I VIVIDLY RECALL the feeling I got – blimey, 20 years ago now – when I first picked up the launch issue of MOJO magazine. I knew Editor Paul Du Noyer and the team who created it, but it was still unbelievably exciting to find a magazine that wasn’t afraid to celebrate the achievements of music’s genuine innovators alongside the best in new music, and that found ways of joining the dots in between. Original Art Editor Andy Cowles’ stately and romantic design framework was hugely inspiring, as was the magazine’s ethos of covering music and musicians with genuine depth and the authority that comes with first-hand encounters. Those guiding principles continue to define the way we assemble the magazine today, 20 years on.
“We have continued to cover the musicians we believe in.”
The fact that MOJO has since become the biggest-selling music magazine in Britain – a state of affairs that still rather bemuses us – suggests we were right to preserve the original spirit of the magazine. We have continued to cover the musicians we believe in rather than those who are merely popular.
In selecting my favourite 20 covers, I pondered why they mattered, what they represented and how a majority of them reflect the design aesthetic our Art Editor Mark Wagstaff has nurtured and evolved during his 15-year tenure on the magazine.
I was tempted to pick more from MOJO’s early period – the salad days of my fervent fandom – but, as immodest as it may seem, I reckon we’ve done some pretty good work over the last decade and have tried to strike a balance between my stewardship and the work of the editors that came before me.
If nothing else, I like to think the selection indicates the breadth of MOJO’s coverage. Yet every cover star has one thing in common: they’ve made (or, in one instance, disseminated) music that’s built to last.
So, here’s that rundown of my 20 favourite covers, in order of preference, and a few random thoughts on each…
So, what’s your favourite MOJO cover, and why? Peruse our Covers archive here then add your comment below…