I hear the sirens calling
As the rain is gently falling

Won’t get spooled again

If you bought the NME during the 1980s, you’ll no doubt remember some of the compilation tapes given away free with the paper throughout the decade. I’ve got a tall and wobbly stack of NME tapes sitting on a shelf somewhere, but I haven’t heard any of them for yonks – not least because I don’t own a tape player these days. So I am very pleased to have discovered Press Play And Record, a website with digital rips of many of these superb compilations.

“C86” is perhaps the best known NME tape, its title briefly giving a new name to the jangly guitar music it featured (The Wedding Present, The Mighty Lemon Drops and The Shop Assistants, to name just a few), but my favourite has long been the wildly eclectic “C81”. The highlights include Cabaret Voltaire, The Specials and Robert Wyatt. It’s brilliant to hear the NME‘s jazz, blues and R&B collections again too, especially “Stompin’ At The Savoy”, a neck-jerking assortment of belters and honkers which first appeared on Savoy Records back in the 1940s.

The NME tapes were compiled by journalist Roy Carr, who’s never really got the credit he deserves for these spooled delights. Roy began writing for NME in the late 1960s and put together tapes and later CDs for all the IPC Media music magazines – Melody MakerMuzikVox and Uncut as well as the NME – for around 30 years.

Harold Pinterest

I’ve joined Pinterest. I’m really not sure what I’m expecting to achieve by this, but I’ve been and gone and done it all the same. I’ve created five “boards” so far and I’m pretty pleased with the way they look, although I’m not sure that being pleased with the way your boards look is the point of it all. You can see my boards by clicking here. I’ve put up some old Melody Maker and Muzik clippings from my archive site and a few bits from this blog, but my favourite board is called Harold Pinterest, which consists of photos of Harold Pinter. LOL, eh?

Anyway, I’ve been “pinning” for a couple of weeks now, but I haven’t got very many followers yet. In fact, I have precisely zero followers. Then again, I’m following precisely zero people myself. I have had something “repinned”, though, which means somebody has pinned one of my things on one of their boards. Well, I think that’s what’s happened.

Thank you for the Muzik

Junior Vasquez on the cover of Muzik (1995)

Carl Cox on the cover of Muzik (1995)Josh Wink on the cover of Muzik (1995)LTJ Bukem on the cover of Muzik (1996)Whoever’s responsible for the Muzik Magazine website deserves a hefty slap round the head and a hefty slap on the back. Scanning every page of every issue of Muzik (99 issues between 1995 and 2003) and turning each magazine into a downloadable PDF is an infringement of copyright on a grand scale. The publishers, IPC Media, are almost certain to try to close the site down if they ever got wind of it. Then again, Muzik has been out of print for nearly 10 years and the downloads are free, so nobody’s making any money out of the project. And it must have taken weeks and weeks to do all that bloody scanning and PDF-ing. It’s obviously been done by someone who has a large amount of love for the magazine.

As the editor of Muzik for the first 40-odd issues, I probably shouldn’t be telling you about this site. I also probably shouldn’t be telling you to grab what you can while you can. Tsch.

Junior Vasquez, Carl Cox, Josh Wink and LTJ Bukem photos by Vincent McDonald