Clash Presents… The Pop Special

Featuring Lorde, Gary Barlow, John Newman and more...

Clash has reached issue 89, and it’s time to go POP! Not, fortunately, as in bursting. No, this month we are taking a long hard look at the pop phenomenon in all its glory; from its manic beginnings, through its ’80s apex and up to today’s misappropriation of the term and the artists who are proud to call themselves pop. New Zealand-born US chart invader and soon-to-be-massive-everywhere starlet Lorde graces our cover, heralding pop’s healthy future, which is good news for all of us.

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Featured in issue 89 of Clash magazine…


Spotted by her manager at the age of 12, Lorde signed a major label development deal at 13, purely on the strength of her vocals. As it turned out, her delicate but powerful voice was matched by an almost improbably brilliant songwriting spark which, together with Lorde’s highly evolved visual style, have made her one of this year’s most pleasantly surprising success stories. After a low key EP release at the tail end of 2012, Lorde’s breakout track ‘Royals’ pulled off the unusual feat of converting blog buzz into tangible success this summer, prompting US music bible Billboard to slap her on their cover with the breathless headline ‘THE NEW QUEEN OF ALTERNATIVE’.


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Returning to a solo career fourteen years after the pressures of the music business drove him to depression and a reconsideration of his future, Gary tells Clash of the demons he overcame, the lessons he’s learned, and his determination to continue. PLUS, in a special Spotlight feature: Gary Barlow on 20 years of ‘Take That & Party’.

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With two UK chart-toppers in one year, North Yorkshire boy John Newman has a lot to be excited about. Clash met the soul-obsessed star-in-waiting on the eve of the release of his debut album to find out what led him to this critical point.

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While you may be forgiven for missing his recently released fourth album ‘IV Play’, and you may not even be aware of him by the alias tattooed across his neck, it’s most likely that you’ve heard multiple records by The-Dream. But fear not: now is your opportunity to meet the artist-in-his-own-right who claims ownership of pop classics ‘Umbrella’, ‘Baby’, and ‘Single Ladies’.


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Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker

Twenty-five years ago, Michael Jackson’s feature film Moonwalker continued his life-long dream of becoming a movie star. Speaking with the directors and choreographers behind some of the film’s most iconic segments, Clash reveals the story behind the flawed yet fantastical big screen adventure.


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And then there’s all of this, too…

Erasure let us flick through their photo archives.

Rising star Chlöe Howl gets in conversation with ex-Spice Girl Melanie C.

Five impending new pop favourites are revealed in a Next Wave special, featuring Sam Smith, Foxes, Neon Jungle, Javeon and FTSE.

An appreciation of 32 years of MTV.

Ten things you never knew about Prince.

The sex-filled final day of life, as imagined by Boy George.

Clash’s trusted album reviews section includes Arcade Fire, Pearl Jam, Paul McCartney, Haim, Dizzee Rascal, Sleigh Bells, Poliça, Of Montreal, The Weeknd and more… (Check out our online album reviews, too.)

Oh, and don’t forget our monthly gifts of film, fashion and even more music. We are good to you.

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