Archive for the ‘Smash Hits’ Category

Smash Hits: Oct 27 – Nov 9 1983: Love Is The Law

October 27th, 2013

Just uploaded to the Smash Hits Archive, the latest issue (October 27 – November 9 1983) of the late 70s/early 80s must-have magazine, exactly 30 years to the day it was originally published. This includes a full page advert for the Love Is The Law album and a 7 out of 10 review for the album too.

TOYAH: Love Is The Law (Safari) This has imaginatively powerful tracks such as “Broken Diamonds” and “Dreamscape” which conjure up vivid futuristic images of things such as “scrapyards of human emotion” and general planetary desolation. Even so, Toyah has developed a softer side to her music. “The Vow” is a haunting romantic melody and one of the high points of the album. Don’t know whether it will gain her any new admirers but her fans will love it (7 out of 10) Lisa Anthony

• Visit the ‘Smash Hits Archive’ here. Here are direct links to view the advert and review.

Smash Hits: 29 September – 12 October 1983

September 29th, 2013

Dreamscape’s Love Is The Law Month doesn’t begin until Tuesday but I thought I’d add this today rather than wait, especially as it went on sale exactly 30 years ago. Toyah: Return Of The Rebel, there were more smaller articles, such as “Personal File” and the like over the next few years but this was Toyah’s final big double-page interview feature for ‘Smash Hits’. Click below to read at Dreamscape’s Press Archive.


• The full 29 September – 12 October 1983 issue has also just been uploaded to The Smash Hits Archive.

Smash Hits Archive @ Flickr / ZigZag

June 9th, 2013

The Smash Hits Archive collection at flickr has a new layout, making browsing each issue far easier than previously. The archive is currently at mid 1983, with tons of Toyah content including her three cover issues: View 27 November – 10 December 1980, September 3 – 16 1981 and May 27 – June 9 1982.

• More retro Toyah magazine articles: View Toyah articles from three issues of 80’s music magazine ZigZag. (Thanks to John Kidd)

Toyah Newsy Bits & Pieces!

March 28th, 2013

Birmingham Post: Arson suspected as fire hits Birmingham venue where The Beatles played: Kings-Heath-born Toyah Willcox was the first person to be honoured on the Kings Heath Walk of Fame which was unveiled along York Road last July. Bob Prew, who helped organise the initiative, said the plaque now lies under the building’s smouldering rubble. He said: “It’s devastating because the Ritz Ballroom was one of the major venues in the 1960s.”

Birmingham Mail: Fire at Kings Heath venue where The Beatles once played: “The roof is totally collapsed. It’s the old Ritz Ballroom . It’s sad for Kings Heath as on Cash Converters – which has collapsed – there was a plaque for Toyah Willcox.”

BBC News: Ex-Beatles gig venue destroyed in Kings Heath fire: A Kings Heath Walk of Fame, honouring the area’s musical and comedy heritage, had also been planned to start outside the building with a star marking singer Toyah Willcox.

Buzzfeed: 23 Amazing Smash Hits Covers From The ’80s: Quite clearly the greatest magazine of our time – 7. Toyah, May 1982.

Telford & Wrekin Council: Hormonal Housewives on tour!: Hormonal Housewives are in Telford as part of their Spring Tour 2013 and you are in for a treat with this hilarious show presented by British pop icon Toyah Willcox.

An Actor Pantos: Let’s get Critical – The Sequel: SLEEPING BEAUTY, Marlowe Theatre Canterbury: Toyah Willcox and Gareth Gates were the stars and really worked hard for their billing.  Willcox especially proved particularly eager to take part and was a very good baddy!

Smash Hits: March 17-30 1983: Trafford Tanzi

March 17th, 2013

The March 17-30 1983 issue of ‘Smash Hits’ has been uploaded to the Smash Hits Archive, exactly 30 years ago to the day it was originally published.

The magazine, with Tracie Young and Paul Weller on the cover, includes a “Bitz” news clipping with the first mention of Toyah appearing in Trafford Tanzi.

