Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
Rock's Backpages

Bob Stanley

Bob Stanley

Bob Stanley wrote for Melody Maker and Mojo, before going on to form Saint Etienne. He has had a long parallel career as a music journalist writing for amongst others NME, Melody Maker, Mojo, The Guardian and The Times. After leaving school, Stanley worked in various record shops. While working at Virgin Records in Peterborough he met Andrew Midgley, who later fronted the 1991 side-project Cola Boy. Stanley and Midgley produced a fanzine called Pop Avalanche in 1986. They then produced their own fanzines; Stanley wrote four issues of Caff with childhood friend Pete Wiggs. In 1987 he sent one to James Brown, then live reviews editor for NME. This led to Stanley's first commissioned work, a review of a Johnny Cash show in Peterborough. After two years he moved to Melody Maker, where he wrote regularly until Saint Etienne became a full-time occupation in 1991. He wrote occasionally for The Face and Mojo in the 1990s. In the 2000s he has returned to journalism and contributes regularly to The Times and The Guardian. He has also written liner notes for many reissues, including box-sets by Joe Meek, Sandie Shaw and The Searchers. In 2007 with Paul Kelly he edited Match Day, a book of football programme artwork. He is currently working on his second book, due to be published in 2012.

List of articles in the library by artist

2 Unlimited, Clock, N Trance: Europop: Young, Dumb and Full of Hum

Report by Bob Stanley, Face, The, February 1996

YOUR MUM LOVES the catchy melodies and your little brother fancies the singers. It's not Britpop, it's Euro technotechnotechnotechno and it's in the top ten ...

Adam & The Ants: Stand And Deliver by Adam Ant (Sidgwick & Jackson)

Book Review by Bob Stanley, Times, The, September 2006

STUART GODDARD attempted suicide, aged 21, in 1975. He woke up in Friern Barnet hospital and discharged himself. When he got home to his wife ...

Johnny Cash: Peterborough Country Music Festival

Live Review by Bob Stanley, New Musical Express, September 1987

THE WHOLE town seems to have been waiting for this moment all week... "Hello. I'm Johnny Cash." ...


Interview by Bob Stanley, Melody Maker, January 1991

"I KNOW THAT this is the right time for Denim — I've spent a year plotting. It has to happen now." ...

Doves: Some Cities (Heavenly) *****

Review by Bob Stanley, Uncut, March 2005

Wings of desire: Deeper excursions into melancholy from Manchester's most adventurous ...

Duffy: Rockferry ***

Review by Bob Stanley, Times, The, March 2008

BEHIND THE BLONDE BANGS, you get the feeling there might have been more than the odd moment of self-doubt for Duffy. You can almost see ...

Mark Eitzel: Dark Side of the Loon

Interview by Bob Stanley, Melody Maker, January 1991

"YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER JUST LEFT. He made me laugh, he said Americans don't like having their photo taken and I'd better act for the camera. I ...

Felt: Too Much Monkey Business

Interview by Bob Stanley, Melody Maker, December 1989


Felt: Scents & Sensibility: Felt: Bubblegum Perfume (Creation)

Review by Bob Stanley, Melody Maker, June 1990

WHEN IT COMES TO individuality and wilful peversity, Lawrence's only rival is Prince. In ten years he guided Felt through ten LPs and ten singles, ...

Billy Fury: Breaking Down The Walls Of Heartache

Retrospective by Bob Stanley, MOJO, February 1995

"There's only ever been two English rock 'n' roll singers – Johnny Rotten and Billy Fury." – Ian Dury, 1978 ...

Go Kart Mozart: Go-Kart Mozart: Instant Wigwam And Igloo Mixture (West Midlands)****

Review by Bob Stanley, Uncut, January 2000

No reservations: Former Felt and Denim singer Lawrence presents unsettling novelty electronica ...

The La's: Interview with The La's

Interview by Bob Stanley, Melody Maker, June 1989

THE LA'S ARE NOTHING if not perfectionists. After two years work they've just completed their debut LP - no wonder they look knackered as they ...

LL Cool J: Walking With A Panther (Def Jam)

Review by Bob Stanley, Melody Maker, July 1989

RUMOUR HAD it that this was a bad record — as in crap, not bigger and deffer. Rumour was wrong. ...

Kylie Minogue: Body Language (Parlophone) ****

Review by Bob Stanley, MOJO, December 2003

Cosmetically enhanced pop icon believes there was more to the '80s than Level 42 and stonewashed denim. ...

The Monkees: This Boy Band Never Monkeyed Around

Retrospective by Bob Stanley, Daily Telegraph, March 2012

Fact and fantasy were intertwined in the Monkees, but we'll never see their like again ...

Morrissey: A Lost World: Morrissey: Maladjusted (Island) ***

Review by Bob Stanley, Uncut, September 1997

WHEN I WAS first introduced to the grimy world of record fairs at the start of the Eighties, the places were almost entirely populated by ...

The Pixies: Bossanova (4AD)

Review by Bob Stanley, Melody Maker, August 1990

ONE THING that's always bugged me about The Pixies is the universal acclaim for their LPs – how come no one ever gripes about the ...

The Shadows: Let's Go To Work

Retrospective and Interview by Bob Stanley, MOJO, June 2004

TONY MEEHAN, 15, is kicking his heels in Kilburn one late '50s afternoon when his friend Dave Rees suggests a trip to Soho. He may ...

Slowdive: Younger than Yesterday

Interview by Bob Stanley, Melody Maker, March 1991

"A LOT OF BANDS are so precious about influences, thinking they're massively original. I don't think we are." ...

Sparks: Talkin' About My Generator

Interview by Bob Stanley, Times, The, June 2004

SPARKS PUT the fear of God into preteens with their debut Top of the Pops appearance. As pretty boy Russell Mael flashed his baby blues ...

Dusty Springfield: The Legacy of Dusty Springfield

Retrospective by Bob Stanley, Times, The, April 2009

The greatest girl singer of the Sixties would be 70 this month, but her legacy is evergreen ...

The Stone Roses: Where Angels Play

Report by Bob Stanley, Melody Maker, May 1990

It may not seem it to non-believers, but it's been a mighty long time since the Stone Roses last played a gig. That was at ...

Tanita Tikaram: The Sweet Keeper

Review by Bob Stanley, Melody Maker, January 1990

THE CONNECTION between pop stars and new towns in the Eighties – someone should have done a thesis on it. We had Depeche Mode in ...

World of Twist

Interview by Bob Stanley, Melody Maker, August 1990

MOST ENIGMATIC and downright peculiar of the 1990 Manchester shockwave are World Of Twist. All they have in common with their Manc contemporaries is that ...

List of genre pieces

Where Were You In C86?

Retrospective by Bob Stanley, Times, The, October 2006

THE EIGHTIES HAVE – like the stack-heeled Seventies before them – been repackaged and filed away as an era of Duran Duran, Dynasty and mobile ...

Will the Indie Chart rise again?

Report and Interview by Bob Stanley, Guardian, The, July 2009

In its 1980s heyday, the indie chart was a beacon of top alternative music. Then the majors took over. Now it may get a new ...

Top Of The Noughties Pops

Essay by Bob Stanley, Guardian, The, December 2009

Can Bob Stanley listen to every No 1 song from the noughties and escape with his sanity intact? He recalls a musical decade that ranged ...

back to LIBRARY