Howard Devoto & Magazine Page Header


Howard Devoto was born Howard Trotter in Manchester, England in 1955. At the dawn of the punk movement, in 1976 he and Pete Shelley (real name, MacNeish) formed Buzzcocks, with Howard on lead vocals. But after just a few live performances and the legendary Spiral Scratch EP, Devoto exited the legendary group.

In April 1977, he met John McGeoch, a guitarist and they began writing songs together. Soon they formed a band and called it "Magazine" with Devoto on vocals and McGeoch on guitar. Roounding out the line-up was Barry Adamson on bass, Bob Dickinson on keyboards and Martin Jackson on drums. They were soon signed to Virgin Records. Dickinson soon left and they produced their first record, "Shot By Both Sides" as a quartet. The single got good reviews and even charted in their native UK. Before the balance of an album's worth of tunes could be recorded, Dickinson's void was filled by Dave Formula, formerly of Ultravox spin-off, Visage. Soon after, their first LP Real Life, was released.

Howard Devoto
Howard Devoto, from his 1983 tour book.

Magazine's unique sound, while clearly part of the "new wave" was largely unclassifiable. Too pop to be avant and too avant to be pop. They certainly lacked the rough hewn edge many punk acts of the day carried. For one thing their music had harsh rhythms, cold screaming synth notes, gloomy sonic soundscapes and largely subdued vocals by Devoto. On the other hand the lyric content (almost exclusively written by Devoto) was usually anything but punk -- neo-spiritual, existentialist, philosophical and often nihilistic. One critic even described Magazine as the band "Albert Camus would have been in if Camus had a band."

After the first tour, Jackson left, replaced briefly by Paul Spencer and then John Doyle. In 1979 the second album, Secondhand Daylight followed. McGeoch was filling double duty as he remained with Siouxsie & the Banshees and, along with Formula, Visage. Finding it next to impossible to stay in three bands simultaneously, McGeoch left Magazine in 1979. He was replaced by Robin Simon ( Ultravox) and the band then toured the US and Australia. In Australia the live album Play was recorded. 1980 brought the band's third release, The Correct Use Of Soap, and the departure of Simon. At this time I.R.S. licensed both Play and the follow-up from Virgin for US release.

Real Life Secondhand Daylight The Correct Use of Soap
Magazine's three pre I.R.S. LPs. (L to R: 1978's Real Life, 1979's Secondhand Daylight and 1980's The Correct Use Of Soap).

Simon's replacement, Ben Mandelson,was on hand for Magazine's final original album, Magic, Murder and the Weather in 1981. Shortly after its release, Devoto left the band, more or less ending the band since it was so closely identified with him.

Devoto soon mounted a solo career, releasing Jerky Versions of the Dream in 1983. Despite being a "solo" effort, many Magazine veterans contributed their playing and songwriting assistance. Despite moderate airplay and an outstanding video of the tune "Rainy Season" the album did not sell well and Devoto took a hiatus.

In 1988 Devoto and guitarist Noko teamed under the name Luxuria and released two albums, Unanswerable Lust (1988) and Beast Box (1990). When the group and their recodings failed to take off, Devoto ended the partnership and left music for the publishing world.

In 2002, Devoto and Pete Shelley collaborated for the first time in 25 years with a new project Buzzkunst. Whether this new stage in their partnership lasts or not remains to be seen. Buzzcocks continue as do the solo efforts of both Shelley and fellow Buzzcock Steve Diggle.


This discography will cover only HOWARD DEVOTO & MAGAZINE's recordings for I.R.S. Records. Recordings for other labels, other recordings, solo recordings and guest appearances, may be mentioned in the biography or discography, but details can be found by visiting some of the cool links for HOWARD DEVOTO & MAGAZINE, below...

Albums & EPs

Play Cover PLAY
IRS SP 70015 (Released 1 April 1981)

Vinyl Only.

