Uncut (magazine)

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Uncut, October 2021 issue
EditorMichael Bonner[1]
CategoriesMusic magazine
Circulation47,890 (ABC Jul – Dec 2015)[2]
Print and digital editions
First issueMay 1997
CompanyKelsey Media
CountryUnited Kingdom
Based inLondon

Uncut is a monthly magazine based in London. It is available across the English-speaking world, and focuses on music, but also includes film and books sections. A DVD magazine under the Uncut brand was published quarterly from 2005 to 2006. The magazine was acquired in 2019 by Singaporean music company BandLab Technologies, and was published by NME Networks[3][4] from December 2021.[5][6] to August 2023, when the brand was sold to Kelsey Media.[7]

Uncut (main magazine)[edit]

Uncut was launched in May 1997 by IPC as "a monthly magazine aimed at 25- to 45-year-old men that focuses on music and movies", edited by Allan Jones (former editor of Melody Maker).[8] Jones has stated that "[t]he idea for Uncut came from my own disenchantment about what I was doing with Melody Maker. There was a publishing initiative to make the audience younger; I was getting older and they wanted to take the readers further away from me", specifically referring to the then dominant Britpop genre.[9]

According to IPC Media, 86% of the magazine's readers are male and their average age is 37 years.[10]

Uncut's contents include lengthy features on old albums, interviews with film directors, music and film news, and reviews of all major new album, film and DVD releases. Its music features tend to focus on genres such as Americana,[9] rock and alternative country. Each month, the magazine includes a free CD, which may include both new and older music. Special Issues have covered U2, Radiohead, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, the Byrds, David Bowie, Demon Records, Eric Clapton, John Lennon, Pink Floyd, Queen, Martin Scorsese, Motown Records, Morrissey, George Harrison, Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin, the Beach Boys, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, the Beatles, Elvis Costello, the Kinks, Fleetwood Mac and more.

Uncut underwent a radical redesign in May 2006, as a result of which the magazine no longer catered for books and reduced its film content.

Jones writes a regular monthly column, recounting stories from his long career in music journalism.

Uncut's monthly circulation dropped from over 90,000 in 2007[9] to 47,890 in the second half of 2015.[2]

In 2019, TI Media, successor to IPC, sold NME and Uncut to Singaporean company BandLab Technologies.[11] BandLab Technologies became the Caldecott Music Group in 2021 and split itself into three sub-units called BandLab Technologies, Vista Musical Instruments and NME Networks, with the latter group continuing to publish Uncut. In May 2023,[12][13] NME Networks sold Uncut's print and digital assets to Kelsey Media, publisher of car magazines like Car Mechanics,[14] Motorsport News[15] and Fast Car, and farming titles like Crop Production Magazine, Practical Pigs and The Smallholder.[16] The first copy of Uncut published under Kelsey Media was the September 2023 issue (Take 317) in August, with the magazine still being sold in shops with its Now Playing compilation CD.

The Ultimate Music Guide[edit]

Uncut often produces themed spin-off titles celebrating the career of one artist. This series is now known as The Ultimate Music Guide, but was initially known as Uncut Legends. The series started in 2003 with an inaugural issue devoted to Bob Dylan, edited by Nigel Williamson (though the majority of titles that followed were produced by magazine editor Chris Hunt), followed by magazines entirely devoted to Radiohead, Kurt Cobain, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits and John Lennon (with the Lennon magazine being produced to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the death of the former member of the Beatles).[17]

Since the series was rebranded as The Ultimate Music Guide, artists such as Kraftwerk, Wilco, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Fall and Talking Heads[18] have been featured, with updated and expanded versions of earlier guides also released as Deluxe Editions (for example Lennon: 80th Birthday Edition[19] or PJ Harvey's guide which came out again as a '30th Anniversary Edition' in June 2021).[20]

In 2021, Uncut launched more spin-offs including The Complete Bob Dylan[21] and The Beatles – Miscellany & Atlas, the latter being a publication typeset in the style of Schott's Miscellany.[22]

The History of Rock[edit]

In 2015, The History of Rock (using a title previously used for an Orbis Publishing partwork) was launched as a spin-off from Uncut. The new magazine would cover the key events in rock history by year, starting in 1965 and continuing to the present day (though the series was never completed).[23][24] The History of Rock reproduced contemporary articles that had originally appeared in the music publications of IPC Magazines, with articles from Melody Maker and the NME (used for the period 1965 to 1990) joined by articles from Vox and Uncut in later issues.[24][25]

Ultimate Genre Guide[edit]

