Correct Use of Soap (1980)

Song: "A Song From Under the Floorboards"
lyrics | sound clip (Falkner version) | sound clip (Magazine version)

1. Because You're Frightened
2. Model Worker
3. I'm A Party
4. You Never Knew Me
5. Philadelphia
6. I Want To Burn Again
7. Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)
8. Sweetheart Contract
9. Stuck
10. A Song From Under The Floorboards

Album Review:

Magazine: Howard Devoto (vocals); John McGeoch (guitar, background vocals); Dave Formula (keyboards); Barry Adamson (bass, background vocals); John Doyle (drums, percussion); Laura Teresa (background vocals). Abandoning the icy soundscapes of SECONDHAND DAYLIGHT, 1980's THE CORRECT USE OF SOAP revisits the itchy post-punk pop territory of Magazine's debut REAL LIFE. This time around, Magazine comes armed with its strongest set of songs and a tighter, funkier group sound. The Manchester quintet continues to push the envelope in directions that punk's narrow confines would never allow, and others took note. Barry Adamson lays down a snaky, pulsating bass, locked into John Doyle's crisp drum patterns, while Dave Formula's flamboyant keyboard textures and John McGeoch's incisive guitar play seem destined for bigger things. Against this backdrop, Howard Devoto's half spoken, half-sneered oratory, replete with Beckett and Dostoyevsky references, exudes authority. "You Never Knew Me" and "Sweetheart Contract" are the kind of barbed, distrustful intellectual love songs at which he had become so adept. On "A Song From Under the Floorboards," Devoto is "an insect." The cover of Sly Stone's equally troubled "Thank You (Falletinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" is perfectly at home in such company. Like Wire and Joy Division, Magazine isn't afraid to encourage expansion of its generation's depth and perspective.

- Yahoo! Music
1991-2001, Muze Inc.

Mini - Bio:

After leaving the Buzzcocks in 1977, vocalist Howard Devoto formed Magazine with guitarist John McGeoch, bassist Barry Adamson, keyboardist Bob Dickinson, and drummer Martin Jackson. One of the first post-punk bands, Magazine kept the edgy, nervous energy of punk, adding elements of art-rock, particularly with their theatrical live shows and shards of keyboards. Devoto's lyrics were combinations of social commentary and poetic fragments, while the band alternated between cold, jagged chords and gloomy, atmospheric sonic landscapes.

Magazine performed its first concert in the fall of 1977 and were signed to Virgin Records by the end of the year; by that point, Dickinson had left the group. The band recorded their first single, "Shot by Both Sides," as a quartet; Devoto had written the song with his former Buzzcocks partner, Pete Shelley. Appearing in early 1978, the single gathered good reviews on both sides of the Atlantic and charted in the U.K., peaking at number 41. Before they recorded their debut album, keyboardist Dave Formula joined the lineup. Real Life, released later in 1978, continued the confrontational, arty pop-punk of "Shot by Both Sides." Following their first tour, Jackson left the group and was replaced by John Doyle.

The new lineup recorded the band's second album, Secondhand Daylight (1979). Secondhand Daylight was somewhat of a departure from the debut, featuring more keyboards, smoother rhythms, and streamlined lyrics from Devoto. Despite its ambitiousness, the record was poorly received by the press. During this time, McGeoch played with Siouxsie & the Banshees and Adamson, Formula, and McGeoch were part of Visage, along with Steve Strange. At the beginning of 1980, the band released their third album, The Correct Use of Soap.

In the summer of 1980, Magazine released "Sweetheart Contract," which became their second and last British chart hit, peaking at number 54. After it hit the charts, McGeoch left the band to become a full-time member of Siouxsie & the Banshees; he was replaced by Robin Simon. Magazine toured America and Australia, recording a live album called Play, which was released at the end of 1980. Simon left at the end of the tour, with former Amazorblades guitarist Bob Mandelson taking his place. Magic, Murder and the Weather was released in the spring of 1981; it proved to be Magazine's last album. Devoto left the group in May of 1981 to pursue a solo career and the band broke up shortly afterward.

- by Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide
1999 AEC One Stop Group, Inc.

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