In the UK, there has always been an abundance of magazine publications, all suited around whatever hobby or interest you could have. Model trains, cross stitching, running, photography, almost anything had a magazine. My big interest was always music. And, in the days before you had music recommendations at a click of a button on Spotify, you had music magazines, and the odd radio show.
From, when I started earning my own money, I always bought music magazines. It started off with Smash Hits, moved on to Kerrang, Rocksound, NME and Q. There then became more niche magazines, Big Cheese covered punkier stuff, then Metal Hammer got heavy metal. Magazines would often give away free tapes, then CDs, so you got a taste for the bands you were reading about. I always liked different music, so I would buy different magazines, to try and absorb as much information as possible. If you wanted to find out about music out with the Top 40, you had to work for it. Which is why magazines were so important to me when I was younger.
Unfortunately, more and more of the publications that I used to buy, are closing. With Q Magazine being the latest victim. After 34 years of publication, the magazine has published it’s final issue. And it is hard to imagine, in these days, where music seems instant, that a major way I discovered music seems to be dying away. There was a time, when pondering a career path when I was at school, that I thought about journalism, in particular, music journalism. I had never been the most accomplished writer, but I loved the idea about showing appreciation for something I loved. To shed light on bands and albums I loved. It sounded pretty magical.
These days, if you like a certain genre, or listen to certain bands, the music streaming service you listen to, will recommend new music. It’s seamless, and almost effortless to find something new. I liked reading about a band’s exploits, about their history, and understanding about the band members. I also loved reading reviews on gigs, especially if I was discovering a new band. It’s not the same anymore. Even pop music, there is no music on TV anymore. When I was younger there was Top Of The Pops, CD:UK, even Popworld. Shows that created a buzz, and added a bit of personality to the most generic bands.
I know things move on, but it makes me sad.