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Jon Savage

Jon Savage

Born in the Chinese year of the water snake, Jon Savage self-published the punk fanzine London's Outrage in late 1976 before being snapped up by Sounds a few months later. His first task to was to do Wire's first ever press interview. After writing about all matters Punk and Electronic for 18 months, he jumped ship to Melody Maker and then, in early 1980, to The Face, where he remained for eight years. At the same time, he wrote for New Society and the New Statesman about pop culture and ran the Observer's first pop music page.

At the end of the 1980's, he turned inward to write England's Dreaming: Sex Pistols and Punk Rock, the award-winning and still definitive history of UK Punk. The television programme based on the book, "Punk and the Pistols", aired on BBC2's Arena in 1995, directed by Paul Tickell. England's Dreaming has remained in print constantly since 1991, with a revised edition published in 2001. It will be republished again by Faber and Faber this spring. A CD based around the book, England's Dreaming: Before During and After Punk, was issued by Trikont Records, Germany, in autumn 2004, and is still in print.

During the 1990s, Jon Savage published a collection of journalism from 1977 to 1995, called Time Travel: from Sex Pistols to Nirvana. He worked as writer on the BAFTA award winning BBC2 Arena documentaries "The Brian Epstein Story" (transmitted 1998) and is currently finalising a book on 20th century youth culture. He still writes about music for MOJO and his most recent production, Meridian 1970: Protest, Sorrow, Hobos, Folk and Blues - a compilation of psych rock break beats and acid folk - is currently out on Heavenly Records/ EMI.

List of articles in the library by artist

The 101'ers, The Clash, Joe Strummer, The Sex Pistols: Joe Strummer

Interview by Jon Savage, unpublished, May 1988

This interview was for Jon Savage's classic punk book England's Dreaming, and is published here in its entirity for the first time. ...

801: Listen Now (Island)

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, October 1977

I DON'T know what I expected, but I thought it would be good (I mean credentials: Roxy Music/ Eno/'Diamond Head/’Tomorrow Never Knows'/Nico/etc.) but this wasn't ...

ABC: Past Imperfect, Future Tense

Interview by Jon Savage, Face, The, January 1984

On the dreamstage of a pop-music fantasy, ABC were cast as the perfection of a glossy ideal. But their irony was misread, their clothes misconstrued. ...

A Certain Ratio, The Distractions, Echo & The Bunnymen, Joy Division, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, The Teardrop Explodes: Joy Division/Echo & The Bunnymen/OMD/Teardrop Explodes/The Distractions/ACR: Leigh Valley Festival, Lancashire

Live Review by Jon Savage, Melody Maker, September 1979

Angst in an East Lancs wasteland ...

The Adverts, The Damned, Motorhead: The Damned/The Adverts/Motorhead: The Roundhouse, London

Live Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, April 1977

I FIRST saw the Damned at the Roundhouse last November. Shortly after the release of 'New Rose'. Although the 45 had been successful the set ...

Devo, Jane Aire & The Belvederes, Rachel Sweet, The Waitresses: Various Artists: The Akron Compilation (Stiff); Short Circuit — Live at the Electric Circus (Virgin)

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, June 1978

OH JESUS! After Devo, the (marketing) deluge. ...

Alternative TV: Sniffin' Glue…

Report and Interview by Jon Savage, Sounds, July 1977

NOW: THE ROXY these days is not what it was – whatever shrill camera-lens sense of event there was in the Andy Czezowski days has ...

Aphex Twin: Machine Soul: A History Of Techno

Overview by Jon Savage, Village Voice, The, Summer 1993

Oooh oooh Techno cityHope you enjoy your stayWelcome to Techno cityYou will never want to go away– Cybotron, 'Techno City' (1984) ...

Arctic Monkeys: Favourite Worst Nightmare

Review by Jon Savage, Observer, The, April 2007

Don't be fooled by their common touch: the cheeky chimps are special. Jon Savage hears them make sense of the modern world ...

The B-52s: B-52s (Island)

Review by Jon Savage, Melody Maker, June 1979

Yesterday's Sound Tomorrow ...

The Beatles: Live At The BBC

Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, January 1995

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS on from their demise, The Beatles continue to exercise a hypnotic spell as the ur-myth of modernist pop culture. As befits the group ...

The Beatles: The Outtakes

Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, November 1995

Behind every great Beatles track is a version not quite so good. But not necessarily less interesting... Jon Savage listens to the outtakes. ...

Björk: The Always Uncjorked Björk

Interview by Jon Savage, Interview, June 1995

POSING FOR PHOTOGRAPHS in a studio high above Covent Garden, Björk is exactly like her image – a little taller, perhaps, but everything else is ...

Black Sabbath: Greatest Hits (Vertigo)

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, December 1977

ENGLAND CAN be depressing to the point of insanity...grey oozing days for months on end...rows of mean streets, pinched people...clausterphobic scrapyard vistas of country turned ...

Blur, Oasis: The Marketing Of Britpop

Overview by Jon Savage, Artforum, October 1995

RECENTLY I returned from the US into a British news media dominated by a by-election in the North West of England. The point about the ...

