The idea that anarcho-punk bands never talked to (or were never deemed worthy of coverage in) the commercial music press is, of course, something of a myth. Things were a great deal more complicated than that, and the music weeklies did (sometimes with the co-operation of anarcho-bands and at other times in the teeth of outright opposition from them) attempt to exploit interest in bands and artists from across the anarcho scene. One relatively new online archive of several high-street music titles (including Sounds, and NME) to make its way to the web is Rock Back Pages.

It’s a paid subscription service, but it is possible to run simple (and more advanced) searches – and and find matches for ‘Crass’, ‘Poison Girls’, ‘Flux’, ‘Conflict’ and many others – even if the full-text is locked to subscribers only. I’ve long since got rid of my personal newsprint archives of the music weeklies from 1979-1985, so this is a possible (partial) alternative to a trip to the British Library newspaper archives – although it does only claim to cover features content rather than offer a comprehensive front-to-back full-text archive, so it’s an incomplete e-version of the p-original.

Any subscribers out there willing to share their view of its worth, or to highlight any cheaper, better online alternatives?