Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages

Mark Williams

Mark Williams

Since the laissez-faire underground press of the late '60s when web-offset printing and computer typesetting began displacing hot-metal and letterpress, Mark Williams has spent his entire career in publishing. A respected, if sometimes controversial journalist and columnist in the disparate fields of rock music, film and automotive media, he also conceived, launched and/or edited several successful magazines and newspapers which included Strange Days, Bike (still the UK's best selling motorcycle title), Which Bike?, New Music News, Bicycle Buyers Guide and Jalopy.

In the '90s, after a spell editing and successfully re-launching (with two editions) a weekly newspaper in Mid-Wales, Williams joined the Pearson Group in time to help negotiate their purchase of Future Publishing and then went on to establish Future's hugely successful international division which embraced licensing, joint ventures and wholly owned overseas subsidiaries.

Thanks to unrivaled experience in virtually every aspect of print media, come the millennium Williams became sought after as a consultant working with publishers both large and small. (Confidentiality deters him from detailing these on this website). In recent years he's handled foreign licensing and M&A deals, supervised business plan development, launches and re-launches and advised on every element of the publishing process which now of course includes multi-platform projects. He is also retained as p.r. advisor for a number of companies and charities.

And throughout his career in publishing management, Williams has continued to write highly regarded columns and features for a broad range of titles including Rolling Stone, Melody Maker, Top Gear, Motorcycle Rider, Time Out, Conde Nast Traveller, Italia!, TrailBike Magazine, the Guardian, London Evening Standard, Daily Telegraph and Used Car Buyer. He has also produced a number of books on film, music and motorcycling topics, plus two anthologies of material from The Week.

Outside of publishing, Williams has curated a number of art and photographic exhibitions and been involved in running several musical events, most notably Sheep Music the annual world music festival in Mid-Wales.

List of articles in the library by artist

The Alley Cats, The Bags, Black Randy & The Metrosquad, The Controllers (LA punk), The Germs, The Mau-Mau's, The Plugz, The Screamers, Suburban Lawns, X: L.A. Punk: Pogo-ing On The Fault Line

Overview by Mark Williams, Melody Maker, September 1979

If Los Angeles is the future, how come its bands all sound so backdated? MARK WILLIAMS puts the case for the defence ...

Black Sabbath: Black Sabbath (Vertigo)

Review by Mark Williams, International Times, March 1970

A BLOW JOB. Just get the gear on stage and wind it up Marshall stacks nine feet high on big & harsh with an edge ...

Blossom Toes: If Only For A Moment (Marmalade)

Review by Mark Williams, International Times, July 1969

BLOSSOM TOES. Now there IS a band. Amazing people, a gas to be with, group looners of the old school but as music makers they've ...

Blossom Toes: Blossom Told

Profile and Interview by Mark Williams, International Times, July 1969

WHILST STARVING in Birmingham, trying to make ends meet, the dreary winter days were claeered up a little by an album called We Are Ever ...

Bonzo Dog Band: The Bonzo Dog Band: Tadpoles (Liberty)

Review by Mark Williams, International Times, August 1969

LIBERTY RECORDS have gone to an almost unusual amount of trouble to supply record reviewers, deejays and other assorted irks with a copious, track-by-thrusting-track run ...

Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, J. D. Souther, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Little Feat: Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt et al: Lowell George Benefit Concert, The Forum, Los Angeles CA

Live Review by Mark Williams, Melody Maker, August 1979

IT'S IRONIC that Little Feat were never adjudged sufficiently commercial to have headlined a concert at Los Angeles' massive Forum, since the place was bursting ...

Country Joe & The Fish: Country Joe: Fish Head

Interview by Mark Williams, International Times, April 1969

INTERVIEWING COUNTRY Joe McDonald was an escapade I embarked on with fear in my heart, butterflies in my stomach and a copy of How to ...

Creedence Clearwater Revival: Bayou Country (Liberty)

Review by Mark Williams, International Times, July 1969

HOORAY FOR this bopping, rhythm muslc! What more can a groover of a leaper ask for than to be socked endlessly by the compulsive unpretentious ...

