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David Cavanagh

David Cavanagh

David Cavanagh was born in Dublin, and grew up in Northern Ireland. During his career, he wrote for Sounds, Select (where he was also an editor), Q, Uncut, MOJO and The Independent.

Amongst his writings, he wrote a history of Creation Records, titled My Magpie Eyes Are Hungry for the Prize, which was published in 2000, and book about the late DJ John Peel, Good Night and Good Riddance, published in 2015.

He died in December 2018.

47 articles

By Artist | By Date

List of articles in the library by date

The House Of Love: The House Of Love

Review by David Cavanagh, Sounds, May 1988

IT'S ONE of those records that seem to enter your body throat first. This is not so much due to Guy Chadwick's rich pale moan, ...

The Planet Wilson: Taken For A Ride

Review by David Cavanagh, Sounds, 28 January 1989

WHEN THAT GREAT LOST BAND The Red Guitars called it a day, there was genuine sorrow that their unique sound had perished with them. ...

Elvis Costello : London Palladium - Good year for the oldies

Live Review by David Cavanagh, Sounds, 13 May 1989

SUNDAY NIGHT AT THE PALLADIUM. The "funny Nazis" from Allo Allo were taking a well-earned rest from their labours, leaving the way clear for our ...

Kate Bush: The Sensual World

Review by David Cavanagh, Sounds, 14 October 1989

ISN'T THE SINGLE absolutely without equal? Especially the way the "mmh yes" punctuation gets progressively more urgent as the song unwinds. There is really no ...

Mazzy Star: She Hangs Brightly

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, July 1990

MAZZY STAR is the latest project of David Roback, a seminal, limelight-shunning Los Angeles underground figure who put together the original Rain Parade in the ...

The Bangles: Greatest Hits

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, July 1990

FIVE YEARS ago, had you put the idea of a greatest hits compilation by The Bangles up for serious consideration, you'd have been whipped off ...

The B-52s: Dance This Mess Around

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, August 1990

THE B-52's have had a best of on the cards ever since 'Love Shack' jitterbugged (or was it the aqua-velva?) its way up the charts ...

The Silent Blue: Tune In

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, August 1990

PICK UP a 12-string these days and just watch those sneaky Byrds put-downs form in the corners of cynical mouths. But it's a fair point ...

The Monochrome Set: Dante's Casino

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, October 1990

WHAT A TURN UP FOR THE BOOKS. The Monochrome Set, never a band to pay any heed to the prevailing pop climate, have reformed. Now ...

ZZ Top: Recycler

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, November 1990

THIS ALBUM took five years to make. It sounds like it took a week and a half. How do ZZ Top do it? And, for ...

Holger Czukay: Radio Wave Surfer

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, February 1991

THE MAESTRO'S really gone on an extended lunch hour this time. Radio Wave Surfer, the latest in a sporadic series of album bulletins from rock's ...

Into Paradise: Churchtown

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, April 1991

THIS IS an album that starts with falling rain and finishes with a 16-year-old girl tossing herself off a bridge. Welcome to a world of ...

Jack Frost: Jack Frost

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, April 1991

JACK FROST is a collaboration between two notable Australian pop classicists, former Go-Between Grant McLennan and Steve Kilbey, singer/bassist with The Church. ...

The Godfathers: Unreal World

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, April 1991

IT'S TEMPTING to see The Godfathers' career as one delicious vicious circle. No fame means no money, and no money means no fun. The more ...

Snapper: Shotgun Blossom

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, August 1991

FORGIVE THE PATRONISING TONE if you know this already, but some of the best music of the last ten years has come from New Zealand. ...

Transvision Vamp: The Little Magnets Versus The Bubble Of Babble

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, August 1991

AS THE DIFFICULT QUESTIONS mount up for Wendy James, it's a bitter irony that Truth Or Dare: In Bed With Madonna has arrived to emphasise ...

The Blue Aeroplanes: Beatsongs

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, September 1991

WHEN THE BLUE AEROPLANES were in Los Angeles earlier this year recording Beatsongs — and that's all they were doing there, let's make that quite ...

Blur: Leisure

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, October 1991

AND GUESS WHAT: they were right. It is special. The four Blur boys have guaranteed themselves a hefty leg-up in the being-taken-seriously stakes with the thrills ...

Spirea X: Fireblade Skies

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, November 1991

JIM BEATTIE'S BIG ROCK 'N' ROLL TALKING is up there with his old Primal Scream oppo Bobby Gillespie's for brass nerve and self-belief. ...

Straitjacket Fits: Melt

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, December 1991

IF STRAITJACKET FITS were English they'd be stars by now. They're a better noise guitar band than anyone In the current Anglo-scheme, barring Ride: they're ...

U2: Achtung Baby

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, January 1992

CONFUSION REIGNS. What Is their trip? Achtung Baby sounds very 1991, but only as the most tangential of bulletins from four musicians who've been holed ...

Lush: Spooky

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, February 1992

HOW ON EARTH would you explain Lush's sound to aliens from another planet? Well, realistically, of course you wouldn't. You'd run away shouting "Aliens! Aliens!" ...

James: Seven — Booth's New Gold Dream: Are James mutating into Simple Minds?

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, March 1992

OF COURSE, there's more to life than Indie music — there's getting out and meeting people: there's having money: there's not having to submit yourself ...

Ride: Going Blank Again

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, April 1992

WHOO-EE. Really, you shouldn't have. As a gift to the world, Going Blank Again is a fully- fledged wow, a winner, a stunna, a glory ...

