by Mark Nobes, chief editor

Back in the 1980s, young teenagers and pre-teens in the UK who were into pop music bought either Smash Hits or Number One, although some bought both, no doubt.

Launched in May 1983 as No.1, the pop magazine's main advantage over Smash Hits was that it was published weekly and could bring you an up-to-date singles and albums chart, although it was smaller in size and generally less glossy than its fortnightly rival. The magazine also included interviews with pop stars, song lyrics, quizzes, gossip, TV and Film and music reviews. There were also many regular columnists who had links to the music industry such as the Radio One DJ Bruno Brookes.

Each cover of the magazine featured a photo of a well-known pop star or band, in full colour, which definitely influenced the decision of those who were not regular readers, on whether to purchase that week's issue or not, so it was a very important aspect of the magazine.

In terms of sales, Number One never really threatened Smash Hits, and figures for 1990 show it's rival selling up to six times more copies. Without any warning to its readers, in February 1992, after a nine year run, Number One came to an abrupt end, and was then incorporated into the BBC's Fast Forward magazine.

Overall, No.1 had a lot more character than Smash Hits, with its writers being allowed to express themselves quite freely. They were very critical of the music and the pop stars of the day, without pandering to their interviewees. Indeed, one of the writer's who called herself "Lola Lush" made some particularly venomous comments.

This mag was a good choice for young teens who wanted a more gutsy opinion of 80s pop music.
Spandau Ballet on the front cover of No1 magazine - May 28 1983

Spandau Ballet gracing the frontcover of No1 magazine - May 28 1983. There was also the opportunity to vote in the No.1 Disc Jockey survey.

Paul Young on cover of No1 magazine December 1983

Paul Young on the cover of No1 in December 1983

No1 Magazine (8th Dec 1984) ft. Thompson Twins
8th December 1984 - Thompson Twins

No1 Magazine July 13 1985 ft. Paul Weller

Paul Weller on the front cover of No.1 July 12 1985

No 1 Magazine - 4th January 1986 - A-ha
January 4th 1986 - "A-ha muscle in"

No1 Magazine (June 11th 1986) Paul Young
June 11th 1986 - Paul Young (again)

Belinda Carlisle on the front cover of Number One magazine 9th Jan 1988
Stars of '88 feature in this issue from 9th Jan 1988, inc. Belinda Carlisle, Blue Mercedes, Tiffany, Bros and Sinead O'Connor.
Number One Magazine (Dec 1988) featuring Bros on the cover
The cover of a December 1988 issue featuring boy band Bros

Green Gartside from Scritti Politti - No1 Magazine cover from July 1985
July 6 1985 issue ft. Green Gartside, the frontman from Scritti Politti

No1 Magazine Dec 20th-27th 1986 - Five Star

Dec 20th-27th 1986 - Five Star

No1 Magazine June 29th 1985 - Fine Young Cannibals

June 29th 1985 - Fine Young Cannibals