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Ian Birch

Ian Birch

Ian Birch wrote for Melody Maker, Smash Hits and other magazines before becoming Editorial Director at EMAP and editing TV Guide in America. He is currently Director of Editorial Development & Special Projects at Hearst Magazines.

List of articles in the library by artist

The Adverts: Reading The Adverts

Profile and Interview by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, August 1977

THE NEW WAVE scythe has brought about a dual personality in programming for a lot of the more established clubs. ...

Alternative TV: Vibing Up The Senile Man (Deptford Fun City Records)

Review by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, March 1979

WHEN MARK Perry gave up editing Sniffin' Glue, he started a band that has turned out to be a logical extension of the famous punkzine. ...

Laurie Anderson: Ian Birch Investigates Wonderwoman

Profile and Interview by Ian Birch, Smash Hits, October 1981

EVERY SO often a single snaps out of nowhere and startles everyone. You've probably never heard of the singer before (and few of them survive ...

Bananarama: We All Broke Down And Cried

Interview by Ian Birch, Smash Hits, March 1984

The last eight months have been a "nightmare" for Bananarama. Ian Birch finds out what went wrong. ...

Kate Bush: 'What I Did On My Holidays' by Kate Bush, As Told To Ian Birch

Interview by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, June 1981

LATE LAST year not even jump leads would have revitalized the Kate Bush batteries. She was so exhausted that she took the only sensible course ...

The Creatures: Bamboo Music

Interview by Ian Birch, Smash Hits, April 1983

Deep in the jungle, something stirs. Strange drums beating, the cries of wild animals, a ghostly chanting sound...This, says lan Birch, can only mean one ...

The Cure: Practical Poprock

Profile and Interview by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, March 1979

That's the Cure, the no-image band who do more with less to charismatic effect. IAN BIRCH probed the mystery. ...

The Damned, Ducks Deluxe, Rockpile: The Damned, Rockpile, Ducks Deluxe: Venue, London

Live Review by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, January 1979

DESPITE THE eleventh hour location change, the Venue was packed. ...

Devo: We Are Devo. We Are The Next Thing

Interview by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, February 1978

Ian Birch talks to an American band with heavy friends – like Eno and David Bowie ...

Dire Straits

Report and Interview by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, March 1978

THEY SEEMED to come out of nowhere: Dire Straits, that is. Suddenly last year London's bitter-and-Number-Six grapevine was buzzing with the name. Everyone wanted to ...

Doll By Doll: Remember (Automatic Record Co.)

Review by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, March 1979

AS OFTEN happens, the rock 'n' roll romance blows hot and then cold before it settles down to a realistic affair. ...

Doll By Doll: Entropy Is Just Another Word For Nothing Left To Lose

Interview by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, September 1978

"If you go walking in the street today/be sure and listen what the young boys say/they know the colour of speed is red/you don't become ...

Duran Duran: On A Wing And A Prayer

Report and Interview by Ian Birch, Smash Hits, August 1982

Duran Duran stop over in California and find they have to get out and push. Words: Ian Birch. ...

Earth Quake, Greg Kihn, Jonathan Richman, The Rubinoos: Beserkley Records: The Fabled Label

Overview by Ian Birch, Sounds, October 1976

SOME PLACES become legendary. Mystical meccas for the besotted. That is usually until you sample them first hand. ...

Brian Eno, Talking Heads: Talking Heads: More Songs About Buildings And Food (Sire)

Review by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, July 1978

David Byrne (singing, guitars, synthesized percussion); Chris Frantz (drums, percussion); Jerry Harrison (piano, organs, synthesizer, guitar, background vocals); Tina Weymouth (bass) and Brian Eno (synthesizers, ...

Nina Hagen: Nina Hagen Band (CBS)

Review by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, May 1979

SAY HELLO to the next Euro cult sensation. ...

Hall & Oates: A Mutant Romance

Interview by Ian Birch, Sounds, June 1976

Daryl Hall & John Oates – boy, if you think Dave Bowie had the Philly Soul enigma variations bag sown up with 'TVC 15' you're ...

Heaven 17: Another Chapter In "The Rocky Road To The Top"

Interview by Ian Birch, Smash Hits, May 1983

"I KNEW The Human League were about to break. We'll take a lot longer but we'll do it in the end." ...

The Human League: The Big League

Interview by Ian Birch, Smash Hits, October 1981

1977 ― progressive, poverty-stricken, "hip". 1981 ― accepted, bankable... (and still "hip"!). Ian Birch charts the past and plots the present with The Human League. ...

The Human League: The Cyclic And Random Lyric Organisation System

Profile and Interview by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, February 1979

CARLOS for short. IAN BIRCH talks to the Human League, Sheffield Novorockers with a weakness for torch ballads. ...

Michael Jackson: The Biggest Selling Solo Artist Of All Time

Report by Ian Birch, Smash Hits, March 1984

Quiet out there. Michael Jackson's record company is throwing a party and Ian Birch has got an invite. A few famous folk, dancers in top ...

The Jam: Invasion of the Riff Snatchers

Report and Interview by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, April 1979

Can a bunch of ordinary guys repeat the British Invasion? IAN BIRCH watches the Jam take on America. ...

Jefferson Starship's Paul Kantner

Interview by Ian Birch, ZigZag, November 1976

LIKE A KANTNER COMPOSITION, this interview was virtually plucked out of the air. I was all set to leave San Francisco but, knowing the Jefferson ...

Kansas: Wayward Sons in Slot Machine City: Kansas

Report and Interview by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, February 1978

TWO DAYS in Las Vegas and your grip on sanity begins to slip. You can even buy a T-shirt there emblazoned with the gem: "I've ...

