|Circulation||44,050 (ABC Jul - Dec 2015)|
Print and digital editions.
|Publisher||Bauer Media Group|
|First issue||October 1986|
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.
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 Qs 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, with the magazine title being put up for sale in 2020 alongside Car Mechanics, Modern Classics, Your Horse and Sea Angler
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". Q also produced a number of special editions devoted to a single act/artist like U2 or Nirvana, but these magazines stopped in 2018, with its sister magazine, Mojo (also owned by Bauer) continuing the produce specials devoted to artists like Bob Dylan.
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 Qs sister publication Empire and the football monthly FourFourTwo.
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. This was first started as a Select Magazine spin-off, though as Q moved its focus away from Stadium Rock and 'CD-quality' acts of the 1980s (like Dire Straits and Phil Collins) to the Britpop and Indie Rock stars of the 1990s, it was decided that EMAP did not need two monthly titles (and Raw Magazine as well) covering the same genre of music, with Select being shut in late 2000 and Q continuing. In January 2008 Mojo was launched by EMAP as a rival to Uncut Magazine and focused on all the rock stars, now viewed upon as being heritage and classic, that Q originally featured in its pages in 1986.
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.
In July 2020, Bauer published a Special Collector's Issue of the magazine (Q414), which they had intended as the very last edition (before Bauer decided to sell the publication to another media group). This issue was a more of a 'throwback' publication, similar to what Mojo has been doing, and featured articles/acts from 34 years of Q magazine.
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.
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.
Q also holds a yearly awards ceremony called the Q Awards.
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: