MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SMASH HITS – 3.1.1985

As 1985 starts, Wham! are the cover stars of Smash Hits, who join them on tour, stating that their fans enjoy their gigs than people who go to see Duran Duran, Culture Club and Spandau Ballet.

As you open the magazine, there is a poster of Adam Ant.

In news, Smash Hits launches an Australian version, to compliment the American version, which is known as Star Hits.

Ian McCullough of Echo and the Bunnymen is interviewed, as the band takes a year off.

There are three pages dedicated to Alannah Currie’s life story so far. You know, her from Thompson Twins.

Smash Hits joins Wham! on tour in Edinburgh, and Andrew Ridgeley dresses up for the occasion by wearing a tartan suit.

Concert Reviews sees Smash Hits go to see UB40, Howard Jones and Cocteau Twins.

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MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : VOX – AUGUST 1995

It’s the summer of 1995 and Britpop is on the rise, but it’s an American, Michael Stipe of REM, who is the cover star of this edition of Vox.

In news, Depeche Mode are now down to three members following the departure of Alan Wilder, while Oasis have announced that their second album, “Morning Glory” is finished and ready for release in September, while there were rumours that Paul Weller would join Oasis on stage at Glastonbury.

The Cure announced plans for a new album in February 1996, Nancy Sinatra posed for Playboy at the age of 52, and the BBC were planning six hours of programming to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Live Aid.

Vox looks at the trend of Indie bands becoming pin-ups, and Boybands getting serious, with contributions from PJ Harvey, Holly Johnson, and Martin Carr from Boo Radleys.

Bands tipped for success include Whale, Thurman and Cast.

Armando Ianucci is interviewed, ahead of the launch of his new satire show, Saturday Night Armistice, which is accompanied by a picture of him licking an iron.

Chemical Brothers get a two page interview about heir recent successes, while three pages are dedicated to Oasis singles cover art, with comments and anecdotes from Brian Cannon (Art Director) and Michael Spencer Jones (Photographer)

There’s more Oasis a few pages later, as Paul Slattery, a photographer who accompanied them on tour, shows off his best photos from the year he spent with them.

Therapy? get a four page interview, accompanied with a photo of them dressed as clowns.

The National Lottery has recently been set up, so Vox asks various bands such as Dodgy, Shampoo, Supergrass, Pulp, Sparks and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin what they would do if they won the lottery.

Gene were that months guest reviewers, sticking the boot into Paul Weller’s single “Wings Of Speed”, with Martin Rossiter stating “This is a dreadful ballad. If Mariah Carey sang this, we’d all be slagging it right off”

The Verve are interviewed over two pages in LA, with the introductory line “Can The Verve follow in Oasis footsteps?”

Jim and William Reid from Jesus and Mary Chain are asked about their most hated things, aiming their vitriol at UB40 and Chris De Burgh.

Cover star Michael Stipe is interviewed, speaking about how REM are getting back on track, following Bill Berry’s onstage collapse earlier that year.

Mick Jones of The Clash gets a full page interview of his memories of punk.

50 YEARS OF TOP OF THE POPS : FEB 28 – MAR 6

We start this week’s round-up with an audience member possibly more famous than the band he’s there to see. Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, one of the few rock stars whose name rhymes with his band would have been 72 this week.

Apart from rock stars who share their name with their band, such as Jon Bon Jovi, Eddie Van Halen, and um, Paul King.

Here he is performing “The Last Time” in 1965. Keep an eye out for George Best being in the audience.

Sharing a birthday (not the same year though) with Brian Jones is Cindy Wilson of B-52s. I know everyone loves “Loveshack” but “Roam” is a far far better song.

Unfortunately, there’ll be no February 29th mentioned on this blog as this isn’t a leap year. Maybe if I do a 60 Years Of Top Of The Pops blog series in 2024, we’ll see.

70 this week, was Roger Daltrey of The Who. So many songs to choose from, “You Better You Bet”, their last Top Ten single, is my favourite.

Which 80s pop star is like dry land? Nik Kershaw, because he has no C. OK, that was a bloody awful riddle. This is a better riddle.

We all know Bon Jovi, but can anyone name any of his solo hit singles, apart from me, who is the proud owner of a copy of Destination Anywhere?

Meanwhile, former ruler of the world, Chris Martin, was 37 this week. Sometimes, I like to dressed up as Chris Martin and pretend i’m him. Yep, I do Coldplay Cosplay.

