Album Reviews

Smash Hits – The Reunion

UK release date: 28 April 2003

Smash Hits. It’s been therethroughout the history of pop music, albeit in afortnightly fashion, from the heady days of Toyah,Shaky and Madness to (ugh!) Busted, Girls Aloud andGareth Gates.

Chronicling ever utteranceand minute detail via the probing, important questionsof the day such as “Does your mother play golf?”,”What colour is Tuesday?” and the essential “Have youever thought you were a city centre?”, takingBananarama down the zoo, partying with Depeche Mode,and explaining Acid House to the tots (quoting RicheyManic as saying “E is a prison” – genius). Smash Hitsis still theoriginal and best.

To celebrate their 25th anniversary, they’ve puttogether the ultimate pop collection. Proper pop, thatis. Back from the time when a bunch of skinheads witha variety of dental issues such as The Specials wouldregularly make the cover and the pin-up was a 35 yearold woman named Debbie right through to the posterpull-outs of Blue and the choreographed jumpsuits ofSteps. Quite simply, it’s the bestmagazine on the planet.

Basically every fantastic chart-topper ever can befound here – as well as Westlife‘s Flying WithoutWings – from the frankly barmy shrieking of Adam & TheAnts‘ Prince Charming and icy minimalism of Ultravox‘sVienna, the wonder of the Human League‘s Don’t YouWant Me, the ‘cocaine? Yum!’ rolled up sleeves ofDuran Duran, shuttlecock era Wham! and the boy?/girl?confusion of Culture Club, via the distressing Brosand remarkably ugly New Kids On The Block, through theGirl and Boy Powah era of Spice Girls, Take That, AllSaints and East 17 bang up to the slinky genius ofLiberty X‘s Just A Little and Kylie‘s Can’t Get YouOut Of My Head. Throw in classics from Britney (BabyOne More Time), A-ha (Take On Me), S Club 7 (Don’tStop Movin’), Pet Shop Boys (Always On My Mind),Steps (Tragedy) and you damn near have the bestdocument of the last 25 years of top pop… ever.

As S Club 7 (RIP – sniiiff!)’just go with the magic baby’.Completely fantastic.

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Smash Hits – The Reunion

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