Monday, October 04, 2010



God, I fucking loved this magazine.

From 1985 to 1989, Star Hits magazine was my BIBLE. It was a music mag aimed at teens, but it was far from a typical teen magazine. You wouldn't find Menudo pin-ups or Jack Wagner Q&A's lurking between the pages of Star Hits. No, Star Hits was way cooler than that. They ran stories on artists like The Cure, Echo & the Bunnymen, Siouxsie Sioux, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, the Eurythmics, and (my beloved) Duran Duran. They did contests like "Win an interview with Howard Jones." The writing was intelligent, snarky, and often very funny. It was a brilliant magazine that defined everything I loved about the '80s.

Of course, it was too good to last.

Somewhere around 1988, Star Hits changed its name to Smash Hits. That's when things started to go downhill. In an effort to diversify and attract mainstream music fans, they started running stories on Top 40 American bands like Bon Jovi and Whitesnake, which greatly pissed off their core audience. The beginning of the end was when they featured an in-depth interview with generic mall-touring pop star Tiffany, a move that predictably outraged its loyal, new wave-worshipping readership. In 1989 the magazine folded, and--although a lesser version of it has resurfaced in England (Avril Lavigne, blechhh!)--there has never been another magazine like it.

In a way, it's good thing Star Hits died when it did, instead of going the Rolling Stone route and championing tripe like Britney Spears, Jonas Brothers, Gossip Girl, et al. To quote the famous lyric, it's better to burn out than to fade away.

Here are some covers I was able to unearth through the miracle of the internet.









3 comments:

Michael said...

Have to say that you are wrong on the date when this started. It started in February 1984.

Also the magazine did not resurface as smash Hits in the UK as the magazine smash Hits had already been going in the UK since 1978 while star Hits was an off chute of smash Hits for the american Market. It was originally going to be called smash Hits for the american market but another publication had that name already.

You can go my site which is dedicated to the UK Smash Hits

http://michaelmouse1967.wix.com/smashhits-remembered

Unknown said...

Andiepants...if you're still looking for more covers from Starhits I've got them....message me on Facebook (Diane Yearout)

Diane Yearout said...

Andiepants...if you're still looking for more covers from Starhits I've got them....message me on Facebook (Diane Yearout)