The above advertisement first appeared on page 51 of the October 29, 1981 issue of Rolling Stone, the third issue they published with Elvis on the cover. (Presley not Costello.) The Record promised some pretty cool features, all focused on music without the growing Hollywood focus of Rolling Stone, based on the ad and I was tempted to subscribe though after some thought and accounting of my meager finances at the time, I decided to put all my eggs in one basket and subscribe to Rolling Stone itself early in 1982. My subscription began when the May 27, 1982 issue arrived in our family mailbox where my Mom found it and flipped out a little about Nastassia Kinski's naked nipple pictured inside but that's another story I've probably already told. So I subscribed to Rolling Stone as a 15 year old, enticed by the articles on artists I liked, articles on the artists I didn't know anything about yet, record reviews and coverage of home audio equipment. The naked nipple turned out to be a one-time thing, damnit.
Maybe it was no coincidence that, just as Rolling Stone switched from its original, long-running news print format in 1981, they also launched another magazine printed on newsprint that same year. The Record launched with Vol. 1 No. 1 dated November 1981 looking much like the cover in the ad above except Mick Jagger's picture had been replaced with Bob Seger's bearded mug heralding an elusive Exclusie (though Jagger was still the pin-up poster inside the centerfold) and the other cover blurbs were shuffled around. The cover price was $1.00. As far as I can tell, the final issue published was the Jan/Feb 1986 issue. Reportedly, The Record was a huge and costly failure for Straight Arrow Publishing (Rolling Stone's publisher) and experienced losses each of the years it was in print. The format was basically a 11" x 17" newspaper that was folded in half with the cover on the front of the fold.
The front and back covers of the June 1983 issue and what
it looks like when you open it up and flipped it over to read.
While I read most of the issues loitering at the base exchange or at Waldenbooks in the mall, I ended up only buying maybe half a dozen issues of The Record from various years, all of which I regrettably discarded in 2000 when we relocated here to The Hideaway. Recently, I expressed an interest in researching The Record but was disheartened by the lack of info I found on the interwebs. Sharing my frustration with fellow writer and music scholar the soft rock kid™ he suggested looking on eBay and that is where I found 49 of 51 issues of The Record. I ordered three of the first six issues on the spot. Below are all the cover images of The Record I discovered on eBay (and Stevie Nicks fan site) from 1981-1982. I've included other photos of certain issues as posted by the respective sellers.
slight redesign in the title header as "The"
moves from above "Record" to the left side
font change in the logo as magazine
is now known simply as RECORD
The Top Chart Action back cover feature is kind of cool, maybe a nod to
Radio & Record's back cover charts, but what is the difference
between a New Entry and a Debut in this context?
So now the back cover chart feature has no name
The back cover chart feature finally gets a name: The 3 Tops
first issue with full color cover
Several of the cover subjects above appeared on the front of RECORD following their appearance - just like the song sez - on the cover of the Rolling Stone:
Sometime in the near future, we'll run through all the covers from 1983, followed by posts on 1984 and then 1985-1986. For those of you who never got to experience the magazine, maybe I'll post a few scans of my newly acquired issues. Thanks to all the eBay sellers and the Rockalittle site who posted pics.