The Null Device

Smash Hits no more

After 28 years, seminal British chart-pop magazine Smash Hits is closing down, its circulation (and, indeed, relevance) being hit hard by the fact that today's tweens have MySpace and mobile phones and such.

BBC News 24 had an interview with Andy McCluskey of OMD, whom they brought in to their Liverpool studio to ask him about his thoughts on the passing of the magazine which covered his band. He made some interesting points: commenting about the fact that the shiny pop bands of his day differed from today's manufactured pop in that the former wrote their own songs (and the fact that he had manufactured the pop group Atomic Kitten wasn't lost on the presenters), and commenting that, in terms of cultural phenomena, NME now is equivalent to Smash Hits in the 1980s. (I'm not sure about that; I suspect that Smash Hits may have had better writing and been less whorishly boosterist.)

While the Smash Hits magazine closes, XRRF points out that the Smash Hits brand will live on, as owners EMAP do their duties to the shareholders and milk it for all it's worth. We can probably expect a Smash Hits ringtone download service or something.

(Your Humble Narrator vaguely remembers reading a similar-sounding Smash Hits magazine in Australia as a tyke; I don't know whether this was the British publication imported, an Australian franchise produced under license, or a slightly localised edition of the original, with all the British acts that never made it down replaced with Icehouses and Australian Crawls. I think it was one of the two latter ones; I seem to recall there having been a robust debate in the Black Type column about Icehouse frontman Iva Davies' choice of underwear or something similar.)

There are 4 comments on "Smash Hits no more":

Posted by: Andrew http:// Thu Feb 2 22:42:56 2006

Let us not forget that "Hot Metal" (later "HM") magazine used to be full of posters with hair-metal pop singers with their shirts off glistening in the sun.

Now it's full of bands with masks on.

At least I think it is, or did Kerrang! kill it?

I always saw Smash Hits (and magazines like it) as like TV Hits / TV Week. The covers portraying the pop characters as if they were real with real lives we cared about.

Funny really.

Posted by: Loki Fri Feb 3 07:19:53 2006

Dear God. There was something more whorishly boosterish than Smash Hits? (And yes, I too am thinking of the Oz version.)

Posted by: gjw Fri Feb 3 09:24:56 2006

Aah. I believe my sister's Boy George and Duran Duran posters came via Smash Hits. They looked great next to her posters of the Two Cories. Good times.

Posted by: acb Fri Feb 3 09:41:29 2006

Loki: I point you to:

It's a parody, but not far off the mark.