Thursday, November 27, 2003

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAID: No.1, March 15th 1986 43p

This was when Number One was still owned by IPC, who founded it to be the pop version of their footy mag Shoot!, and long before it got sold to the BBC who tried to turn it into a big brother for Fast Forward (Fast... Fast... Forward), and as such it was still in its 'desperate to be Smash Hits' phase.

Is this a pudgy Boy George on the cover? No, it's Martin Degville, from Sigue Sigue Sputnik proclaiming "I hate all women - especially fat ones." We're vague on the details, but we're not sure that's going to have helped them build a fan base.

Stuff (it's the poor man's Bitz) reports on Sam Fox's debut single. Zoe Williams, who ran the Spandau Ballet fan club, said "I think she should stick with her big boobs. I'd burn it - and her bra." Righto. They were looking for a new Milky Bar kid as the current one, Robbie Humphries had hit puberty - No.1 tried to pretend they were suggesting it as a career move for an 8-12 year old "younger brother." In those days, that was the best a kid could hope for - we didn't have S Club Juniors back then.

Alison Bettles - Fay from Grange Hill - filled out her "Intimate details" (she wasn't the one who shagged Michael Winner, you're quite safe). "When I'm dressed up I can look older than 17" she promised, with a big wink.

For some reason, the magazine thought its readers might want to also meet easterhouse, so printed a picture and warned they "don't dress up as bunnies." Simon Le Bon lost absolutely no fans.

In the Sigue Sigue Sputnik piece, Tony James claimed "I don't turn heads, I stop trains." Which must have come in handy as even then it was clear his future was more likely to lead towards working in British Rail than in British music.

Madonna's new found affection for Britney Spears had a pre-echo, as Whispers reported that she attended Patsy Kensit's 18th birthday party - so she's made a habit of hanging around young blondes who can't act for tuppence, then.

Blimey, another Intimate Details - this one by Steve Wright. Who's the most beautiful woman, Steve? "Apart from my wife, Mother Theresa, just because she's such a beautiful person."

She was in Wham. Then she married Weller. But Dee C Lee also had a brief solo career: "Labour at the moment are complete arseholes" she warns. Yeah, Neil Kinnock was such a bloody Tory, wasn't he?

The centre poster is Simon LeBon, laying on his front and dressed like, um, your uncle at christmas - horrible knitted pullover and thick hiking socks. What was he thinking?

Because it was coming up to St Patricks Day, No. 1 decided to give the entire island's musical talent a whole page to itself - but even then had to top it up with a large picture of Terry Wogan.

Things we generally didn't know: Doctor Robert of the Blow Monkeys played cricket for England Schoolboys and signed as an apprentice with Norwich City. How different would the worlds of sport and music been had he chosen to follow that path? (Clue: almost identical to the way they are now.)

Reviews - singles
chakk - imagination - "guaranteed to send shcokwaves through most dancefloors", 5
the young ones & cliff richard - living doll - "there are a few laughs", 3

the redskins - neither washington nor moscow - "a pefect banner for socialsim", 5
red lorry yellow lorry - paint your wagon - "bang shout bang twang music", 2

The back page pin-ups are Depeche Mode. From before all the leather and rudeness.

And finally: Sandy X writes to the letters page - supposedly edited by a dog, in a desperate attempt to play catch up with Smash Hit's legendary Black Type - to accuse Patsy of not just being a "so-called sex kitten but also you're nothing more thank a pathetic Durannie." She got a five quid record token for that, and all.

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