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MAGAZINE: Touch And Go (7″, Virgin VS 207, 1978)

Magazine - Touch And Go

I picked this up a couple of years ago from a second-hand record shop. I was drawn to it less because of it being Magazine and more because of the title ‘Touch And Go’ being, I presume, the inspiration for the amazing Touch And Go record label who’ve released stuff by a barrel-load of outstanding bands. Magazine I’ve yet to be convinced by – they’re one of those bands that I’m constantly told are brilliant, and I’d love to love them, but they never seem to click. I don’t dislike them by any means; they just kind of pass me by in a musical sense. I’ll soldier on. Maybe it’s like with food, where if you eat something you don’t like eight times you’ll begin to enjoy it. Magazine are my brussel sprouts.

Fantastic cover design on this record. It has a touch of the Saul Bass style with its off-kilter modernism, and reminds me of Blue Note’s cover designs in the typography and dynamism.

It’s funny that the now ultra-gigantic Virgin monster used to be just a modest little independent record label. Well, maybe not modest – perhaps just simple. When Richard Branson was putting together his first release (Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells), was he scheming away and imagining running train companies, airlines, space travel companies? Here’s a brilliant (if true) Wikipedia paragraph about the early days of Virgin – Powell is Nik Powell, another of Virgin’s starters:

Branson & Powell had initially run a small record shop called Virgin Records and Tapes on Notting Hill Gate, London, specialising particularly in “krautrock” imports, and offering bean bags and free vegetarian food for the benefit of customers listening to the music on offer.

I’d love a record shop like that to exist today!

Oh, and if you’re wondering, ‘Goldfinger’ on the B-side of this record is a cover of the Bond movie theme.

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