MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SMASH HITS – 27.1.1988

We go back to early 1988, when American teen star Tiffany is the cover star of Smash Hits, having just had a massive hit with I Think We’re Alone Now.

As you open the magazine, there is a poster of Eddie Kidd, famous as a Stuntman but is also launching a singing career.

In news, Pet Shop Boys have recorded a song with Patsy Kensit, and Roger Taylor has launched a career as a singer with a band called The Cross, and is interviewed.

Cher gets a full page dedicated to her, looking at her fashion over the previous twenty years.

A-Ha announced they were going on a UK tour, beginning at Shepton Mallet Showering Pavillion and George Michael is doing a tour which includes two nights in Belfast.

Hugh Cornwell from The Stranglers is interviewed, while Smash Hits reports than a Soap actress called Kylie Minogue has recorded a song called I Should Be So Lucky which was described as “Quite good”, to their surprise.

The Housemartins also announced their split this week.

Bros get interviewed, with Craig revealing his first concert was AC/DC.

Michael Hutchence gets a double page profile, billed as “The most fanciable creation in the history of the universe?”

Also being interviewed is Dollar, with David and Thereza being asked questions about each other.

Tiffany gets a three page interview where she reveals he prefers Sindy over Barbie, and that boys at school called her “Whiffany”

In singles reviews, The Bangles cover of Hazy Shade Of Winter was the best single of the fortnight.

As the magazine ends, there is a double page interview with Bananarama where they, like Dollar, were asked questions about each other.

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MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SMASH HITS – 19.4.1989

Wendy James of Transvision Vamp is the cover star of Smash Hits, having broken into the charts during 1989.

As you open the magazine, there is a poster of Fleetwood Mac and Rolling Stones haters The Reynolds Girls.

Smash Hits asks various pop stars if they are O-Zone friendly. Simon Le Bon states that the situation is “Bloody frightening”.

A Spokesperson for Prince Charles says he has given up using O-Zone damaging products.

Jim Kerr of Simple Minds will be hosting a show on Radio 1 about ecological concerns. There is also a cut out letter to send to lobby the Minister for the Environment.

Nathan Moore of Brother Beyond is subject to a questionnaire asking if he is a thug or a weed, with the result putting him in the middle.

There was a token for readers to get free badges – Kylie Minogue, Yazz, Rick Astley and Michael Jackson.

Smash Hits previews Madonna’s new album with a poster and an interview. The interview isn’t with Madonna, but the Songwriters she worked with on the album.

As well as hosting a show on Radio 1, Jim Kerr and his band Simple Minds have a new single out, This Is You Land, which gets the Lyrics Poster treatment.

Cover star Wendy James gets a two page interview, with the headline asking if she is the new Kylie Minogue, revealing that she was suspended from school for knocking over chairs in assembley.

Holly Johnson is the Singles Reviewer, wanting to sit on the fence for songs he doesn’t like such as Texas, Kylie Minogue and Cher. He awarded Best Single to I’m Every Woman by Chaka Khan.

There is a feature on Duran Duran, as they try to regain their status as biggest band in the world.

The magazine ends with a poster of The Bangles.

MEDIAWATCH : THOSE WE DIDN’T LOSE IN 2017

Usually at this time of year, news outlets will run pieces looking back and mourning the celebrities who have died in the year just past.

Let’s do something different. Let’s look back and celebrate the celebrities who are still alive …….. despite the fact that National Enquirer said they were on the verge of death during 2017.

Val Kilmer

Cher

Angelina Jolie

Yoko Ono

Kurt Russell

William Shatner

Terence Stamp

Kirstie Alley

Lisa Marie Presley

Melanie Griffith

Betty White

MEDIAWATCH : CHER THE IMMORTAL

National Enquirer are obsessed with Cher, more specifically, with Cher dying.

As in, Cher actually dying, and not people mistakingly thinking she was dead, when it was Thatcher and not that Cher who was dead.

So, let’s look back at all the times in 2017 that National Enquirer said that Cher was dying.

January – Broke, dying and accused of $5m swindle

February – Says her goodbyes after a killer virus.

