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As I am always on the look out for quality music publications, I was curious to find Mojo for 5 pounds in my local Tesco a few months ago. Normally I'm an "UnCut" man but I decided since they are the same price and look quite similar, as Mojo had the better CD I decided to break habit and purchase Mojo. Would I regret my decision? Was it a waste of five hard-earned (not really) pounds? Read on and find out...
Mojo has all the usual features of music magazines, letters,news,interviews,reviews etc. I would say their main focus is on indie rock music but they do branch out with features on different genres. I liked the way they are not mainstream as say "Kerrang", but they do not snob modern music like some other music publications (I'm looking at you, Uncut). The news section is quite good, with interesting music-related stories from around the world. I find their features are always good too, with some great essays on music.
One aspect that lets it down in my opinion is the review section. In comparison to other music mags it is very small. Indeed I find in the average issue you would only find two or three one page or longer
reviews, with most other new releases only granted a paragraph or two. I find this quite disappointing. Books and films are also reviewed but again, these sections are surprisingly small.
One of my favourite things about Mojo is the writing. The writers are obviously very intelligent in the field of music but they do now write like music snobs, the style of the magazine is very accessible and does not alienate the reader. The magazine is also quite full of content, there is not loads of advertising which is good. Id easily get a good hour and half read out of it, reading from cover to cover.
Overall I think Mojo is the best music magazine I have come across.
John Lennon is definitely a legend, there's no doubt about that. With speculation that his killer is to be released from prison, there is widespread outrage at the American Government. If he is released, there is no justice. Average everyday people say things like: "John Lennon was just normal like the rest of us, if his killer's serves his time and paid for the crime, then he should be freed!" These type of comments anger me immensely. John Lennon was not a 'normal' person. Blood ran through his veins, yes. yes, he did eat, sleep and all the rest, just like us. But John Lennon made people happy. He provided a service. For me he's on the same level as Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Poe, Shakespeare, Beethoven, and Mozart!! He saved lives, yes indeed,he was a lifesaver. In your opinion, how many people heard his music? And how many people did it help. He did say some stupid things - but at the end of the day he was more than a normal person, for he was a drug, an antidepressant and a 'saviour'. I love his music. I listen to it alot, but I can never stop thinking what a tragedy it was he died. What would he have gone on to do had he not died? This is a question we must ask ourselves! This murderer, I can't recall his name, and to be honest i don't want to, did not just kill one person!!!! He killed a generation. Imagine how bad so many people felt after Lennon's death. This was an inventor who was behind probably the greatest album of all time, created a whole musical era by it and many hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of people feel spectacular. Lennon was a legend and his killer should pay the price - the price of an unknown number of broken hearts and then some!!
Mojo is the preferred mag for the more mature and highbrow popular music fan. Unlike, say Q, the coverage of bands like Coldplay and Oasis is restrained, even reluctant. Semi-intellectual Artists like Aimee Mann are actually more popular with Mojo's critics. In fact Mojo is more at home talking about bands of yesteryear, which is why many of the main features are critics' "Best Ever" polls, or long, loving, but not unhumorous retrospectives on favoured bands such as Steely Dan and the Beach Boys. In that sense it is probably the best magazine out there for music fans with collections mainly rooted in the Seventies and Eighties. The format of Mojo is typical of its type, with news items in the early pages, followed by features and articles in the main body of the magazine, and reviews in the final third. The actual reviews are intelligent, if occasionally over-effusive, and it is good to see genres like Jazz and Country getting just about equal coverage to rock and pop releases. Generally Mojo is well laid out, with an abundance of colour, making it a cheery read on a train or plane trip. It's probably not tyhe best magazine to learn everything you need to know about obscure lo-fi bands from Wigan, but if you like comfy mainstream music, it's good fun.
Imagine ( excuse the pun!) standing in Sainsbury's in the checkout just after New Year and being a long term Beatles fan and more particularly a long term Lennon fan to see John staring out at me from the silly little magazine wrack with Mojo on the top of him! Bung it in the trolley and get home, settle down to 3 hours of reading! Absolutely brilliant! Then I find the crossword! Closing date in two days, 14 hours on the web, what a weekend, there is so much stuff out there waiting to be read! Finished said crossword and posted off with 24 hours to spare, don't know if I've won yet! What a grest mag, it fills a void that I didn't realise existed in my life, I even bought the March issue on saturday and found out that George had re-released "All Things Must Pass" - what a star, after the year he has had! Try it , you'll like it!
Emap Publications know their business when it comes to music magazines. I wrote a review of Q magazine and mentioned Mojo. That is because both magazines are of equally high quality & both magazines are also from the same company. If you've read Q, take a look at Mojo. This magazine wanders further from the mainstream pop & rock in order to take a look at all our yesterdays. Music more than a year old, isn't necessarily dead is it. We are talking about music to broaden the horizons, and new releases are discussed too. The February 2001 issue has a feature The New York Punk Scene in 1976, but also features new albums from the likes of Frank Black, Dido & Swearing At Motorists. This is the magazine to carry under your arm whilst you wander through the arty part of town. But don't put it down, somebody else might pick it up and nick it!
