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Martin Aston

Martin Aston
Martin Aston has written for Mojo, Q, The Guardian, The Times and many other publications. He is the author of books on Bjork and Pulp and is currently writing a book on the story of 4AD Records.

List of articles in the library by artist

ABBA: Abba: The New Originals

Report and Interview by Martin Aston, Q, July 1992

Australians impersonate them; Erasure cover their songs; U2 and Nirvana are on their case; and there's even a box set on the way. Martin Aston ...

AC/DC

Interview by Martin Aston, Auckland Star, 1990

"Just what are the East Germans who flock across the crumbled Berlin Wall spending their money on? While champagne and fresh fruit were once hot ...

David Ackles: Where Is He Now

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Q, June 1994

"POPULAR MUSIC, in all its rich varieties, has milestones." So began the Sunday Times review of David Ackles's 1972 album, American Gothic, which compared the ...

Animals That Swim

Interview by Martin Aston, MOJO, July 1996

SONGS ABOUT buying armfuls of Kit-Kat from the all-night garage; songs about lying drunk in the grass and seeing a face in the stars ("He's ...

Adam & The Ants: Adam And The Ants: Where Are They Now?

Profile by Martin Aston, Q, September 1992

"DON'T WORRY – HE'LL soon be a hairdresser in North Finchley." So it was that, with Malcolm McLaren's unprophetic words as encouragement, the original Ants ...

Belle And Sebastian: Belle and Sebastian: The Ever-So-Secret Seven

Interview by Martin Aston, MOJO, January 1998

"IT ALL STARTED at open stage sessions at The Halt Bar in Glasgow," recalls Belle & Sebastian bassist Stuart David. "Drunken Saturday afternoon shambles ...

Big In Japan: Big in Japan: Where Are They Now?

Retrospective by Martin Aston, Q, January 1992

FEW OTHER groups in the post-punk era can claim to have launched so many successful careers as Big In Japan – The KLF, Frankie Goes ...

Big Star: Alex Chilton and Big Star

Interview by Martin Aston, Oor (Holland), Fall 1992

BIG STAR, that most famous of cult guitar bands, named themselves after a chain of supermarkets renowned in their local Memphis; now, nearly 15 years ...

Big Star, Alex Chilton: Alex Chilton: Alex's Wild Years

Interview by Martin Aston, Melody Maker, November 1985

If anybody can really claim to be a living legend, ALEX CHILTON is the guy. From the Box Tops to Big Star to the booze, ...

Björk Gudmundsdottir's Record Collection

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, October 1993

DOWN THE concrete steps, round the back and to the left, you'll find Björk Gudmundsdottir's comfortably compact and bijou new residence, on the cusp of ...

Jeff Buckley: In At The Deep End

Interview by Martin Aston, MOJO, August 1994

AWARE HE COULD be unfairly accused of trading on the family name, Jeff Buckley, Tim Buckley's 27-year-old son, has spent the last three years honing ...

Jeff Buckley: They Don't Even Know Me Yet

Interview by Martin Aston, MOJO, January 2003

In 1992 Jeff Buckley gave his first ever press interview. A decade later, MOJO unearths this incredible, little-seen document. ...

Tim Buckley

Retrospective by Martin Aston, MOJO, July 1995

IN 1965, THE LOS ANGELES MAGAZINE CHEETAH dubbed three emerging singer-songwriters – Jackson Browne, Steve Noonan, and Tim Buckley – 'The Orange County Three'. ...

Tim Buckley: Dream Letter — Live In London 1968

Review by Martin Aston, Q, July 1990

FOR ANY ADMIRER of Tim Buckley's unique talent, this double live album taken from his London debut in 1968 (at Queen Elizabeth Hall) comes right ...

The Buzzcocks: Product

Review by Martin Aston, Q, December 1989

LIKE MOST punk escapades, Buzzcocks started with Johnny Rotten, whose "We're not into music, we're into chaos" motto drew Bolton students Peter Shelley and Howard ...

David Byrne

Interview by Martin Aston, Auckland Star, 1989

NOT FOR nothing has New York been labelled "the first Third World city in a First World country." ...

Alex Chilton: Feudalist Tarts

Review by Martin Aston, Melody Maker, Summer 1985

LIFE has gone full circle for Alex Chilton. Seventeen years old in 1967, up to New York City from hometown Memphis where he fronted the ...

The Clean: Nuns at the Altar of Rock: Flying Nun Records

Retrospective and Interview by Martin Aston, Guardian, The, May 2009

"THERE'S SOMETHING about the antipodes that irritates Britain," reckons Martin Phillipps, on the phone from Dunedin on New Zealand's South Island. Almost 25 years ago, ...