David Bowie: Lodger

Review by Jon Savage, Melody Maker, May 1979

ANOTHER YEAR, another record. Like Burroughs, David Jones, rootless, looks for unconventional commitment: Burroughs found it in junk, control-systems and predatory homosexuality; Jones found it ...

David Bowie: Peter And The Wolf

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, May 1978

THE RELEVANCE of this classical record to the 'rock marketplace' is quite frankly marginal but evidently heavily counted upon by RCA in their wisdom. ...

David Bowie: Stage

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, September 1978

SO: THE next stage. The ending of one, the beginning of another? But of course, all the world's a stage. Aaaaaaah... ...

David Bowie: The Gender Bender

Comment by Jon Savage, Face, The, November 1980

"WHAT DO YOU want to be when you grow up, David?" ...

Bow Wow Wow

Interview by Jon Savage, Face, The, October 1980

Pop, that disposable distraction, is mostly about transience: it’s the order of the perpetual child, the moment! Not that those last long these days. Most ...

The Buzzcocks: Buzzcocks: Love Bites

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, September 1978

VULNERABILITY MEANS never having to say you're sorry... ...

The Buzzcocks, The Fall, John Cooper Clarke, Joy Division, Magazine, The Negatives, The Prefects, The Worst: Buzzcocks/Magazine/John Cooper Clarke/The Worst/The Fall/The Prefects/The Negatives/Warsaw: Electric Circus, Manchester

Live Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, October 1977

Prime Manchester venue closes... Power cut at the Electric Circus ...

The Buzzcocks, The Clash, The Jam: The Clash, The Jam, The Buzzcocks: The Rainbow Theatre, London

Live Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, May 1977

Rock ‘n’ roll can be one of the few honest things left in this world.Yes.An event, a gathering of the clans.Yes.But it was all down ...

The Buzzcocks, Johnny Moped, Wire, X-Ray Spex: Buzzcocks/X-Ray Spex/Wire etc.: Running with the Ratpack

Live Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, April 1977

ROXY RATPACK, Saturday nite. Find a friend and stick close: sink or swim. Tony and Julie were right: a club full of 'Wild Boys' outtakes ...

Cabaret Voltaire: Something strange is going on in Sheffield tonight

Interview by Jon Savage, Sounds, April 1978

INSIDE THE HOUSE, an hour to kill before going into town. Hungover. Sit on the sofa and watch TV with the sound off. A tape ...

Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band: Grow Fins

Review and Interview by Jon Savage, MOJO, June 1999

"That’s right, the Mascara Snake." And even if it isn’t, someone will put it in a box set one day. A feast of leftover Beefheart ...

Charlatans, The (US): The Charlatans: The Amazing Charlatans (Big Beat CDWIKD 138)

Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, November 1996

First legitimate release of much-bootlegged material by the first San Franciscan psychedelic group. Features album recorded for Karma Sutra in 1966, plus demos from late ...

The Chemical Brothers: Chemical Brothers: Heeeere we go!

Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, July 1999

The Chemical Brothers: Surrender First album since 1997's chart-topping Dig Your Own Hole features guest vocals from Noel Gallagher, Hope Sandoval, Jonathan Donahue and Bernard ...

Chrome: Alien Soundtracks

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, June 1978

REMEMBERING THAT electricity comes from other planets... ...

Gene Clark: Flying High (Polydor)

Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, 1998

UNTIL RECENTLY, Gene Clark has been one of rock's best kept secrets. Harassed by his Byrd colleagues, ignored as the real inventor of country rock ...

Gene Clark: White Light

Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, August 2002

"THERE WAS so much I was told that was not real," Gene Clark croons on the haunting 'With Tomorrow', "so many things I could not ...

Kurt Cobain, Nirvana: Kurt Cobain: The Lost Interview

Interview by Jon Savage, Guitar World, 1997

In July of 1993, Kurt Cobain gave a dramatically candid interview to respected British rock journalist Jon Savage. Freely discussed were such controversial topics as ...

Cornershop: When I Was Born for the 7th Time

Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, Fall 1997

THIS IS A GOOD party record: loose, funny, warm – exemplary genre-trashing by musicians who have a great recollection (as they chant on 'Brimful ...

Elvis Costello: This Year’s Model

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, 1978

THE INSULT that made a man out of Mac(manus). As runs the hype: get sand kicked in your face (or whatever), keep on punching your ...

Creedence Clearwater Revival: Creedence Clearwater Revival

Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, December 2001

FOR A FEW SEASONS as the '60s turned into the '70s, Creedence Clearwater Revival were the biggest band in the world, with their incredible US ...

David Bowie, Gary Glitter, Roxy Music, Sweet, T. Rex: Divine Decadence: Memories Of Glam

Retrospective by Jon Savage, Gadfly, October 1998

GLAM — or as it was originally called in the UK, Glitter Rock — flourished from early summer 1972 to summer 1974: shorter than Hippie, ...

Devo Look Into The Future!

Profile by Jon Savage, Sounds, November 1977

DEVO/DEVOID/VOID/DEVOTED/DEVOLUTION: Savage attempts a discrete distillation. Devout. Things are not as they seem, nor as they have been reported.... 'The cities are our major source ...

