Saturday, December 3, 2016

December 3 - 16, 1986

Smash Hits, December 03, 1986

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

November 19 - December 2, 1986

Smash Hits, November 19, 1986

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Saturday, November 5, 2016

November 5 - 18, 1986

Smash Hits, November 05, 1986

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Saturday, October 22, 2016

October 22 - November 4, 1986

Smash Hits, October 22, 1986

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Saturday, October 8, 2016

October 8 - 21, 1986

Smash Hits, October 08, 1986

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Saturday, September 24, 2016

September 24 - October 7, 1986

Smash Hits, September 24, 1986

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Saturday, September 10, 2016

September 10 - 24, 1986

Smash Hits, September 10, 1986

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Saturday, August 27, 2016

August 27 - September 9, 1986

Smash Hits, August 27, 1986

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

August 13 - 26, 1986

Smash Hits, August 13, 1986

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Saturday, July 30, 2016

July 30 - August 12, 1986

Smash Hits, July 30, 1986 – p.01

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Saturday, July 16, 2016

July 16 - 29, 1986

Smash Hits, July 16, 1986

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Saturday, July 2, 2016

July 2 - 15, 1986

Smash Hits, July 02, 1986

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Saturday, June 18, 2016

June 18 - July 1, 1986

Smash Hits, June 18, 1986

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Saturday, June 4, 2016

June 4 - 17, 1986

Smash Hits, June 4, 1986

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

May 21 - June 3, 1986

Smash Hits, May 21, 1986

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Voices Of Santa Monica: Brian McCloskey

Voices Of Santa Monica

In 2012 I was interviewed on Santa Monica City TV as part of a series of programmes made by local high school students, during the course of which I talked about growing up in Ireland, moving to the USA, wearing dresses and the origins of this Smash Hits archive; that part of the interview can be seen in this clip....just before we ran out of time....

Watch Part 1 of the interview here.

Watch Part 2 of the interview here.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

May 7 - 20, 1986

Smash Hits, May 7, 1986

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

April 23 - May 6, 1986

Smash Hits, April 23, 1986

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Saturday, April 9, 2016

April 9 - 22, 1986

Smash Hits, April 9, 1986

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Saturday, March 26, 2016

March 26 - April 8, 1986

Smash Hits, March 26, 1986 – p.01

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Saturday, March 12, 2016

March 12 - 25, 1986

Smash Hits, March 12, 1986 – p.01

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Friday, February 26, 2016

February 26 - March 11, 1986

Smash Hits, February 26, 1985 – p.01

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Friday, February 12, 2016

February 12 - 25, 1986

Smash Hits, February 12, 1985 – p.01

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Friday, January 29, 2016

January 29 - February 11, 1986

Smash Hits, January 29, 1985 – p.01

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Friday, January 15, 2016

January 15 - 28, 1986

Smash Hits, January 15, 1985 – p.01

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Friday, January 1, 2016

January 1 - 14, 1986

Smash Hits, January 1, 1985 – p.01

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Friday, December 18, 2015

December 18 - 31, 1985

Smash Hits, December 18, 1985 – p.01

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

siliconchipsuperstar

siliconchipsuperstar: now available!

siliconchipsuperstar, the debut album by Peter Fitzpatrick​'s Circuit 3, featuring a collaboration with me on the track Ghost Machine, is now available to buy!

Order the limited edition vinyl LP/2xCD set and / or digital download here.

You can watch a video for Ghost Machine here.

Friday, December 4, 2015

December 4 - 17, 1985

Smash Hits, December 04, 1985 – p.01

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Friday, November 20, 2015

November 20 - December 3, 1985

Smash Hits, November 20, 1985 – p.01

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Friday, November 6, 2015

November 6 - 19, 1985

Smash Hits, November 06, 1985 – p.01

(click on the image to see the full issue)


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Dear Mr. Kershaw: A Pensioner Writes

Dear Mr. Kershaw Dear Mr. Kershaw: A Pensioner Writes Dear Mr. Kershaw: A Pensioner Writes Dear Mr. Kershaw: A Pensioner Writes


Derek Philpott's book of hilarious letters to pop stars and their genuine replies is now available from Plane Groovy and Amazon!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween - Ghost Machine!


Ghost Machine: a song I co-wrote!

I wrote the lyric for Ghost Machine, a song on the upcoming album Siliconchipsuperstar by Circuit3; it has an early-eighties snythpop vibe, so I hope readers of Smash Hits will enjoy it.

You can listen to Ghost Machine and download it for free here.

