Blessed & Blasted: The 1980 Face Show. 01.1981
As explored in In Their Own Write, the most important creative in the development of British print media in the latter half of the 20th Century was Nick Logan. Arguably his greatest contribution was via the launch of The Face in 1980.
This year-end review – “123 things to remember 1980 by” – was featured in issue 9, published 30 years ago.
Adopting the technique applied at Harpers & Queen by the magazine’s poster boy Peter York – who appears in this issue in three separate articles due to the recent publication of his tone-setting Style Wars – The 1980 Face Show inaugurated the lifestyle list-culture which dominates global media to this day.
It’s as fascinating for who it promulgated – who can remember the name of Bad Manners’ lead singer now? – as for that which it found hard to define.
For example, Robert Elms’ documentation of The Blitz scene had only recently appeared, so the compilers covered their bets by running the following: “Blitzkids, The New Romantics, The Now Crowd, The Cult With No Name…”
Is this the first published appearance of the phrase “New Romantics”? I don’t know, but it’s charming to read that somebody thought “The Now Crowd” might be a goer.
Elsewhere there is poignancy.
The economic slump and the failure of the left in the face of the strident and relatively-recently installed Tory government cast dark shadows: “Thatcher’s independent deterrent…The Unemployed…Cruise missiles in the UK…Keith Joseph’s policies…Recession, Depression, Unemployment…”
Plus ça change, huh?