Why The '90s Was The Golden Age Of Magazines

Thanks for ruining all this, internet.

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1. Sky still existed.

Via members.home.nl

Running from 1988 to 2001, Sky was unusual in that it appealed to both sexes equally. It was sex-obsessed, but in a fun rather than a leering way. It was edited in the mid-'90s by Mark Frith, who established a clubby tone that he later took to Heat.

2. So did Select.

Via selectmagazinescans.monkeon.co.uk

The one fact most people know about Select is that the term Britpop was coined in its pages, in the 1993 'Yanks Go Home' issue. It was always full of inventive feature ideas, and many of its contributors have gone on to big things, not least Father Ted creator Graham Linehan. The mag folded in 2000.

4. And Arena.

Via ebay.co.uk

Arena was created in 1986 by Nick Logan, who had started The Face in 1980. It had a good run in the '90s, before declining in the '00s as the men's magazine market became over-saturated.

5. Men's magazines occasionally had men on the cover.

Via guardian.co.uk

Launched in 1994, Loaded was the publishing phenomenon of the decade. These days it's just another babe-worshipping lads' mag, but back then cover stars included Noel Gallagher, Kevin Keegan, and - on the very first issue - Gary Oldman.

6. And they were as much about humour, as they were about boobs.

Via guardian.co.uk

Comedy characters who graced the cover of Loaded in the '90s include Waynetta Slob from Harry Enfield And Chums, Homer Simpson, and Trigger from Only Fools And Horses.

7. Meanwhile, Jane offered a punchy alternative to mainstream women's mags.

Via whilemyboyfriendwassleeping.com

Launched in the US at the tail end of the '90s, Jane displayed an irreverent sense of humour that set it apart from the more pompous and formulaic titles on the newsstand. It was never huge in the UK, but was much loved by those in the know.

11. There was so much choice. If you didn't fancy NME that week, there was always Melody Maker.

Via archivedmusicpress.wordpress.com

Melody Maker had an extraordinary seventy-four year run, starting out covering jazz in 1926, and eventually closing in 2000.

13. Video game mags were funny, and snarky, and sold in staggering quantities.

Via grcade.co.uk

Launched in November 1995 to coincide with the launch of the PlayStation console, Official UK Playstation Magazine swiftly became the biggest selling games mag ever. By the end of the decade it was shifting half a million copies a month - more than the likes of FHM.

17. Smash Hits's glory days were in the '80s, but it carried on being quite good into the '90s.

Via magazine-covers.lucywho.com

Smash Hits ran from 1978 to 2006. The fortnightly magazine regularly sold 500,000 copies in the early 1980s, but its biggest-selling edition featuring Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan was bought by more than one million readers in 1989.

24. But the fact is, magazines were simply a bigger deal in the '90s.

Via fhmbackissues.com

In 1997, FHM overtook Loaded to become the UK's biggest-selling men's mag, a position it held until 2009, when it was eclipsed by Men's Health.

25. More people bought them, so they had budgets to do stuff like this.

images.businessweek.com / Via http://Photo%20by%20Laurence%20King/Chronicle%20Books

To promote the 1999 Sexiest Women In The World issue, FHM came up with a blockbuster marketing stunt: they projected a nude photo of Gail Porter onto the Houses Of Parliament.