In 1977 Howard Devoto (born Howard Trafford) formed Magazine, just shortly after he left Buzzcocks. The classi line-up of the group from 1978 to 1980 was Howard Devoto on lead vocals, John McGeoch - guitar, Barry Adamson - bass, Dave Formula - keyboards and John Doyle - drums. They write all their own music with the exception of the occasional cover. My particular favorite cover tune by Magazine is their rendition of Sly and the Family Stone's "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)". Magazine completely transforms this 1970 funk classic to a post-punk celebration with possible influences being Talking Heads and Brian Eno.
My biggest attraction to the group is - well for obvious reason - they're a pretty good group. I primarily enjoy Howard Devoto's unique vocals, you know it's him right off the bat. He's a quirky very unusual sort of personality and interesting the watch in his music videos.
One of my favorite songs is the 1978 song "Shot By Both Sides", Martin Jackson plays the drums with impeccable timing and puts a good sense of intense joy into what he does. Toward the middle of the song John McGeoch bursts in with an electrifying guitar solo. The entire band goes way above any musical expectations and puts in an outstanding performance on this recording. A classic in it's genre which is deserving of more appreciation on a wider sense of music history.
All four of Magazine's studio albums reached the Top 40 in the UK and one of their live albums made UK #69. In the U.S. they went virtually unnoticed with the except of fans of the genre. They made only one brief U.S. chart appearance in 1980 when their recording of "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" reached #42 on the Dance Music/Club Play singles chart.
Magazine was short lived recording only four albums between 1978-1981. Shortly afterward Howard Devoto released a solo album and then formed the group Luxuria. Most recently Howard Devoto prefromed and co-wrote several songs with Dave Formula on Formula's 2010 album "Satellite Sweetheart".