To celebrate our 50th birthday issue we reveal the artists who've had the most influence on the only magazine to have covered the whole of rock 'n' roll history...

THE SMITHS have been named the artists to have had most influence on NME in the course of our 50 years as a title.

The top 50 artists to have had an influence will be revealed tomorrow (April 16) in a special issue celebrating 50 years of NME but as a taster we can now reveal the Top 10 – which also includes The Beatles, Oasis, Public Enemy and David Bowie.

The list takes into account: Appearances on front covers. Volume and significance of features. Dominance of end of year writers polls. The response from our readers in the weekly letters page. The presence of their name and influence in the paper (e.g. the number of acts referred to as the new them, the endless questioning of other artists for their opinions of them, the terrible pun headlines on their name or song titles…). And the speed with which they took over.


It was felt that The Smiths and then a solo Morrissey’s all-encompassing spread through the 80s and early 90s allowed them to reign.

The top 10 is as follows:

1: The Smiths

2: The Beatles

3: Stone Roses

4: David Bowie


5: Sex Pistols

6: Oasis

7: Radiohead

8: Paul Weller/The Jam

9: U2

10: Public Enemy

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