Poll-winning warbler and sometime actress, your very own Ms Toyah Willcox, is due to begin treading the boards of the Mermaid Theatre, London from some time in late March. She’ll be taking over the title role in Trafford Tanzi, a very successful feminist musical that takes the form of a wrestling match. Rehearsals for the new cast have just been started, and they sound somewhat strenuous! The reason that there’s no precise opening date is because the show can’t go on until they’re all “in shape”.

Meanwhile, over in New York, Debie Harry is getting in shape to take the same role in a Broadway production of the same play! All this theatrical activity means, of course, that meantime there won’t be many records from either of this pair.

• Continue reading at the Smash Hits Archive.

Smash Hits: March 3-16 1983: Personal File

March 3rd, 2013

The March 3-16 1983 issue of ‘Smash Hits’ has been uploaded to the Smash Hits Archive, exactly 30 years ago to the day it was originally published.

The magazine, with Eurythmics on the cover, includes their first “Personal File” on Toyah (they printed another one in 1985 around the time of ‘Dont Fall in Love’ & ‘Minx’).

NAME: Toyah Ann Willcox
BORN: May 18, 1958, in Kings Heath, Birmingham, at home. I can’t remember much about it.
FIRST MEMORY: Sometimes I feel I can be aware of when I was inside my Mum. Otherwise, my first memory is of my first day at school. I was never told what school was; I was told about the day before that I was going to school. It was the first time I was ever parted from my mother and I never forgave her for it. I was petrified and cried and fought all day. I remember holding on to my Mum’s clothes and having to be ripped apart from her.

• Continue reading at the Smash Hits Archive.

Smash Hits Yearbook 1983

January 15th, 2013

The Smash Hits Archive uploaded the full ‘Smash Hits Yearbook 1983’ over Christmas. The annual includes two pages on Toyah, with a great late 1981 photo and quotes from three previous interviews, plus a BNW photo at the start of the book. Visit the Smash Hits Archive here and click below to go directly to the scans at flickr.

Smash Hits: All-Star Request Issue

January 6th, 2013

The All-Star Request issue (January 6 – 19 1983) of Smash Hits magazine was published 30 years ago today. This included ‘Ieya’ by Toyah and many other songword favourites. The complete issue has just been uploaded to the Smash Hits Archive.

Neil Tennant’s Smash Hits Christmas

January 5th, 2013

Neil Tennant’s Smash Hits Christmas aired on ‘BBC Radio 2’ on the 20th December. An interesting look back at the golden years of the magazine, including contributions from Toyah, talking about ‘Smash Hits’ in general as well as her iconic “Brave New World” cover from 1982. The programme has now been deleted from iPlayer and isn’t being repeated any time soon. Click below to listen to a recording of the programme that’s recently been added to You Tube.

Toyah on the Radio: Neil Tennant’s Smash Hits Christmas

December 9th, 2012

Toyah is guesting in a BBC Radio 4 special on Smash Hits this Christmas, hosted by Neil Tennant.

Neil Tennant’s Smash Hits Christmas: BBC Radio 4: Thursday 20th December: 11.30am
Neil Tennant was a journalist on music’s most poptastic magazine before he was a Pet Shop Boy. Here, with colleagues and stars, he recalls the early 80s golden age of Smash Hits.

We hear from founder and legendary magazine-maker Nick Logan, from editors David Hepworth and Mark Ellen, writers Miranda Sawyer and Sylvia Patterson and from regular Smash Hits cover girl, Toyah.

We also sample a rare recording from the 1982 Christmas Flexidisc (a message from the stars) and what’s probably Neil Tennant’s first ever recording.

Smash Hits: 30 Years Ago Today

May 27th, 2012

Exactly 30 years ago today, 27th May 1982, Toyah’s ‘Brave New World’ visage graced the cover of the biggest music magazine of the 80s, ‘Smash Hits’. If it’s not the it’s certainly one of the greatest magazine covers, and 30 years later it still looks fantastic. Visit the Like Punk Never Happened: Smash Hits Archive to read the full issue online.

