Magic, Murder and the Weather is the fourth studio album by British post-punk band Magazine. It was released in June 1981 through Virgin Records (International) and I.R.S. Records (US) and peaked at number thirty-nine on the UK Album Chart.Magic, Murder and the Weather includes the single "About the Weather".
Unlike the group's former album The Correct Use of Soap the writing credits were not shared equally. Instead in a return to the writing of Secondhand Daylight the writing was undertaken between the members alone and in collaboration. The majority of the songs were written by keyboardist Dave Formula. Only the opening three songs of side two of the LP were credited to all five members. Consistent with all Magazine's albums the lyrics were written by Howard Devoto.
Magic, Murder and the Weather and its single were the only two outings for the group's new line-up. The 'classic line-up' had ended when guitarist and founding member John McGeoch had departed in mid-1980. McGeoch had moved to Siouxsie and the Banshees the year before. The group had completed their 1980 world-tour with former Ultravox guitarist Robin Simon. Simon departed the group soon after the tour at the end of 1980. In their places came ex-Amazorblades guitarist and friend of Devoto Ben Mandelson. The line-up that recorded the album was as follows: Devoto (vocals and guitar), Barry Adamson (bass), Formula (keyboards), John Doyle (drums) and Mandelson (guitar and violin). Laura Teresa and Ray Shell also contributed backing vocals. Teresa had performed the same role on the group's third album.
The album was recorded at Trident Studios, London in early 1981 with John Brand recording and engineering and Soap producer Martin Hannett credited for mixing. A producer is not credited. Hannett mixed the album at Strawberry Studio, Stockport with Chris Nagel assisting. Receiving mixed reviews the album was originally released an LP and a cassette in June 1981. The album was subsequently released as a budget album on LP, Cassette and CD in the late-eighties. A remastered edition of the album was released by Virgin/EMI in 2007, along with the other three of the band's first four studio albums, including two bonus tracks and liner notes by Kieron Tyler. The original artwork was designed by Malcolm Garret with photography by Bruce Gilden.
Prior to the group's reformation in 2009 and release of No Thyself in 2011, Magic, Murder and the Weather was the group's final studio album. Months before the album's release, Howard Devoto, disillusioned with the conditions in the band (as in McGeoch quitting, and failing to get a true replacement for him), decided to quit Magazine. Subsequently after the release, Magazine decided to dissolve, because they could not imagine a "post-Devoto" line-up.
Despite the break-up, the members continued to work together on each other's projects throughout the eighties and into the nineties. Most notably Doyle and McGeoch worked together in the short-lived group; The Armoury Show, Formula and Adamson continued to work with Visage and Formula worked on Devoto's solo-album 1983's Jerky Versions of the Dream.
Due to Devoto's departure and subsequent disbandment the album was never showcased live. Tracks from Magic, Murder and the Weather were performed live during Magazine's 2009 tours onwards. Devoto explained that rather than playing new material during the shows that it was an opportunity to play music from the 1981 album. We've never played any of [Magic, Murder and the Weather] live before, and you know, we reckoned it was just enough to stick with the old stuff. But once we had gone through that first year, I wanted a bit of new material to freshen up the set, as it were, both for ourselves and the audience. Live recordings of "The Honeymoon Killers" and "This Poison" appear on the DVD/CD set Real Life + Thereafter released 2009.