NME Celebrates Its 60th Birthday

NME, the world’s most iconic, influential and important music magazine today kicks off its 60th birthday celebrations and announces a raft of activity planned throughout the year.
Launched in 1952 when the Accordion Times was merged with the Musical Express, the New Musical Express (NME) has been at the forefront of British music and culture ever since – championing the most exciting new artists of every decade and genre, from The Beatles to Blur, Sex Pistols to The Smiths, Public Enemy to Pete Doherty and beyond.
Perhaps just as infamous as the musicians that NME has covered, are the legendary writers and photographers who have left their mark on its pages. Known for being provocative, passionate, witty and opinionated, household names such as Paul Morley, Danny Baker, Steven Wells and Steve Lamacq all cut their teeth at NME, while Nick Kent, Chrissie Hynde, Julie Burchill and Tony Parsons were among the hip young gunslingers who delivered missives from the frontlines of punk into the front rooms of thousands of teenagers every week in the late 70s. Pennie Smith, Anton Corbijn, Kevin Cummins and Dean Chalkley are just some of the celebrated photographers to have worked for NME.

60 years on and today NME is still at the forefront of music and culture, setting agendas, instigating debate and championing new and exciting artists of all genres, such as The Horrors, Odd Future, The Vaccines and Lana Del Rey. A truly multi-platform proposition, NME reaches a bigger global audience (1.1m a week) than ever before. Thanks to NME.COM (launched in 1996), NME Radio (launched in 2008), its apps, social media channels and digital editions, it is a trailblazer for a modern media brand.
To celebrate the anniversary, NME will be launching a series of special issues and events throughout the year. To kick this off, three new editorial franchises are announced this week:
  • A search for the Ultimate NME Icon – whether it’s Kurt Cobain vs. Keith Richards or David Bowie vs. Debbie Harry, this reader-voted poll sets out to find the greatest NME icon of the last 60 years.
  • Behind NME Lines – a new weekly feature in which legendary NME writers and photographers past and present divulge their favourite incident or most unforgettable moment while working at NME. 
  • The Greatest Tracks of NME’s Lifetime – a chronological look at the best tracks from each decade of NME’s lifetime. Starting next week with the 1950s, a panel of NME experts and musicians select the greatest songs tracks of each decade,
NME editor Krissi Murison says: “2012 will see NME celebrating our 60th birthday in a variety of different ways with numerous special events planned both within our pages and outside of them, so stay tuned!”

Sam Hardy

Sam Hardy is a writer for KingLoaf and music journalism site AltSounds.