Devo: Are We Not Ready?

Interview by Jon Savage, Sounds, March 1978

THE FIRST THING you notice on arrival at Koln airport is the modernity and organization. No baggage queues. No pre-fab ramshackle buildings. ...

Disco-Tex and his Sex-O-Lettes: Disco-Tex and His Sex-O-Lettes: Get Dancin'

Sleevenotes by Jon Savage, Castle Records, 1999

It's all about wonder the power to be like thunderexpressing electricity It's the greatest show with the best effectssince Disco Tex and the SexolettesPet Shop ...

Bob Dylan: The End Of Innocence

Retrospective by Jon Savage, MOJO, June 2001

WHAT AFFECTS you in your early teens goes very deep. By the time that you're 18, identity construction is already advanced, but at 11 you're ...

The Electric Eels: The Eyeball Of Hell

Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, May 1998

THE ELECTRIC Eels operated in a no-man's land that now seems fascinating: that mid-'70s moment between glitter and punk rock. It wasn't as though they ...

13th Floor Elevators, Roky Erickson: Roky Erickson: One Flew Out Of The Cuckoo's Nest

Retrospective by Jon Savage, Sounds, July 1977

'After you trip, life opens up – you start doing what you wanna do...c'mon, C'MON let it happen to you...' – 'Roller Coaster', 13th Floor ...

Bryan Ferry

Interview by Jon Savage, MOJO, October 1994

BRYAN FERRY SHOULD NEED LITTLE introduction. The first five Roxy Music albums – Roxy Music, For Your Pleasure, Stranded, Country Life and Siren – defined ...

Flying Lizards: The Flying Lizards: The Flying Lizards (Virgin)

Review by Jon Savage, Melody Maker, February 1980

WHY DID THE hit maker make an LP? Because it was expected of him. Slips down easy. ...

Gang of Four: Entertainment (EMI)

Review by Jon Savage, Melody Maker, October 1979

THE Four are ambitious; and so they accept the process. ...

Generation X Put The Boot In

Interview by Jon Savage, Sounds, July 1977

GENERATION X. In the 60's: a book wherein 'youth speaks about itself'. In the 70's: a 'new wave' band which does the same, on the ...

Gorky's Zygotic Mynci: Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci: Aberconwy Centre, Llandudno

Live Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, October 1995

WITH ITS BARDS, novelists and massed choirs, the Eisteddfod is the central event in the Welsh cultural and social calendar: what is less well known ...

Grateful Dead: The Golden Road (1965-1973)

Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, January 2002

Mammoth 12-CD overview of Haight-Ashbury's finest, featuring improved sound, thorough annotation, extra tracks and hidden bonuses. All together: "Shall we go, you and I, while ...

Grateful Dead, John Oswald: The Grateful Dead: Europe ’72, Hundred Year Hall, Grayfolded 1969-1996 (with John Oswald)

Review and Interview by Jon Savage, MOJO, December 1995

Far out, too much: people still sneer at The Grateful Dead, using these phrases as a kind of sardonic shorthand to dismiss high-‘60s ideals. But ...

The Jam: London Hammersmith Odeon

Live Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, December 1977

FRAGMENTATION STRIKES DEEP... as punk "culture" is guided firmly into several easily categorizable (and therefore easier controlled)/marketable segments(divided we consume), it's clean teen night. ...

Jefferson Airplane: Surrealistic Pillow/Crown Of Creation/Volunteers

Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, March 1998

Straight mid-price reissues of the Airplane's second, fourth and sixth albums – first time in the UK for Surrealistic Pillow ...

Joy Division: An Interview with Martin Hannett, 29th May 1989

Interview by Jon Savage, Touch-Vagabond, 1992

JS: How did you come across Joy Division? ...

Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures

Review by Jon Savage, Melody Maker, July 1979

"To talk of life today is like talking of rope in the house of a hanged man." Where will it end? ...

Joy Division: From Safety To Where?

Comment by Jon Savage, Melody Maker, June 1980

ABOUT MIDDAY on Sunday, May 18, Ian Curtis was found dead by his wife in the kitchen of his house in Macclesfield. Although the exact ...

Joy Division: Someone Take These Dreams Away

Retrospective and Interview by Jon Savage, MOJO, July 1994

HERE ARE THE young men, a weight on their shouldersHere are the young men, well where have they been?We knocked on the doors of hell's ...

Judas Priest: Killing Machine

Review by Jon Savage, Melody Maker, December 1978

THE LEAD SINGER sweats redly, tuffness of the strategic stud decorations unable to blind the look of uncertainty in his eye for the camera as ...

Kak: Kak-Ola (Big Beat/Ace)

Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, 1999

KAK'S ONE and only album – released in the US during January 1969 – captures the Bay Area boom at its furthest outreach. ...

The Kinks: The Kinks BBC Sessions

Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, April 2001

NO DOUBT it's their sheer longevity, but The Kinks remain curiously undervalued: often cited as a key neo-Mod/Britpop inspiration – as if that's anything to ...

Kraftwerk: The Man Machine

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, April 1978

SEE THE record cover. See the four men in red shirts and black ties. See them stand in line. See them in profile in the ...

