The first 101 issues of the legendary local music magazine Rip It Up have been digitised and made available online.

These back issues, which covers the period from 1977 to 1985, can be read and downloaded for free on the National Library's Papers Past website.

These high quality digitised scans are also all keyword searchable, which allows readers to quickly find bands or artists they are interested in. All up over 3000 pages of local music journalism covering a golden era of New Zealand music allowing the public easy access to the treasures contained in the RIU archives for the first time.

This also marks the first time Papers Past has digitised a contemporary magazine, a process which has been four years in the making.

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Rip It Up was co-founded by long term editor Murray Cammick and his creative partner Alistair Dougal in 1977 and quickly became a pop culture institution. It was the first local magazine of its type and was free to pick up in record stores around the country.

Rip It Up co-founder and its longterm editor Murray Cammick hard at work
Rip It Up co-founder and its longterm editor Murray Cammick hard at work

The first issue featured The Commodores on the cover, reflecting Cammick's lifetime love of American R&B and Soul music, but it wasn't long before local musicians like Split Enz, The Exponents and The Mockers began appearing on Rip It Up covers as the magazine established itself as an integral part of Kiwi music fans lives.

Papers Past was provided the back issues by Simon Grigg, an early contributor to the magazine, who purchased the Rip It Up archives in 2016 a year after the magazine closed for good. Grigg is the founder of the New Zealand music website, AudioCulture, which has made extensive use of the RIU archives, as well as regularly featuring Cammick's iconic photography from the era.

The very first issue of iconic local music magazine Rip It Up
The very first issue of iconic local music magazine Rip It Up

You can peruse the archives by clicking here.