And you can watch a video for the song here.

I should be *extremely* grateful if you can spare a few minutes to listen to this track - and share it with your friends.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Ghost Machine: a song I co-wrote

Ghost Machine: a song I co-wrote!

I wrote the lyric for Ghost Machine, a song on the upcoming album Siliconchipsuperstar by Circuit3; it has an early-eighties snythpop vibe, so I hope readers of Smash Hits will enjoy it.

You can listen to Ghost Machine and download it for free here.

And you can watch a video for the song here.

I should be *extremely* grateful if you can spare a few minutes to listen to this track - and share it with your friends.

Friday, October 23, 2015

October 23 - November 5, 1985

Smash Hits, October 23, 1985

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Friday, October 9, 2015

October 9 - 22, 1985

Smash Hits, October 9, 1985

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Friday, September 25, 2015

September 25 - October 8, 1985

Smash Hits, September 25, 1985

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Friday, September 11, 2015

September 11 - 24, 1985

Smash Hits, September 11, 1985

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Friday, August 28, 2015

August 28 - September 10, 1985

Smash Hits, August 28, 1985

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Friday, August 14, 2015

August 14 - 27, 1985

Smash Hits, August 14, 1985

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Friday, July 31, 2015

July 31 - August 13, 1985

Smash Hits, July 31, 1985

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Friday, July 17, 2015

July 17 - 30, 1985

Smash Hits, July 17, 1985

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

No More Heroes contest - prize draw!

No More Heroes prize draw!

Click the photo to see me drawing the winners of the No More Heroes contest!

Friday, July 3, 2015

July 3 - 16, 1985

Smash Hits, July 03, 1985

(click on the image to see the full issue)

Cover: Howard Jones
Centrespread: Dead Or Alive - In Too Deep
Back cover: Green
Interviews: Howard Jones; Duran Duran; Vince Clarke & Paul Quinn; Max Headroom; Jim Kerr; Simply Red
Lyrics: That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore - Smiths; Act Of War - Elton John & Millie Jackson; Come To Milton Keynes - Style Council; The Shadow Of Love - The Damned; The Broken Years - Hipsway; In Too Deep - Dead Or Alive; Bring It Down! (This Insane Thing) - Redskins; N-n-nineteen Not Out - The Commentators; There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart) - Eurythmics; You And Your Heart So Blue - Bucks Fizz
Personal File: Feargal Sharkey
Bitz: Talking Heads; Virgin Records wax figures: Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Dolly Parton, Meat Loaf, Michael Jackson; Cocteau Twins; Colour Box, "The Moon Is Blue", "Colourbox"; Philip Oakey, Giorgio Moroder, "Goodbye Bad Times", Human League; "A View To A Kill", Roger Moore, Christopher Walken, Grace Jones, Tanya Roberts, Duran Duran; A Flock Of Seagulls; John Foxx, "Stars On Fire"; King, "Alone Without You"; Tears For Fears; Alvin Stardust, "Sleepless Nights", Puff the Owl; Burmoe Brothers, Guy Chambers, "Skin", Marc Almond; Humpe Humpe, Anete and Inge Humpe, "3 Of Us", Martin Gore; Those Tender Virtues, "Waltz"; Doctor & the Medics, "Happy But Twisted"; Paul Hardcastle, "Rainforest"; Kid Creole and the Coconuts, "In Praise Of Older Women And Other Crimes"; Feargal Sharkey, Dave Stewart; Billy Idol, "White Wedding"; Dire Straits, Prince's Trust, Bruce Springsteen, Wembley Stadium; David Cassidy; "London version of Dynasty": Elizabeth Taylor, Brigitte Bardot, Martin Kemp, Simon Napier-Bell, John McLaren, Allan Soh, Andrew Ridgeley; Boy George's 24th birthday party: Marilyn, Madonna, Andy Warhol, Rupert Everett, Cornelia Guest, Arif Mardin, Philip Sallon, Billy Idol; "Mega Pop Trivia Quiz Game Book"; Hipsway, Skin, Graham Skinner, Pim, Harry Travers, Johnny McElhone, The Very Essence Of Kites, Dixon And The Crocodiles, The Moroccan Corselets; "Internationalists", Andrea Olceses, Style Council; "Axel F.", Eddie Murphy, "Beverly Hills Cop", Harold Faltermeyer; Marillion; Duran Duran; "Jobs For The Boys", Merseyside County Council, Style Council, Stephen "Tin Tin" Duffy; Madonna, John "Jellybean" Benitez, Prince, David Lee Roth, Sean Penn, Don Johnson, John F Kennedy Jr.
Single reviews (Tom Hibbert): Bonzo Goes To Bitburg - Ramones; Faron Young - Prefab Sprout; Made In Heaven - Freddie Mercury; You And Your Heart So Blue - Bucks Fizz; All Night Holiday - Russ Abbot; That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore - Smiths; Would You Dance With A Stranger - Mari Wilson; Change - Sparks; You're Only Human (Second Wind) - Billy Joel; Some People - Belouis Some; Square Rooms - Al Corley; Can't Get There From Here - R.E.M. / Shoot You Down - True West / You Are My Friend - Rain Parade / Shop It Around - Jason & The Scorchers; There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart) - Eurythmics; Excitable - Amazulu; Opportunities (Let's Make Lots Of Money) - Pet Shop Boys; Secret - OMD
Album reviews (Simon Mills / Ian Cranna / Neil Tennant / Maureen Rice / Sally Gethin): History - Mai Tai; In Praise Of Older Women…And Other Crimes - Kid Creole; Live - Gregory Isaacs; The Beach Boys - The Beach Boys; A Secret Wish - Propaganda; Fly On The Wall - AC/DC; A Dub Experience - Sly And Robbie; Wild Child - Untouchables
Nights Out: Knebworth Fayre - Meat Loaf, Scorpions, Deep Purple; Glastonbury: CND Festival - Working Week, Untouchables, Midnight Oil, Style Council; Milton Keynes: The Longest Day - Faith Brothers, Spear Of Destiny, Billy Bragg, Ramones, REM, U2; Marc Almond
Other: Live Aid preview

