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16 Reviews

Weekly alternative music magazine

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

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      27.04.2001 08:35
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      Melody Maker is dead. I remember this publication from waaaaay back in my youth (and that's a long way) so I'm even sorrier to see it go even though it had been going downhill. It was a weekly publication - originally a tabloid newspaper but in recent years had become a glossy magazine - a mistake I think. They were always good for covering a wide variety of music and NOT just what was trendy or jumping on bandwagons - however this seemed to change once they became a glossy magazine and they turned into little more than a slightly more adult version of "Smash Hits". Nevertheless I will miss 'Melody Maker' as this was my favourite music magazine for coverage of live gigs, the gig guide, new releases of albums and singles aswell as in-depth interviews and the obligatory centrefold posters of bands you wouldn't normally find in trendy magazines. For £1.60 a week you got all this plus humourous columnists, sarcastic letters, contacts pages for penpals aswell as smaller snippets of up-to-the-minute news. The quality of the journalism was, one the whole, very good although one or two writers had their heads firmly up their own backsides!! So, with a sad farewell, I wave goodbye to one of my favourites and wonder where to head from here? I like Kerrang for coverage of heavier bands but find NME too elitist - there appears to be nothing in-between left anymore.

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        26.12.2000 00:59
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        I am still undecided on the merger between Melody Maker and NME. These sort of mergers are destined to be matches made in heaven but often end in failure. While the Mighty NME can only get mightier it is sad to see the demise of a alternative music magazine. I see it as a move in the right direction for broadcasting alternative music information to the nation. It came as a totoal shock to me but in hindsight it was always on the cards. A lot of issues were reviewing pointless issues like states of toilets in festivals and not showing any regard to the music. Another worrying point was that it was spending too much time on ridiculing the british music charts instead of helping new acts to breakthrough. If this negative attitude that MM developed towards the end of its life is eradicated the new magazine will be our new shining light for alternative music coverage.

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        16.12.2000 22:26
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        After 74 years in circulation, one of Britain's finest music magazines has finally been forced to bow to the pressure of the competition, and cease publication. As a music fan, it was sad to hear that Melody Maker magazine will no longer be adorning our newsagents' shelves. I have never been a regular buyer of this magazine, although like its main competitor, the New Musical Express, it managed to persuade someone with mainstream tastes, such as myself, to buy the occasional copy - which was quite a feat. It has been obvious for some time that Melody Maker has been feeling the pinch. In fact, recent pressures had forced the 'Maker' to change to a glossy magazine format, from its previous better known broadsheet inky format. Although Melody Maker had struggled recently to find its feet in a difficult market, it seems incomprehensible that we would now be seeing the end of an era. However, the proliferation of online music content, combined with changing trends has meant that Melody Maker's position in the market was no longer tenable, and this has in the end been the reason for its spectacular downfall. In my living memory, it has always been possible for magazines such as Melody Maker to provide up to date information on current and future music in a manner that was appealing to its once loyal readership. It appears that it has now become more difficult to provide this, and even with limited printed competition, it is no longer possible to sustain a realistic alternative to some of the more mainstream titles. The demise of the Melody Maker will undoutedly strengthen the NME's market share, although how long will it be before we are making similar comments about the fall from grace of Britain's only remaining alternative weekly music magazine? {An original Dooyoo opinion © Blackjane - 2000}