Lady Gaga, Valentino: Lady Gaga's New Gay Anthem

Comment by Jon Savage, Guardian, The, February 2011

Has Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way' got what it takes to be a classic gay anthem? Jon Savage on the debt she owes to a ...

John Lennon: Imagine (Apple/EMI)

Review and Interview by Jon Savage, MOJO, April 2000

Straight reissue of classic album, with digital remastering treatment. ...

Love: Forever Changes

Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, March 2001

ONE OF the most persistent canards about the mid-'60 – propagated by baby boomer marketing and right-wing journalism – is that the hippies were hopelessly ...

Magazine Article!

Interview by Jon Savage, New York Rocker, 1982

"Well I say what I mean/I say what comes to my mind" – 'Boredom' "Whatever makes me tick/It takes away my concentration" – 'Breakdown' ...

Magazine: Real Life

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, June 1978

'I'm faking an extravagant journey, also it seems to me...' ...

Magazine: Love And Devotion

Live Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, November 1977

Magazine: The Electric Circus, Manchester ...

Manic Street Preachers: A Design For The Future: Manic Street Preachers

Interview by Jon Savage, Dazed & Confused, 1996

What follows is a transcript of an interview Jon Savage did with Nicky Wire in February 1996, during which Nicky agreed to talk frankly and ...

Hank Marvin, The Shadows: Four-Eyes, One Vision: The Shadows

Interview by Jon Savage, MOJO, February 1995

BRIAN RANKIN GREW UP IN NEWCASTLE: WHEN he was 16, in 1957, he travelled to London with his school friend Bruce Welch "in an attempt ...

MC5: The MC5: The Big Bang (Rhino)

Review by Jon Savage, Dave DiMartino, MOJO, February 2000

First overall retrospective of seminal late ‘60s/early ‘70s rabble rousers: includes material from all stages of their career. ...

The Middle Class, The Negative Trend, The Weirdos: America’s Dreaming: California Punk, 1978

Book Excerpt by Jon Savage, England's Dreaming, 2001

25.8.78: This is my first visit to the U.S., let alone the West Coast, and I know that I’m on another planet, especially when, at ...

Moby Grape: Vintage: The Very Best Of Moby Grape

Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, November 1993

MOBY GRAPE BEGAN IN 1966, arguably the decade's peak; they fell apart in 1969, a time of madness, desolation, dread. Between the optimism of ‘Hey ...

Giorgio Moroder

Retrospective by Jon Savage, Request, 1997

SO YOU THINK Giorgio Moroder and you think of Donna Summer's pornographic 'Love To Love You Baby' and all that followed, but there's more to ...

My Bloody Valentine: Feedback to the Future: My Bloody Valentine

Interview by Jon Savage, 20/20, Spring 1991

THERE MAY BE A HALF-FORMED thought in your head, buzzing vaguely like low-level background noise, that the language we use to talk about music – ...

Nico: The Marble Index

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, September 1977

"FROZEN WARNINGS close to mine, close to the frozen borderline......" ...

Nirvana: Kurt Cobain (1993)

Interview by Jon Savage, Rock's Backpages Audio, July 1993

Childhood in Aberdeen WA; 'Teen Spirit' and making it; Courtney Love and marriage; drugs and the stresses of success; Vig vs Albini; that notorious MTV Awards incident – it's pretty much all here.

File format: mp3; file size: 96.7mb, interview length: 1h 45' 35" sound quality: ****

Nirvana: Sounds Dirty: The Truth About Nirvana

Report and Interview by Jon Savage, Observer, The, August 1993

SITUATED ON 51st Street and Broadway, in the heart of the old entertainment area, Roseland is a New York institution. In the 1920s it was ...

Nirvana: The Death of Kurt Cobain

Report by Jon Savage, Observer, The, July 1994

DEPENDING ON your view of the afterlife, suicide may or may not be the solution to a life that has become unbearable. For ...

Gary Numan: Apollo Theatre, Glasgow

Live Review by Jon Savage, Melody Maker, September 1979

THE FACE of '79 doesn't belong to a mod, punk, or to anyone so sectarian, but to Gary Numan, and it's time we faced up ...

Gary Numan: Playing To The Aliens

Interview by Jon Savage, Smash Hits, November 1979

John Savage finds out what success means to Gary Numan. ...

The Olivia Tremor Control: Olivia Tremor Control: Black Foliage (Blue Rose/ V2)

Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, 1999

THE GOOD NEWS is that this double album maintains the high quality of OTC's Dusk At Cubist Castle, which updated the methodology of classic psychedelia ...

Penetration: Moving Targets (Virgin)****

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, October 1978

WE'RE NOT the same, you're not the same, they're not the same. ...

Penetration: The Future Is Female

Interview by Jon Savage, Sounds, December 1977

ACCELERATION DON'T go to my head...London – a module, self-contained, trapped in an ever-accelerating time/style warp: a week seems like a month in our brave ...

Pere Ubu: Dub Housing

Review by Jon Savage, Melody Maker, November 1978

A week is a month and you could be forgiven for thinking that the times would catch up with Pere Ubu (and overtake them) as ...

