Real Life is the debut studio album by English rock band Magazine. It was released in June 1978 by record label Virgin. The album includes the band's debut single "Shot by Both Sides", and was also preceded by the non-album single "Touch and Go", a song from the album's recording sessions. Real Life has received critical acclaim and is considered a pioneering post-punk record. It has also been described as new wave and art rock.Wikipedia
Yes please. Love the Barry Adamson/Nick Cave/Dave Graney/Siouxsie and the Banshees thread that this has formed for me. Post punk has become one of my favourite genres and this all makes a lot of sense as part of the genesis of that whole scene. Post punk is the most intriguing genre in terms of its timelessness. This could have easily been released in 2022 and been very successful (with maybe some slightly less Buzzcocks vocal stylings). Very subtle and very not tacky pre 80s synthesisers which for me is a rarity. Solid amount of shred too.
I think it's safe to say that, had Howard Devoto decided not to leave The Buzzcocks and stayed put, post-punk most likely would have never existed. Featuring Devoto's expressive talk-singing, the spiky angular guitar of the incomparable John McGeogh, the equally incomparable bass masterwork of Barry Adamson and the drum/keyboard combinations of the awesomely named Dave Formula and Martin Jackson, the aptly titled Real Life draws from the very blueprint lain out for other aspiring bands to follow that looked to equal or better what was in front of them, with songs that burst (no pun intended) through with it's spiraling five plus minute lengths (verboten in the punk world) and a sense of structure that left no room for snarl and spit. A great, often overlooked, debut that signaled the beginning of startling developments in late 70s Britain and it wouldn't have been possible without the talents of Magazine.
An album that gets more odd and beautiful as it breathes over time. I want to spend more time with it before I have other words, but it rocks and I’m really glad I discovered it.
Late 70s UK punk for me is The Clash, The Damned, Wire, and Magazine. This record fucks.
Now here's a fucking album. So ahead of its time.
There's a reason that I usually give albums more than one listen, and Real Life is a great example. I found the first listen irritating and boring, but the second listen has made me love this record. The instrumentation is wonderful on almost all of the tracks, and it sets quite the tone for post-punk. I especially love the Bowie-like vocals on track 5. I can see myself coming back to this album just as much as I come back to Unknown Pleasures. Highlights: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, and 9 (not including 2007 release with bonus tracks).
Gonna have to listen to this one again and again. Had heard the single, but now I want to own the whole album
Feels like Halloween, very creative melodically and conceptually. Fav songs “great beautician in the sky”, “motorcade”, and “shot by both sides”
Post-punk and I have an uneasy relationship, so I wasn’t terribly excited at this prospect. Boy was I mistaken! By my third listen I was hooked, and by now I’ve listened to this at least 5 times in a 24 hour period. These are fantastically catchy songs with witty lyrics and some incredible musicianship! Magazine is willing to play some lush piano only to transition to carnival-style synth music. I am digging this! Theres sort of a punk-new-wave-beach vibe going on, but then there are little touches of all kinds of other fun sounds. And at times I just stopped to marvel at the drummer. This is one of my favorite musical discoveries this year!
Excellent, loved the buzzcocks, so this was a really enjoyable listen.
A punk masterclass! Brilliant album from start to finish that dared to break out of the mire that punk had become.
7.5/10 F.t.: shot by both sides
-I'm always a fan of rock+synth+other instruments -Great basslines throughout the whole album -"Recoil" is a great jam -"The Great Beautician In The Sky" has a cool circus-motif and a groovin' bassline -Cool like saxophone or something in "My Mind Ain't So open" -Solid album, I'll definitely be listening again
Ooh, proggy! This is not your average post-punk, and that made it a really interesting listen for me. Also, was pleasantly surprised to find the source of "The Light Pours Out of Me", which I was familiar with from Ministry's cover... Fave track - love the rising hysteria of "Shot By Both Sides"!