Cocteau Twins: Heaven Or Las Vegas

Review by Martin Aston, Q, October 1990

"THIS WARM BATH of a record is a sensual invitation to wallow in an opiate haze of drifting melody" – Q's review of The Cocteau ...

Crass: Re-issues

Review by Martin Aston, Q, October 1990

IF ANY GROUP seem wholly inappropriate for CD repackaging, then Crass are it, being eight admitted non-musicians who used snarl-toothed punk music as a vehicle ...

Crass: Where Are They Now?

Profile by Martin Aston, Q, October 1990

CRASS WERE BRITAIN'S seminal anarcho-punk band, whose communal life and own Crass label epitomised the movement's DIY ethic. Handling everything from mail order, promoting gigs ...

The Creatures, Siouxsie & The Banshees: 10 Questions for Siouxsie Sioux

Interview by Martin Aston, MOJO, September 1998

Is it true that you split the Banshees because the Sex Pistols reformed? ...

The Cure

Interview by Martin Aston, Oor (Holland), 1989

IN THE WEEK that U2's new video finds them hanging out with blues legend BB King while Simple Minds roam the windswept Spanish hills, Robert ...

Devo: Where Are They Now?

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, October 1995

HAILING – along with the rubber tyre and Rachel Sweet – from Akron, Ohio, Devo's prankful art-pop, deconstructivist theories and matching boilersuits made perfect-imperfect sense ...

Dollar: Where Are They Now? Dollar

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, July 1997

Once they sat behind the gilt-inlaid desk of success, with the keys to the executive washroom; then, suddenly, they were "downsized". ...

The Doors' Summer of Love

Retrospective by Martin Aston, MOJO, Summer 2007

ED SULLIVAN has an awful lot to answer for. It's a delicious irony that the stiff-necked, neo-conservative host of The Ed Sullivan Show, the country's ...

Nick Drake: Five Leaves Left, Bryter Layter, Pink Moon and Heaven Is A Wild Flower

Review by Martin Aston, Q, August 1990

RAISED BY UPPER-middle class parents in the Black Country, educated at public school and Cambridge, Nick Drake's life was never as comfortable as his upbringing ...

The Durutti Column: Without Mercy (Factory)

Review by Martin Aston, Melody Maker, December 1984

SO MUCH contemporary music strives to conquer eager hearts and incite itchy feet with bombastic crescendoes and prolific sloganeering, substituting the possible with the obvious, ...

Echobelly

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, October 1994

A CLASSIC glam rock drum beat is quickly interrupted by a whistle of the "OYI! OVER 'ERE!" variety before a majestically bounding punk-pop riff throws ...

Fairport Convention and Copredy

Report and Interview by Martin Aston, Independent, The, August 1989

IN 1979, AFTER Punk's arrival had squeezed out the last drop of resistance, Fairport Convention's farewell concert in their adopted Oxfordshire village of Cropredy was ...

Faithless: Wir Sind Berliners!

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Q, May 1997

Faithless: in no way Eurosceptic. ...

Felt: The Strange Idol Pattern And Other Short Stories (Cherry Red)

Review by Martin Aston, Melody Maker, November 1984

THERE IS A singular atmosphere to Felt's music. Their dreamy guitar excursions are a pure extension of mood, not intent, and as such have no ...

Frankie Goes to Hollywood: Frankie Goes To Hollywood: Where Are They Now?

Profile by Martin Aston, Q, October 1992

THERE ARE FEWER more meteoric sagas than that of Liverpool's Frankie Goes To Hollywood – from almost complete obscurity to the hottest, and the most ...

Happy Mondays

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Auckland Star, 1989

IF PUNK WAS the answer to the broad lack of genuine invention in the musical mid-70s, then the Acid House phenomenon answered those who believed ...

PJ Harvey

Interview by Martin Aston, Puncture, 1992

WITHOUT DISCOUNTING Sinead O'Connor, we've become accustomed to looking toward North America to feel the cutting-edge of female singer-songwriters – the tense psychoanalysis of Throwing ...

Jon Hassell

Interview by Martin Aston, Music Week, 1990

IF BRIAN ENO, Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads, David Sylvian and Tears For Fears have anything in common, you wouldn't instantly think of American avant-garde composer/trumpeter ...

Herman's Hermits: Where Are They Now?

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, February 1991

'I'M INTO SOMETHING Good', 'Silhouettes' and 'My Sentimental Friend' established Herman's Hermits as a top Manchester band in the days when Bez had barely mastered ...

Johnny Cash: Cash's Video Adieu

Report by Martin Aston, MOJO, May 2003

It's been on CNN and it made Bono and Rick Rubin cry. Johnny Cash's video for Hurt might be the most powerful music video ever ...

The KLF

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Independent, The, February 1990

IT WAS the poster claiming The KLF were to play live at a DJ convention in Amsterdam rather than – as they thought – just ...

