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Smash Hits

smash hits magazine covers, smash hits
Smash Hits was a pop music magazine, aimed at teenagers and young adults and originally published in the United Kingdom by EMAP It ran from 1978 to 20061 and was issued fortnightly for most of that time The name survives as a brand for a spin-off digital television channel and website A digital radio station was also available but shut on 5 August 2013


  • 1 Peak
  • 2 Final years of publishing
  • 3 Editors
  • 4 Compilation albums
  • 5 Australian edition
  • 6 See also
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links


The magazine was at its peak in the 1980s, launching the career of many 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, Alex Kadis, Sian Pattenden, 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 publishingedit

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 of TV series including Australians based Home and Away and United States imported 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 1990s 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 United States, a version was published during the 1980s 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 February 13 edition due to declining sales2 The digital music video channel, digital radio, and website services still continue

In July 2009 a one-off commemorative issue of the magazine was published as a tribute to singer Michael Jackson3 Further one-off specials were released in November 2009 Take That and December 2010 Lady Gaga4


  • "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
  • Bob Monkhouse guest edited the 17–31 May 2000 issue
  • John McKie
  • Emma Jones
  • Lisa Smosarski
  • Lara Palamoudian

The publication's Art Editor in the early 90s was Phil Hawksworth who guided the transition between traditional artwork to electronic artwork on the Mac, introducing many of the design /content features used until publication ceased in 2007

Compilation albumsedit

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

Australian editionedit

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 A$595 Inc GST and NZ$650 On 30 March 2007 it was announced that the Australian edition would cease publication due to low readership5 The editor at that time was Emma Bradshaw The issue that was scheduled to be released on 9 May 2007 was cancelled

See alsoedit

  • Smash Hits TV channel
  • The Hits
  • Number One


  1. ^ Di Hand; Steve Middleditch 10 July 2014 Design for Media: A Handbook for Students and Professionals in Journalism, PR, and Advertising Routledge p 8 ISBN 978-1-317-86402-8 Retrieved 2 August 2015 
  2. ^ "Smash Hits magazine closing down" BBC News 2 February 2006 Retrieved 22 March 2014 
  3. ^ Smash Hits resurrected for Jackson, Yahoo News, Retrieved 4 July 2009
  4. ^ Smash Hits returns for GaGa special Music Week
  5. ^ Emap - Emap shuts Smash Hits after 23 years

External linksedit

  • Guardian Culture Vulture on the demise of Smash Hits

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Smash Hits

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