The new issue of Q is a photo spectacular, featuring 75 stunning pages of classic rock'n'roll imagery. We hear the amazing tales behind classic, rare and unseen pictures of Bowie, Blur, PJ Harvey, Nirvana, Amy Winehouse, Radiohead, U2, Bjork, Morrissey, Kate Bush, Joy Division, Florence & The Machine, Oasis, Manics, Skepta, Cat Power and many, many more from the photographers who took them. Q Editor Ted Kessler explains:
"Like all good ideas, it wasn’t mine. Flicking through photographer David Tonge’s lovely portraits on Instagram, I noticed that he illustrated each with a long description of the circumstances behind it. The self-deprecating, often indiscreet back stories to his photos of famous musicians added brilliant comic shade to their moodiness. Hmm, I thought. What if we collated some of modern music’s most evocative, mysterious photos and asked the photographer to tell the tale behind each one?
We started to research it and quickly became overwhelmed with possibility. So, we set some parameters: the main gallery had to feature photos taken since Q’s launch in 1986, and we’d only feature artists we’d be happy to interview now. Additionally, we picked five photographers (Kevin Cummins, Jill Furmanovsky, Ross Halfin, Tom Sheehan, Pennie Smith) whose work is so distinctive and library of work so large that they themselves became the story behind the photos. They tell us the tale behind all their photos, and here we had to include images from decades beyond our lifespan. We couldn’t contain them.
Opposite my desk, the pages of Q take shape each month on a large wall, the printouts appearing there after design to be moved around so as to create a better rhythm throughout the production of an issue. This month has been a particular joy, a symphony of pictures and anecdote. If you’re a fan of either, you’ve come to the right place. Ted Kessler, Editor"
Also in this issue, we look back on the life and music of the revolutionary Fall leader Mark E Smith, speaking to the band members' who knew him best and a host of famous fans. We visit The Vaccines in the studio for a report on their forthcoming album, get The Killers' frontman Brandon Flowers on the phone for a catch-up about his band's US tour, moving house and keytars and go for a vegan lunch with Blur guitarist Graham Coxon.
The issue comes with two collectable art prints of David Bowie and The Stone Roses, previewed here:
In this month's bumper review section, we head to China with Las Vegas pop giants Imagine Dragons and run the rule over new albums from Young Fathers, Gwenno, The Breeders, Migos and more. All this and much, much more in the new Q, out on Tuesday 13 February.