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Love at First Browse / Simon Reynolds


We periodically ask a special guest to share with us the three magazines that have meant the most to him. This time is the turn of Simon Reynolds, music critic and writer.

#1 / New Musical Express

"A profoundly formative force in my life as a young aspiring writer at the end of ‘the 70s and during the early ‘80s, this U.K. weekly music paper covered not just rock but all the music that mattered: reggae, funk, African music, early hip hop, and a lot of other things that you wouldn’t expect if you only know the NME as a 21st Century publication narrowly dedicated to British indie. It dealt with politics both on its own (issues, events, elections) and politics as filtered through the prism of postpunk and other forms of music. It also covered exemplary figures within arts when they felt adjacent to rock – certain kinds of film, books, TV. Above all, it was a home for heroically pretentious writing."

#2 / The Village Voice

"Every generation regards its era of the Voice to be the best. So there are probably some people who thought the magazine was in decline during the 1990s, when I started reading it regularly, as I spent increasing amounts of time in New York and then moved there for good at the end of 1994. The whole magazine was full of acute and stylish writing about politics, the arts, social trends, etc. But the music section was especially mind-blowing – the nearest America ever had to peak-era NME. Above all, it was a home for heroically pretentious writing."

#3 / The Wire

“This UK monthly remains a vital institution in left-field music, but I’ve particularly fond memories of it during the 1990s, when it set about collapsing its own boundaries (The Wire had started in the ‘80s as a jazz and avant-garde magazine) and began to embrace anything and everything that was innovative, experimental and strange, no matter where it came from: rave, rap, metal, the pop mainstream. Above all, it was a home for heroically pretentious writing."


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