ENTERTAINMENT
09/03/2018 05:04 SAST | Updated 09/03/2018 05:04 SAST

NME Magazine: 15 Of The Publication's Most Memorable Covers

So long, (print) NME...

After 66 years, NME has announced that it will no longer be a print magazine.

As of next week, the brand will exist online only, and – whether you've always been a fan of the New Musical Express or not – the decision marks the end of an era.

During the six decades it's been in print, the magazine has chronicled the highs and lows of U.K. music and played its own part in writing history, by pioneering the British Singles Chart.

As its printers slow to a stop, look back at 15 of the most memorable covers...

  • 1952: The First Issue
    1952: The First Issue
    NME
    It all began with this issue more than 60 years ago.

    That same year, the magazine launched the UK's first ever single chart, inspired by the US's Billboard Hot 100. 

    Each week, record shops up and down the country would help create the chart by sending their sales figures to the magazine.
  • August 1979: Joy Division
    August 1979: Joy Division
    NME
    Joy Division's Ian Curtis and Bernard Sumner graced the cover in 1979.

    'Unknown Pleasures' had been out for just four months and the industry was excited to see what the Manchester band could achieve. Sadly, just nine months after this issue was released, Ian ended his life.
  • December 1986: Madonna
    December 1986: Madonna
    NME
    Proving that it's not just indie upstarts who could grace the cover, Madonna made the first of her four appearances on NME's front page in the mid-eighties, supporting the release of her single, 'Open Your Heart'.
  • November 1989: The Stone Roses
    November 1989: The Stone Roses
    NME
    One of the most well-remembered covers of all time saw Ian Brown and his band making a splash with a Jackson Pollock-inspired shoot.
  • April 1994: Kurt Cobain Tribute
    April 1994: Kurt Cobain Tribute
    NME
    The magazine's editors stripped the front page back to pay tribute to the Nirvana frontman, opting for a simple black-and-white cover.
  • August 1995: Britpop's Stars Go Head-To-Head
    August 1995: Britpop's Stars Go Head-To-Head
    NME
    It was the chart battle that defined 1995, and NME added fuel to the fire with this cheeky cover.

    The release of 'Country House' was brought forward, and the track triumphed over 'Roll With It' in the charts, which led to...
  • September 1995: Blur's Victory Cover
    September 1995: Blur's Victory Cover
    NME
    The magazine's publishers prepared two versions of this front page, one with Oasis and this one featuring a suitably smug-looking Damon Albarn.
  • June 2002: The Libertines' Debut
    June 2002: The Libertines' Debut
    NME
    Pete Doherty and Carl Barat's band were already causing havoc on the London music scene, when they landed their first ever cover the week 'What A Waster' was released.
  • October 2005: Arctic Monkeys Kick Right Off
    October 2005: Arctic Monkeys Kick Right Off
    NME
    Still looking like scruffy Sheffield lads, the band made their NME debut with a cover feature, as the hype surrounding them was reaching dizzy new heights. 

    Three months later, their debut album 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not' was released, and became the fastest-selling debut by a British band.
  • December 2009: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
    December 2009: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
    NME
    In 2009, Simon Cowell spoke to the mag, as 'X Factor' winner Joe McElderry battled Rage Against The Machine for Christmas number one. 

    'Killing In The Name' was climbing its way to the top following a charity campaign and the band gave their sales a final push by promising a free London gig if RATM won. Joe's fate was sealed and in June 2010, RATM performed at London's Finsbury Park.
  • July 2011: RIP Amy Winehouse
    July 2011: RIP Amy Winehouse
    NME
    Tragically, Amy Winehouse's first ever cover appearance came after her death in 2007.

    NME's editor at Mike Williams later discussed the page's conception, stating: "After an hour of playing with cover lines we took them all off and it all made sense.

    “NME’s picture director Marian Paterson described the lack of words as 'A minute’s silence.' She was right.”
  • April 2013: Yeah Yeah Yeahs
    April 2013: Yeah Yeah Yeahs
    NME
    Karen O was back! The Yeah Yeah's made a triumphant return with 'Mosquito', and officially waged war on fans wielding smartphones and video cameras at gigs in the accompanying interview. 
  • September 2015: Rihanna makes a statement
    September 2015: Rihanna makes a statement
    NME
    In a move that magazine editor's dreams are made of, NME bagged Rihanna for the cover of their relaunch in 2015. 

    Setting a fresh tone - with no indie lads in sight - RiRi's issue was always going to be one for the history books.
  • March 2016: The Zayn Event
    March 2016: The Zayn Event
    NME
    Exactly a year on from leaving One Direction, Zayn marked his solo album's release  with this front page. 

    He didn't pull any punches in the interview either, happily revealing which of his bandmates he no longer spoke to and dishing the dirt on his final days in 1D.
  • January 2017: Wiley Takes His Rightful Place
    January 2017: Wiley Takes His Rightful Place
    NME
    The Godfather of Grime never landed an NME cover back in the day but just over a year ago, he finally graced one, alongside the fitting cover line, 'Long Live The King'.