Billy Mackenzie: Tom Doyle: The Glamour Chase – The Maverick Life Of Billy MacKenzie (Bloomsbury)

Book Review by Martin Aston, Q, September 1998

EVERY PICTURE tells a story. In this biography of the late singer Billy MacKenzie, there's a photo, circa 1971, of St. Michael's School's under-15s Football ...

Mansun: Nailed!

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, April 1997

They varnish their nails, yet they eat at McDonald's. The singer has a Ziggy-like alter ego, while the bassist likes to pretend he's called Stove. ...

Martha and The Muffins: Where Are They Now? Martha and the Muffins

Retrospective by Martin Aston, Q, February 1996

ONCE, CANADIAN new wavers Martha And The Muffins were "far away in time", via 'Echo Beach', Number 10 in March 1980. ...

Microdisney: Microwaves

Interview by Martin Aston, Melody Maker, January 1985

'Some of you (the Freemason pederasts) may be a trifle confused or even annoyed by the packaging and name of this record. For all your ...

The Monochrome Set: Snakes and Ladders

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Melody Maker, March 1985

Martin Aston plays cards with THE MONOCHROME SET currently clambering chart-wards with 'Jacob's Ladder' ...

The Move: Where Are They Now?

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Q, April 1992

'NIGHT OF FEAR', 'I Can Hear The Grass Grow', 'Flowers In The Rain', 'Fire Brigade' — The Move were Birmingham's beat-group and psychedelic sensation with ...

My Bloody Valentine: Loveless

Review by Martin Aston, Q, January 1992

FACED WITH MY Bloody Valentine's formative fumblings, few would have predicted that this garage lurch could metamorphosise into the swooning melody crush that constituted 1988's ...

The Only Ones

Retrospective and Interview by Martin Aston, Oor (Holland), Fall 1986

IT'S ALWAYS BEEN a good sign of an artist when he or she can interpret the present, and in doing so, predict the future. Equally ...

Orange Juice: Where Are They Now?

Profile by Martin Aston, Q, July 1992

AS SELF-EFFACING drummer Stephen Daly said, Orange Juice were "the smartest band on the island at the time. We had no affiliation with anyone – ...

Pentangle: Where Are They Now? Pentangle

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, May 1991

EVEN BEFORE Fairport Convention had set their wheels in motion, Pentangle were attempting to contemporise and explore British folk music. ...

Pink Floyd: Storm Thorgerson: Daily Departures From Reality

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, December 1992

"I LIKE PICTURES that don't necessarily have an explanation off pat," Storm Thorgerson says of the beguiling, often outlandish record sleeves that cemented the ...

The Pixies: Hello Goodbye: Joey Santiago & The Pixies

Interview by Martin Aston, MOJO, December 1997

HELLO – September 1986CHARLES [FRANCIS] and I were suite-mates rather than room-mates at the University of Massachusetts. Like me, he'd gone to college in the ...

The Pixies' Charles Francis

Interview by Martin Aston, Catalogue, The, 1989

THE PIXIES, in the space of time it takes to skin a Bros, have been hailed as rock's saviours, Those That Will Save Us From ...

Portishead

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, November 1994

"IT'S NOT that I'm sick of hearing praise," Geoff Barrow retorts, "it's just that I can't quite believe it, or even understand it." ...

P.J. Proby: Where Is He Now?

Report by Martin Aston, Q, May 1993

AH, THAT FRINGE, and the velvet bow around the ponytail, and the impossibly tight trousers with the suspiciously vulnerable seams. He once warbled his way ...

Pulp: Cocker Gets Cocky

Interview by Martin Aston, Attitude, November 1995

"Mis-shapes, mistakes, misfits... oh we don't look the same as you / We don't do the things you do / But we live round here ...

Republica: The Spice Of Success

Report and Interview by Martin Aston, dotmusic.co.uk, August 1998

BMG UK chairman Richard Griffiths' streamlining approach to the label's British operations looks fortunate for DeConstruction signings REPUBLICA, whose second album Speed Ballads is set ...

Tim Rose

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Q, March 1996

"TIM" WAS A familiar name around the Greenwich Village folk scene of the '60s, but one with a tragically portentous ring to it. Tim Hardin ...

Sham 69: Where Are They Now?

Profile by Martin Aston, Q, May 1991

FAMOUS – OR SHOULD that be infamous? – for their punk-era, terrace-anthem hits 'If The Kids Were United (They Would Never be Divided)' and 'Hurry ...

The Small Faces: Where Are They Now?

Profile by Martin Aston, NME, December 1990

SHA LA LA La Lee! Pioneers of mod-psychedelia and decisive hair-parting strategies, The Small Faces. ...