Having never paid much attention to The Beatles in the past, the last six months have been a period of intense research for me into their lives and their music as preparation for some work I am doing. I've found both their personal and professional lives to be fascinating, and now feel that I am well versed in the history of The Beatles. Last Friday, I was standing in WHSmiths, trying to decide which magazine to buy for that weekend's reading (I'm addicted to magazines, mainly to do with movies). I decided on which one to buy, when all of a sudden MOJO's most recent 'special edition' caught my eye. I've never read MOJO before, but I really wanted this magazine - it had a fantastic portrait of John Lennon on the front and the tagline was 'John Lennon: His Life, His Music, His People, His Legacy'. Can I afford £4.99 for this I asked myself, almost decided no, but then bought it anyway. And wow, am I glad I did. I haven't put it down all week and for the first time in my life I have read every word in a magazine, cover to cover, and I cannot praise it too highly. The magazine is divided into a number of articles, many taking a particular period in Lennon's life and analysing both the personal and professional aspects of that period. I learned many things which I had not known before, despite my recent intense research. One of the great advantages of the magazine is that it doesn't simply regurgitate information from other sources, but has a number of new interviews, including a substantial one with Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono. Another article covers Lennon's comments on all the songs written which are credited to 'Lennon-McCartney'. Many people are still suffering from the misunderstanding that John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote all of their songs together, or that one wrote the music and one wrote the lyrics, but this is simply not true. Althou
gh some songs were written together, 50-50, most were written individually, and the reason why they receive joint credit it due to a gentleman's agreement they made when they were first starting out together. Another substantial part of the magazine is a song-by-song assessment of all the songs which appeared on John Lennon's solo albums, following the split from The Beatles in 1969/1970. There is an article suggesting recommended books for further reading and research, and I think that I am probably going to spend a substantial amount of my next month's pay packet on a few of these recommendations. There is even an article about Albert Goldman, the infamous biographer who produced a book on Lennon (entitled THE LIVES OF JOHN LENNON) which offended many Lennon fans and associates. All in all, this is an excellent magazine, and is one which I think I will refer to many times in the future. Go out and buy it now before it sells out, and well done MOJO for producing a document of such quality. Now how about 'special editions' on each of the surviving Beatles?
Mojo is now the only music magazine I can be bothered to read. That's mainly due to the fact that it's the only music magazine that still believes that music should be made by musicians and not poseurs, accountants or the latest electronic sampler. There's no doubt that the best and most original music you'll ever hear was made many years ago and it's doubtful that there'll be anymore true classics that can realistically sit next to such milestones as Who's Next, Dark Side of The Moon, Brothers In Arms and Bridge Over troubled Water. These are the type of artists and music you'll read about in Mojo with the emphasis firmly on retrospection. It seems that there's a lot of music writers out there who have a lot of interesting stories to tell about the sixties, seventies and eighties when musicians had to work their arses off to convey their talent and work their product without the assistance of CD singles, MTV and overdubbing. Writers who sweated with the artists to tell a realistic story of what went on behind the scenes and in the public eye. The vast knowledge in the minds of these writers coupled with their obvious love of real music and a real knack of being able to convey an image in words is what makes me look forward to Mojo dropping through my letterbox every month. Articles that cover perhaps 9 pages, often including unseen photos, that read almost like mini biographies of artists. I don't just read about the artists i'm familiar with and on more than one occasion i've been persuaded to delve into the catalogue of an artist I previously may have overlooked simply because I feel i've become a fan just by reading and absorbing the articles ritten in Mojo. I find it an education and as someone who has an undying and perhaps obsessive passion for music I find Mojo to be THE most essential literary purchase I make every month. Not only are the articles informative but the magazine
is also a fine reference point for current and forthcoming back-catalogue re-issues. Most genres of music are covered in the reviews section and you can be certain the reviews will be an honest opinion on the music and not a review that's based on how trendy the particular artist is. You won't find any anally retentive letters in Mojo from people who are feeling suicidal because last month's Oasis review was pessimistic. Mojo readers and the writers who contribute to the magazine appreciate that everyone has their own individual opinion on music and that it's more fulfilling to listen to and discuss people's opinions than to slag them off because they differ from someone elses. To me, reading someone else's view on music is an education. What would be the point in reading about what I already know. Listening to what other people have to say is the best form of education (why else would you be a member of dooyoo if you don't want to read opinions!). To put it simply, if you're a fan of the days when musicians knew how to use musical instruments and could sing live without prancing about like they've got a bunch of bananas stuck up their backsides then you'll get a kick out of Mojo. If, however, you think that real music is about ifeminite boys, rude little white rappers and Britney Plastic Tits, then buy Q.
As a music lover of varying tastes i always find something in this quality magazine that makes it worth the cover price. It's informative innovative and a well published mag. No matter what music you like there will be something ti interest you. It will probably broaden your musical tastes and get you listening to stuff you never thought you would. There is also a excellent section that lists concerts,again not just for your big supergroups,but bands right across the spectrum. The articles and pictures that accompany them are of the highest quality. They must have quite an archive of photo's. The part i lke the best though is the new releases section, the way it's broken down into different genre's of music,but also the fact that it lists re-releases as well. Brilliant advertisments throughout a well. This magazine really is for anyone that loves music