Q magazine, like rock music, has reinvented itself. This isn’t in
desperation. Q owns its market. The record business adores it, retailers
give it truckloads of pages and even us agencies support it with ads
every now and then.
But in the past Q has lost readers and been over-reliant on old stars
and old features - and it must attract younger readers. With its revamp,
Q hasn’t done anything too radical. It looks more modern and, by adding
colour coding, has differentiated various sections.
The main articles are mixed and include features on clubbing, the goofy
Hanson brothers, unlistenable music, Chris Evans and, predictably,
Out goes the spiteful two-faced celebrity feature ’Who the hell
does ...’ and in comes the ’Cash for Questions’ star interview where
readers receive pounds 25 per published question. The first one features
Sir Paul McCartney.
All in all, Q works well. This issue has an extensive review section,
all the best bits about the popular Q awards, an overview of the 50 best
albums and the best free CD of 1997 music.
Emap Metro has done a good job. It has an Anfield-like ability to pick
the right editor at the right time, and David Davies is a key
appointment because 1998 will be a difficult year for music.
Most big acts won’t be releasing albums until 1999 and the tills haven’t
been ringing as loudly as many would like. Mr Davies’s job will be to
make the best out of what could be a very tricky year and he’s made a
good start. Now for the difficult second issue ...