Produced by Magazine & John Brand
Engineered by John Brand
Assistant Engineer Paul Frindle
Recorded at Melbourne Festival Hall, 6 September 1980
Art Direction by Malcolm Garrett at Assorted Images
Photography by Birrer
Stage Malfunctions
Mastered for US by Bob Carbone at A&M Studios

Howard Devoto vocals
Barry Adamson bass
John Doyle drums
Dave Formula keyboards
Robin Simon guitar

Track Listing:

  1. Give Me Everything (Devoto) 4:27
  2. A Song From Under The Floorboards (Devoto/Adamson/Doyle/Formula/McGeoch) 4:15
  3. Permafrost (Devoto) 4:59
  4. The Light Pours Out Of Me (Devoto/McGeoch/Shelley) 4:46
  5. Model Worker (Devoto/Adamson/Doyle/Formula/McGeoch) 2:57
  6. Parade (Devoto/Formula/Adamson) 6:05
  7. Thank You (Falletinme Be Mice Elf Agin) (Stone/Stewart) 3:49
  8. Because You're Frightened (Devoto/Adamson/Doyle/Formula/McGeoch) 3:53
  9. Twenty Years Ago (Devoto/Adamson/Doyle/Formula/McGeoch) 4:00
  10. Definitive Gaze (Devoto/McGeoch) 3:48

Review Coming Soon!

About The Weather EP Cover ABOUT THE WEATHER EP
IRS SP 70404 (Released 26 May 1981)

Vinyl only.

Produced by Magazine & Martin Hannett
Mixed by Martin Hannett
Mixed at Strawberry Studios, Stockport
Art Direction by Malcolm Garrett at Assorted Images

Howard Devoto vocals & some guitar
Barry Adamson bass
John Doyle drums
Dave Formula keyboards
Ben Mandelson guitar & violin
Ray Schell & Laura Teresa backing vocals

Track Listing:

  1. About The Weather (Devoto/Formula) 4:03
  2. In The Dark (Devoto/Adamson) 2:40
  3. The Operative (Devoto/Doyle) 2:40

Review Coming Soon!

Magic Murder And The Weather Cover MAGIC MURDER & THE WEATHER
IRS SP 70020 (Released 9 June 1981)

Vinyl and Cassette.

Produced by Magazine & Martin Hannett
Mixed by Martin Hannett
Assisted by Chris Nagle
Recorded & Engineered by John Brand at Trident Studios
Mixed at Strawberry Studios, Stockport
Art Direction by Malcolm Garrett at Assorted Images
Cover Photo by Bruce Gilden

Howard Devoto vocals & some guitar
Barry Adamson bass
John Doyle drums
Dave Formula keyboards
Ben Mandelson guitar & violin
Ray Schell & Laura Teresa backing vocals

Track Listing:

  1. About The Weather (Devoto/Formula) 4:03
  2. So Lucky (Devoto/Formula) 4:08
  3. The Honeymoon Killers (Devoto/Adamson/Mandelson) 3:36
  4. Vigilance (Devoto/Adamson) 5:14
  5. Come Alive (Devoto/Formula) 3:42
  6. The Great Man's Secrets (Devoto/Adamson/Doyle/Formula/Mandelson) 4:56
  7. This Poison (Devoto/Adamson/Doyle/Formula/Mandelson) 4:20
  8. Naked Eye (Devoto/Adamson/Doyle/Formula/Mandelson) 3:28
  9. Suburban Rhonda (Devoto/Formula) 3:32
  10. The Garden (Devoto/Formula) 2:38

Review Coming Soon!

After The Fact Cover AFTER THE FACT
IRS SP 70030 (Released 23 September 1982)

Vinyl, Cassette & CD .