Another spin-off to Bandlab's Ultimate Music Guide is the Ultimate Genre Guide, which takes an in depth look at a particular music style. Magazines in this series include 2021's Ultimate Genre Guide to Shoegaze[26] which features articles about The Jesus and Mary Chain, Lush and My Bloody Valentine, as well as issues devoted to Punk, Glam and Soul[27] In July 2023, the latest Ultimate Genre Guide was published, a title devoted to Goth which featured articles on the Cure, Nick Cave and cover star Siouxsie.[28]

Uncut DVD[edit]

In late 2005, editor Allan Jones and publishing director Andrew Sumner launched a spin-off of the main movies and music magazine, that focused its attention on DVD releases of classic movies. Billed as "the only great movie magazine", Uncut DVD was designed to compete with such established titles as Ultimate DVD, DVD Review and DVD Monthly. Despite strong reviews in the UK trade press, Uncut DVD folded after three quarterly issues.

Uncut Music Award[edit]

In 2008, Uncut launched its inaugural Uncut Music Award; this is described as "a quest to find the most inspiring and rewarding musical experience of the past year". A list of 25 nominees is selected by a panel of 10 judges, who are all musicians or music industry professionals, and they come together to decide a winner.[29] Past winners have included Fleet Foxes (2008), Tinariwen (2009), Paul Weller (2010) and P.J. Harvey (2011).


  1. ^ "Blogs".
  2. ^ a b "ABC Certificates and Reports: Uncut". Audit Bureau of Circulations. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  3. ^ Thraves, Lucy (November 12, 2021). "NME, Uncut and more form media group NME Networks". Music Week.
  4. ^ "BandLab Technologies announces launch of NME Networks". InPublishing. Nov 11, 2021.
  5. ^ Uncut Take 297 (the February 2022 issue) published by NME Networks on 7 December 2021 (in shops from 9 December 2021)
  6. ^ "February 2022". Uncut. 7 December 2021.
  7. ^ Uncut Take 317 (the September 2023 issue) published by Kelsey Media in August 2023
  8. ^ Media: In Brief – May day launch for IPC’s Uncut PR Week UK, 21 March 1997
  9. ^ a b c "If you ask me: Allan Jones". Press Gazette. October 1, 2007. Archived from the original on May 17, 2011. Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  10. ^ Brand Profile: Uncut Retrieved on 15 February 2010
  11. ^ Tobitt, Charlotte (17 May 2019). "TI Media sells music titles NME and Uncut to music platform Bandlab". Press Gazette. Retrieved 2019-07-15.
  12. ^ "Kelsey Media announces the purchase of Uncut from NME Networks". KELSEY Media. 2023-05-26. Retrieved 2024-01-11.
  13. ^ "After raising $25m, BandLab parent offloads UK music media brand Uncut". Music Business Worldwide. 2023-05-26. Retrieved 2024-01-11.
  14. ^ "Classic & Prestige Cars". KELSEY Media. Retrieved 2024-01-11.
  15. ^ "Lewis Silkin - Lewis Silkin has advised NME Networks on the sale of Uncut magazine to Kelsey Media". Lewis Silkin. Retrieved 2024-01-11.
  16. ^ "Farming, Fisheries & Smallholding". KELSEY Media. Retrieved 2024-01-11.
  17. ^ LENNON Archived 2007-10-23 at the Wayback Machine. uncut.co.uk. Retrieved on 4 October 2007.
  18. ^ "Uncut Ultimate Music Guide | Single Issues". NME Networks magazines.
  19. ^ Robinson, John (October 6, 2020). "Introducing the Deluxe Ultimate Music Guide to John Lennon". UNCUT.
  20. ^ "PJ Harvey – Deluxe Ultimate Music Guide". UNCUT. June 10, 2021.
  21. ^ "The Complete Bob Dylan". UNCUT. May 19, 2021.
  22. ^ "The Beatles – Miscellany & Atlas". UNCUT. June 16, 2021.
  23. ^ Mulvey, John (July 7, 2015). "Introducing… The History Of Rock". UNCUT.
  24. ^ a b "Uncut Introduces New Monthly Magazine to Portfolio – The History of Rock". Time Inc. UK. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  25. ^ "History of Rock". uncut.co.uk. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  26. ^ "Shoegaze – Ultimate Genre Guide". 15 September 2021.
  27. ^ "Ultimate Genre Guide: Singer-Songwriters". 12 February 2019.
  28. ^ Robinson, John (2023-07-18). "Ultimate Genre Guide - Goth". UNCUT. Retrieved 2024-01-11.