“Real Life” by Magazine (1978) Lyrics are good—frequently demonstrating artful juxtaposition of unexpected pairs of images. On “My Tulpa”, the line “My skin wants to crawl back to Ma” nicely demonstrates this. This feature forces the reader to read slowly, or the listener to listen more than once. But alas, the feature is almost undone by the musical compositions, which can obscure the words, or occasionally drive past them at breakneck speed. Magazine works hard to overcome this potential weakness through slow or half tempos, good mixing, and the almost comically exaggerated diction, all with partial success. So a serious appreciation of this album takes a lot of work. But it’s not quite worth it, especially since time and distance (UK of 43 years ago) make many of the idioms and references incomprehensible. The musical settings seem quaint today, utilizing then-innovative progressions and effects that are now dated, forcing us to adopt the same kind of ears we must use to appreciate, say, harpsichord renditions of compositions we’ve heard on piano. In term of performance, intentionally shabby vocals and ballpark tunings of guitar and bass require some getting used to. Guitarist John McGeoch should put down the saxophone. I’m not sure why at the outset I wanted to find this album ‘good’, but only ended up with a rating of ‘fair’. 2/5
Sounding like b52s with some more space and more English punk sound and of course there’s a certain way I feel about English punk
Really enjoyed this
Voe vittu.. muutama kappale kuunneltuna ja tuntuu vitoselta.. Mutta miksi? Mikä saa minut antamaan vitosen? Mikä saa minut edes käyttämään albumiarvosteluboksin, eli tämän tekstikentän täyteen oman arvosanani selittelyä, julistuksia siitä mitä annan albumille? Oma saamattomuuteni albumin arvostelijana. Eli työn palkattomuus. Hauskuutan itseäni numeroilla, minulla ei ole mitään muuta elämässäni kuin vain nämä numerot, ne ovat tärkeitä minulle. Muistan nämä numerot, ja ne ovat tärkeitä minulle, pidän niitä lähelläni, ne ovat aktiivisen työn takana, sillä muisti ei ole mitään kovalevy tilaa, jota ei tarvitse kirjoittaa kirjoittamisen jälkeen, siitä on pidettävä kiinni. Muisti on aktiivista, ja se kuluttaa paljon energiaa, se on jatkuva prosessi. Mutta nämä numerot ovat minulle tärkeitä. Mitä ne numerot tarkoittavat, en tiedä. Keskiarvo pitää vain pysyä pitkällä tähtäimellä, ja nyt sen pitää pudota mutta pitkällä tähtäimellä supeta, supeta kolmepistenollanollaan, vaikka numerot eivät normaalijakaumaa toteutakkaan. Ja tärkeä asia: Jokaisen albumin numero on muistettava ja se on suhteutettava ja harmiteltava on myös, jos olisi sattunut käymään poikkeama objektiivisuudesta, huh onneksi niin ei ole käynyt.. heh.. näenhän maailman totena ja oikeana, havaintoni eivät tiedosta subjektiivisyyttä... ne ovat.. havaintoja.. Onko art rock anomalia joka saa minut väläyttämään vitoskorttia? - Noh, vastasin minä. Onhan taide suhteellista, ja poikkeavat työt voivat poiketa huonoonkin suuntaan, jatkoin. Mutta tänne valitut työt ovat "parasta A ryhmää" niinkuin kummelissakin sanotaan, vaikkei tässä 1001 albumi kontekstissa sanotakkaan. Eh, nyt menee kiusalliseksi, Onko kaikki art rockilla leimatut albumit tuomittu tippumaan summary osioon komeilemaan? Eih vastasin, kun päätin että jos tässä ei olla pysytty 70 luvulla, vaan vaikkapa 80 luvulla, saa albumi 4:sen. Sitten kuuntelin, ja sanoin yhtä uhmakkaasti: Jos Ei PERKELE Tälläistä Ole Saatu Aikaan 80- Luvulla, Vaan 90 lukuun on tämän tekeminen jäänyt artisteille taakaksi, on se häpeä, ja albumi saa minun kirjoissani, numeroissani, niitä