Smash Hits


Smash Hits

:"This article is about a magazine. For the compilation album by Jimi Hendrix, see Smash Hits (album). There is also an album entitled Smash Hits by Tom Jones.

"Smash Hits" was a pop music based magazine, aimed at children and young teenagers, and originally published in the United Kingdom. It 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.

Beginnings

"Smash Hits" was founded in 1977 by Nick Logan, who 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 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, 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.

Peak

The magazine was at its peak in the 1980s, launching the career of many respected 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.

Final years of publishing

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 off television 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.

It was published by Emap, who also use the name for one of their digital television services, and for a digital radio station. The brand also covered the annual "Smash Hits Poll Winners Party", an awards ceremony voted for by readers of the magazine.

In February 2006, it was announced that the magazine would cease publication after the 13 February edition due to declining sales. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4673136.stm] The digital television, digital radio, and website services will continue.

Editors

*"Chris Hall" (pseudonym of Nick Logan who refused to use his name as editor, instead inventing the name from those of his children Christian and Hallie)
*Ian Cranna
*David Hepworth
*Mark Ellen
*Steve Bush
*Barry McIlheney
*Richard Lowe
*Mike Soutar
*Mark Frith
*Kate Thornton
*Gavin Reeve
*John McKie
*Emma Jones
*Lisa Smosarski
*Lara Palamoudian

Compilation albums

EMAP licensed the brand for a number of compilation albums, including a tie up with the Now That's What I Call Music brand for Now Smash Hits, a retrospective of the early 1980s (80 - 87).

Australian edition

The Australian edition of "Smash Hits" magazine began in November 1984 as a fortnightly edited by James Manning. The magazine blended some content from the parent publication with locally generated material. Eddy Sarafian, who was later to edit the successful competitor "TV Hits" for Attic Futura Publications, was also on staff at the time the magazine was founded. Robyn Doreian, later editor of Attic Futura's "Hot Metal" was graphic designer for "Smash Hits" and in the early 1990s Lisa Anthony, formerly editor of Attic Futura's "Hit Songwords", would become "Smash Hits"' editor for a brief period. Australian "Smash Hits" was originally published by Fairfax Magazines and was later purchased by Mason Stewart Publications. Over the years it became a monthly and then a bi-monthly. In 2007 the magazine retailed for AU$5.95 Inc. GST and NZ$6.50. On March 30 2007 it was announced that the Australian edition would cease publication due to low readership [ [http://www.bandt.com.au/news/11/0c04af11.asp Emap - Emap shuts Smash Hits after 23 years ] ] . The editor at that time was Emma Bradshaw. The issue that was scheduled to be released on May 9 2007 was cancelled.

ee also

* Smash Hits! Television Channel
* The Hits

References

*

External links

* http://www.smashhits.net
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/features/story/0,,1701290,00.html Guardian Culture Vulture on the demise of Smash Hits]


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