Q is a popular music magazine published monthly in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1986 by the journalists and broadcasters Mark Ellen and David Hepworth, who were presenters of the BBC television music series Whistle Test.
|Circulation||44,050 (ABC Jul – Dec 2015)|
Print and digital editions.
|Publisher||Bauer Media Group|
|First issue||October 1986|
Q was originally published by the EMAP media group and set itself apart from much of the other music press with monthly production and higher standards of photography and printing. In the early years, the magazine was sub-titled "The modern guide to music and more". Originally it was to be called Cue (as in the sense of cueing a record, ready to play), but the name was changed so that it would not be mistaken for a snooker magazine. Another reason, cited in Q's 200th edition, is that a single-letter title would be more prominent on newsstands.
In January 2008, EMAP sold its consumer magazine titles, including Q, to the Bauer Media Group.
The magazine has an extensive review section, featuring: new releases, reissues, compilations, film and live concert reviews, as well as radio and television reviews. It uses a star-rating system from one to five stars; indeed, the rating an album receives in Q is often added to print and television advertising for the album in the UK and Ireland. While its content is non-free they host an archive of all of their magazine covers.
Much of the magazine is devoted to interviews with popular musical artists. It also compiled lists, ranging from "The 100 Greatest albums" to the "100 Greatest '100 Greatest' Lists". Every other month, Q – and its sister magazine, Mojo (also owned by Bauer) – have a special edition. These have been about musical eras, genres, or an important or influential musician.
Promotional gifts were given away, such as cover-mounted CDs or books. The January 2006 issue included a free copy of "The Greatest Rock and Pop Miscellany … Ever!", modelled on Schott's Original Miscellany.
Every issue of Q has a different message on the spine. Readers try to work out what the message has to do with the contents of the magazine. This practice (known as the "spine line") has since become commonplace among British lifestyle magazines, including Q's sister publication Empire and the football monthly FourFourTwo.
Usual features include The Q50, wherein the magazine lists the top 50 essential tracks of the month; Cash for Questions, in which a famous celebrity or band answers question sent in by readers (who win £25 if their question is printed); Ten Commandments, wherein a particular singer creates their very own ten commandments by which to live; and Rewind, in which they take us back in time through the history of music via archive issues of Q.
The magazine had a relationship with the Glastonbury Festival, producing both a free daily newspaper on-site during the festival and a review magazine available at the end of the event.
In late 2008, Q revamped its image with a smaller amount of text and an increased focus on subjects other than music. This "Rolling Stone-isation" led to criticism from much of the traditional Q readership, especially since the total number of pages per issue had by then effectively halved since the earlier years of its publication.
Q has a history of associating with charitable organisations, and in 2006 the British anti-poverty charity War on Want was named its official charity.
In the April 2007 issue, Q published an article listing "The 100 Greatest Singers", which was topped by Elvis Presley.
Lady Gaga posed topless in a shoot for the April 2010 issue of the magazine, which was banned by stores in the United States due to the singer revealing too much of her breasts.
After a few years as a radio jukebox, Q Radio launched in June 2008 as a full-service radio station with a complete roster. Shows and presenters include Drivetime with Danielle Perry and Q the 80s with Matthew Rudd. The station was transmitted on the digital television networks in the UK and online. Coldplay were involved with the launch of the station by giving an exclusive interview on Q's flagship programme QPM on the launch day. It was based in Birmingham alongside the now-closed Kerrang! 105.2 after moving from London in 2009. The station was closed in mid-2013 after owners Bauer Media decided to use the station's bandwidth on various platforms (DAB, Digital TV) to launch Kisstory, a spinoff of their Kiss brand.
Other Q brands
Q also holds a yearly awards ceremony called the Q Awards.
According to the global business magazine Campaign in 2008, Q has been criticised for "playing it safe" with its album reviews and cover mounts.
I don’t understand why Q Magazine won't write about us. The most memorable review they gave us was of Afraid of Sunlight which said, "If this were by anything other than Marillion it would be hailed as near genius". And they still wouldn't give us a feature. How can they say, "this is an amazing record ... no, we don't want to talk to you"? It's hard to take when they say, "here's a very average record ... we'll put you on the front cover". Why don't they just stop pretending that it's all about music and admit it's really about money? Then put the top-selling five bands on the cover and tell everyone else to fuck off.
A series of 'Q' albums have been released:
- Q The Album Volume 1 (1991)
- Q The Blues (1992)
- Q Rhythm and Blues (1968)'
- Q Country (1994)
- Q Awards The Album (2000)
- Q Anthems (2001)
- Q The Album (2003)
- Q Covered the Eighties (2005)
- Q The Essential Music Quiz (2006) (DVD)
- Q The Album 2008 (2008)
- The Anthems - Q (2009)
- Dominic Ponsford (11 February 2016). "Full 2015 UK magazines ABC circulation breakdown: 60 out of 442 titles grow sales". Press Gazette.
- Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 985. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
- Plunkett, John (11 February 2008). "Blaxill joins Bauer Radio". The Guardian. London, England: Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
- Barnett, Emma (27 March 2008). "Bauer lines up Q Radio relaunch date". PRWeek. London, England: Haymarket Group. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
- "Q Cover Archive – Q MagazineQ Magazine". www.qthemusic.com.
- "Rocklist.net...Q Magazine Lists." Rocklistmusic.co.uk.
- "Rocklist.net...Q Magazine Lists." Rocklistmusic.co.uk.
- Simon, Leslie. "Lady Gaga's 'Q Magazine' cover banned in U.S." Mtv.com.
- "Bauer axes Q TV after nearly 12 years to make way for Heat TV". Brand Republic. 23 May 2012. Archived from the original on 29 July 2012.
- Leahul, Dan (26 September 2008). "Q Magazine looks beyond music in revamp". Campaign. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
- Dave Ling (May 2001) Interview with Steve Hogarth Classic Rock
- "Q Awards Play Safe". BBC. 10 October 2005. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)