The NME – New Musical Express for those who aren’t familiar – is a weekly music paper which has been going since the 1950s. Its heyday was probably the 70s and 80s, when it led the way on punk and then indie. But it’s still going strong, although I imagine more people are accessing the website than buying the magazine these days.
As a teenager it was my music bible, and I still take the view that if the NME really likes something then it is worth investigating. Even today I find that works most of the time.
The top 500 is part of a recent relaunch of the magazine. It must be getting harder and harder to make things work on hard copy when the bulk of your target readers (16-25, I guess) do everything on-line. I wish them luck.
Anyway, the joys of the list! So much to react to. I can’t say I agreed with the No1 – “The Queen Is Dead” by the Smiths, which wouldn’t even make my top 100. I couldn’t believe Bruce’s “The River” only just snuck in at 484, and there was only one U2 album in the whole 500 – “The Joshua Tree” at 424. And, and…. but it’s all about opinion, and the journos voting collectively came up with a brilliant, intriguing 500.
Statto that I am, I couldn’t resist counting how many of the selection I’d bought over the years. 335 was the answer. 67%. Not bad. All the top ten and 19 of the top twenty. And 83 of the top 100. Not surprising, really, as I’ve been following NME’s recommendations for the last 40 years.
Nostalgia washes over me… But if you want a good guide to great music – mainly, though not exclusively, rock’n’roll in all its forms – the NME 500 is a good place to start.
The website is revealing all the list in stages. Check it out here . Or even buy the magazine!