If the Beatles have a song named for it, it must be important. I’m talking, of course, about the British music newspaper turned magazine and blog, the New Musical Express (or NME). The music newspaper launched in 1949 in standard newsprint format, and was the first to publish its own singles chart that tracked the climate of music in the UK based on record sales.
The publication has documented the many trends and bands coming out of England for the past 60 years. From psych rock and the rise of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones in the 60s to the punks of the 80s and the chaotic Madchester scene of the 90s, NME covered the most ground on anything going on in the music world. In a country known for producing some of the finest music in the past decade, music fanatics and casual listeners alike could rely on the paper for comprehensive charts and entertaining coverage.
And when musicians from the US started to dominated the airwaves, NME jumped o
n that too, covering the likes of Nirvana. The rise of indie rock again in the early 2000s gave writers lots of new content. The internet allowed them to reach new audiences with online publication of articles but sales still dipped. NME.com saw success and won several awards for its online coverage.
The publication is responsible for informing the masses about indie music throughout many decades. Some have criticized the publication’s one sidedness when it comes to covering only certain genres. But borne of that was calling music that sounds like NME would cover it, well, NME. If a publication’s lasting impression is the coining of its own genre, I would say they’ve weathered the storm of change within the world of music journalism.