their time,” says Tony James now. “I don’t think anyone else had conceptualised the idea of a futuristic rock and roll band.” Today, James, who rocked, while in Sputnik, a towering…

1 min
my darling clementine country darkness

Well timed to coincide with Elvis Costello’s latest, this finds the husband and wife duo covering neglected jewels from the bespectacled bard’s back catalogue with assistance from Attraction Steve Nieve – hear him revel on The Crooked Line – and some of Richard Hawley’s band. Edges are repeatedly smoothed: I Lost You sounds oddly like The Beautiful South and Indoor Fireworks lacks the original’s bitterness, but Heart Shaped Bruise suits their country stylings, and I’ll Wear It Proudly’s hooks are sharp enough to ensnare.…

2 min
the videos

WAY OUT While it was released some three years before The La’s, this is, to all intents and purposes, the first single from the album. Shot on a Super 8 camera and reportedly costing just £50, the video cuts between footage of the band playing the song in a tiny white room with their name plastered on the wall in Gaffa tape to busking in the subway underneath Liverpool Lime Street railway station and performing beneath swirling fairground rides that at times appear to come dangerously close to Mavers’ head. Guitarist Paul Hemmings picks away at his Gretsch Tennessean, while Mavers petulantly aims a boot at John Timson’s hi-hat. youtu.be/966GxzNRxaQ THERE SHE GOES As the band released two versions of their biggest single, so there are two videos. The first, for the initial…

1 min
the specials more specials

Jerry Dammers’ expanded musical remit on More Specials may have provoked multiple band member departures within months but that discord is barely hinted at on much of the exuberant material here. Man At C&A offers deep dub, Hey, Little Rich Girl’s ska adds sax by Madness’ Lee Thompson and Sock It To ‘Em JB’s Northern Soul celebrates the James Bond franchise. Spaghetti westerns flavour Stereotypes, while exotica gives International Jet Set a queasy twist before The Go-Go’s help provide Enjoy Yourself (Reprise)’s sardonic finale.…

1 min
eels earth to dora

As if there weren’t bummers enough already, Mark Everett is back with Eels’ 13th album. Even when cheerful – as on the singalong title track, or the jolly but still sceptical fairground ride that’s Are We Alright Again – his air of resignation is palpable. Few make bummers this beautiful, though, as the blunt Are You Fucking Your Ex? reminds us, and when melancholy’s as pretty as Anything For Boo, a distant relative of The Velvet Underground’s Sunday Morning, or the New York-era Lou Reed of the gentle OK, we’re happy.…