Pere Ubu: The Modern Dance

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, February 1978

Dance to a Modern RomanceDirections: Fast and asymmetrical… ...

Pere Ubu: Heart of Darkness

Interview by Jon Savage, Spin, July 1991

Pere Ubu remains one of the most influential, innovative groups to emerge from the mid-'70s American punk-new wave movement. JON SAVAGE listens to some pearls ...

Iggy Pop: Kill City

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, January 1978

SO, NO RAW POWER retreads – it's only possible to live that once – but afterburn: the Ig goes right TO THE EDGE; LOSES CONTRACT/band/sanity/life ...

Iggy Pop, The Stooges: Iggy & The Stooges: Raw Power

Retrospective by Jon Savage, Dazed & Confused, 1997

ONE HUGE problem with 1997 is not that rock groups are everywhere but that they are almost without exception over-promoted, overindulged and half-baked. ...

Iggy Pop, The Stooges: James Williamson: Real Time Musician From Kill City

Interview by Jon Savage, Sounds, February 1978

A PHONE CONSERVATION with James Williamson at his present home in Claremont, half-an-hour outside Los Angeles. Mainly to talk about the newly released 1975 Pop/Williamson ...

The Prefects: Live 1978: The Co-Op Suite, Birmingham

Sleevenotes by Jon Savage, Caroline True Records, 2006

This recollection of a March 1978 concert was revived nearly 30 years after the event for Caroline True's issue of a full Prefects live show ...

Elvis Presley: Love Him Tender, Love Him True

Book Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, December 1994

Peter Guralnick: Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley ...

Public Image Ltd: Public Image Limited: The Flowers Of Romance (Virgin)

Review by Jon Savage, Face, The, April 1981

A typically caustic, sardonic title: the thorn in the rose. If much of the current chart has much of the grace and flow of 1966 ...

Public Image Ltd.: The Factory, Manchester,

Live Review by Jon Savage, Melody Maker, June 1979

A Quick One While No-One's Thinking ...

The Ramones: Road To Ruin

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, September 1978

JOEY RAMONE sips tea, strikes Janet Street Porter pose... ...

The Ramones: Rocket to Russia

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, November 1977

NO MORE shock tactics. Just arrow-straight at your teenage hearts....Wuz wrong! Thought they wanted to be the Byrds (those haircuts, see....); now know they want ...

The Ramones: Rainbow Theatre, London

Live Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, January 1978

VERMILION, AFTERWARDS (taking in with a sweep of her arm the splendid rococo-deco vastness of the Rainbow gallery): "Rock'n'roll belongs in the pits, not here". ...

The Ramones, The Saints, Talking Heads: The Ramones, Talking Heads, The Saints: The Roundhouse, London

Live Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, June 1977

AND I'M supposed to be objective about these guys when I've lived with their first album for 15 months? When that was one of last ...

Red Krayola: Red Crayola: Soldier-Talk (Radar)

Review by Jon Savage, Melody Maker, April 1979

IN A CURRENT context of confusion, Soldier-Talk appears to be a good idea. ...

13th Floor Elevators, Red Krayola: Thirteenth Floor Elevators: Psychedelic Sounds Of.../Red Krayola: Parable Of Arable Land

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, October 1978

THESE ALBUMS are famous, if at all, for not being famous. Now that the all too seductive veil of obscurity has been lifted (and therefore ...

Lou Reed: Street Hassle

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, March 1978

WHAT DO you expect from someone who's been playing rock'n'roll for nearly 15 years, in a business where age is to be feared rather than ...

Lou Reed: The Bells (Arista)

Review by Jon Savage, Melody Maker, May 1979

WHAT DO you buy when you buy Lou Reed, and do you still need to buy him? ...

R.E.M.: Post-Yuppie Pop

Interview by Jon Savage, Observer, The, May 1989

"I COULD TURN YOU inside out! But I choose not to!" R.E.M.’s singer Michael Stipe, back arched, is bellowing into a megaphone. Five songs into ...

The Residents: Residents: Meet the Residents *****; Third Reich 'N' Roll *****; Finger Prince *****

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, December 1977

NOT FOR the faint-hearted. Be warned. Residents specialise in cultural sabotage, sonic rearrangement, cryptic capers. They are (at the same time) very funny and vary ...

The Residents: 'Beyond The Valley Of A Day In the Life'

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, November 1977

TO THE RESIDENTS, nothing is sacred, least of all themselves. Whether you love/hate the Residents, whether you've heard of them, don't care, matters not at ...

Cliff Richard: The Great Pretender

Interview by Jon Savage, MOJO, February 1995

CLIFF IS THE ARCHETYPAL BRITISH POP STAR. Born in 1940, his extraordinary career began with the release of his first record, 'Move It', in autumn ...

Cliff Richard, The Shadows: Move it! The Butch Rock 'n' Roll Explosion

Retrospective by Jon Savage, MOJO, February 1995

FOR MOST PEOPLE OF 40 AND UNDER, British pop begins with The Beatles: this is the view that has been encouraged by rock writers ever ...

Jonathan Richman: Johnathan Richman: Hammersmith Odeon, London

Live Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, September 1977

CONTRADICTION. (I don't wanna grow up; there's too much...) ...

