Smash Hits was a pop music based magazine, aimed at teenagers and young adults and originally published in the UK by EMAP.  The magazine ran from 1978 to 2006 and was issued fortnightly for most of that time. The name survives as a brand for a related spin-off digital television channel, digital radio station, and website which have survived the demise of the printed magazine. The brand also covered the annual Smash Hits Poll Winners Party, an awards ceremony voted for by readers of the magazine.

Smash Hits was founded in 1978 by Nick Logan, who had previously edited the New Musical Express during one of its most creative periods and went on to create '80s fashion bible The Face.

After releasing a test issue in September 1978, with Belgian's Plastic Bertrand on the front and a centre spread of Sham 69, the first issue was published in November 1978 and featured Blondie on the cover. The publication was initially monthly but switched to fortnightly after only three issues, due to massive sales, which it remained until its demise. The backbone of the magazine in its early years, and one of its major early selling points, was the publication of Top 20 song lyrics.
 
The magazine was at its peak in the 1980s, launching the career of many journalists including Heat's editor Mark Frith. Other well-known writers have included Dave Rimmer, Ian Birch, Mark Ellen (who went on to launch Q, Mojo and Word), Steve Beebee, Peter Martin, Chris Heath, Sylvia Patterson, Tom Hibbert, and Miranda Sawyer. Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys also worked as a writer and assistant editor, and once claimed that had he not become a pop star, he would likely have pursued his ambition to become editor.

During this period, appearing on the cover of Smash Hits was a sign that an act had finally ‘arrived’. Despite iconic status, the magazine never pandered to pop

stars. If you wanted to know anything about pop music during the 1980’s then the best place to start was with Smash Hits! magazine. For most of the 1980’s and early 1990’s it was the first choice magazine for many teenagers, at it’s peak selling half a million copies every bi-weekly issue. A record breaking issue in 1989, featuring Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan, sold more than a million copies!

In the 1990s the magazine's circulation slumped and it was overtaken by the BBC's spin off magazine Top Of The Pops. Emap's other biweekly teen magazine of the period Big! (which featured more celebrities and stars of TV programmes like Home And Away and Beverly Hills, 90210 was closed and this celeb focus was shifted over to Smash Hits, which became less focused on Teenpop and more of an Entertainment magazine. The magazine also shifted size a number of times in subsequent relaunches including one format that was as big as an album with songwords to be clipped out on the card cover. Television presenter and journalist Kate Thornton was editor for a short time.

The magazine was also available in Continental Europe, especially in Germany where the issues could be bought at train stations or airports, whilst the title was licensed for a French version in the 90s. There were other licensed versions in the magazine's history. In 1984 an Australian version was created and proved just as successful for that new market as the original had back in Britain, whilst in the US, a version was published during the Eighties under the title Star Hits, drawing articles from the British version.

In July 2009 a one-off commemorative issue of the magazine was published as a tribute to singer Michael Jackson. Further one-off specials were released in November 2009 (Take That) and December 2010 (Lady Gaga)

 

Thank you to Brian McCloskey for prividing some of the issues that I don't have.


 The Smash Hits Story

Click the link below to go to the Video called

The Smash Hits Story

Where we get to see the people involved in the setting up and running of the Smash Hits Magazine




YouTube Video

 

 

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