March – Brought back from the dead. Just like that guy, you know, Dirty Den from Eastenders.

May – Live saving liver transplant.

June – Relapses after Gregg Allman dies.

October – Deathbed confession that she lost five babies.

October – Dying and desperate for quick cash.

November – Sick, frail, loveless, flat broke and wanting to die.

At time of going to publish, Cher is still alive, and was slagging off Donald Trump on Twitter eleven hours ago.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : Q – FEBRUARY 1993

A shirtless Brett Anderson is the cover star of Q in early 1993, accompanied by the headline “The band of 1993”

Oliver Reed feels the wrath of Q’s “Who The Hell Does …..” column a few pages in.

In news, Later With Jools Holland has got a new series and an earlier timeslot, now going out at 10pm on a Friday. Nicky Wire got into trouble after yelling “I hope Michael Stipe goes the same way as Freddie Mercury” at a gig, prompting some fans to give him a mouthful after the gig.

Meanwhile, The Edge’s dog ran away from home.

In other news, the tree that Marc Bolan hit when he died has shown signs of decay and might have to be chopped down. Factory records has collapsed under £2m of debt

The Levellers, having had a successful year, are the subject of a three page feature.

1992 gets a 12 page review, looking back at the events of the year, a year when U2 and Nirvana went big in different ways.

Shane MacGowan gets a five page interview, which stereotypically takes place in a wine bar.

In adverts, British Waterways are advertising Countryside Holidays, promoting the value of water based activities.

Bryan Ferry is on the comeback trail and doing his first interview in five years, and doesn’t react well to jibes about him being a country gent, saying “I lived in the country for a bit but I was never a fully paid-up Land Rover driver, though I have Wellington boots, both green and black”

Q gives four pages to cover stars Suede, stating that they are doing for Haywards Heath what Paul Weller has done for Woking, describing Suede as “Britain’s sexiest band, bringing back glamour not seen since Roxy Music”, nicely linking in with Bryan Ferry’s interview a few pages earlier.

There is then a double page feature on how the music scene in 1993 resembles the scene in 1973, while jokingly pointing out that some of 1973’s biggest stars are still going strong in terms of album sales in 1993.

In reviews, Ian McShane has brought out an album. Yes, that Ian McShane, Lovejoy. Or Deadwood, if you prefer. Q only gave him one star.

Riding high in the album charts this month were Cher, Erasure, Michael Bolton, Gloria Estefan, Genesis and Simple Minds.

After Neil Young went on the warpath against digital music the previous month, John Bauldie meets musicians who still record using analogue.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : Q – JANUARY 1993

1993 begins with U2, voted World’s Best Act, on the cover of Q, fronted by a topless Larry Mullan.

Feel the wrath of Q, in their monthly “Who the hell do …….” column are Status Quo, never the darlings of the music press.

In news, Beverley Craven has announced that her forthcoming tour will be sponsored by Tampax, Tom Jones was appearing as himself in The Simpsons,

Sony have launches the Minidisc at a ceremony, where the musical entertainment was provided by Paul Young, after George Michael pulled out, having issued a writ against Sony to have his record contract cancelled, stating “Sony appears to view artists as little more than software”

The Shamen get a double page feature after having their first Number One in 1992, and denied that Ebeneezer Goode was a pro drugs anthem, instead, labelling it a parody.

Neil Young gets interviwed by Q, and is on the warpath …… against digital music, describing it as “It’s like sensory deprivation”

There’s a Led Zeppelin reunion of sorts, as the three surviving members and Jason Bonham accept a Merit Award at the recent Q Awards, attended by stars such as Wendy James and Jesus Jones.

Seven pages are dedicated to an interview with U2, where Bono declares that his biggest surprise of their Zoo TV Tour came ……… when people turned up to see them.

In the Album Chart, it’s a compilation battle, as Erasure’s Greatest Hits album beats Cher to the top spot.

Gig listings that month included B-52s, Jason Donovan, Beverley Craven (sponsored by Tampax), Del Amitri and Status Quo.