Tom Robinson Band: The Tom Robinson Band: TRB Two (EMI)

Review by Jon Savage, Melody Maker, March 1979

Just Easing The Liberal Guilt ...

The Rolling Stones: Remasters Series

Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, November 2002

IN A ROCK ERA where back catalogue is king, The Rolling Stones have hitherto been ill-served by their servants. Their one-time peers The Beatles have ...

Saint Etienne: Foxbase Alpha

Sleevenotes by Jon Savage, Mantra Records, 1989

There are still plenty of real Londoners who sleep the night in London as well as work the day there - some in love, some ...

The Saints: Wild About You (Raven/Hot)

Review and Interview by Jon Savage, MOJO, December 2000

First stellar collection of the Aussie garage punks’ late ‘70s triumphs: two CDs, 47 tracks, sleevenotes, unseen photos and discography. ...

The Screamers

Profile and Interview by Jon Savage, Melody Maker, January 1979

IT’S a truism to say that you have to decide which is real – you or Los Angeles – but like most truisms, it has ...

The Seeds: Merlin's Music Box

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, April 1978

In which Sounds scribes bring long ignored or deleted albums to your attention. No star rating necessary – naturally, they're all Very Important Platters ...

Seefeel: Quique

Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, January 1994

MUSIC ALWAYS SEEKS TO BREAK THE BOUNDS of language: indeed, the language of words is often inadequate to describe what music does as it enters ...

The Sex Pistols: Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, November 1977

Here am I – there are you – here's the Sex Pistols. ...

The Sex Pistols: A Seance in Finsbury Park: The Sex Pistols Reunite

Live Review by Jon Savage, Spin, August 1996

JUST BEFORE the Sex Pistols take the stage in the waning light, a curious hush falls on the boisterous punk crowd. A myth is to ...

The Sex Pistols: Jamie Reid

Interview by Jon Savage, Face, The, October 1983

For someone whose work has graced millions of record sleeves and influenced a whole generation, Jamie Reid’s personal profile is not the highest. This is ...

The Sex Pistols: The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle

Review by Jon Savage, Melody Maker, February 1979

"WHAT NEEDS UNDERSTANDING is the state of paralysis everyone is in..." ...

The Sex Pistols: Bootleg Albums

Review by Jon Savage, Melody Maker, November 1978

The Sex Pistols: Gun Control/Live at the Rodeo ...

The Sex Pistols: The Screen on the Green, London

Live Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, April 1977

In which it must be conceded that Malcolm McLaren has a first-class media brain with a perfect instinct for theatre. ...

The Sex Pistols: What Did You Do On The Jubilee? The Pistols on the Thames

Report by Jon Savage, Sounds, June 1977

BEFORE THE POLICE came, it was a great party. Make that a capital G. ...

Helen Shapiro: Cloud 95

Interview by Jon Savage, MOJO, February 1995

HELEN SHAPIRO WAS BRITAIN'S FIRST TEENAGE FEMALE pop star. Born in 1946, she made her first record at the age of 14, for Norrie Paramor ...

Siouxsie & The Banshees: Siouxsie And The Banshees: Join Hands (Polydor)

Review by Jon Savage, Melody Maker, September 1979

(IT'S MY party and) I'll mystify if I want to! ...

Siouxsie & The Banshees: Siouxsie and the Banshees: Music Machine, London

Live Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, May 1978

SWEET SIOUXSIE and her boys in black play loud, angular, claustrophobic. Batter batter into submission: make you want to do bad things... ...

Siouxsie & The Banshees: Siouxsie And The Banshees: The Unacceptable Face Of '78

Interview by Jon Savage, Sounds, June 1978

'Overground – from abnormalityOverboard – for identityOverground – for normalityOverboard – on identity'– 'Overground' ...

The Smiths: Deliberately

Interview by Jon Savage, Sunday Times, January 1984

THESE ARE EXCITING times for the Smiths. A top 20 record with only their second single, ‘This Charming Man’; a non-stop stream of interviews that ...

Snatch

Profile and Interview by Jon Savage, Sounds, May 1978

PATTI PALLADIN and JUDY NYLON came to Britain last year, made 3 remarkable singles (one with Eno) then split. Or did they? JON SAVAGE steps ...

Snatch Says: "Morons Are Running The Media!"

Interview by Jon Savage, Search & Destroy, Spring 1978

JON SAVAGE interviewed PAT PALLADIN in London a while ago... ...

Soft Cell: Marc Almond: The Whip Hand

Interview by Jon Savage, Face, The, January 1982

…and who holds it? The pop process, alienation and sexuality discussed with Marc Almond. By JON SAVAGE. ...

Skip Spence : Alexander Spence: Oar (Sundazed)

Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, 1999

THE PASSING OF TIME has edged some psych esoterica into the mainstream, and Oar is a shining example. At once individual confession, generational narrative, and ...

The Stone Roses: Flaring Up: The Stone Roses at Spike Island

Report and Interview by Jon Savage, Observer, The, July 1990

YOU CAN see them all over the North-West, drifting through Manchester’s arcades, doing the swim-dance in the high-tech Hacienda, travelling en masse to tribal events ...

