RETRO – Disco 45 magazine

A work colleague had tweeted that they had recently unearthed some old magazines from their home and had plonked them in their recycling bin to be later disposed of. I instantly tweeted that they needed saving and that I would sift through them and do something more useful with them.

I feel it’s such a shame when something old and collectable is thrown away when there may be some collector out there who has a few holes in their collection and these editions could be just what they are after!

Most of the magazines are from the 1980 – 1981 era and encompass Smash Hits, No1, NME and Melody Maker – of which most people are familiar with. The one that I wasn’t familiar with is a magazine called Disco 45.

Even though most people remember Smash Hits it was infact Disco 45 magazine that came first when it was launched in 1970 – publishing song lyrics and articles way before anyone else.
There isn’t much other information online about the magazine but people are selling them where the average price per issue seems to be around £7.50 to £9.99.

So first up is issue 118 from 1980 and featuring Jermaine Jackson on the funky cover – complete with loads of different and colourful fonts detailing what’s inside the 16 page magazine.
Disco 45 Magazine edition 118
Disco 45 Magazine edition 118Disco 45 Magazine edition 118
Each issue would contain song lyrics from the current top 40 chart – this edition featured Abba, Grace Jones, Diana Ross and ELO – not particularly ‘disco’ but it must’ve been quite a risk at the time to name the magazine ‘disco’ back in 1970 when it wasn’t that mainstream or popular.
Disco 45 Magazine edition 118
Disco 45 Magazine edition 118
Back in the 1970’s and 80’s comics and magazines rarely featured full colour on ALL pages where it was quite commonplace for only the front and back pages to be in full colour. All the other pages would be in black and white but with maybe a few other pages inbetween these also in black and white but with the addition of one other colour to make it more interesting. I suppose it was all down to the technology of the time and money restrictions too.
It’s interesting to see that the above two pages are in fact full colour but all the photos are still in black and white – I can’t really offer any reason for that!
Disco 45 Magazine edition 118Disco 45 Magazine edition 118
And so here we come to the main purpose of the magazine – the song lyrics – or as they call it The Songbook! Normally spread over (only) two pages a few more song lyrics would also pop up usually on the back cover and maybe another page inside that needed filling.
Disco 45 Magazine edition 118
Well you can’t really have a teenage magazine without some good ol’ horoscopes – you can certainly see how thing haven’t really moved on in 30 years! Here are some classic lines from them:-

  • SCORPIO – You would be wise to abide your time when making decisions over the next few weeks as to rush into things could cause you problems later.
  • CAPRICORN – If you would only stop trying to keep up with the ‘Trendies’ you would find yourself feeling a lot happier and people will like you for just being YOU.
  • TAURUS – This could be a boom time for you financially, if you would only curb your spending for a little while you would be surprised at how quickly your money woudl grow.

So essentially we are being told NOT to rush into making a decision to spend money on becoming a Trendy! (as if!!)
Disco 45 Magazine edition 118
The Disco Shop Pop Shop – I wonder if that’s where the Multi-Coloured Swap Shop got some inspiration from? This was a two-page spread featuring all matter of goodies for sale including ‘The Status Quo Music Book’ (how could they drag out those two chords in a book?), ‘The Eagles For Easy Guitar’, ‘The Authorized Biography of The Bee Gees’ and ‘The Compleat Elvis’ – yep it’s spelt like that on the book cover aswell!
Disco 45 Magazine edition 118
And lastly the crossword aptly named ‘Popwords’ with a prize of the top ten singles! I’ve managed to fill in 14 across now but still stuck on 10 across – any ideas?
Disco 45 Magazine edition 118

9 Responses to “RETRO – Disco 45 magazine”

  1. Thats cheered me up no end! Happy memories of running down to the newsagent opposite Somerfields in Canton and picking up this, Whizzer and Chips, Spiderman weekly and the old reliable Look-in. Ahhhh and relax with a Bazooka Joe bubblegum and Cresta to enjoy with the read-fest until Tiswas came-on…..right thats enuf – back to the adult world-of-shite!

  2. Reblogged this on Adrian Masters. Not the politics blog. and commented:
    I was going to recycle some of my really old pop magazines but @djleekee salvaged them. He’s scanned one of them: Disco 45 and it’s all here!

  3. Just found your site trying to find out he name of that music magazinefrom the70s and am glad to have found it. I knew it was ‘something 45’ with a cirxlebon the front, A5 size and made out of that rough, kitchen type paper. I remember my mum buying for me on the way to her work in the summer holidays and I used to wander around her workplace singing the various lyrics. I thought it was great to have the lyrics and the two tracks which stood out in my mind in the magazine are Dr Feelgood – Milk and Alcohol and The Boomtown Rats – Rat Trap. By the way, 10 across in the crossword is Eagles (“Johnny come lately … New Kid in Town …”)- you spelt (Jean-)Jacques wrong!That’s for your site.

  4. I still have every issue of this songbook from No 1 to No 153!

  5. Was 153 the last issue?

  6. 118 Popwords, 1 down is spelt wrong Jacques – then 7 Across Costello, 6 Down Axton, 10 across Eagles, 14 across Runaway 🙂 My real point in writing is to reveal that from around 1978 onwards there was a sister magazine called Chart Songwords. I never really understood the point of putting this second mag out but in the end this all coincided with the very glossy launch of Smash Hits and that was that for both titles….happy days though.

  7. Loved this mag. Used to buy it and a few of us would learn the words and sing the songs at break or lunchtime. A different world.

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