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16 February 2006 @ 12:40 am
Smashing Good Times  
Does anyone remember "Smash Hits", the pop magazine which provided all the information one needed to know about Brit Pop in the 80s' and 90s'? Well, "Smash Hits" has published its last edition on February 13, 2006.

"Smash Hits" was a smash with teenagers when it was launched in 1978. During the heydays of Planet Pop in the 80s', it shaped the musical tastes of millions of readers, including mine. Containing song lyrics of the latest hits, posters & centre-page spreads of the hottest stars, occasional freebies, important information (actually gossip!) such as who is a good snogger, what does so-and-so buy when he visits the grocery store or what brand of underwear he wears. The magazine's contents were witty, zany, fun, humourous and informative (ahem!), with all the exaggeration and gaiety of the golden 80s' laced with British humour.

It exposed Singaporean-kids to songs and a whole new musical culture that we would have never experienced via the radio or cassette/CD shops in Singapore. Without fail, a portion of my paltry monthly allowance would go towards its purchase. I grew out of it when I entered JC and my musical tastes shifted to rock music for a brief period.

The Pop Music industry is so boring nowadays, with one-hit/album wonders galore, digitally altered images of artistes and carefully constructed public personas to enhance careers. Where can one find a true pop icon of the new millenium? Britney Spears? Oh please! Where is the Michael Jackson, Madonna and Prince of today? Enuff' said. What gossip is there then to write? We are left with the usual 'Who's seeing who? Who's left who?' nonsense.

Apparently, since the late 90s, the quality of the magazine has declined steadily. 28 years after its first launch, the world has become a very different place with rapid internet connections, search engines and online downloads. Magazines now struggle for a pie of the consumer dollar and readership.

This is the end of an era. Times have changed and we change with them. Smash Hits, thank you for playing a part in my life and for the fond memories. Without you, I would have been all the poorer for it and would have, probably, ended up as a Barry Manilow cum Air Supply cum Bread fan humming to boring, sad soppy love(-sick) songs.

Gosh, I am feeling nostalgic again...you know that weird sinking poignant feeling in the pits of your tummy when you learn of news that something bad has happened to what you used to love and know so well.

Hmmm...I wonder if I still have any of those back issues stashed somewhere in my room! Heehee...it is a long shot, but I may just find the issue with Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue on the cover. Apparently, it is the magazine's biggest-selling edition bought by more than one million readers in 1989.

You may remember some of these if you have read Smash Hits:

Song Cards & Lyrics
Free Pins to adorn your schoolbag
Ken - Ken being any member of a boyband who was too boring to have his name remembered
Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys began his career in music as a writer on Smash Hits
Lord Frederick Lucan of Mercury, Sir Clifford of Richard,Phil Collins and the Temples of Dome
Posters of NKOTB (ok, i confess, it was a foolish mistake of my youth), A-Ha, Bros and Boyzone
Debates about killing people by wishing them dead
Covering school books and files with posters
Juicy Neighbours gossip
The KLF and EMF and Right Said Fred
Provocative Madonna interviews
 
 
Current Mood: weirdweird
Current Music: I melt with you - Nouvelle Vague
 
 
 
poooeypoooey on February 23rd, 2006 04:13 pm (UTC)
yah yah I remember poring over smash hits, except tht my sis bought them! I got all the news abt NKOTB and Bros from there! and yeah they brought us those brit terms like snogging and blimey and posh.

and those ubiquitous button badges!yeah I do miss eighties music and stars. or maybe we were less sophisticated and were more easily satisfied.. hmm..

btw do you remember this guy called marc almond? he was no 1 in Top of the Pops for many many weeks and I couldn't stand watching his video week after week. 'stg gotta hold of my heart...'
Ariel: contentedenchantedwood on February 24th, 2006 05:04 pm (UTC)
blimey, of course!

In fact, I have his album, The Stars We Are, with that song! It sounds a bit cheesy now that you listen to it again but his lyrics are almost always quite well written. I remember that he's quite gay and his songs are generally gloomy and dark yet strangely poetic, some with themes like transvestism, drug addiction, prostitution and murder.

Yea, and Top of the Pops...it's great. I think I still prefer it to MTV. I remember the live performances. Sir Cliff Richard performed many times and Kurt Cobain did a sensational version of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' with his low mournful wailing,
poooeypoooey on March 12th, 2006 03:56 pm (UTC)
eh kurt cobain on top of the pops? really? haha. hey do they have life performance on TOTP? I thought they only show countdowns with music videos.. hmmm my memory isn't serving me right..