The Stranglers: No More Heroes

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, September 1977

AHHH – BUT these are testing times...now the very real euphoria has subsided, the scales have fallen from my eyes: not recantation, but re-evaluation. Timely ...

The Subway Sect: Subway Sect: Life Underground

Interview by Jon Savage, Sounds, July 1978

Everyone's a prostituteSinging in the song in prisonMoral standards the wallpaperThe wall's a bad religionMedia teach me what to speakTake my decisionsIt's how to find ...

The Subway Sect: Leaders Of The Opposition

Review and Interview by Jon Savage, MOJO, December 1996

Subway Sect: We Oppose All Rock & Roll (Overground) Jon Savage listens to Subway Sect's brief recorded legacy, and talks to frontman Vic Godard. ...

Suede: Dream On

Interview by Jon Savage, MOJO, January 1994

They were suburban loners who saw the potential for beauty inside the tawdry and extravagant. Together they won attention and success. As Suede step into ...

Suicide: Suicide

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, February 1978

SUICIDE? PERHAPS; rather life at one remove, through a one-way mirror. Or wilful withdrawal from the sea of impossibility... ...

That Petrol Emotion: Emotional Rescue

Interview by Jon Savage, Spin, September 1987

That Petrol Emotion ignite post-punk rock with incendiary politics. And they're putting out the fire with gasoline. Article by Jon Savage ...

Throbbing Gristle: Industrial Paranoia: The Very Dangerous Visions Of Throbbing Gristle

Interview by Jon Savage, Sounds, June 1978

'All art aspires to the condition of musak.' 'Most of the people who disapprove of musak... but we are doing it for your own good!' ...

Throbbing Gristle: The Tape Decays: Throbbing Gristle

Sleevenotes by Jon Savage, , 1981

CUT UP END incantations. Click. Machines hum. Silence clears. Slowly, the tape recorders start to spin: the vortex is set in motion. IBM computer tape: ...

Throbbing Gristle: D.O.A. (Industrial)

Review by Jon Savage, Melody Maker, December 1978

THE UNDERGROWTH OF pop...Take the mechanics of the situation as being something like this: you have a multi-million dollar industry, which has established channels whereby ...

Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers: Billy, Walter and Johnny: The Heartbreakers

Interview by Jon Savage, Sounds, October 1977

INTERVIEW TAKES place on a second floor flat, a stone’s throw away from the Thames. Present are: Walter Lure and Billy Rath, singer/guitarist and bassist ...

Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers: The Heartbreakers: L.A.M.F.

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, October 1977

'Living in the jungle, it ain't so hard/But livin' in the city, it can eat out, eat out your heart...' ...

Tricky: Maxinquaye

Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, March 1995

THIS IS A brilliant record: densely layered, full of barely controlled nervous energy, paranoid under surveillance, at times more intimate than you’d wish – like ...

The Vibrators: Pure Mania

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, June 1977

MMM. PSYCHO daisies. Hid her wid de axe/you better relax. More zoop bop cartoon funnies – this time the movie's speeded up. Laugh this one ...

The Who: 30 Years Of Maximum R&B

Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, July 1994

APART FROM THE BARRON KNIGHTS AT BERTRAM MILLS Circus, the first group I ever saw live was The Who: It could have been Spooky Tooth, ...

The Who: My Generation

Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, September 2002

The first legitimate CD release of The Who's epoch-making debut album, plus 18 tracks cut with their producer, Shel Talmy, in 1965 and early 1966. ...

Marty Wilde: The Blackheath Jungle

Interview by Jon Savage, MOJO, February 1995

MARTY WILDE WAS, ALONG WITH CLIFF, BRITAIN'S BIGGEST ROCK star from 1958 through 1960: there was even a girl's comic named after him. Born Reginald ...

Wire: 154 (Harvest)

Review by Jon Savage, Melody Maker, September 1979

WRAPPED IN an abstract minimal geo-deco sleeve (all straight lines and waves, pastel shades), with its own label and a "free" 45, the third Wire ...

The Worst

Interview by Jon Savage, Sounds, February 1978

THE WORST THEN. The name? Aha an apt trap. Illustrating at once the extreme that they are, yet at the same time to ...

X-Ray Spex: Germ Free Adolescents

Review by Jon Savage, Melody Maker, November 1978

"I WANNA BE A FROZEN PEA!" Does Poly Styrene finally make it? Will she really dehydrate? Does she turn into a Teasmade? Will she... ...

X-Ray Spex: Man In The Moon, Chelsea

Live Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, May 1977

A SMALLISH basement room, low-ceilinged, with a bar along one wall, and quite plush – tonite healthily full with about 100 people, A stopgap scene ...

Tapper Zukie: Tapper Zuckie: Man Ah Warrior

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, January 1978

AN ALBUM full of dignity, grandeur and pride: Smokey swirls intertwining to form a chord of steel... ...

List of genre pieces

Roger Eagle 1942-1999

Obituary by Jon Savage, MOJO, 1999

ROGER EAGLE was an unsung hero of British pop, with ground-level involvement in successive youth/ musical subcultures from the Twisted Wheel and Northern Soul in ...

