Who killed Smash Hits?

The publisher blames the Internet, but the Guardian’s Alexis Petridis unmasks the real villain:

in the past decade, rounded, interesting, flawed human beings have vanished entirely from teen pop. Record companies, cleaving to the American model of perfection, began media-training their stars – “media-training” being a technical term for surgically depriving someone of their personality. Pop music in 2006 is no better or worse than it was 25 years ago – the tracks on Girls Aloud’s recent Chemistry album are every bit as thrilling as Adam And The Ants’ Stand and Deliver – but the people who make it have been focus-grouped out of existence. They are witless automatons, smiley conduits for the groundbreaking work of pop production teams.

6 thoughts on “Who killed Smash Hits?

  1. Diego says:

    Blame it on MTV

    MTV is certainly the network which put an *image* on the music. Hence, from a communications point of view, it’s not hard to imagine how imagery would take over content, as videos began to sell not just a voice but, more often than a concept, a person. It’s all a popularity contest, and the dumbest person usually has the best skills at playing it.

  2. Squander Two says:

    That’s nonsense, Diego. MTV is successful. If Smash Hits‘s problem were that it was too much like MTV, it would also be successful. Pop always sold a person, not just a mere voice. The problem is the exact opposite of what you just said: they’re losing the popularity contest, because they’re trying to sell dull people that no-one wants to buy.

  3. Gary says:

    I’m so old, I remember when MTV showed music videos.

    I do think that Petridis identified the main reason – writing about pop isn’t particularly interesting if the people aren’t particularly interesting – but it’s also due to saturation music coverage. It’s exactly the same thing that’s stuffed Top of the Pops: too much music, available all the time from a million different sources.

  4. Eric Blair. says:

    Hey, you’ve got it easy.
    You’re in Britan, but I live in America. I’m pretty sure most of what’s on our top ten is actualy made by a machine.

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