Originally known as the New Musical Express, the NME is one of Britain's best known and most divisive music magazines. Launched in 1952 as a newspaper, the NME picked up many fans by being one of the earliest proponents of bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. While slow to follow musical trends, the paper acted as a vanguard for punk and later socialist movements under the Thatcher government, and released several influential mixtapes for then-underground acts such as Scritti-Politti.
Today, the paper focuses mostly on the indie and dance rock scenes. It has, however, become notorious for hyping nearly every band featured in its pages to near-messianic levels (especially if they're a British indie rock band) whilst in comparision demonizing all "mainstream"/pop artists (with some exceptions, like Björk). Sometimes the bands that it hypes become stars (like Arctic Monkeys and Kaiser Chiefs), other times they don't (anyone remember Shitdisco or Pull Tiger Tail?). It also has extremely close ties with youth television - most notably, The Mighty Boosh and Never Mind the Buzzcocks. And its own spinoff music TV channel.
The magazine provides examples of:
- Award Show: The NME Awards have been given out since 1953. Naturally, the categories focus on music, though they have given a out a few awards for other mediums. They also Troll those on their list of acceptable targets by giving them less than desirable awards like "Worst Band", "Worst Album" and "Villain of the Year".
- Double Standard: In 2008 the magazine nominated Amy Winehouse for villain of the year, whilst at exactly the same ceremony nominating Pete Doherty hero of the year, even though Doherty's band The Libertines' original run ended under circumstances more messy than any controversy Winehouse would run into.
- Fun with Acronyms: The fact that it's an acronym that sounds like the word "enemy" has been lampshaded often.
- Print Long-Runners: In publication since March 1952. Since 1996 it also has an online version.
- The Rival: Melody Maker, a fellow British based music magazine had been a rival with NME for decades. While NME was directed to towards a teen audience, Melody Maker tended to aim for slightly older readers. Melody Maker would end up merging into ''NME' in 2000.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The NME's review style often uses the same colourful, pseudo-Dickensian style that Russell Brand would later be famous for.
- Shout-Out: The NME is often mentioned in songs (almost always as a Take That!), from the Sex Pistols' "Anarchy in the UK" from Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols to Scroobius Pip's "Thou Shalt Always Kill".