The 12 weeks of Sounds mod revival 1979

The 12 weeks of Sounds mod revival 1979

Sounds magazine in the UK was the thinking persons music newspaper in the late 1970's early eighties.  Sure you had New Musical Express (NME) and Melody Maker but Sounds delved a little deeper into scenes.  As you'll read in the pages below, pre-social media - music journalists words were treated as gospel. 

Here are two cover stories from Sounds; August 1979 lauding the official arrival of a mod revival, versus from the same music journalists in November 1979 the scenes demise.  According to these know-it-alls the scene was good for 12 weeks, thats a shorter life span than the UK punk scene lasting the whole summer of 1976.  The music press at this time really did not have a much love at all for the scene or indeed bands that had mod leanings.

Goffa Gladding writer and publisher of Maximum Speed fanzine makes it into both issues flying the flag for all things mod revival.  Which affirms in some small way the importance of zines from the 1970's to the days of these ruddy Anglozine blogs.  I guess today it would be like having a podcaster sitting on a BBC panel discussing world affairs.

Thatchers Britain was as we know was not a bed of roses and the majority of these 'revival' bands sang once-more-unto-the-breach lyrics like 'Millions Like Us' and 'Maybe Tomorrow'.  Punk had done it a few years previous but were less anthem like and had more of a sledgehammer destroy tone.

There are only a handful of mod revival bands that make it onto my record player, the vast majority I don't dig at all.  Much like the rush of record labels to snap up kids with guitars in the wake of 1990's 'Brit Pop'.  Lets be honest most were really not worth the time of day.  I see a few similarities between: The Merton Parka's mod revival and Brit poppers band Menswear, getting record deals before they'd played a note it seemed.

Ian Brown & Mani of The Stone Roses were revival 1979 scooter boys and sold their scooters to buy a guitars so went the tale in the Stone Roses documentary.  Riding around the North West scooter rallies they would have seen some of the bands listed in the 'who's who' further along here in the August issue.  Bob Manton of the mod revival band The Purple Hearts made an impression on Brown.  Mantons on stage persona had influenced Ian Brown which is visible in early footage of The Stone Roses.  I only mention this to give a fix on the influence of the scene at the time. The scene had a genuine grasp across the UK, and not just London.  Certainly in the way people in the scene dress today, the look seems to have taken more from the revival wardrobe than the original 1960's styling.

I'm not going to delve into who/what/where the mod revival scene was in 1979 I wasn't there- far too young thanks very much.  But I can highlight the when

1965 - 1979 = 14

Roughly speaking the original mod scene had whimpered out 14 years prior to this awakened scene.  One thing that strikes me from this period is there must have been a ton of amazing original 1960's clothes, records and scooters in circulation. 

These two issues I'm guessing had no real damning effect on the scene at the time- I'm sure it fizzled out naturally as all scenes tend to.  Its just funny to me how the same magazine wanted to shape a movement and kill it off in a matter of months.

Sounds Magazine August mod 1979 Anglozine

August 11th 1979 clearly the mod revival scene was so new that it hadn't even had time to form its own graphics and aesthetic.

 Mod Sounds Magazine August 1979 Anglozine


Anglozine Sounds magazine Mod 1979 revival


Anglozine Mod Revival Sounds magazine August 1979

No mention of The Jam, here which in hindsight may confuse some. When talking about the music industry and scene at the time though The Jam came up through the punk scene. When the revival bands are mentioned today The Jam are always in there usually topping the list, its just a given that they were intrinsic to the revival period.  The music press had a deeper respect for 'punk' bands for some reason, mod was just a flash in the pan - they hoped.

Mod Anglozine Sounds magazine 1979

 Anglozine Mod Sounds revival 1979


Anglozine Mod Revivial Sounds Magazine August 1979


The Look Anglozine Sounds Magazine mod revival 1979

Fast forward three months a veritable probation period for Mod revival and the demise of the scene is already been documented by the same magazine. From all the boys and girls I've spoken to about this fated year the consensus is that Franc Roddams 1979 film Quadrophenia an adaptation of The Who's rock opera, was the nail in the coffin for any musings of an underground scene. 

Anglozine Mod Revival Sounds magazine November 1979

This cover shot was taken by Iain McKell. Taken from the rare as hens teeth book Sub Culture (Ed. I'd love a copy

Mod Revival Sounds magazine November 1979

Anglozine Sounds Magazine November 1979


Anglozine Mod Revival November 1979


 Anglozine Sounds Magazine November 1979 Mod revival

November 1979 Sounds magazine Anglozine Sounds magazine


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