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Show Must Go On!

Those of you who read the small print know that my Smash Hits collection ended with the issue published before Live Aid and this archive would come to an end on July 3, 2015.

Smash Hits, July 03, 1985

This, then, is the announcement everybody wanted, but nobody expected!

Longtime fans of the archive, Richard Hopwood and Shane Marais, have provided scans of the remainder of the issues from July and August, 1985 – and Shane has volunteered to provide scans from September 1985 onwards. These new scans will be added to the collection on Flickr and I shall continue to post a new issue here every fortnight; the only difference you’ll notice is that I shall not be listing the contents of each issue – I no longer have time to provide that sort of detail.

I know exactly what is involved in scanning one issue of Smash Hits, so I would never ask somebody to scan their entire collection. I am extremely grateful for what Richard and Shane have already done – and I am beyond grateful for what Shane has offered to do. The internet can be a strange place, full of unusual people, but it is also a tremendous resource; I am very proud of my little corner of the web and I think the fact that this archive will continue for the foreseeable future is a wonderful example of what the online community does best.

Please take a moment – either here or over on our Facebook page – to express your gratitude to both Richard and Shane....and to Steve Cawrey, another big fan of the archive who has filled in a few blank pages in my collection over the years.

I would like to thank everybody who has stumbled across this archive during the last six years and enjoyed the chance to relive the glory years of Smash Hits: I appreciate all the messages you have written, the comments you have posted on the blog and on Flickr, the links you have tweeted on Twitter and the discussions you have engaged in on Facebook. And thank you to everybody who sent Facebook friend requests; I am glad to know you all!

I have lavished a lot of time, effort and expense on the archive and, despite sometimes wishing I had never embarked upon this insane project, I had been dreading July 2015 / 1985, because I didn't want it to end. I am very excited that the end is not nigh and delighted that a new stage in our journey is beginning; I look forward to spending the next few years with you all!

Brian

Saturday, June 20, 2015

No More Heroes - CDs to be won!

No More Heroes

I have to confess that I didn’t have a particularly big record collection growing up. My parents couldn’t afford a lot of pocket money, so I didn’t have a lot of disposable income for singles – and certainly not for albums; it was easier to spare 25p or 30p for Smash Hits every fortnight than to buy records on a regular basis, which is why I have been able to spend the last six years sharing my collection on this archive.

Ever since I first dived into my Smash Hits collection and began reliving those times, the question I have asked repeatedly has been: "Did we realise how lucky we were?" We were spoiled. During my formative years, the charts were bursting with great music; there was so much variety and invention in the British top 40 of the late seventies and early eighties – an explosion of talent that has never been repeated to such a degree.

