The Queen is Dead – but not buried.

So I checked the register of historical facts, and was shocked and ashamed to discover The Queen is Dead was released thirty years ago. To commemorate/commiserate three whole decades of vicars in tutus and boys with thorns in their sides – though we’re still waiting on Charles appearing in his mother’s bridal veil – the Kindle […]


1983: The Last Great Year of Pop

From the gender-bending antics of Eurythmics and Culture Club to the propulsive synthpop of Depeche Mode, New Order, and the Human League, was there ever, asks Mark Simpson, a more spectacular time for music?   (Originally appeared on, 18 Feb, 2014) IN 1983, THE YEAR that McDonald’s introduced the Chicken McNugget and the second Cold […]

Morrissey Reading

Dear Hero in Prison – Quotes From Morrissey’s Autobiography

Well, I’ve read that book. You know, the fastest-selling music biography ever. And while it would be hideously indecorous of me to review it – especially since Morrissey was kind enough not to mention my biography of him – I will say this: It certainly didn’t disappoint. In lieu of a review, here are some especially […]


Will Morrissey Have The Last Laugh – Again?

 ‘Has any book in recent memory not actually about wizards provoked so much interest?’ Mark Simpson on the most eagerly-anticipated music biography ever. C4 News, 14 October, 2013 MORRISSEY HAS ALWAYS enjoyed the last laugh. His entire career has been based on it. Back in the 1980s, when he was in his pomp as the pompadoured […]


Polymorphous Perversity & One Direction Fandom

Fame, fame, fatal fame. It can play hideous tricks on the brain. Last week C4 aired Crazy About One Direction a documentary about ‘Directioners’, febrile fans of the globally – some would say criminally – successful reality TV assembled UK boy band One Direction, or ‘1D’ if you’re typing with your thumbs. They were all […]


Stretch Jeans & Synthpop: The Human League’s ‘Dare’

By Mark Simpson IN THE EARLY YEARS of the 1980s stretch jeans were all the rage. Stretch jeans and The Human League’s Dare. Both were revolutionary but practical and, when wrapped around youth, snugly-smugly invincible. I was sweet 16 when Dare was released in 1981 and it confirmed all the psychoses of teenagerdom. We thought the future belonged to […]