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          16.12.2000 21:10
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          It was announced earlier this week that Melody Maker was too fold after 75 years of existence. The reason given was an ever decreasing circulation, a rot which had been settling in way before the relaunch as a glossy magazine earlier this year. Many people will see this as a bad thing, I however am glad to see Melody Maker disappear into the great recycling bin in the sky. My major problem with MM was then throughout the 1990's it had become increasingly poor and irrelevant. However at one point MM was the best music magazine published. The golden age of MM for me was in the late 80's/early 90's. MM was then a paper not afraid to take risks with the artists it featured and the standards of the journalism it contained was extremely high. I still have copies of MM from this time and have recently gone back to read some of the interviews and articles. These articles still rate as some of the best writing on music outside of the work of Nick Kent (A one time MM writer, His Dark Stuff book is a must have for anyone interested in music and journalism). MM then was like a religion too me, Wednesdays becoming my Sabbath and WHSmiths my church. MM also introduced me too some of my favourite bands as well, without MM I would have probably never discovered The Young Gods, Skinny Puppy, Loop, My Bloody Valentine and many other stunning and unique bands. These groups were written about with real passion and knowledge for the music. A feeling for music that is difficult to find in most of the mainstream music press today. So where did it all go wrong for MM? Well I will believe there was two major factors which sowed the seeds of MM own destruction. Firstly they lose most of the good journalists in the mid 90's to other magazines, a mass walkout that started with the transfer of talent to Muzik. I have heard rumours that this occurred because MM editors at the time wanted to move MM away from covering dance music, a fatal error. <br>The second factor was this move away form covering dance music and other marginal interest music. MM became greatly involved in the whole Brit Pop fandango in the Mid 90's and became more interested in covering Oasis and the associated ilk. Other music was pushed aside and MM became increasingly conservative and tabloid in it's music coverage. MM became the written companion to Brit Pop, both running on stale and redundant notions of music. When Brit Pop began to wane, MM was left directionless and obsolete. All its energies had been spend chasing a short lived musical hype. Brit Pops death was the first nail in the coffin for MM. While MM had been covering Brit Pop at the expense of other types of music, myself and others had given up reading it, because it no longer covered any music of interest. The other main problem with MM was that it had became increasingly tabloid. I remember picking up a copy a few years back and could not believe some of the articles in it. A celebrity darts league is the one that sticks most firmly in my mind. MM had really reached rock bottom with that one. The glossy relaunch of the magazine only highlighted this problem. In my eyes MM had almost turned into a music based version of OK magazine. So it is with no tears in my eyes, that I say goodbye to MM. 10 years ago I would have been in a state of outrage, now I glad their is on less awful music magazine on the shelves. It has been said that the internet killed MM. In that case I say Viva la internet revolution, for now I can get daily updates on the music I care about, written by people with a passion for music.

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            22.10.2000 02:58

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            Melody Maker is different to other music magazines. NME centres on Indie music, Kerrang on Metal and Q on rock. Melody Maker offers a bit of each of these. Many of my friends read Kerrang and say that MM is a boring magazine that centres around every move of Oasis. In one word - WRONG. Melody Maker has good up to date articles and reviews and interesting features. If you are looking for a music magazine that gives credit to all types of music then MM is probably what you are looking for. Also the CD's that MM give away sporadically are a lot better than other music mags.

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            20.10.2000 01:40
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            Lumping Melody Maker in with the NME would be to do the former a disservice because it performs better on all fronts. Primarily a guide to all things independent, guitar based and new it is indispensable for anyone interested in the alternative scene. It is divided up into 4 main sections, news, live reviews, single/album reviews and the features section. Generally the reviews are spot on, although the personality of the reviewer is often given too much latitude. Recently it downsized itself to glossy magazine size, which was a bit of a shock at first, but the content has not lessened in the slightest. My favourite section is each issues soundtrack which describes the best new music around. MM has a lot to offer and there enough in each issue to keep you reading until the next issue comes out.

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            19.10.2000 03:24
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            I have been reading Melody Maker for about 6 months. I only started to buy Melody Maker because I got extremely fed up of having nothing to read after I had read the monthly editions of Q and Select. The only alternatives were to read Smash Hits (extremely boring kiddies pop mag) or to purchase Melody Maker weekly. I chose the right decision and decided on Melody Maker. When I first started buying the mag, there was quite a lot of articles on 'pop' bands (and only a few on hip/hop and alternative), but to my joy, the magazine has turned to alternative music more. The magazine is structured very well. Every week you have interviews, reviews on albums and singles, an ace poster section, a letters page, the album and single chart, info on release dates, tour info and loads more. Every section is very well written and usually contains more info than in many other music mags that are on sale. Even though Melody Maker may look quite thin, it is full to the brin with info, and is a really good read, if like me, you are into alternative music. The magazine is just as good if you want to find out what is going on in the music scene. An ace mag! I really enjoy reading Melody Maker and since I have started reading it, I have started buying albums (that I have read the reviews of from Melody Maker) that I usually wouldn't buy, and I have found lots of new excellent albums that I never knew about. I HIGHLY RECCOMEND THAT YOU READ THIS MAGAZINE. WARNING: IT IS ADDICTIVE. BUY 1 COPY AND YOU WILL BUY IT FOREVER! AT ONLY £1.20 IT'S A BARGAIN

