The List magazine celebrates 25th anniversary

  • The List
  • 8 September 2010

Scottish publisher marks quarter century of cultural commentary - 1985-2010

The List issue No.1, published October 1985, when Clint Eastwood's Pale Rider was screening in UK cinemas. The above is a fully browseable version of the entire issue.

What do Billy Connolly, Tilda Swinton, Peter Brook, Annie Lennox, Twin Peaks, Simple Minds, Ian Rankin, Bjork, Michael Clark, Ewan McGregor, U2, Peter Howson, Franz Ferdinand, The Clangers, Irvine Welsh, Wet Wet Wet, Oasis and David Shrigley all have in common?

They have all been featured on the cover of The List magazine.

Next month The List is celebrating its 25th birthday with a special issue looking back at the two and a half decades of commentary on Scottish culture.

List publisher, Robin Hodge, says 'The last 25 years have been a tremendously exciting and creative time for the arts in Scotland. The range of creative talent and the enormous growth of festivals and events has meant that we have always had more to cover than we have had space for in the magazine.'

Since the publication of the first issue back October 1985, the entertainment calendar has been fundamentally transformed, with the arrival of The Arches, T in the Park, Beltane Fire Festival, King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Edinburgh's Hogmanay, Celtic Connections, Edinburgh Festival Theatre and the tripling in the size of the Edinburgh Fringe all contributing to this.

The List set out to publicise all arts and entertainment on offer to residents of Glasgow and Edinburgh, with critical coverage highlighting the best cultural events. More recently The List expanded its operations both throughout Scotland and UK-wide via its online presence at

The List has also helped launch the careers of many of today's leading cultural contributors. Former List staff at have gone on to senior roles in a range of organisations including the BBC, Channel 4, The Scotsman, The Guardian, The Financial Times, The Herald and several of the Edinburgh festivals.

Throughout the last quarter century, The List has been at the centre of arts journalism in Scotland: when Glasgow become European City of Culture in 1990, when Oasis were discovered at King Tut's, when the Beltane fire was first lit on Calton Hill and when Irvine Welsh published Trainspotting.

Current List editor Jonny Ensall says 'The anniversary issue isn't about blowing our own trumpet (well, only a little bit), it's about examining 25 great years of Scottish culture. The more you look at that period in the mid-80s that produced The List, the more you realise it was the start of a large number of fantastic things. We've been riding that wave of culture ever since.'

Scotand's food and drink has also been The List's passion. There were no Michelin-starred restaurants in Scotland when The List launched in 1985. Today there are 15. The List also now has a series of titles in this area, including the annual Eating and Drinking Guide and The Larder, the second edition of which was launched by Richard Lochhead, Minister for Rural Affairs and the Environment, on 2nd September 2010.

The List's editor Jonny Ensall is planning a bumper anniversary publication on 22nd September and further details of the issue will be distributed shortly. Additionally there will be a celebration party to mark the landmark anniversary in Glasgow in late October for the many friends, contributors and associates of The List.

Do you have a story involving The List for inclusion in our 25th anniversary issue?

Win a bottle of Black Grouse Whisky, a List magazine annual subscription or a LIST card for a year

The List turns 25 next issue, and we'd like you to tell us your best and worst List moments from the last quarter century. Was there an interview you got particularly excited about? Was there any feature or review that changed your life in some way? Did we give your friend's band a memorably good/bad review? Did we recommend a record/film/event event that changed your life? Do you have a particular example of us getting it unswervingly right (or spectacularly wrong)? Alternately, just tell us the best cultural events you've experienced in 25 years of art.

The 6 best contributions will win a year's subscription to The List plus a LIST Card, which offers two-for-one dining in around 100 restaurants in Edinburgh and Glasgow, or a bottle of Black Grouse Whisky. All we ask is that you be as specific as possible – you don't need to give us column, page and issue number of any pieces you mention, but if you could narrow it down to the month/year, that'd be swell.

Post your comments below by Wed 15 Sep, or via email to, for your chance to win.

Usual List rules apply.


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