Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Heavy Metal magazine September 1984

'Heavy Metal' magazine September 1984

September, 1984, and in heavy rotation on the FM radio stations is David Bowie's song 'Blue Jean'.

The August, 1984 issue of Heavy Metal magazine was bad. The September issue, unfortunately, isn't much better. It does have a striking wraround cover by Luis Royo, however.

There are new installments of Benard and Schuiten's 'The Railway'; Druillet's 'Salammbo II'; Frank Thorne's 'Lann', and John Findley's 'Tex Arcana'. 

However, the rest of the content is mediocre. Kierkegaard's 'Rock Opera' persist in being published, Nicola Cuti's 'Things' is forgettable, and the most awful strip in the issue is a one-shot titled 'Sen Lubin from Ernst' by a duo named Victoria Petersen and Neal McPheeters. 

Perhaps the most interesting, and surprising, article in the September issue is the Heavy Metal '1984 Music Video Awards'. After having spent the interval from 1981 - 1983 regarding music television with some degree of the dedicated hipster's disdain, the magazine's editorial staff now enthusiastically embrace music videos, and devote 8 pages to showcasing their faves for the year (loosely interpreted as 1983, and the first six months of 1984).

Some of these videos ('Every Breath You Take' by The Police) will be quite familiar to anyone who watched MTV at that time; some are a bit more obscure - I'd completely forgotten those grainy, washed-out-palette, jerkily handheld camera - imitating Neil Young rockabilly videos like 'Wonderin'. 

Still other videos earning accolades from HM are utterly obscure - does anyone remember Jack the Ripper by The Raybeats ?! it's a retro surf-rock song with a spot-on video.....

In any event, below I've posted the text of Heavy Metal's 1984 Music Video Awards, so you can see for yourself what was hip and cutting-edge back in those long-ago days......


William said...

I think it is great that you are writing this blog serial on the Heavy Metal Magazines. Newer generations just cannot be exposed to the media that we were back in the day, and that is sad in some ways. I loved Heavy Metal and Starlog back in the 1980's, and consider them an important part of my sci-fi fan development. Seeing these older magazines is like a time machine. Again, thanks.

Anonymous said...

I think you're spot-on about HM in this period.
As a teenage doofus in the 70s/80s, for a brief time, my life revolved around getting my Heavy Metal fix, really just killing time until a new issue came out.
But by '84, it just started really sucking. Just really had to pick less and less meat off the bones of something that probably should've been buried in 82.
I probably have every issue of their monthly run and have to say it probably hit its peak in around '80 and went steadily downhill from there.
Thank for covering these, though! It's still fascinating!

fred said...

thanks for putting up your Heavy Metal posts. It's hard to believe how much attention music videos (and Heavy Metal magazine) got at the time. yeah, the 80s weren't kind to HM. After the movie came out it degenerated in pop culture influence, and quality. It's not like there was never bad stuff in HM, but there was a lot more as it aged.
Still, I liked getting the monthly issues, and the continuing stories. Tex Arcana was a favorite, even though it often got printed on lesser quality paper. And I actually liked Rock Opera, the art was sometimes wonky but sometimes impressive, and the writing was often satiric and even witty. I enjoyed watching it grow from a couple panels to a humongous blob, belching satire and invective, leaving behind a slimy trail. Stuff like that kept me buying the mag.