U2 announced stadium gigs in London, Leeds, Glasgow and Cardiff.

To finish, Shakin Stevens, now known as Shaky, is subject to a brief Q and A. He thinks Bob Dylan is a very good songwriter, can’t remember the last time he was drunk, can’t leave home without his golf balls and he would have liked to have met Elvis.

50 YEARS OF TOP OF THE POPS : DEC 26 – DEC 31

The final episode of the series, which i’ve enjoyed writing and sharing with you.

You never know, the BBC might bring it back on a weekly basis. Let’s go out on a high with some classics, and some not so classic.

I’ll probably rehash this in 2024 for 60 Years Of Top Of The Pops. If not, i’ll see you in 2048 for 50 Years Of CD:UK.

And finally, Bobby Farrell died four years ago, on the same day, and in the same city as Rasputin.

50 YEARS OF TOP OF THE POPS : JUL 4 – JUL 10

The week after Independence Day, let’s start all American with a video that’s too good not to Cher, sorry, share, about the time Cher went for a walkabout.

Apologies for the poor sound quality (and not because it’s Cher)

And now, the sound of 1999, Roisin Murphy, who turned 41 this week.

Meanwhile, Ringo Starr, narrator of Thomas The Tank Engine, turned 74 his week. Not many people know he had a music career before that. His band was so good, Wet Wet Wet covered one of their songs.

Remember the theme to Ally McBeal? It was rather good.

Marc Almond turned 57 this week. It’s easy to forget he had a brilliant solo number 1. This is from the Christmas 1989 edition, broadcast the day Nicolae Ceaușescu was executed. It’s unknown if he had the chance to watch this before meeting his fate.

Jim Kerr from Simple Minds is still alive and kicking, turned 55 this week.

(Apologies for the sound quality on some of this video)

By 1995, TV Centre in Shepherd’s Bush wasn’t glamourous enough for Simple Minds any more.

Now, people think of Sky Sports when you think of Simple Minds being used in advertising. As a bonus, here’s from when Simple Minds had a brief period as computer salesmen.

And, as a further bonus, here’s Jim Kerr’s ex wife (Behave you lot, no jokes about the number of pop star husbands she’s had)

Meanwhile, Courtney Love hit the big 50 this week.

Jack White turned 39 this week.

And finally, Neil Tennent hits the big 60 this week. You may not know it, but he’s already appeared on this week’s round-up ……… having produced I’m Not Scared by Eighth Wonder.

However, it would be rude not to post videos of his day job.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : TOP OF THE POPS – FEBRUARY 1999

We’re back in 1999 for a magazine cover that could only come from 1999, featuring 5ive, who are looking for a girlfriend.

Scott from 5ive makes his debut as a columnist for the magazine, stating that he doesn’t want Britain to join the Euro, Essex should be the UK’s capital and that there should be more Pizza Hut’s built

Tipped for big things in that month’s edition : Emmie, Dot Allison, Loop Da Loop, Goo Goo Dolls, N*Sync and Take 5.

Billie Piper gets a double page spread interviewing Cher. Ironically, Billie Piper’s first public appearance was starring in an advert for Smash Hits.

In the “Songwords” section, ‘We Like To Party’ by Vengaboys was featured. Yes, the song where they go “We like to party, we like, we like to party” on a continuous loop.

Ultra (I don’t remember them either) dress up as Duran Duran in the ‘Planet Earth’ video.

A cast list of male pop stars queue up to tell what they would do to woo Emma ‘Baby Spice’ Bunton. H from Steps would write her a love song, while Aaron Carter would protect her so she doesn’t get hurt.

There is a page dedicated to an unknown up and coming singer called Britney Spears. Not sure what happened to her.

Billie Piper is the guest singles review. She says Britney Spears has a nice voice and that Steps are lovely. She bins Kula Shaker’s single and gives a 5* review to her boyfriend Kavana.

In the chart profiles, J from 5ive revelas that Braveheart is his favourite film, Claire from Steps likes to relax in her bedroom and Brian Harvey’s favourite dinner is Roast Beef.