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Cover of Sounds (24/05/1980)
|First issue||10 October 1970|
|Final issue||6 April 1991|
Sounds was a long-term British music paper, published weekly from 10 October 1970 – 6 April 1991. It was produced by Spotlight Publications (part of Morgan Grampian), which was set up by Jack Hutton and Peter Wilkinson, who left Melody Maker to start their own company. Sounds was their first project, a weekly paper devoted to progressive rock and described by Hutton, to those he was attempting to recruit from his former publication, as "a leftwing Melody Maker". Sounds was intended to be a weekly rival to titles such as Melody Maker and New Musical Express (NME). It was well known initially for giving away posters in the centre of the paper (initially black and white, but colour from late 1971) and later for covering heavy metal (especially the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM)) and Oi! music in its late 1970s-early 1980s heyday. Sounds was the first music paper in its coverage of punk and in the late eighties was maintaining its reputation for getting there first, when John Robb covered the Manchester music scene and came up with the term 'Britpop' whilst writing for Sounds. The paper's editors realized the importance of its regional audience and had freelancers across the UK contributing gig reviews and articles about up and coming local bands.
One of the "trinity" of British music weeklies, along with NME and Melody Maker, it finally folded in 1991 after the parent company United Newspapers, sold all their music titles to EMAP Metro and closed Sounds. Morgan-Grampian had been acquired by United Business Media - then known as United News and Media - in 1987, first as part of the United Advertising Publications (UAP) division and later as part of the then CMP Information portfolio. Ironically its circulation was beginning to rise again significantly in the last few months of its life.
A legacy of Sounds was the creation of the heavy metal/rock magazine Kerrang!, which was originally issued as a supplement before being spun off as a separate publication, still in circulation to this day.
Contributors included Keith Altham, Garry Bushell, Geoff Barton, Phil Bell, Mick Sinclair, Johnny Waller, Gary Cooper, John Gill, Tommy Udo, Barbara Charone, Caroline Coon, Andrew Courtney, Giovanni Dadomo, Hugh Fielder, Dave Fudger, Jonathan Knight, Antonella Gambotto, Jerry Gilbert, Vivien Goldman, Jonh Ingham, Pete Makowski, Alan Moore (aka "Curt Vile"), Jon Newey, Mick Middles, Lizo Mzimba, Ian Ravendale, John Robb, John Peel, Edwin Pouncey (aka "Savage Pencil"), Penny Reel, Cathi Unsworth, Jon Ronson, Robin Gibson, Damon Wise, Jon Savage, Peter Silverton, Sylvie Simmons, Steve Sommer, Penny Valentine, Marguerite Van Cook, Mary Anne Hobbs, Mat Snow, James Brown (who went on to form Loaded), Steve Lamacq, Kev F. Sutherland and Russ Carvell's UT strip, Keith Cameron, Mr Spencer, Winston Smith, Andy Peart, Tim Peacock, Paul Mardles, Paul Moody, Claude Wogger, David Tibet, Leo Finlay, Steffan Chirazi, Chris Roberts, Valac Van Der Veene, Ann Scanlon, Neil Perry, Kevin Murphy, Paul Elliott, Sandy Robertson, Dave McCullough, Jane Suck (nee Jackman), Phil Sutcliffe, Tony Mitchell along with photographers Andy Phillips,Virginia Turbett, Paul Slattery, Ross Halfin, Justin Focus, Steve Rapport, Rik Walton, Janette Beckman, Mary Scanlon, Steve Gullick, Leo Regan, Steve Double and Gus Stewart.
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