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One, Two... Testing

Our 200th issue brings One Two Testing to mu:zines

by Ben | 5th Apr 2018

Our 200th magazine issue goes Active, and I'm very happy that it's the inaugural issue of the publication "One Two Testing".

This was a magazine that I didn't know of, or read back in the day - it was a bit before my time, as I started to regularly read music mags with Making Music in 1986. I first came across it doing magazine research for mu:zines, and marked it as one to watch out for as it seemed in the ballpark in terms of content, with covers featuring the likes of Depeche Mode, Howard Jones, Thomas Dolby, New Order, Heaven 17, Scritti Politti, and, er, Iron Maiden...

Then along came a couple of job lot bundles of 12T on ebay, about 8 issues in each bundle in good to poor condition, and I purchased one of the bundles to see what 12T was like, and whether I should consider it for inclusion. I chose the bundle that had the issue with Howard Jones and the Jupiter 8 on the cover - I still have that New Song 12" vinyl and still love the JP8!

I was pleasantly surprised by how good 12T was. Despite it being a fairly early publication (1982-86), the mag was great quality, had a modern, slick design (compared to some other publications of that era!), had some great content, and a fun, slightly irreverent tone that I used to enjoy from Making Music - which isn't surprising, given that Making Music was formed with much of the same staff from 12T.

I was also slightly annoyed I didn't pick up the second bundle of issues (they went to another bidder). Ah well.

After four years IPC sold One Two Testing to Northern & Shell (publishers of International Musician), and the last year of it's run looked liked being a last gasp in an increasingly crowded sector, becoming more "rock" focused and somewhat thinner.

N&S merged One Two Testing, and the long-running Zig Zag music mag into International Musician (to give it it's proper name - "International Musician & Recording World, Incorporating One Two Testing and Zig Zag" - and in the previous year International Musician had already absorbed Electronic Soundmaker and What Keyboard too!)

12T was a bit harder to collect as issues seem more rare than most, opportunistic ebay sellers aside. I would purchase occasional issues from time to time when they were reasonably priced - no-one's going to pay £20 - £80 for an issue! I bought 23 issues in all, out of the 38 issues published, and I also had some nice donations of a few issues from site supporters, and bit by bit the collection expanded, and was finally completed from a generous donation of mags from Colin Potter, just in time for our second birthday.

Veteran music journalist and 12T contributor Tony Bacon recalls: "We used to say we had the shortest phone number in London: 'Hello, One Two.'" He has fond memories of working on both 12T and Making Music. "We laughed a lot, so we thought the magazine should reflect that. But we also were dead serious about taking a professional approach."

I'm certainly keen to dig in to all the content I missed the first time around, and we now incorporate it into our regular publishing rotation going forwards. And I've had to add a new Topic to the database - "Humour".

Here's the full issue list:
- One Two Testing issues (All)

Thanks to Tony Bacon and Paul Colbert for giving us blessings to archive One Two Testing on mu:zines.

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