The Magazine Explosion: UK Pop Publications in the '60s

Retrospective by Jon Savage, Observer, The, September 2009

IT'S FEBRUARY 1963. The Beatles are No 2 in the charts with 'Please Please Me' and it's time to meet the press. An anonymous reporter ...

"The Agora of the Wayward": A Quarter Century of Rough Trade

Sleevenotes by Jon Savage, Mute Records, March 2001

"I USED TO buy my records in a shop in Trafalgar Road, and the man there was quite avant-garde for his day. Whenever I bought ...

Sniffin' Glue: The Essential Punk Accessory

Retrospective and Interview by Jon Savage, MOJO, August 2000

WHEN THE FIRST Ramones album appeared in London, during the spring of 1976, it changed everything: not only the tempo and the look of rock, ...

At Large in the Black Hole of Punk L.A.

Sleevenotes by Jon Savage, 'Black Hole' (Domino Records), November 2010

NOTE: Adapted from Strange Things # 1, published spring 1988, this forms the first part of the liner notes for Black Hole: Jon Savage Presents ...

Blitz Culture

Essay by Jon Savage, Face, The, April 1981

IN A CORNER OPPOSITE the entrance, Richard Young, the photographer, has set up his stall. It has a simple backdrop of white cloth – this ...

Brendan Mullen Obituary

Obituary by Jon Savage, Guardian, The, November 2009

Nightclub owner who acted as a catalyst for the LA punk scene ...

Dave Godin and Deep Soul Treasures

Profile and Interview by Jon Savage, Guardian, The, September 1997

IN POP'S millenial time travel, the compilation has become an art form in itself: a highly practical method of mapping a history that is still ...

Fanzines: Pure Pop Art For Now People

Overview by Jon Savage, Sounds, January 1978

'THEY are vital, audacious, reckless insofar as they represent an extreme view adopted in a broad popular m way, and they have a curious brave ...

Jungle Pirate Radio

Essay by Jon Savage, Artforum, May 1996

BUILT IN a clay basin, London promotes claustrophobia as a way of life: but then, something can happen that lets the air in, that makes ...

Kiss & Make-Up: The Perfect Glam Rock Soundtrack

Guide by Jon Savage, MOJO, November 1998

IN THE OPENING minutes of todd Haynes's Velvet Goldmine, a gaggle of lads hurtle down a drab city street, tottering in their platforms, clad in ...

Move It! The British Rock 'n' Roll Explosion

Overview by Jon Savage, MOJO, February 1995

FOR MOST PEOPLE OF 40 AND UNDER, British pop begins with The Beatles: this is the view that has been encouraged by rock writers ever ...

Odysseys and Oddities: Jon Savage compiles the definitive Space-Rock Tape

Guide by Jon Savage, MOJO, March 1995

MUSIC AND THE cosmos have a special relationship, bound by mathematics, spirituality and that basic human need to get out there. Just as important as ...

Power Pop part 2: The C&A Generation In The Land Of The Bland

Comment by Jon Savage, Sounds, February 1978

TICK TOCK f – the clock/the pendulum swings...Oh it's so inevitable in post-punk letdown – the Pistols' 'split': sooooo symbolic – that attempts would be ...

Pre-Punk Rock

Retrospective by Jon Savage, Ugly Things, February 2008

NOTE: This was written as an introduction to a brilliant Ugly Things article by Johan Kugelberg called "No More Jubilees: Punk Before Punk", which aimed ...

Psychedelia: The 100 Greatest Classics

Guide by Jon Savage, MOJO, June 1997

Back by public demand, and even more mind-expanding, Jon Savage takes a trip through psychedelia’s golden years to compile the ultimate six-hour flashback. ...

Punk Five Years On

Overview by Jon Savage, Face, The, November 1981

I’ve been waiting for this one ever since the Black Arabs: a classic rip-off single to finally mop up any punk detritus and put it ...

Various Artists: Live At The Vortex

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, December 1977

HA. ANOTHER sledge-hammer blow pulping revolt into style...At least might someone have the good grace and honesty to stick 'Punk (a/k/a 'New/Wave') Sampler' on the ...

Various: Nuggets II: Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond

Review by Jon Savage, MOJO, July 2001

WITHIN THE rabid isolationism of the Bush regime, this is a remarkably generous statement: a monster collection aimed at the American market featuring aver a ...

Various: The Roxy London WC2 (Jan-Apr 77) (Harvest)

Review by Jon Savage, Sounds, June 1977

AN APPROXIMATE Warhol dictum: ‘In the future, everybody will be famous for 15 minutes.’ We never had a proper Warhol scene over here, did we? ...

Vivienne Westwood

Interview by Jon Savage, Face, The, January 1981

Let It Rock, Sex, Seditionaries...Anarchy t-shirts and bondage straps. VIVIENNE WESTWOOD’S new collection is called World’s End. She talked about it to JON SAVAGE. ...

Young Lovers: ’60s Pop TV

Retrospective by Jon Savage, Face, The, March 1982

You might well suppose the marriage of pop and television to be made in heaven, so inseparable do they seem. Perhaps not: you have complaints. ...

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