NME launches 50th anniversary <BR>collectors series

LONDON - NME is launching a set of collectible spin-off magazines, called NME Originals, to coincide with the title's 50th birthday as the title looks almost certain to lose its place as the top-selling weekly to Kerrang in this week's ABCs.

The first of the five editions, which goes on sale on February 27, will be dedicated to The Beatles. It will include the story behind the band between 1962 and 1970, the band's first mention in the press and original reviews that accompanied every single release.



Other NME originals will commemorate The Rolling Stones, the punk era, Britpop and U2. The series will be sold as a standalone title and will appear on the newsstands every other month priced £4.99.



The NME was launched in 1952 and published the first ever pop charts. In the 1960s, its circulation hit 300,000 and, in the 90s, it was one of the first magazines to promote bands such as Suede, Blur and Oasis.



However, since the demise of the Britpop era, the NME has suffered at the hands of a fragmenting music industry, which has seen the rise of specialist music titles such as dance title Mixmag and nu-metal title Kerrang!.



NME is expected to lose its place as the biggest-selling UK music weekly, because Kerrang! is forecast to record a 50% rise in circulation to 75,000 in the forthcoming ABCs, to be published on Friday. NME recorded an ABC of 70,142 in the last set of ABCs for the January to June 2001 period.



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Claire Billings, recommends

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