Smash Hits: Toyah 1980/81

May 26th, 2012

‘Smash Hits’ magazine gave Toyah memorable cover issues in November 1980 and September 1981, but little did we realise what May 1982 would bring…

Smash Hits Archive: April 15-28 1982

April 16th, 2012

The 15-28 April, 1982 issue of ‘Smash Hits’ has just been added to the ‘Like Punk Never Happened – Smash Hits Archive’.

Toyah is included again this fortnight in a ‘Bitz!’ text article, by grumpy Rosalyn Chissick, on the newly published book ‘Toyah’ by Mike West.

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Simply Eighties: Thunder In The Mountains/Brave New World

April 10th, 2012

‘Simply Eighties’ featured ‘Thunder In The Mountains’ in their “Songs of The 80s” yesterday, and Toyah on the cover of ‘Smash Hits’, May/June 1982 issue, on their “80s Heaven’ page at tumblr.

Wow! You can really feel the energy coming from this new wave track by Toyah. Very original, alternative music and having not heard it for such a long time it sounds so fresh, even though this is from the early 80s! Plus, you get meaningful lyrics. This puts much of today’s music to shame.

Thunder In The Mountains reached #4 in the UK singles chart during October 1981, making this the third consecutive Top Ten hit for the band fronted by Toyah Willcox. It was the band’s eighth single release overall.

• Continue reading, at ‘Simply Eighties’, here.

• View the Toyah/Brave New World/Smash Hits page at ’80s Heaven’ here.

Smash Hits Archive: April 1-14 1982

April 2nd, 2012

The 1-14 April, 1982 issue of ‘Smash Hits’ has just been added to the ‘Like Punk Never Happened – Smash Hits Archive’.

Just a small news article (in Bitz!) on Toyah this fortnight, accompanied by this great photo from the 1982 Rock & Pop Awards: If you haven’t managed to secure tickets for Toyah’s forthcoming tour, here’s a flicker of light on the horizon. The 32 year old has just added an extra show at Sheffield City Hall on June 18th and two extras at London’s Hammersmith Odeon on July 17 and 18. Tickets cost £5, £4.50 and £4.

In addition to the tour she’s recording a new album for release in June. On April 25 she appears on telly in a play called “Blue Marigolds” which kicks off the new teeth-chattering series of Tales Of The Unexpected. This girl deserves a holiday.

View scans of the full issue, and every previous issue of ‘Smash Hits’, here.

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R.I.P. Eric Watson: 1955 – 2012

March 28th, 2012

The photographer Eric Watson, who took great photographs of numerous pop stars in the 80s, including Toyah, for ‘Smash Hits’ magazine, died on 18th March.

Born in Newcastle, Eric moved to London in 1974 and studied fine art at Hornsey College of Art from 1977 to 1980. His fellow students included Stuart Goddard (who became Adam Ant) and Mike Barson from Madness. On leaving college, he worked as an assistant to the photographers Red Saunders and Gered Mankowitz (known collectively as the Rembrandt Brothers), then photographing covers for Madness and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.

In 1981 he was invited to work for Smash Hits, after the editor, David Hepworth, saw photographs Watson had shot for Madness. He became the magazine’s main photographer and at around the same time Neil Tennant, whom he knew through a mutual friend from Newcastle, was made assistant editor.

Read a tribute to Eric, from former ‘Smash Hits’ editor, David Hepworth and his obituary from ‘The Guardian’. (Thanks to Gill)

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Smash Hits Archive: March 18-31 1982

March 18th, 2012

The 18-31 March 1982 issue of ‘Smash Hits’ has just been added to the excellent ‘Like Punk Never Happened – Smash Hits Archive‘.

This issue features a plethora of various Toyah content, including:

Free huge poster (Toyah on one side, The Human League on the other), photo from the ‘Rock & Pop Awards 1982’, a full-page advert for the VHS release of Urgh! A Music War, and Toyah as a toddler on a donkey in the ‘From The Cots’ photo feature.

View scans of the full issue, and every previous issue of ‘Smash Hits’, here.

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