joita muistelen, noh albumi saisi vain 3 tähteä.. heh.. Tämä siksi että se tekisi hyvää numeroille. Ennen tuomioita ja säätämääni lakia arvostelulle, muistin kuitenkin että albumi olisi vuodelta 1978, joten oikeudenkäynti oli corrupt, eli suomeksi korrupti. (heh tiesin et 70 luku albumi heh) Musiiikista voi sanoa sen, että todella hankala sijoittaa mihinkään aikakauteen, tämähän on hyvä asia. Oikeastaan se jää yhden lempi artistini, Jarren jutuissa vaivaamaan. Hän uurasti hyvin paljon. Painava taakka vetänä.. Obelix konsanaan.. Hyvä muistaa keneltä Roger Waters kysyi nimmaria ihmisoikeusjuttuunsa.. Jarre! Jarre!... Turkkilainen tomittaja vankilassa keissi..Jarre antoi.. Jarre onnistunut tekemään musiikkia joka saa jotkut ihmiset sanomaan, että musiikki kuullostaa siltä, kuin se olisi tehty tulevaisuudessa.. hauskaahan tämä on objektivistin silmissä. Verrattuna Jarreen tämä oikeasti hämää vaikka heh.. satuin tietämään aikakauden vahingossa.. MUTTA SANA KÄY, TOTUUS SOI SUUSTA, EI EHKÄ YHTÄ SEKAVASTI, sekavasti kuin tämä albumi soi mutta, olenhan oikeuden säilö. Numerot ovat totuus, ja objektia, eli objektiivisuus tässä ja nyt, aina ja ikuisesti. Aamen.
A milestone for post-punk, with an adventurous spirit that goes way beyond the punk/"new wave" template of those times. The song topics, the melodies, the arrangements... Everything is terrific here. Some parts of those tunes are a little off-kilter, of course, but that's unavailable when you go wild like that. And most of them are instantly memorable anyway, as weird as they are. If only for "Shot By Both Sides" and its soaring guitar hook or "Definitive Gaze" and its bizarre synth line, along with "Motorcade" and the epic anthem "The Light Pours Out Of Me", this record deserves to be on this list. A quick aside: some key Radiohead members have repeatedly stated how this band had been a pivotal one for their musical upbringing. And if you delve a little into certain details, you can quickly understand why... *Magazine* was one of the very first productions by John Leckie, by the way. Yep, the same guy who would aptly produce *The Bends* later. It's always fun to point out connections between the albums in this list, is it not? Number of albums left to review: 652 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 175 (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 83 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more essential to me): 96
This goes HARD
Weird and wonderful.
Weird, post-punk, art rock, almost new wave record. Pretty heavy use of synth, eccentric vocals. This might take another listen. Supposedly super groundbreaking, and it’s pretty cool and out there, but it’s not grabbing me on listen #1. Some Bowie influence here and there. Very vibrant and frenetic
its good but why
Showing that you can know more than 3 chords and still do punk music. Hard to believe that the post-punk movement started just a year or two after punk broke out.
I will listen to this again. Except that one song. You know which one...
v good punk album
Genressä lukee post-punkia ja sellaiselta tämä kuulostaakin. Lauluääni on kuin suoraan punkista, mutta soitto on moninverroin monimutkaisempaa ja seesteisempää. Levyä kuunnellessa on ristiriitaisia tunteita, onko tämä hyvää vai ei? Ehkä kallistun hyvän puolelle. Ei tässä mitään bangereita ole, mutta mukavaa tunnelmaa.
I like it. It's something different.
I liked it, quite like Lloyd Cole but rockier. Except for the Goldfinger cover. Shudder.
ahead of its time a lot like the clash
Nice! My kind of Punk Rock! I can see myself listening to this one again.
