I bought it religiously from 1999 through to probably 2002 or '03, and during that time it led me to discover (pre-all-pervasive-internet in a small-ish Northern town with no decent record shop, a very shambolic and poor local gig scene, and a grand total of one friend who shared my music tastes) a huge amount of bands I still love, and probably had the single biggest influence on my current music tastes. I'd read every tiny review, take my Spar wages to the V.Shop in the Cornmill centre (one of those little Virgin Records shops with a computer terminal to order direct from the warehouse) and take a punt on anything that seemed interesting. I'd pass up buying lunch at college to buy 2, 3, 4 albums a week. I did, sadly, plaster my walls with cut out pictures. I'd scour the gig listings and take the train up to Newcastle to see bands, usually hanging around after to get them to sign my ticket.
Obviously, I've not looked at a copy in years, and while it looks like it has turned to utter, utter shit, it's not really meant for me anymore and it seems pointless to rail against it. And it's not like it was flawless back then, but the breadth of music they covered if you looked hard enough was really great. Whether that's still the case, I highly doubt, but it was a real lifeline as a youngster. So, did anyone else have the same fervour for it? What bands did you discover solely by reading? Which were your favourites? And, if this is all becoming too shiny and complementary, what were the worst albums you bought on their advice?