No More Heroes tackles the well-nigh impossible task of distilling the spirit of those heady days into three discs. Listening to its sixty tracks is a whirlwind spin through the golden age of punk, post-punk and new wave. Chart-toppers from The Jam, The Specials and Ian Dury rub shoulders with classics from Madness, Buzzcocks and Adam and the Ants; American acts like the Ramones, Modern Lovers and Talking Heads pogo with Generation X, XTC and X Ray Spex. Alongside the more familiar titles are things you might have forgotten: I am particularly excited by the inclusion of Back Of My Hand by the Jags – why wasn’t that a bigger hit?!!?

From calls to action by the likes of Sham 69 and Secret Affair to the endearing goofiness of the Toy Dolls and Tenpole Tudor, this is a reminder of that incredible outpouring of energy. Some of these acts cast long shadows; others crashed and burned spectacularly, but from the unmistakable opening of Teenage Kicks to Jona Lewie’s anthem for wallflowers, there’s hardly a dull moment here.

No More Heroes is an ideal way to fill some of the gaps in your collection – or a great introduction to the great sounds of a great moment in musical history. It doesn’t claim to be all-inclusive, but what it does include is good enough for me: Blondie, The Fall, Echo and the Bunnymen, Bow Wow Wow, Dr. Feelgood....Realising that some of these songs were recorded forty years ago should make me feel old, but listening to them puts a spring in my step. So go ahead, open up a copy of Smash Hits, crank up the stereo and enjoy!

No More Heroes is available from Amazon UK and iTunes....but keep reading to find out how you could win a copy for yourself in our very first competition!

No More Heroes

The makers of No More Heroes have given us three copies of the boxset to give away to fans of this Smash Hits archive. To have a chance of winning, go to our Facebook page and leave a comment listing your three favourite tracks from the compilation and three songs which you think should have been included. Everybody who posts a comment listing six titles will be entered into a draw - three names will be selected and those winners will get the CDs.

Disc: 1
1. Teenage Kicks - The Undertones
2. Going Underground - The Jam
3. Sheena Is A Punk Rocker – Ramones
4. If The Kids Are United - Sham 69
5. No More Heroes – Stranglers
6. Public Image – PIL
7. Do Anything You Wanna Do - Eddie And The Hot Rods
8. Ever Fallen In Love - The Buzzcocks
9. Turning Japanese - The Vapors
10. Neat Neat Neat - The Damned
11. Germ Free Adolescents - X Ray Spex
12. Automatic Lover - The Vibrators
13. Swords of A 1,000 Men - Tenpole Tudor
14. Go Wild In The Country - Bow Wow Wow
15. Into The Valley - The Skids
16. Top Of The Pops – Rezillos
17. 2 4 6 8 Motorway - Tom Robinson
18. Blank Generation - Richard Hell and The Voidoids
19. Ca Plane Pour Moi - Plastic Bertrand
20. Is Vic There? - Department S

Disc: 2
1. Hanging On The Telephone – Blondie
2. Lust For Life - Iggy Pop
3. Pretty In Pink - Psychedelic Furs
4. The Killing Moon - Echo and the Bunnymen
5. Time For Action - Secret Affair
6. Shake Some Action - Flamin' Groovies
7. I Got You - Split Enz
8. Brass In Pocket - The Pretenders
9. Back Of My Hand - The Jags
10. Making Plans For Nigel – XTC
11. Sound of The Suburbs - The Members
12. Kings Of The Wild Frontier - Adam And The Ants
13. I Think We're Alone Now - The Rubinoos
14. Lucky Number - Lene Lovich
15. Another Girl, Another Planet - The Only Ones
16. A New England - Kirsty MacColl
17. Ghost Town - The Specials
18. 7teen - The Regents
19. Drowning In Berlin - The Mobiles
20. One Step Beyond – Madness

Disc: 3
1. Road To Nowhere - Talking Heads
2. Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick - Ian Dury And The Blockheads
3. Roadrunner (Twice) - Jonathan Richman And The Modern Lovers
4. Rich Kids - Rich Kids
5. Babylons Burning - The Ruts
6. Jimmy Jimmy - The Undertones
7. Hersham Boys - Sham 69
8. Miss The Girl – Creatures
9. New Rose - The Damned
10. The Day The World Turned Day Glo - X Ray Spex
11. Drummer Man – Tonight
12. King Rocker - Generation X
13. Butcher Baby - The Plasmatics
14. Homicide – 999
15. Cherry Bomb - The Runnaways
16. Nellie The Elephant - The Toy Dolls
17. Get Rhythm - Dr Feelgood
18. Whole Wide World - Wreckless Eric
19. It's The New Thing - The Fall
20. You'll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties - Jona Lewie