Yet another once popular magazine has taken victim to the Internet, as the New Musical Express will very soon exist in only an online form. The NME has published weekly since 1976, but its last print issue will be circulated on Friday March 16, 2018.
Because of that announcement inspired music columnist Bob Tannenbaum paid tribute to NME in Saturday’s edition of The News York Times, discussing his favorite acts who made the cover of the magazine during its forty year tenure. Oasis, the Stone Roses, the Strokes, Manic Street Preachers, and Mansun were the five acts he identified, but he had plenty of more to choose from.
For example, he could have mentioned David Bowie, the artist who appeared on more covers of NME than any other act. Some of the most memorable of those showed Bowie in his Ziggy Stardust incarnation, another with Iggy Pop and a third issue dedicated as an anniversary special.
Some of the most memorable covers are of people who only made the front of NNE on just one occasion, including tenured bands such as 10cc or short-lived talents like Secret Affair and the Housemartins. There is also an unusual non-musical personality among my favorites, the cover featuring famous film director Alfred Hitchcock.
Here are ten great recording acts who have appeared on numerous covers of NME, which has served kind of like a British version of Rolling Stone.
Moz made the front almost as much as Bowie, when you consider his appearances both as a solo artist as well as a member of the Smiths.
One of the greatest song writers of all time found himself on NME on nearly a dozen occasions, which is not surprising since he has been recording consistently for forty years.
Although he was assassinated just a few years after the magazine adopted its weekly format, Lennon’s image appeared frequently either by himself of with The Beatles.
Joe Strummer made it several times as a solo act, but his punk band from the British New Wave appeared much more frequently.
The White Stripes
Seven times either the band or Jack White himself donned the front, an appropriate number for the nan who wrote Seven Nation Army.
In the year 2004 alone, these alt rockers made the cover four times.
The Gallagher brothers of Oasis would be happy to learn that this British rival group appeared few times, but Damon Alborn’s quartet enjoyed a lot less controversy during their Nineties heyday.
Rolling Stone featured this American icon on its cover twice as much, but NME still paid fair tribute to Dylan.
Alt rocker Beck appeared twice in one month, gracing the covers for two different weeks in November of 1998.
This British alt rock act has never really gotten its due in the United States, but its numerous front features on NME indicates its popularity in the United Kingdom.