RIP Observer Music Monthly
Guardian News & Media’s redesigned Sunday title will have four weekly sections – news, sport, an expanded Review section and the Observer magazine – and the award-winning glossy supplement Observer Food Monthly. The other three supplements, Observer Sport Monthly, Observer Music Monthly and Observer Woman, will close.
I think observers (no pun intended) will have been more surprised by the death of Bobby Robson than OMM. Still, what a memorable and always well-written ride it’s been? Here’s a brief rundown of some of our favourite OMM moments from history.
- Nelson George writes a “25 Most Important Moments In Hip-Hop History“, apparently because there are no black journalists in the UK so you have to go to America to hire one. And who can argue that the most important moments in the long and storied parable include the rise to superstardom of Hijack, MC Solaar and Dangermouse? Or that the rap single of 1996 was “Killing Me Softly”?
- Sarah Boden, an odious cunt who will hopefully find herself on the dole and forced to attend Jobcentre Plus programs with the working classes she so fears, writes possibly the worst music article of the decade with her piece on “Smart literate” (read “privately educated never done a day’s work in their life”) British indie bands. Random quote: Macpherson, who goes by the stage name Frederick Blood-Royale, leads his own fight against modern vulgarity, covering pop culture (‘I almost feel ashamed when I go home and watch Neighbours. I feel like I’ve let down my forefathers’), consideration (‘If someone’s made it their life to make music for you to listen to, I can’t have it on in the background while I’m making a fucking bacon sandwich’), sobriety (‘There’s nothing to gain from choosing chemicals or alcohol to change your reality. Nothing can take you away bar death’), and artistry (‘I write music for the mind. For the library’). He is immensely entertaining. Old ILB mucker James “Dr Robotnik” McMahon weighs in with a 700 word text message in response. British music hack scene becomes interesting for five minutes, then returns to being a load of aspies in retro trainers again.
- Jarvis Cocker edits an issue of the magazine, and turns it into a 128 page advert for all his mates’ bands. The Hours somehow fail to go on to have a #1 album. Still, full credit to Jarvo for keeping the pro-Tory messages in it down to a minimum.
- This as a magazine cover. I appreciate that Triga tend not to have black models, but I really don’t think this is a niche that necessarily the Observer should have been filling.
- An absolutely stunning list of “50 Albums That Changed Music“. Without “Nevermind”, there would have been no “Seattle Sound” (genre existence: 1987-1992), apparently. Without “Three Feet High and Rising” (released: 1989), there would have been no Jungle Brothers (debut album: 1988). Without Massive Attack, there would be “no British urban music scene”. Massive Attack invented black people.
- Miranda Sawyer. In general.
- Miranda Sawyer. In specifics. A piece on Lily Allen in 2006: “Lily is a genuine, no PR, punters-love-it success”. Sadly they never let Sawyer write a piece on Sandi Thom.
I mean, I could go on but it would lead to suicide. The “recommend music to celebs” thing, which seemingly every month ended with them giving a Fela Kuti album to Roger Black, was certainly a treat. As was its “all music is at least average” The Fly-tribute style of reviewing where nothing got panned. Still, I’m sure Casper Llewellyn Smith will land on his feet. Talent like that doesn’t stay outta work for long.