Levitation: Need For Not

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, June 1992

SOME DEBUT ALBUMS, of course, are more eagerly awaited than others. It would be hard to Imagine anyone chewing their nails to the quick waiting ...

Prefab Sprout: Paddy McAloon – The Mild One

Interview by David Cavanagh, Select, August 1992

WHEN EVERYBODY ELSE went for rhythm Paddy McAloon stuck with melody. He's got ten years of defiantly unrockist pop behind him and his next seven ...

The House Of Love: Babe Rainbow

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, August 1992

IT'S SOME STRANGE SECRET — probably one that only Guy Chadwick fully understands — how a band that have known such trauma and turmoil as ...

Sonic Youth: Dirty

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, September 1992

SONIC YOUTH were the progenitors of American noise nouveau. Now they're back on top of the dirt-pile. ...

Throwing Muses: Red Heaven

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, September 1992

AFTER LAST YEAR'S The Real Ramona, which seemed to please everybody at least some of the time, the Muses split in half. Tanya Donelly and bassist ...

Eugenius: Oomalama

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, October 1992

WITH A THANK-YOU LIST that includes Les Paul. Kurt Cobain and Shonen Knife (just for being, y'know, themselves...) and a highly involved genealogy that takes ...

Spiritualized: The Far Side

Report and Interview by David Cavanagh, Select, October 1992

Technicolour sensurround with a benevolent poltergeist on its shoulder. This is Spiritualized, and they call it soul music. ...

R.E.M.: Automatic For The People

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, November 1992

REM'S LATEST COLLECTION is a miraculously stripped-to-the-bone celebration of the sorrowful. It's here. It's ready. And it makes Out Of Time look like a collection of ...

That Petrol Emotion: Fireproof

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, May 1993

IN 1989 Peter Buck told Sounds That Petrol Emotion was the band he would want to be in if he wasn't already in REM. Now ...

PJ Harvey: Rid Of Me

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, June 1993

YOU'RE THE ONE FOR ME, PATTI... PJ Harvey's latest makes Dry (and Huggy Bear) seem like easy listening. Anguish, pain, fear, self-loathing, the horror... this'll ...

The Lemonheads: Lemonheads: Come On Feel The Lemonheads

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, November 1993

BEHOLD, THE SWEET TROLLEY ARRIVETH. The only problem about loving the Lemonheads is that there hasn't been enough new stuff over the last 18 months. ...

Pulp: Pulpintro — The Gift Recordings

Review by David Cavanagh, Select, December 1993

15 YEARS IN THE MAKING, yet Pulp's first "proper" LP is only a bits-and-bats package. For a band that's been going for 15 years, it's strange ...

The Auteurs: An interview

Interview by David Cavanagh, Select, February 1994

SO NEAR AND YET SO FAR... Last year the Auteurs missed the Top 40 by one place and had the Mercury Prize snatched from under ...

Björk: Royalty Theatre

Live Review by David Cavanagh, The Independent, 27 February 1994

THE COOL ALBUM of 1993 was Björk Gudmundsdottir's prosaically titled Debut. Despite this, her entrance at the Royalty Theatre displayed uncoolness of equatorial proportions. With ...

Blur: Parklife

Review by David Cavanagh, The Independent, 30 April 1994

BLURRY SHADES OF SGT PEPPER AT ABOUT seven o'clock this evening, if the midweek sales pointers are correct, Blur's third album Parklife will enter the chart ...

Richard Thompson: Palladium, London — Two hours before a master

Live Review by David Cavanagh, The Independent, 14 May 1994

THE POSTCARD handed to each arriving punter at the Palladium said wistfully of Richard Thompson: "When will the world wise up to this remarkable man?" ...

PJ Harvey — Nemesis In A Scarlet Dress

Profile and Interview by David Cavanagh, The Independent, 25 February 1995

WHEN NOT TENDING HER CHRYSANTHEMUMS and pining for her bantams, Polly Harvey straps on a guitar and becomes the screeching, black-hearted rock phenomenon that is ...

Supergrass: In It For The Money

Review by David Cavanagh, Q, May 1997

THE TOP 5 SINGLE 'Going Out,' released in February 1996, made it resoundingly clear that Supergrass are much more than a three-man Britpop Playstation. While ...

Radiohead: OK Computer

Review by David Cavanagh, Q, July 1997

WITH THEIR 1.5 MILLION-SELLING 1995 ALBUM The Bends, Radiohead executed something of a perfect Yin and Yang: a great white hope and a big black ...

R.E.M.: Reveal

Review by David Cavanagh, Q, April 2001

MONKEYS ROAM THE WHITE HOUSE and sheep fry in the British countryside, so let us phrase our words carefully. The 12th R.E.M. album will not ...

John Martyn: Live At Leeds

Review by David Cavanagh, Uncut, October 2010

Previously unreleased document of 1975 concert in its entirety. ...

Iggy Pop & James Williamson: Kill City

Review by David Cavanagh, Uncut, January 2011

The odd-one-out in the Stooges catalogue, with the duo at their lowest ebb. Remixed, it's a vital, powerful, hard-rocking listen, says David Cavanagh ...

The Velvet Underground & Nico – Boxset

Review by David Cavanagh, Uncut, November 2012

AN EXHAUSTIVE, ENTHRALLING BOXSET reissue of the iconic album — with rare and live cuts galore! The banana's back. Not before time. Late last year, Lou ...

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