Sad anniversary time, it’s 15 years this week since the death of Dusty Springfield.

Born the day after Chris Martin was Ronan Keating. To be fair, some of his solo stuff is not dreadful.

Believed to be the main influence of Elvis Presley, Shakin Stevens, no relation to Rachel Stevens from S Club 7 or Cat Stevens was on Top Of The Pops so much in the 1980s, they invited him back for their end of the 80s special in 1989, unsurprisingly. When else would you have an end of the 80s show?

Also celebrating a birthday this week, Evan Dando from The Lemonheads, seen here performing “Mrs Robinson”

Eddy Grant, 66 this week, was once offered a role in Strictly, but declined, stating “I Don’t Wanna Dance”

One of his biggest hits was “Baby Come Back”, covered by Irish Reggae singer Pat O’Banton.

Meanwhile, both Charlie Reid and Craig Reid of The Proclaimers were 52 this week. They’re twins, obviously. The second most successful pop twins (after Bros) of 1988.

And finally ……. remember The Kooks? I liked them.

50 YEARS OF TOP OF THE POPS : FEB 14 – FEB 20

We begin our look back at TOTP with Valentine’s Day. If it was your birthday as well, you share it with Ali Campbell from UB40.

This week saw the 4th anniversary of the death of Doug Fieger, lead singer of The Knack. Sadly, we’ve no The Knack, but we have Girls Aloud ripping off My Sharona.

Born on this week in history was Mikey Craig of Culture Club. Here he is performing “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?”, ironically, he missed the video shoot (hungover, according to Pop Up Video)

And yes, I know “Karma Chameleon” is their best song, but you’ll have to wait until Boy George’s birthday.

Another birthday boy this week is Ronnie Vanucci. Hard to believe that “Mr Brightside” was almost 10 years ago.

Finally, we have a Duran Duran birthday. Andy Taylor, no relation to John Taylor or Roger Taylor, or even Roger Taylor from Queen. Or Taylor Swift.

It’s not easy trying to pick a favourite Duran Duran song. In fact, it’s about as easy as a nuclear war.

Billy Joe Armstrong of Green Day is 42 this week. Here he is performing “Minority” in 2000.

We’ve already had one Taylor birthday this week, but there’s another one ……. Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters.

In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison for a crime they didn’t commit. In 2011, Ed Sheeran performed The A-Team on Top Of The Pops. Ed Sheeran as yet, hasn’t relocated to the Los Angeles underground.

I love the song, but this version ….. it really killed the mood in the studio.

The 2nd most famous Andy Williams in pop, Andy Williams from Doves is 44 this week, as was his twin brother Jez.

Sadly, I couldn’t find any Sub Sub, but i’ll make up for it with a double dose of Doves.

Talking of Andy Williams, The Beat had a big hit with an Andy Williams cover, but Dave Wakeling’s birthday shall be commemorated with “Mirror In The Bathroom” instead.

Bit of pointless The Beat trivia, Sting wore a The Beat t-shirt in the video for “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”

Ian Brown is 51 this week, and like fellow Mancunians New Order, i’ll treat Stone Roses birthdays to side projects, in Ian Brown’s case, his debut solo single, the best of his whole career, “My Star”

Meanwhile, Kurt Cobain would have been 47 today if he was still alive. Hard to imagine him getting old considering his early death.

He was born in Aberdeen you know. But not that Aberdeen. Aberdeen in Seattle.

And finally, remember the whole Tatu “controversy” of 2003?

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 8.11.2013

1. Nick Mulvey – Nitrious
2. Classified ft Olly Murs – Inner Ninja
3. The Courteeners – Van Der Graaff
4. Drake – Hold On, We’re Going Home
5. Paul McCartney – New

Last week, was ‘Disco Week’ on X-Factor, and rather disappointingly, nobody sang ‘Disco 2000’, probably because it wasn’t a Disco song. X-Factor isn’t as much fun when they stick to the rules.

FIVE DISCO SONGS

1. Kelly Marie – Feels Like I’m In Love
2. Aneka – Japanese Boy
3. Boogie Box High – Jive Talkin
4. Lipps Inc – Funkytown
5. Blondie – Heart Of Glass

As a bonus, much love popular beat combo Unemployment Benefit 40 are playing a gig at The Limelight in Belfast next year, which is as random as you can get.

As a tribute, here’s a Top Five.