Cut 1 & 8 Produced by Mick Glossop & Magazine
Cut 2 & 12 Produced by John Leckie
Cut 3 & 4 Produced by Colin Thurston
Cut 5 & 6 Produced by Tony Wilson
Cut 7, 9-11 & 13 Produced by Martin Hannett
Engineered by John Brand (most cuts)
Art Direction by Malcolm Garrett at Assorted Images
US Project Coordination by John Guarnieri
Mastered by Bob Carbone at A&M Studios

Howard Devoto vocals
Barry Adamson bass
John Doyle drums (cuts 3-7, 10-11 & 13)
Martin Jackson drums (cuts 1- 2, 8-9 & 12)
Dave Formula keyboards
John McGeoch guitar & sax (cuts 1-10 & 12-13)
Ben Mandelson guitar (cut 11)

Track Listing:

  1. Shot By Both Sides (Devoto/Shelley) 3:54
  2. Touch & Go (Devoto/McGeoch) 2:50
  3. TV Baby (Devoto/Formula) 3:45
  4. Rhythm Of Cruelty (Devoto/Adamson/McGeoch) 3:03
  5. I Love You You Big Dummy (Van Vliet) 3:54
  6. Give Me Everything (Devoto) 4:22
  7. Upside Down (Devoto/Adamson/Doyle/Formula/McGeoch) 3:48
  8. My Mind It Ain't So Open (Devoto/McGeoch) 2:16
  9. The Light Pours Out Of Me (Devoto/McGeoch/Shelley) 3:28
  10. A Song From Under The Floorboards (Devoto/Adamson/Doyle/Formula/McGeoch) 3:58
  11. About The Weather (Devoto/Formula) 3:24
  12. Goldfinger (Barry/Bricusse/Newley) 3:20
  13. The Book (Devoto/Adamson/Doyle/Formula/McGeoch) 2:25

Review Coming Soon!

Jerky Versions Of The Dream Cover JERKY VERSIONS OF THE DREAM
IRS SP 70036 (Released 26 July 1983)

Vinyl & Cassette.

Produced by Howard Devoto & Greg Walsh
Arranged by Howard Devoto & Dave Formula
Sleeve Design by Malcolm Garrett & Peter Saville Associates
Projected Image by Jules Bates (Artrouble)
Photography by Trevor Key
Sculpture by Scott Beadle

Howard Devoto vocals & keyboards
Alan St. Clair guitars
Dave Formula keyboards and programming
Martin Heath bass
Pat Ahern drums & percussion
Laura Teresa & Pamela Kifer backing vocals
Dave Martin bass (cut 2)
Leroy James additional guitar (cut 4)
Gary Barnacle saxaphone (cut 6 & 7)
Barry Adamson bass (cut 8 & 10)
Andy Diagram french horn & trumpet (cut 8)
Penelope Houston female vocals (cut 9)

Track Listing:

  1. Cold Imagination (Devoto) 4:12
  2. Topless (Devoto/Formula) 3:43
  3. Rainy Season (Devoto) 5:08
  4. I Admire You (Devoto) 5:08
  5. Way Out Of Shape (Devoto) 3:50
  6. Some Will Pay (For What Others Pay To Avoid) (Devoto/Formula) 3:35
  7. Waiting For A Train (Devoto) 4:45
  8. Out Of Shape With Me (Devoto) 4:30
  9. Taking Over Heaven (Devoto) 3:54
  10. Seeing Is Believing (Devoto) 3:10

Review Coming Soon!


IR 9023 IR 9023, unproduced picture sleeve "About The Weather"/"In The Dark"
IRS 9023 (Released 8 May 1981)

Produced by Martin Hannett & Magazine

(The first I.R.S. Single to carry a "generic" I.R.S. sleeve. Proposed but unproduced picture sleeve at right).

Review Coming Soon!

70966 "Rainy Season (Radio Edit)"/"Rainy Season"
IRS 70966 (Released 1983)

Produced by Howard Devoto & Greg Walsh

Review Coming Soon!

Compilations & Soundtracks

HEARING AIDS (no number) includes "Cold Imagination"
THESE PEOPLE ARE NUTS! (IRS 82010) includes "About The Weather"
URGH! A MUSIC WAR (A&M SP6019): features "Model Worker"


There are several links to websites pertaining to Magazine or Howard Devoto. Here's what we found:

Discuss Artist Name in the DISCUSSION FORUM
This Page Last Updated 6 November 2002

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