MELODY MAKER: AN EXPERT’S VIEW - Melody Maker’s A4 glossy look does nothing for the title, Eleanor Trickett says

Maybe it’s just that time flies when you’re a rock chick having fun, but I seem to be asked to review a ’new look’ Melody Maker every five minutes.

Maybe it’s just that time flies when you’re a rock chick having

fun, but I seem to be asked to review a ’new look’ Melody Maker every

five minutes.

This latest effort, however, is the biggest change yet. After decades as

an inky newspaper, ’the Maker’ - to former snakebite and black-swilling

air guitarists like me - has gone A4 and glossy.

When the Maker was a newspaper, parents didn’t even pretend to be

interested in it. Now it’s a glossy, you just know what’s going to

happen: they’ll think you’re reading a nice, gentle pop title, featuring

good little acts like Steps. ’That’s nice, darling,’ they say, peering

over your shoulder.

’Oh. Why is he wearing blue nail varnish? Is he gay?’

Oh, OK then, top marks for realising that the NME had stolen a march on

its core readership, but why has it been turned into Smash Hits? To the

extent that its new, glossy format is an excuse to print lots of pin-up

pics. The trouble is, something has happened over the past decade and

they’re all plug-ugly. Yeah, that means you too, Damon Albarn, in your

twatty schoolboy jumper.

Personal prejudices aside, I simply can’t imagine who would want to read

this. Indeed, a good cover-to-cover to read, I’ll wager, is a

physiological impossibility. Its garish colours and a completely

unjustifiable amount of bold black text have me reaching for the Nurofen

before I’d finished skimming a snippet on Robbie Williams on page


Which brings me neatly to my next point. Shouldn’t the raison d’etre of

Melody Maker be the fact that reading it picks you out as a discerning

young muso, anxious to bone up on the antics of Mogwai and Merz, rather

than to score a few pin-ups?

Some of the features aren’t even that bad - just impossible to read.

Take, for example, the feature entitled ’1990 Gazza weeps and Baggy

rules’. Lovely bit of nostalgia, but the headline is incomplete. It

should read: ’1990 Gazza weeps and Baggy rules. And Melody Maker was

worth buying.’

Oh God - it looks like I’m consigned to the Mojo graveyard.

Eleanor Trickett is considering hanging up her rock chick leathers

Frequency Weekly

Ad rates full-page colour pounds 2,940

Publisher IPC Magazines Editor Mark Sutherland

Circulation 34,068

Cover price pounds 1

Advertisers include Tower Records, HMV, HP, Virgin Megastores

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