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              15.10.2000 20:31
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              Since it's transformation into a shiny, glossy magazine "Melody Maker" seems to have improved. I wasnt a big fan of the old newspaper-style format, mainly because it was a nuiscance to read if not at home and a pain to carry around. Nevertheless "Melody Maker"'s sales have gone up since it's new look. The magazine focuses on a range of alternative music: indie, metal, hip-hop, dance among other genres. It gives the reader a refeshing break from the "Smash Hits"esque music, and fights to get less mainstream music recognised, which lets face it, is what the charts need right now: something that isnt boy/girl band, so-called "r'n'b" and garage. "Melody Maker" contains a host of engaging features: up-to-date news on bands including new releases and tour news among more major stories, interviews with the best new and old bands around, profiles on up and coming artists, film and TV reviews, gossip, readers corner (mostly involves people bitching about something, this week it's "MM"'s recent review of Radiohead's "Kid A"), competitions to win stuff from free gig tickets to band merchendise) and special features (for example this weeks feature is how alternative British bands are fighting back). "MM" also has reviews on new albums, gigs and singles, the last being reviewed by a guest celebrity each week. However many reviews arent exactly accurate and tend to be rather biased in places, with the band being reviewed instead of the actual album/single/gig. However the reviews are still a good read. Each issue also contains a selection of posters which give readers the opportunity to request a picture of their favoutire band, as well as contain band speicals (e.g. this week's issue contains a Blur poster special). Add to all this an acurate and detailed gig guide, which informs the reader as to which bands are playing round their way every week, an
              d a regular feature which analyses the lyrics to a new song, and "MM" is possibly the best music weekly available. Whereas the NME appears rather snobby and cliquey at times, "MM" offers the most varied music, reviews and information that an average music lover needs to get them through the week. However the NME does have the better website, it must be stated. A very entertaining read.

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                24.09.2000 04:57

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                this weekly magazine keeps me up to date on tour dates, news and reviews. At a reasonable £1.20 i find myself buying it every week. There is always a very wide spread of articles on different bands. Every page is packed full of new and interresting news. Some of my friends who are not particularaly into that sort of music always want a quick read and they always complement it afterwards.Of its genre i think this is in a different class!

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                18.08.2000 19:39
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                Melody Maker was the only music paper I bought. I prefered it to the NME as it had a much less elitist, ore friendly writing style. Medody Maker in its latest magazine style format is a great read. My favourite bit is the wallpaper section in the middle where they print some great posters. You can also request which posters they print, and they'll probably print one - they did one for me once! It has all the latest news and interviews on a wide variety of bands. As with any paper based medium, by the time you read it in the paper you'll have read it on the net, but it the news is indepth and covers a wide variety of music. There are regular free CDs with music from up-and-coming bands and often these are worth the cover price alone. I have found many bands I would otherwise have never heard of from these CDs. It has some great features every week, with both up and coming bands and the established bands. My favourite is Psycobabble where they ask a band member a set of questions like "Do you believe in God?". The answers are always interesting, sometimes unexpected. Mr. Agreeable is possibly the best part of the magazine. A cynical old hack he has no time for anything (except Kula Shaker) and dismisses everything in a string of expletives. The letters page is interesting, usually funny and always heated. It's a great read, something to look forward to on a Thursday. **** Update 16/12/00 **** As of next week, Melody Maker will no longer exist, being merged with NME due to falling readership. I'll be sad to see it go, it always had great features, had a great rapport with both the fans and the bands. It seemed to be more in tune with my type of music than the NME was. I'll buy the NME for a while and see, but I don't know if I'll stick with it. I feel there needs to be two competing papers for this to work. Where's the rivalry, about discovering th
                e next new band first? If the NME doesn't like an upcoming band, where will they get their support from. I don't think the loss of the Melody Maker will benefit music at all. **** Final Update 21/12/00 **** This will be the last I say on this matter, this week being the last issue. It went out with a wimper, the decision to stop printing was so sudden that they where unable to make any announcement in the paper inself, save for an inserted leaflet. I think this was very sad. It would have been great to have one final issue, with highlights from the past and views from the stars. Ironically, it had an "after they where famous" section this week, catching up with some ex-band members after the bands split up. Maybe someone will do a feature like this on the writers one day. The final issue being the Christmas Issue, it was a particularly strong issue with plenty of big names and a review of the year. I recommend you snap it up. It's a great read, after this you won't have another chance to read it, and who knows, one day it might be a collectors item.

