Sixty years ago this month the ‘The Musical Express and Accordion Weekly’ was relaunched as the New Musical Express and with that a British institution was launched.
Sixty years and innumerable makeovers later the magazine is still going strong. Whilst, some may argue the standard of journalism is not what it was in ‘their day’, despite the rise of the internet, blogging and the collapse of its rivals like Melody Maker and Sounds it remains a weekly oracle of information on new bands, interviews, gigs listings and the like.
In its time the magazine has detailed most musical phenomenon from the swinging sixties, through the rise of punk, the Britpop wars to the emergence of the likes of The Strokes and The Libertines in the new millennium and has inspired many a young man to pick up a guitar, or start a band (indeed a young Stephen Morrissey regularly wrote letters to the magazine before he formed the Smiths, whilst Suede recruited Bernard Butler through an advert in the magazine).
Equally many can attribute the discovery of their favourite band to the magazine -seeing Pete Doherty in the 1982 England kit on the front cover in 2002 was one of the reasons I fell in love with The Libertines. Over the years there have been innumerable iconic covers such as that, and countless infamous interviews, here’s a look at a few of the former.
By Callum West