NME - a true decline


See I’m an old bastard, and from my perspective it went shit in the 90s - when they kept putting Morrissey or the Roses on the cover even when nothing was happening with those bands (e.g. ‘Stone Roses are currently in court with their record label. Not much to tell you’ - over a cover and 3 pages) and then they missed so many of the great bands of that period, in favour of endless Carter or Senseless Things covers.

Whereas in the 80s they were putting politicians on the front cover, writing about the IRA, interviewing Bryan McClair about indie music, doing a really great piece on fucking Bros of all people.

So I reckon it’s not so much NME itself, as what it is for you or me at the time; when I started reading it in the late 80s I was 15 or 16 and it was a fucking brilliant lifeline and introduction to things, but I outgrew it, and I reckon that’s true for most of us. That said, writers like Swells were instrumental in showing me how shit homophobia was (remember, late 80s, in a boys school, in a country where homosexuality had only been decriminalised 2 or 3 years ago). So I’ll always thank them for that.


i think people are a bit quick to dismiss NME in the 00s tbf

sure they often filled it with dross on the cover but the actual magazine covered a lot more varied stuff than it gets credit. its a bit like Rock Sound in that respect


Needless to say, he had the last laugh.


Saw this news on twitter earlier and felt a bit sad but then I went on their twitter to see if there was a statement and all I could see was a big multi-tweet poll on picking your dream Arctic Monkeys setlist. Fuck em.


I’m only a whippersnapper but I followed the mag a fair bit in 2014-15. Up to then my music taste was basically defined by my dad’s CD collection so by introducing me to slightly more diverse stuff like Haim and Warpaint the NME was a good springboard into great music. It could have been alright as a free mag too, just look at DIY.


Bought it a handful of times in my mid teens in the mid 00s. Found it quite annoying at first, warmed to it a bit later on until I got bored of all the endless Libertines stuff.

I used to like the website for music news though, then started using the forum for years which got me into much DiSier music. The open contempt for the magazine on the forum was quite funny, all editors and mods gradually abandoned us, then it died a death when no one new joined, so I migrated here. Got nuked completely a couple of years ago.


If they hadn’t named Hidden album of the year in 2009, I don’t know how long it would have taken me to discover These New Puritans. I’ll defend mid-late 2000s NME for that reason alone.


tbh even with 80s NME when they were an important force shining a light on great bands and all that, most articles I’ve read from that period I still find the writing style fairly insufferable.

Not sure how to describe it but I’m reading Tony Wilson’s 24 Hour Party People book atm and it’s written in the same kind of style.


The NME and Channel Four teletext was pretty good in the early to late 90s for music news/reviews. It’s where a lot of people got their music information. The NME became a parody of itself when it started giving away masks of people in bands. It couldn’t compete in the internet age and its physical magazine had become so shit in the 00s that few probably bothered with its website. Back in the mid-90s it could have been the place to go for music news/reviews in an internet age but it didn’t change with the times; it just stayed stationary. Surprised even the free ad rag mag lasted this long. The website will probably disappear within two years I reckon.


My dad has a collection of them from 74-79, must dig them out next time I’m home



If they were serious about the brand, the website wouldn’t be shite. The whole enterprise has just been dribbling on on autopilot and no-one cared enough to even stop publishing it when it was losing money.


Sad to see it go tbh but it SHOULD HAVE GONE YEARS AGO!


Yup, also an NME Forum Alumni here, too! :slightly_smiling_face:


Back in 2005 I got to redesign the whole of the NME website. It was such a massive moment both personally and professionally for me. And as excited as I was to go to the site and see my handy work, I mostly remember the thrill of seeing it printed in the magazine itself as an ad.

It felt, in a strangely roundabout way, far more legitimised. I got something in the NME!


Yeah I remember you!

Didn’t know you’d designed the site though


I think I remember that. I vaguely remember a few people moaning about the redesign (as people are wont to do at times of change) and you defending the work. Pretty sad that I remember that really :smiley:


Hah! :smile:


Still got the issue it appeared in!


Not sure if those clouds can take all the abuse these old men are giving them in this thread, TBH.


Great work, mate. Honest.