(NOTE : I’ve left out “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” by Robert Palmer cos it’s more of a Robert Palmer song. To include it, would be more controversial than leaving it out.

FIVE UB40 SONGS

1. Red Red Wine
2. Sing Our Own Song
3. Rat In Mi Kitchen
4. Don’t Break My Heart
5. Tell Me Is It True

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : NO 1 – 22.12.1984

It’s Christmas 1984, there’s no need to be afraid.

A quick look at Wikipedia tells us that No 1 was a Smash Hits type magazine which ran from 1983-1992.

There is a split cover, with John Taylor looking back on the year with Tony Hadley, and Paul Weller being interviewed by Boy Goerge. In further surrealness, Madness go skiing with the Thompson Twins, while Kim While goes partying with Nick Heyward. It is unknown if Kim Wilde and Nick Heyward’s party involved drunkenly singing on the tube.

John Taylor and Tony Hadley look back at the year, of big Number Ones (but not for their respective bands)

Highlights include :

John Taylor

(On the book, 1984) “It may be a lot closer to what is happening in Chile and Poland”

(On the Miner’s Strike) “The actual cause appears to be establish Arthur Scargill as the leader of the country”

(On Ronald Reagan) “It’s a bit better than that miserable git Mondale”

Tony Hadley

(On football) “I quite like football, but I never have the time to keep up with what’s happening”

(On Ronald Reagan) “I dislike Ronald Reagan. He thinks he’s John Wayne”

Meanwhile, Nick Heyward and Kim Wilde do a picture story of them getting ready to go on a date.

Various pop stars are given a platform for their highs and lows of 1984. Simon Le Bon’s low point was ‘Wild Boys’ not getting to Number One. I’m with him on this one, it’s Duran Duran’s best song, and should have been a Number One.

Tom Bailey, Jay Aston and Curt Smith have political issues as their low point, with Curt Smith having a similar viewpoint on Arthur Scargill as John Taylor.

Sarah from Bananarama rejoices in having a US Top Ten hit, while bemoaning stepping on dogshit in a carpark in Germany.

Paul Weller lists Ronald Reagan’s re-election as US President as his low point of 1984.

Roddy Frame is in support of the Miner’s Strike, describing it as his high point of 1984.

Tracey Ullman lists Lionel Ritchie’s video for ‘Hello’ as her 1984 low point. Time has shown it to be a classic pop video …….. in a ‘so bad it’s good’ kind of way.

Gary Glitter bemoans the lack of jobs for young people. Not going to comment on that.

No 1 readers were out voting for their favourite song of 1984, voting for ‘Careless Whisper’ by George Michael as the best song of the year. Wasn’t even the best George Michael song (Freedom by Wham since you ask, his best ever song he has recorded)

Ali and Robin Campbell get a double page spread talking about Christmas in the Campbell household. Ali Campbell’s first Christmas present that he can remember was a pair of George Best football boots.

There is an advert for music VHS including U2 Live At Red Rocks, and Now That’s What I Call Music 4.

Bucks Fizz are reviewing the recent singles, with Mike Nolan describing Band Aid as “It reminds me of that song by Greg Emerson, I mean, Greg Lake” and saying “If Queen can’t do a good Chritsmas song, I don’t think anyone can” before adding “I prefer ‘Mull Of Kintye'” in reference to Paul McCartney’s Frog Chorus.

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 30.12.2011

1. Big Foote – Crazy Crazy Nights
2. Voice Of The Beehive – Monsters and Angels
3. The Ramones – Needles and Pins
4. UB40 – Sing Your Own Song
5. Showaddywaddy – Under The Moon Of Love

So, this is the last Friday Five of 2011, here’s hoping i’ll be listing five songs for you on a weekly basis throughout 2012.

Happy New Year to all blog readers

Last week was the 9th anniversary of the death of Joe Strummer. I forgot to do a Clash Top Five last week, so i’ll do it this week.

I can still remember that day. Was working in The Globe on a Saturday night. Woke up on the Sunday lunchtime, and put on Ceefax, and the lead story was “PUNK LEGEND JOE STRUMMER DIES AGED 50” as the lead story on 101

And yes, I am aware that there are songs that Mick Jones sings the lead on in my Top Five.

FIVE THE CLASH SONGS

1. Train In Vain
2. London Calling
3. Spanish Bombs
4. Magnificent Seven
5. Guns Of Brixton