Sonic Youth: Forever Young: Sonic Youth

Interview by Martin Aston, Independent, The, 1994

IN 1991, WHEN Geffen Records signed the New York quartet Sonic Youth, the label couldn't have envisaged the band delivering two accessible albums by its ...

Sonic Youth Clean Up Their Act: Washing Machine

Review and Interview by Martin Aston, Music Week, 1995

TRUST A BUNCH of New York art-rockers to contemplate jeopardising their increasing popularity by changing their name to Washing Machine, but that's what Sonic Youth, ...

Spacemen 3

Report and Interview by Martin Aston, Catalogue, The, 1991

"Let me tell you about life/I got mine, you got yours"... ...

Spear Of Destiny: Spear of Destiny: World In Action

Interview by Martin Aston, Melody Maker, July 1984

KIRK BRANDON is experiencing a new burst of energy with SPEAR OF DESTINY. He braved the mud and bottles at Milton Keynes, he's been playing ...

The Sugarcubes: Here Today, Tomorrow Next Week!

Review by Martin Aston, Q, November 1989

THE SUGARCUBES may have plucked their second album title from Wind In The Willows's whimsical pages but the quote has an altogether more serious import: ...

Supergrass

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Select, March 1996

A STANDARD semi-detached on Oxford's fashionably downbeat Cowley Road appears an unlikely HQ for the UK's "hottest new band" (copyright the typically finger-not-on-the-pulse Today newspaper) ...

Sutherland Brothers and Quiver, The Sutherland Brothers: The Sutherland Bros: Where Are They Now

Retrospective by Martin Aston, Q, July 1994

ONCE UPON a time, there were two Scottish brothers, lain and Gavin Sutherland, peddlers of particularly earthy soft-rock fare with two albums on Island (1972's ...

The Teardrop Explodes: The Teadrop Explodes: Where Are They Now?

Profile by Martin Aston, Q, July 1991

ALONGSIDE ECHO & THE Bunnymen, The Teardrop Explodes were the focal point for Liverpool's emerging post-punk new wave scene. According to the group's linchpin Julian ...

Tricky: Just Like That!

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, June 1995

Avonian ingénu Tricky has pulled quite a rabbit from the top hat they're calling "Bristol trip-hop". Martin Aston meets the Number 1 rapper with plenty ...

The Triffids: The Black Swan

Review by Martin Aston, Q, May 1989

THE FIFTH full-length and second major-label album from The Triffids will inevitably receive acclaim from the critical ranks as a multi-faceted alternative to Australia's pub-circuit ...

Van Der Graaf Generator: Where Are They Now?

Profile by Martin Aston, Q, September 1990

VAN DER GRAAF Generator, one or Britain's vaunted bands from the progressive era known for their unusual sax/organ front line. "Can you try and dig ...

Voice Of The Beehive: Where Are They Now? Voice Of The Beehive

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, September 1998

Fronted by American sisters Tracey and Melissa Belland, Voice Of The Beehive mixed frothy pop, zany threads, girl-power attitude and Top 30 action in 1988 ...

Scott Walker, The Walker Brothers: The Walker Brothers: After The Lights Go Out, Scott Walker: Boy Child

Review by Martin Aston, Q, September 1990

AT THE SUGGESTION of their drummer Gary Leeds, who'd just returned from backing PJ Proby, The Walker Brothers shifted camp from the US to the ...

Weezer

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Q, May 1995

US Geek Rockers inspired by Gary Numan and Jesus Christ Superstar to produce rattlingly fine buzz pop. ...

Barry White: The Q 100 interview

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, January 1995

HOW THE devil are you?I'm fine. I couldn't be happier. Everything is beautiful in my life. I got a hit album and hit single. I'm ...

Robert Wyatt

Interview by Martin Aston, Q, October 1991

"I'M A MUSICIAN when I remember to be," Robert Wyatt confesses with an earnest tug at his straggly, greying beard. "In fact, I don't even ...

Robert Wyatt: Rock Bottom and Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard

Review by Martin Aston, Q, August 1989

NOW ON CD: how Robert Wyatt found beauty in the aftermath of personal disaster. ...

List of genre pieces

Guns: It Went Off In My Hand!

Report by Martin Aston, Q, June 1997

Dangerous business, rock'n'roll. One minute, you're having hits, the next, you're taking them. Whether as macho prop or tool of the trade, totin' a gun ...

Sub Pop: Go Forth And Grunge

Profile and Interview by Martin Aston, Q, October 1992

SEATTLE, IN the top left-hand corner of America, is famous for its once-thriving post-war aerospace industry, for its breweries and coffee, pine forests and clean ...

Tribute bands: Phonies!

Report and Interview by Martin Aston, Q, November 1992

Weird but true. The average unknown band will get more work and better money by pretending to be someone famous than by being themselves. Martin ...

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