NME / 14th February 1976

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Before The Storm

Absolutely no signs of the imminent punk revolution here as Led Zeppelin and Queen are readers’ favourites. Not that the NME ever bowed down to their readership though as famously a year later they ran the headline “Is This Man A Prat?” above an interview with Freddie Mercury. The animosity ran deep forever onwards, Fred was furious and Queen were always too much of a people-pleasing concern to ever hold any relevance for the serious scribes (Nick Kent’s verdict on Queen’s debut album was “a bucket of warm urine” – opinion not shared by the owner of this website!)

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Wonderful picture of Freddie Mercury and New York Dolls’ David Johansen headlining a piece by NME’s U.S. correspondent and “Creem” journalist Lisa Robinson from Queen’s four shows at New York’s Beacon Theatre. Favourable and lacking in the anti-stance that the NME would cultivate as punk hit it’s stride.

Here’s a great interview between the same Ms Robinson and Mr. Mercury a few years later…..

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Flared dungarees £5! Cotton drill loons £2.60! 6 foot long bullwhip £1.90!! and “Look Scandinavian with continental clogs from £5”! Wow, was this really the year punk broke?

The charts

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UK No. 1 Single: Slik – Forever and Ever

Boy-band fare ’76 style with a 50’s high-school throwback, pre-Grease, pre-Ultravox Midge Ure at the helm. A few months earlier, Midge had turned down on offer by Malcolm McLaren to be the Sex Pistols’ lead singer. Oh how different things would have been. He did form The Rich Kids with Glen Matlock shortly after the Pistol’s break up though.

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The 1976 NME Readers’ Poll

British Section:

  • Male Singer: Robert Plant
  • Female Singer: Kiki Dee
  • Group: Led Zeppelin
  • Stage Band: Queen
  • Disc Jockey: John Peel
  • Music TV Show: The Old Grey Whistle Test
  • Music Radio Show: Alan Freeman Show
  • Most Promising New Name: Be-Bop Deluxe

World Section:

  • Male Singer: Robert Plant
  • Group: Led Zeppelin
  • Stage Band: The Who
  • Female Singer: Joni Mitchell
  • Most Promising New Act: Bruce Springsteen

General Section:

  • Guitarist: Jimmy Page
  • Keyboards: Rick Wakeman
  • Bass: Chris Squire
  • Drummer: Keith Moon
  • Producer: Jimmy Page
  • Single: “Bohemian Rhapsody”
  • Album: “Physical Graffiti”
  • Best Dressed Album: “Physical Graffiti”
  • Turkey of the Year: Bay City Rollers
  • Miscellaneous Instrumentalist: Mike Oldfield
  • Best Jazz Act: Weather Report
  • Best Folk Act: Steeleye Span
  • Best Country Act: The Eagles