Free articles: Rocks Backpages

Simply great. I am adding this link to my blogroll immediately. Free articles: Rocks Backpages

This is a list of all free articles in the Rock’s Backpages library – a limited selection.

Wikipedia explains the whole site well:

Rock’s Backpages was founded in 2000 by British music journalist Barney Hoskyns. As of January 2010, its database contains over 17,000 articles (interviews, features, reviews etc.), covering a wide range of popular music (including blues and soul music) from the 1950s onwards.[1]

Rock’s Backpages is a subscription site, aimed at both individual consumers and institutional subscribers such as academic institutions and media organisations.

Sources for articles in the database include magazines such as Creem, Rolling Stone, New Musical Express, Melody Maker, Crawdaddy!, and Mojo magazine. The database contains contributions from over 300 journalists, primarily from the United States and the United Kingdom, including Dave Marsh, Nick Kent, Charles Shaar Murray, Nick Tosches, Mick Farren, Al Aronowitz and Ian MacDonald.

The articles are full text and fully searchable. All the material in the database is presented with the full agreement and permission of the copyright holders – freelance writers and journalists – or of their estates.

The Guardian praised it lovingly in 2006. (One of the “25 most amazing music sites on the web”).

I have a friend – OK, it’s me – who drove his mother nuts by leaving piles of NME and Sounds strewn around the bedroom. Now I drive my wife and family to distraction by filling all cupboards with back copies of music mags – with articles on Neil Young or the Clash torn out. is for me – and for my family. It’s an archive of 10,000 classic pop interviews and reviews, searchable by artist or writer. You can while away hours seeing how critical opinions on the Flamin’ Groovies have altered, and now, as the site builds its audio content, you can hear Hendrix mumbling about Electric Ladyland. It’s a cultural resource for students, it’s a tool for journalists – and it’s a great way of whiling away a wet afternoon. There’s an annual subscription of £25, but trust me, it’s worth it, if only to keep your house tidy.

To read the free stuff, you will need a email-sent password, but it is worth it. There are many old articles that look promising. I am already adding some texts to my Instapaper account. A (not-really) random sample from 1993:

Bryan Ferry’s brother-in-law, journalist Edward Helmore, also rebuts the popular notion, crystallised in a 1985 Sunday Times profile which made Ferry “incredibly upset”, that the singer aspires to the tweedy English squirarchy: “I think Bryan would rather die than go to a hunt ball.”

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