The Kinks, Ray Davies: The Kinks: Low Budget (Arista)

Review by Mark Williams, Melody Maker, September 1979

THE TROUBLE with Ray Davies is that since he forsook the stark, three-chord spleen of 'You Really Got Me' and 'All Day & All Of ...

Deep Purple with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: Royal Albert Hall, London

Live Review by Mark Williams, International Times, October 1969

THE ALBERT Hall Concert on Wednesday September 24th, featuring Deep Purple in concert with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, was possibly the most important musical event ...

Nick Drake: Five Leaves Left (Island)

Review by Mark Williams, International Times, July 1969

I DON'T think I've been so impressed by an unknown singer/songwriter since I got the Duncan Browne album on Immediate, eighteen months ago, (why don't ...

The Eagles: The Long Run (Asylum)

Review by Mark Williams, Melody Maker, September 1979

THE POLITICS of pop have always been anathema to me. I cannot, and will not, shift my allegiances from an underrated or up-and-coming band when ...

Family Planning

Interview by Mark Williams, International Times, July 1969

THE FAMILY used to scare me a bit. Onstage they seemed to perform with a mixture of super coolness, a nonchalance that sometimes gave me ...

Ian Gomm: Thinking Out Loud

Report and Interview by Mark Williams, Melody Maker, September 1979

IAN GOMM is short, not quite stout, and has had his straw-coloured hair fashioned a la mod from the first time it was fashionable. His ...

Jerry Yester, Judy Henske: Judy Henske & Jerry Yester: Farewell Aldebaran (Straight)

Review by Mark Williams, International Times, November 1969

JUDY HENSKE'S magnificent, almost butch voice makes this album memorable. Jerry Yester's vocals, arrangements and production (shared with ex-Lovln' Spoonful man Zal Yanovsky,) don't. ...

Janis Joplin: Janis

Report by Mark Williams, International Times, May 1969

JANIS WAS WANDERING round rapping and goofing with her band when I ventured onstage during her pre-concert rehearsal at the Albert Hall. She was obviously ...

King Crimson King Crimson King Crimson King Crimson

Interview by Mark Williams, International Times, June 1969

[NOTE: The first two paragraphs of this piece – along with one or two others – appear to bear no relation whatsoever to Mark's piece... ...

MC5, Wayne Kramer: Wayne Kramer Forgets The Motor City

Interview by Mark Williams, Melody Maker, March 1979

"SOMETIMES we used to pass the Milan jail when the MC5 were driving to gigs outside of Detroit, and I used to look up at ...

Led Zeppelin: Jimmy Page

Interview by Mark Williams, International Times, May 1969

A VERY WELL respected record producer recently informed me that Led Zepplin were the ONLY band that we're going to elevate themselves to the ranks ...

Led Zeppelin: Plant

Interview by Mark Williams, International Times, April 1969

IT'S NOT hard to suss that Led Zeppelin are well on the way to becoming a 'Supergroup', in the best tradition. ...

Madness: A Brief Case History Of Madness

Book Excerpt by Mark Williams, Proteus Books, 1982

Their condition as carriers of a fast reggae hybrid, ska, was first diagnosed in 1979. This nutty sound was then transmitted to an increasingly larger ...

Madness in the USA

Report and Interview by Mark Williams, Melody Maker, March 1980

Today the UK. Tomorrow the USA? Next week, the world? Are Madness about to get everybody up and dancing again? MARK WILLIAMS sits down and ...

Madness: Dublin Castle, London

Live Review by Mark Williams, Melody Maker, June 1979

THE NAME says it all. ...

Mountain: Leslie West: Mountain (Bell)

Review by Mark Williams, International Times, November 1969

LESLIE WEST is a large American who sings a bit like a white Buddy Miles (or a black Terry Reld) and plays guitar just like ...

Bill Nelson: The Sound Of Household Appliances

Interview by Mark Williams, Melody Maker, March 1979

From frayed denim through guitar heroics to novorock, Bill Nelson's career has been plagued by accusations of plagiarism. MARK WILLIAMS listens to the disclaimers. ...

New Barbarians: The Forum, Los Angeles

Live Review by Mark Williams, Melody Maker, March 1979

IN THE foyer of LA's vast concrete amphitheatre, you could buy T-shirts promising "nothing less than ear-to-ear violence" in lettering supposed to resemble dripping blood. ...

