Magazine – Touch And Go: Anthology 02.78-06.81

Howard Devoto and Barry Adamson in their post-punk pomp

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Howard Devoto fled The Buzzcocks just in time to miss their success, though his work with Magazine suggests his ambitions were never commercial. This remastered two-disc compilation includes all singles and b-sides, and selections from all four albums, all weighted towards their masterpiece, The Correct Use Of Soap.

It’s bracing stuff, and if the remastering detaches the synth from the body of the sound – nodding towards Joy Division – there’s still something thrillingly persuasive about the marriage of Devoto’s alienated lyrics and the funky muscle of Barry Adamson’s bass: think Cold War Kafka set to Sly Stone. At their best – “Song From Under The Floorboards”, “Give Me Everything”, “Sweetheart Contract” – Magazine are a collage of misshapes, getting funk slightly wrong, with Devoto viewing love as a puzzle with no solution in “a bright and clever hell”.

ALASTAIR McKAY

For more album reviews, click here for the UNCUT music archive

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