NME's 60th anniversary: Editor picks out his two favourite front covers

Music magazine NME is celebrating its 60th anniversary with a free exhibition at NEO Bankside between 20 September and 7 October, Wednesday-Sunday, 12-7pm.

Editor Mike Williams told Press Gazette that these two front covers are NME’s best ever:

The first (above) was front cover on 12 August 1995, with the photos taken by Steve Double.

Williams said: “In 1995 I was a 15-year-old Britpop freak, swinging wildly and fickly between my loyalty to Oasis or Blur depending on who’d slagged the other off most eloquently or vitriolically in NME that week.

“Subsequently, this cover blew my mind, not only for the fact that it looked fantastic, but because it felt like it encapsulated the spirit of the era in an instant and somehow managed to divert attention from the fact that ‘Country House’ and ‘Roll With It’ – the two singles going head to head – we’re both dreadful!”

The second (below) cover is from 30 July 2011, shortly after the death of singer Amy Winehouse (photograph by Dean Chalkley).

Williams said: “Sometimes no words can sum up how people feel about a moment. Sometimes saying nothing is the most powerful thing you can do.

“This is how we felt at NME when Amy Winehouse died and we found ourselves in the position of having to pay tribute to an insanely talented 27-year-old with her entire life ahead of her.

“The picture selection was simple; we knew the minute we saw it that Dean Chalkley’s portrait was perfect.

“After an hour of playing with coverlines 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.”

To see these images in higher resolution, look at yesterday's Press Gazette – Journalism Weekly.

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