Tuesday, November 25, 2003

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAID: Smash Hits 24 April - 7 May 1985 43p

Nick rhodes simmers on the cover, enough hair to feed a family of four and wearing a jacket made from sacking. "Exposed! Nick Rhodes judges your photos" - the kindest you could say was getting the man behind that book of fuzzy Polaroids to judge a photo competition was on a par with asking Simon LeBon to choose the winners at a marine safety event, but it was Nick Rhodes, so its forgiveable. Even now, we'd let him squint at our overexposed 5 by 9s.

Inside front poster: Spandau Ballet. they're standing in Sydney - of course the bridge and opera house in the background. Tony Hadley is smiling the false smile of a father giving his daughter away at a Hells Angels wedding and the Kemp Brothers have used way too much Sun-In.

This is classic era Hits - so the kick off is Bitz, as it should be. Alannah Currie was regretting that Tom Bailey's collapse from exhaustion (at the Holiday Inn, Chelsea) meant the Thompson Twins weren't going to be able to play "the Glastonbury CND Festival, but we urge all our fans to go along anyway and offer maximum support to the cause" - ah, the days when Glasto looked wobbly if the Thompson Twins pulled out. And there was a whole column dedicated to saying farewell to a Smash Hits journo quitting to concentrate on his band - "but put away the hankies girls, for Bitz predicts that in a matter of weeks Neil's pop duo The Pet Shop Boys will be down the dumper and he'll come crawling back on bended kees hahaha."

Does Rat Scabies miss Captain Sensible now that he's quit the Damned for a short lived career as purveyor of novelty records, asks a brave Tom "Tom" Hibbert. "I resented it a bit when he became a big fat pop star... but at the same time it was so great that the Captain had done it, especially with Happy Talk, because that song really is the Captain." Captain Sensible a half-forgotten crowd pleaser from a musical? Really?

C&A were launching their new Avanti range - "a new collection for fast dressers", and it certainly looked like the Morrisseyesque model had put his cotton gillet shirt (£7.99) and cotton trousers (£14.99) on in a hurry.

Nowadays, the Sony Radio Awards are somewhat po-faced, handed out according to the whims of a bunch of experts. twenty years ago, the best local and national djs were reliant on the readership of the Hits filling out little forms in the hopes of winning a CFS950 radio-tape recorder. They were waterproof, you know.

ABC are interviewed, although it's little bald bloke and scary woman in beret era. Unwisely, they all had "characters" for this incarnation. Martin Fry was clinging to a belief that the band were a cross between "Afrika Bambarta and the Banana Splits" and apparently blissfully unaware that he'd be having to dig out the gold lame suit for the cabaret circuit as soon as he could shake off David Yarritu and Eden.

Singles were being weighed by Roland Orzabal from Tears For Fears. SOTF - The Dukes of Stratosphear - The Mole From The Ministry - "you can sing The Beatles' I Am The walrus to it"
David Lee Roth - Just A gigolo/ I Aint Got Nobody - "It's an odd cover version, isn't it? It won't be a hit"
Freddie Mercury - I Was Born To Love You - "I don't think much care was taken over this - you shoudl try and make sure that a single has its own identity - the cover, the the video, generally how it's presented."
Katrina and the Waves - Walking on Sunshine - "It's a good song with a nice refrain" (Is it just us, or does Roland sound less like a musician and more like Prince Charles being positive about some kids putting on a gang show?)

Albums - Bon Jovi - Bon Jovi - "very loud Journey style rock which sometimes sounds like Quiet Riot", 6
The Colour Field - Virgins and Philistines - "the usual mournfull australians", 7 and a half)

Was it really fair to make Kim Wilde drag up a recently dead love affair? Well, normally yes, but it was with Eddie Tenpole Ed Tudor Pole Tudor, which is the sort of thing we'd let her off with

Hey! Intertextuality - Linda Duff's Get Smart is asked who that Susan Williams, who kept popping up on Whistle Test actually is. She is, of course, "Steven Michael Wells" who, two years later, would be asking people shopping in Virgin if Terence Trent D'arby was a racist on behalf of NME.

The Nat West people were launching a new account where, if you collected 15 Cadbury's wrappers, you could get a a free £2 credit to your account. It was called the Online Account, although, of course, the closest it came to high-technology was the free calculator you got.

Nasher Nash completed a Personal File - "These are my Pleasure Dome socks - lovely, arran't they? Only £6." Which was a lot of money in those days.

A Jesus & Mary Chainstore writes to Black Type to point out that Morrisey's lines "So rattle my bones all over the stones, 'cos I'm only a beggarman who nobody owns" was in fact pinched from Thomas Noel's 1841 poem. We like to think young SPM sucked a pen and wrote a certain song about how there's always someone, somewhere with a big nose who knows in response.

New Edition are being interviewd - interestingly, Bobby Brown doesn't actually turn up.

Finding Anne Pigalle being given two pages comes as something of a surprise - but not as much of a surprise as the Smash hits line of questioning came to her: "I've only made one record," she suddenly explodes, "Why on earth are you asking me about my mother?"

The winner of Nick Rhodes' competition was Judith McCartney, who'd taken a picture of Tok (out of Tik and Tok). Subject, winner and judge all had the same hairstyle. I sense a fix of some sort.

Live review: The Smiths at the Royal Albert Hall. "Pete Burns joins Morrissey onstage. He doesn't do much."

Finally, from RSVP: "Meat is murder! Don't you think? I'm a little punky and into The Cure, The Smiths. Also like black clothes. Come on boys, write to me: Margaret Uiterwijh, Holland"

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