Nils Lofgren: New Victoria, London

Live Review by Ian Birch, Sounds, May 1976

I REALLY wanted to be knocked over, under, sideways, down by the concert. Especially after last November's disappointingly patchy performance. I mean right from those ...

Kirsty MacColl: A Chip Off The Old Block

Interview by Ian Birch, Smash Hits, June 1981

"DON'T ASK A lot of questions about me Dad!" pleads Kirsty MacColl, flicking back the glorious swathe of hair dotted with tell-tale Red Indian braids. ...

Modern Romance: So This Is Romance?

Profile and Interview by Ian Birch, Smash Hits, November 1981

Modern Romance start up a conga. Ian Birch mooseys on down to take a look. ...

Van Morrison: Into The Music (Mercury)

Review by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, August 1979

NOWADAYS, PEOPLE don't so much discover Van Morrison as grow old with him. ...

The Only Ones: Even Serpents Shine (CBS)

Review by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, 1979

SINGLES can often be deceptive signposts for forthcoming albums. When ‘You've Got To Pay’ slipped out a few weeks back, it didn't augur well for ...

The Only Ones: Ones-off

Interview by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, September 1977

SOMETIMES you feel so...er, hypocritical. Let me explain. The project in hand was an interview with The Only Ones, who over the last couple of ...

Pere Ubu: Five Alive in Ohio

Interview by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, November 1978

LAST Saturday in Cleveland, Ohio, the bona fide booji were out in force on the street. In America, any event (however minor) is invariably heralded ...

Pere Ubu: The Pere Tree

Profile and Interview by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, May 1978

Ian Birch introduces Ohio's latest 'overnight sensation', Pere Ubu ...

Punishment Of Luxury: Dishing out Punishment

Interview by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, September 1978

"It's really crazy to think you've got to get crazy to be happy. I don't think you can be so logical as to estimate your ...

The Ramones: Ulster Hall, Belfast

Live Review by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, September 1978

IT WAS A TRICKY confrontation. John Ramone stepped out of the hotel lift and after a brief moptop nod of recognition dived into the obvious ...

The Rezillos: Cold Wars

Report and Interview by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, December 1978

"Because Fay and I are going out together, when you have a group argument it invariably gets personal. Things that you dislike about people become ...

Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers: Hammersmith Odeon, London

Live Review by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, September 1977

IT CONFOUNDED all expectations. Cross a children's pantomime with a Charlie Chaplin movie and filter it through a gawky highschool kid who mimes awful ...

Jonathan Richman: In Love With The Modern World

Profile by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, September 1977

On the eve of Jonathan Richman's first British tour, Ian Birch traces his career ...

Bruce Springsteen, Patti Scialfa: Patti Scialfa: Red-Headed Woman

Profile and Interview by Ian Birch, Q, August 1993

ABOUT AN HOUR and a half from New York going south down the New Jersey Turnpike and then east on the Garden State Parkway is ...

Scritti Politti

Profile and Interview by Ian Birch, Smash Hits, November 1981

From the underground...To the charts? We want hits, say the former cult heroes. Quite right, says Ian Birch. ...

The Sex Pistols: Sex Pistols Bootlegs

Review by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, October 1978

Sex Pistols: Indecent Exposure (It's A Dirty Business) (Rotten Records – bootleg album)'Anarchy In The U.S.A.'/'Belsen Was A Gas' (Rotten Role – bootleg single). ...

Siouxsie & The Banshees: The Giraffe Looked At Siouxsie

Report by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, February 1979

"WHAT DO you think of it, then?" sneered Siouxsie Sioux as we slipped into the Kurfurstendamm, Berlin's notorious main strip, which is like Oxford Street ...

The Skids: Scared To Dance (Virgin)

Review by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, February 1979

PREPARE yourselves for a thorny contender. The Skids are a relatively new four-piece from Scotland who, apart from their current single 'Into The Valley', have ...

Dusty Springfield: Goin' Back – The Very Best of Dusty Spingfield; Dusty – The Legend of Dusty Springfield

Review by Ian Birch, MOJO, June 1994

"I love Dusty Springfield. I wanted to name our daughter Dusty but I knew we couldn't because, I mean, Dusty Springsteen...She had a nice big, ...

Dusty Springfield: Theatre Royal, London

Live Review by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, April 1979

IT WAS a significant week for Mary O'Brien. Not only did she turn 40 but, after endless cancellations of provincial dates due to sparse ticket ...

Shakin' Stevens: The Secret Life Of Shaky

Interview by Ian Birch, Smash Hits, July 1983

He never gives interviews and keeps well out of the public eye. In fact, the 'real' Shakin' Stevens is a bit of a mystery. Ian ...

Talking Heads: De Montfort Hall, Leicester

Live Review by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, December 1979

THE apres-gig lig is, as usual, gruesome. ...

Village People: Go West (Mercury)

Review by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, April 1979

FRONTIER experiments rise and fall, but showbiz pop goes on forever. It's always been that way, and there's nothing to suggest that the Eighties will ...

Wham!: "We're No Con!"

Interview by Ian Birch, Smash Hits, September 1984

... but they used to be. Wham! now think that their whole ''Bad Boys" look is "pathetic" and they "can't believe how many people bought ...

Wham!: The Sundance Kids

Interview by Ian Birch, Smash Hits, August 1983

A year ago Wham! made records and simply had fun. Now they've got managers, gossip columns and solo careers to worry about. Ian Birch hears ...

List of genre pieces

Rough Trade Records: The Humane Sell

Report and Interview by Ian Birch, Melody Maker, February 1979

Rough Trade aim to break down the barrier between the consumers and the consumed. ...

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