The New Musical Express (better known as the NME) is a music publication in the United Kingdom, published weekly since March 1952. It started as a music newspaper, and gradually moved toward a magazine format during the 80s, changing from newsprint in 1998. It was the first British paper to include a singles chart, in the 14 November 1952 edition. In the 1970s it became the best-selling British music newspaper. During the period 1972 to 1976 it was particularly associated with gonzo Journalism, then became closely associated with Punk Rock through the writing of Tony Parsons and June Birchill.
Krissi Murison was named the publication's eleventh editor on 29 July 2009. She took over as the first female editor in September 2009.
The paper's first issue was published on 7 March 1952 after the Musical Express and Accordion Weekly was bought by London music promoter Maurice Kinn, and relaunched as the New Musical Express. It was initially published in a non-glossy tabloid format on standard newsprint. On 14 November 1952, taking its cue from the U.S. magazine Billboard, it created the first UK Singles Chart. The first of these was, in contrast to more recent charts, a top twelve sourced by the magazine itself from sales in regional stores around the UK. The first number one was "Here in my Heart" by Al Martino.
During the 1960s the paper championed the new British groups emerging at the time. The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were frequently featured on the front cover. These and other artists also appeared at the NME Poll Winners Concert, an awards event that featured artists voted as most popular by the paper's readers. The concert also featured an awards ceremony where the poll winners would collect their awards. The NME Poll Winners Concerts took place between 1963 and 1972. From 1964 onwards they were filmed, edited and then transmitted on British television a few weeks after they had taken place.
The latter part of the 1960s saw the paper chart the rise of Psychedelia and the continued dominance of British groups of the time. During this period some sections of pop music began to be designated as Rock. The paper became engaged in a sometimes tense rivalry with its fellow weekly music paper Melody Maker; however, NME sales were healthy with the paper selling as many as 200,000 issues per week, making it one of the UK's biggest sellers.
(Musical Express - 1956)
The editions of Musical Express featured below all originate from 1956.