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                  05.08.2000 18:11
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                  It's quite sad to see what the Melody Maker has become. Instead of being a rival to NME it now seems to aimed more at Smash Hits readers, particulary with the silly poster pull-out in the middle. Although they do still feature some good up and coming bands they also seem to waste a huge amount of space on whatever seems to be 'trendy' at the time. Fair enough but reading the same stuff about the same nu-metal bands over and over gets tiresome. Also the way they review the singles is a bit odd. They get a band to come in and review them. Seems like a good idea until you start getting people like Daphne & Celeste reviewing them. Generally though, whereas NME has a tendancy to be over-critical, I think Melody Maker does offer more balanced opinions although this can of course leave you a bit confused if NME says something is rubbish and then Melody Maker says it is good.

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                  04.08.2000 18:23
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                  Oh my God! Melody Maker was never my favourite weekly music paper. I always got the impression that MM was often a little more concerned with a band's image, rather than the music it played. I preferred the less fashion conscious pages of NME. But now- Melody Maker has become the indie Smash Hits!! What's going on?? Shiny colour posters of our favourite 'indie' celebrities? It's terrible. It really is just Smash Hits with slightly more alternative bands. I sometimes have a moan at NME for covering more mainstream bands to sell more papers but this is ridiculous! After 'Sounds' disappearing in the early nineties I'm afraid it's now time to say, 'R.I.P. Melody Maker.'

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                  01.08.2000 16:00
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                  It is now some time since the Melody Maker moved into its new magazine format and the signs feel ominous that its days may be numbered. I can never seem to find it available in the many shops I tend to frequent. When I ask do they stock it, the reaction from counter staff is akin "have you made that name up or what?" There is nothing wrong with the move from the tabloid newspaper to the glossy mag, in terms of content. There are positive advantages. It’s easier to carry around and file. However a similar thing happened when Record Mirror made the same move to a smaller magazine format. Theie market contracted. They stopped printing it. Whilst the newsstands bulge with magazines on every conceivable interest known to man and woman. Within each interest group there are a rich diversity of titles. Surely it is not beyond the capabilities of a major magazine publisher other than IPC to produce the same breadth of choice and stimulate the market place. Give the reader more choice. It is difficult to see how the Melody Maker will survive particularly when the online community is so well served with fresh daily news that makes the monthly digests of Q, mojo, uncut, select a much more viable lifestyle choice. Melody Maker has proud history in British popular culture and it is sad to see its decline.

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                    17.07.2000 18:43
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                    I began to buy Melody Maker purely because there is a month to wait between new editions of Q and Select, and I can't stand the format of NME. It is a thin magazine that fits in your bag, and it has 5 posters every week. The articles are usually quite brief, and so there are lots of different bands featured each week. However, you can be disappointed if e.g. "Blur" is written on the cover but it turns out to be a small paragraph about Alex James on page 20. There is loads of gossip and news but some, especially the concert listings, are out of date. They also feature new bands and have quite good brief reviews. I recommend this magazine for anyone with half an hour to fill.

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                    12.07.2000 01:39
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                    I hadn't given the Melody Maker a second glance for years. It always seemed to be the muso's paper, ideal if you wanted to join a band, or buy a bass guitar, but not the best if you wanted some good rock journalism. It was always the NME for me. Now it's switched to the glossy, comic format, it actually seems to be much better - easier to read in the practical sense, but also more inviting, and livelier - it inspires me to listen to the music, which is something the old MM didn't always do. Also there doesn't seem to be any evidence of the old, tiresome anti-NME stance. The music biz Classified section is still there, but it doesn't take over the last half of the paper. Overall - I was pleasantly surprised with the MM.

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