The Nice: Nice (Immediate)

Review by Mark Williams, International Times, August 1969

THE NICE just keep escalating from strength to strength, their reputation solidifying as their incorporation of classical phraseology (sometimes admittedly borrowed wholesale) becomes even more ...

The Nice: Nice Work If You Can Get It

Profile by Mark Williams, Rolling Stone, July 1969

THE NICE are the most successful British group to have achieved fame without a single in the top ten. The future is surer for them, ...

The Pretenders: Say a Prayer for the Pretenders

Interview by Mark Williams, Melody Maker, February 1979

The way tongues are wagging, though, they might not need them. Mark Williams profiles a Next Big Thing who actually look like delivering. ...

Rockpile: Rock Around With Philip Marlowe

Interview by Mark Williams, Melody Maker, December 1978

THE TROPICANA MOTEL sits disconsolately on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, an area that looks uncomfortable sandwiched in between the clinical sky-scrapers of Century ...

The Rolling Stones: Let It Bleed (Decca)

Review by Mark Williams, International Times, January 1970

IT'S ONLY after deliberately listening to the complete Stone's recorded output (9 albums, umpteen singles, 1 promotional album, 2 EPs) that one really appreciates just ...

The Rolling Stones: Jagger Rap/Stoned Earful

Interview by Mark Williams, International Times, July 1969

FEELING RATHER like a tin can on a conveyor belt, moving along waiting to be filled with fruit salad or spaghetti, I went along to ...

Tea & Symphony: Rock In The Sticks: Tea & Symphony

Interview by Mark Williams, International Times, September 1969

THE MOST INTERESTING group in this article, from an historical point of view, is Tea & Symphony. They have had almost as many changes in ...

Johnny Winter, Tony Joe White: Johnny Winter: Johnny Winter (CBS); Tony Joe White: Black And White (Monument)

Review by Mark Williams, International Times, July 1969

THE ONLY OTHER record I possess on English Monument, is Ray Steven's single, 'Mr Businessman', which is beautiful and so is this album by Mr ...

The Who: The Mod Revival, Yes…

Live Review by Mark Williams, Melody Maker, May 1979

The Who: Rainbow, London ...

Wings: Taking Off At Last

Report and Interview by Mark Williams, Melody Maker, June 1979

After a lengthy period on the ground, Paul McCartney's redesigned Wings are taking a few exploratory hops. MARK WILLIAMS' verdict: no metal fatigue. ...

Yes: Yes (Atlantic)

Review by Mark Williams, Rolling Stone, July 1969

THE BRITISH END of the Atlantic Recording Company's operations rarely signs up this country's groups and when it does, they have to be exceedingly good ...

Yes: Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

Live Review by Mark Williams, International Times, April 1970

IT HAS BEEN many months since I've seen YES and the consequent starvation of tight British progressive rock music par excellence left me eagerly awaiting ...

Neil Young: After The Gold Rush

Review by Mark Williams, Oz, 1970

To start with Nell Young ain't tryin' anything flashy – he does what he knows and he does it with the perfection of a trained ...

The Youngbloods: Elephant Mountain (RCA)

Review by Mark Williams, International Times, November 1969

THIS ALBUM is one of the essential records one would possess if a broad cross-sectlon of Rock is the ultimate zenith of one's collecting habits. ...

List of genre pieces

Parting Shot: Keith Morris 1938-2005

Obituary by Mark Williams, Guardian Unlimited, July 2005

IN THE EARLY 1970s, Keith Morris was asked to do a session for the first album with an unknown singer-songwriter, Nick Drake. Keith took a ...

Reggae: The Real Underground Music

Report and Interview by Mark Williams, Strange Days, October 1970

FORGET YOUR Edgar Broughtons and your Pink Floyds and your three million other 'underground' groups, ('underground' that is, until they start selling lottsa albums, when ...

The Sound of the Seventies and The Pop Proms: It's All a Put On

Report by Mark Williams, International Times, May 1970

Pop Proms, Rock machine & the penis of promoting. ...

back to LIBRARY

COPYRIGHT NOTICE