As this month's fine edition rolled off the editorial John Bull printing set, we took a good, proud, look at it and thought to ourselves "Who are that bunch of miserable black-clad geezers on the cover?"
The answer, of course, is Lloyd Cole and his Commotions, or at least some of them. And why are they looking miserable? Because they're intellectuals, that's why. And intellectuals are supposed to look angst-ridden, tortured, suffering for their art and so on and on. Look at Morrissey, for example. A fine specimen of the Glad To Be Glum movement, if ever there was one. In recent months we alone have featured gravel-voiced grimmeister Tom Waits, Miserable Mac and the Bunnymen, Sad Sade... oh, loads of the highbrow lowlife.
Maybe it's a reaction to the crazed grins of Wham!, Black Lace, Madonna, Shakey and their like, but it's definitely hip to be a drip these days. As the average age of the record-buying public soars and the main bulk of the music market moves on from UB40s to XR4s, they want subtlety, brains, and soulful sorrow to match their Habitat 'Despair' mat black wallpaper.
So we bid farewell to cheerfulness and Pop - from now on the tone will be serious, concerned, even funereal. Richard Walmsley has already vowed to wear a long black veil for the rest of his life, and Bob Henrit's started sporting black sweatbands. Not a joke will be found in these pages this month, nary a quip or an anecdote. And we're changing the name to Intellectual Musician.
Now where did I leave my early Blues albums — I must go off and sample some authentic misery...
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