NME.COM

Music magazines of yesteryear

  • Sounds (October 1970 - April 1991). This hugely successful weekly title was a major competitor of NME and had a broader remit, in that it wasn't afraid to cover heavy metal and punk (in fact, Kerrang! started life as a pull-out metal supplement in Sounds). It also helped break grunge – the very first Nirvana interview was in Sounds.

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    Added: 09 Nov 2009

  • Bang (April 2003 - January 2004). This monthly Future Publishing title, with an indier-than-thou slant, made its mark charging only £1 per issue but folded due to poor sales. It was originally edited by Crispin Parry and Danny Ford, who occasionally performed onstage with The Polyphonic Spree (who, to the bewilderment of the industry, appeared on the cover of the third issue).

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    Added: 09 Nov 2009

  • RAW (August 1988 - December 1995). Rock Action Worldwide (RAW) was launched as a rival to Kerrang!, which had gone weird in the mid-'80s, putting Prince and Bryan Adams on the cover. The mag was owned by EMAP. Unfortunately, when EMAP subsequently bought Kerrang! as well, there was no longer any reason for them to keep RAW alive.

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    Added: 09 Nov 2009

  • Smash Hits (November 1978 - February 2006). The pop mag's circulation went through the roof in the mid-'80s, selling a million copies an issue at its peak. Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant worked there for a time, and remembers looking smugly at NME staff working across the street, seemingly having much less fun than the Smash Hits lot. The mag was axed in 2006 after a disastrous sales slide.

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    Added: 09 Nov 2009

  • Popworld Pulp (April 2007). This spin-off from the Channel 4 TV show was launched as a direct competitor to NME and Kerrang! – but it folded after just two issues, the first of which sold 9,000 copies out of a print run of 130,000. In a memorable phrase, shell-shocked publisher Darren Styles said: "The magazine has bombed in a way nobody connected with it could ever have envisaged."

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    Added: 09 Nov 2009

  • Select (October 1990 - 2000). Now best known for championing Britpop – the term was supposedly first coined in its pages by Stuart Maconie – Select actually had a pretty broad remit and delighted indie fans with funny writing and quirky features before declining amid the post-Britpop comedown.

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    Added: 10 Nov 2009

  • X-Ray (October 2002 - January 2004). Launched as a joint venture between XFM and Swinstead Publishing, this handbag-sized mag featured "the music of tomorrow" – mostly indie bands like Razorlight and Franz Ferdinand – and came with a free CD each month. It was never much loved, though, and folded after the two companies parted ways.

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    Added: 09 Nov 2009

  • Kingsize (April 2001 - August 2001). Another short-lived monthly music magazine, EMAP targeted mature rap/metal/extreme sports readers with Kingsize. Launched at the height of nu-metal as a monthly companion to Kerrang!, the publication lasted for only four issues. While it attracted attention and a broad range of advertisers, sales were poor.

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    Added: 09 Nov 2009

  • Muzik (June 1995 - July 2003). Launched as club culture was booming, Muzik was pitched as a more thoughtful alternative to 'Mixmag', aimed at serious dance music fans rather than E-popping clubbers in fluffy boots. It did well for a time, shifting 50,000 copies a month at its peak, but declined along with the dance music scene after 2000.

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    Added: 09 Nov 2009

  • Plan B (June 2004 - June 2009). The brainchild of former Melody Maker journalist (and friend of Kurt and Courtney) Everett True, Plan B embraced underground music and thrived on its proudly uncommercial spread of bands and often challenging writing. It ceased publication in June this year, blaming the "current economic climate, combined with the situation of the music industry".

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    Added: 09 Nov 2009

  • Melody Maker (January 1926 - December 2000). Beginning as a jazz magazine, Melody Maker ultimately became the longest-running music title ever. For a long time it was published in the same building as its deadly rival, NME. A glossy relaunch in 1999 failed to stem a steady decline and the following year MM was folded into NME after 74 years on the newsstands.

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    Added: 09 Nov 2009

  • Vox (October 1990 - 1995). Launched as a competitor to EMAP's then-booming Q, Vox initially sold over 100,000 copies a month – until Q fought back, poaching half the mag's staff. Interestingly, Vox was one of the only mags to get behind Radiohead circa 'The Bends', when most rival mags had decided they were a spent force, post-'Creep'.

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    Added: 09 Nov 2009

  • Blender (1997 - April 2009). A US-based spin-off of men's mag Maxim, Blender featured brilliant writing - far more irreverent than US market leader Rolling Stone. At one point it looked likely to launch in the UK as a competitor to Q. Sadly, a collapse in ad sales forced its closure – to the chagrin of UK stringers as Blender's word rates were astronomical.

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    Added: 09 Nov 2009

  • Careless Talk Costs Lives (January 2002 - November 2003). Another high-minded (some would say pretentious) journal from Everett True. Always wilfully idiosyncratic, CTCL was intended to only run for 12 issues and began with issue 12, working backwards. The first cover stars were Mogwai. Pic: Andy Whitton

    Photo: Andy Whitton

    Added: 09 Nov 2009