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I just ordered this June 13th, 1981 issue of SOUNDS magazine for a king’s ransom of nearly $14 from a place in the UK. Looks pretty nondescript, doesn’t it? The value that us music obsessives assign to tokens from our youth, however, bears no relation to actual worth.

I was 13 years old when I bought this UK music paper at Little Professor Book Center in San Jose, CA (no joke). It totally upended my musical world. Already a fan of the “new wave” as I was, this was where I first heard the term “indie” – in relation to their Indie Top 20 chart, which was full of punk and post punk 45s that are considered legendary to this day. It was the first place outside of CREEM that I ever saw snarky, dismissive music journalism. (CREEM was a metalhead mag by this point anyway). In England, it appeared, it was all about the small-run 45rpm single, and there were dozens coming out every week from all corners of the UK. 

I proceeded from that week in June 1981 to being a regular buyer of Sounds, NME and Melody Maker over the next four years or so. This one somehow got taken out with the trash a long time ago, and in a fit of nostalgia, I decided to spring for it again. Scans forthcoming.

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