Really enjoyed this despite not knowing the band at all
Det här var rätt gött alltså
Great stuff 4 stars
Cool artwork, even cooler arrangements and songwriting. Don't love the vocals though. I feel like this album would reward some repeated listens.
This is great - weird and catchy, inventive and substantial without being self important.
Really good post-punk. Artsy Buzzcocks. 8/10 1. Motorcade 2. Shot by Both Sides 3. Parade
I really liked this one. I think every song took me on a little bit of a journey, which I appreciated. Didn't hurt that the musical style / vocals / lyrics are something I'd typically enjoy.
Hot Damn. I never heard this group before. I thought Television was the preeminent Post-Punk band, I'll need to check out more from them. 4.5/5
A dramatic post-punk album that is especially unique and adventurous. The sound if deeply layered and the dynamism apparent from the opening track. The keyboard play alternates between fickle and volatile, never upstaging the central part of the albums sound: the singer. The lyrics are elaborate and the vocals are only enhanced by the band. This album has sound I would assume many haven't heard before and the interplay and energy presented is a thing to experience. Favorite tracks: Definitive Gaze, Shot by Both Sides, Motorcade, The Great Beautician in the Sky, The Light Pours Out of Me
Loved this - amazed I'd never heard of it before.
Fun alt "mod" rock album. Not the most gripping stuff ever, but at least enjoyable all the way through
Way better sound than some of the other recent recs...love this type of punk sound as a switch-up to what I'm used to
This is weird and fun. And what a change from the Buzzcocks for the singer (read that on Wikipedia). Definitely coming back for another listen. Lots of noise. Lots of pop melodies. But all backed with what feel like live takes in the studio (less synthetic than other similar bands from the same era). I'd put this up there with anything the Talking Heads did, and I don't say that lightly. What's not to love? Four stars because 3.5 isn't possible.
A competent post-punk addition by Magazine, that incorporates catchy hooks and modest production. For a 1978 record, the arrangements can be considered quite influential for punk bands today but not quite musically moving depth-wise. Hasty and nimble bars make for a thrilling record overall.
I really enjoyed this
Great album, and a landmark of the post-punk genre.
I know Magazine from a few albums that I have from my 80s listening. Resl Life was not one that I owned, however I am familiar with a few if the songs from the live album; Play, which got a lot of....play back when in the day. Anyway the album is very good, better than both studio albums that I already have in my collection; Magic, Murder and the Weather and The Correct Use of Soap. Best songs Definitive Gaze, Shot by Both Sides, Motorcade, and The Light Pours Out of Me. 4 🌟
Right up my alley. I feel like I probably should have heard "Shot By Both Sides" before, but I don't recognize it.
Never heard of these guys but really enjoyed this album.
It's post punk, but with a very clear dash of something else. It was pretty fucking solid.
More post-punk that I like. A bit uneven, some real misses. Favorites were Burst and Motorcade
Starts off real strong. Starts to lose me toward the end but maybe i'll come to love that in time.
Umslagið er ljótt. Söngurinn er talandi og óeftirminnilegur. En tónlistin sjálf er fjölbreytt, flott og skemmtileg. Á mörkum þrists og fjarska. Gæti hlustað aftur.
Back when I lived in Ottawa, b4 I became a DJ I would tape late night CKCU FM and be thrilled when I got gems from the likes of Magazine, Teardrop Explodes or The Fall. If someone asked what I thought of those bands, I'd give them a thumbs up, based on the 2 songs I knew. On this LP, the more punk-oriented singles are respectable (and sound a bit like the Buzzcocks) and I love Howard Devoto's delivery. As the album plays on it gets more interesting and the music becomes more timeless, with songs like Motorcade/Parade and The Light Pours Out of Me.
The keyboards on Definitive Gaze remind me of Tony Banks playing around that time. This band plays well together
Mélodicamente pasable. Con reminiscencias de los 80 con algo más de guitarreo. No los conocía y me han gustado.
This was fine, nothing hooked me but it was listenable
2/3 punk and 1/3 post punk
Excellent noisy post-punk.
Great album, never heard it before, looking forward to listening to it more.
Čak mogu reći da je album dost esencijalan za post-punk scenu, iako sam ga "kasno" otkrio, nea veze. Pola albuma rastura, to je sigurno.
I previewed a couple of songs before going to bed last night. I wasn't overly impressed and expected to be kind of bored with the rest of the album today. When I started the album again this afternoon, it was much more appealing to me...kinda catchy!
There's some very 80s-sounding quirkiness, but these guys can really jam. The first 30 seconds were a bit offputting and I was getting ready to not like this. That quickly changed when I realized this isn't a New Wave synth album, they do seem to have some synth effects but it's a lot of great guitar riffs and driving melodies. Singer sounds halfway between Bowie and the lead singer from Blur, that took on a more heavy rock band. Overall good album, grew on me fast and kept it going pretty much to the end.
Real wife? Huga!
Not as crazy about this album as many are but it doubtlessly has many great moments. ”Shot By Both Sides” is also just a banger
Una altra mostra de la màgia creativa que va aflorar durant uns anys que no tenen comparació a la història de la música pop. 'Real Life' és un fill de la seva època, i un disc que acaba enganxat amb les escoltes. No és fàcil, però un cop et fas amb ell, entens que s'hagi convertit en un dels grans clàssics de culte del génere
really fucking good post-punk
This is pretty interesting…. The quirky side to the buzzcocks melody. I like it!
This album starts out really strong. It's a postpunk album with some electronic elements that were very surprising given when it was made. The album tends overall to get less interesting as it goes, which is a bit of a disappointment. It feels a bit like they started to run out of ideas. It's a bit of a bummer, but this album is worth it just for the first half 4/5
First listen. I’ve never heard of the band before, not too bad.
I really like when I find something new to me that’s good, this is why I enjoy keeping up with this challenge. Solid punk that’s pretty well paced! Would definitely listen again. B
I didn't know this one, but I liked it. It got a little over-long near the end and same-y, but there's plenty to like here. Reminded me of something like Wire. 4/5
Interesting punk album! Worth a few more listens
I had never heard this album before. I was aware of many of the songs through their live album; Play which I think is underrated. Difinitive Gaze, Shot By Both Sides, Recoil and The Light Pours Out of Me are all great tunes. Howard Devoto's voice is an acquired taste, but to me it fits his songs beautifully and for me its always about the song not about the individual elements, including the vocals. Its a very good album; the best studio album I've heard from Magazine. 4 stars
Du vrai bon post-punk, album de qualité
I love New Wave. Some interesting sounds here. Synth, energy and passion.
Up there with Wire as far as post punk pioneers go. I enjoy everything about their sound.
Having listened to Dub Housing by Pere Ubu right before this, there must have been something happening in music in 1978. The new wave thing they are doing sounds so breathtaking. It's just catchy enough to let you in, and then slaps you on the face and you like it, dammit.
Great music to pogo to
Speciale sound. Moeilijk om een etiket op te plakken, maar wel leuk om te luisteren
As far as our late 70s early 80s post punk new wave albums go this one actually hit the spot
Might be worth revisiting
This was cool. Not punk like I thought it was going to be. I even enjoyed the singers slightly different voice.
punk rock yes!!
Really enjoyed this post punk goodness, the Light Pours Out Of Me is especially a banger. Solid 4
Really good, catchy album
This album is kind of all over the place in an interesting way. I hear Sabbath, Ramones, Sex Pistols, Clash. All pretty good stuff. Don't know that I'll listen again, but a pretty good listen overall.
I honestly didn’t expect this to be that good. I think I’ll have to listen to it again but seriously think this could become another favorite if I listen to it more.