The tale of music journalism as often told is a very male one. Rolling Stone, Creem, NME, Melody Maker. All had their great female journalists, but the usual names that come up are Lester Bangs, Charles Shaar Murray, Greil Marcus, Nick Kent, Steven Wells, and so on.
However, there's an earlier story, and a parallel one. Before the boys, music magazines catered primarily to a young female market, establishing the audience for writing about pop culture. And although teen pop mags would come to be derided by some in comparison to the more "serious" rock magazines, they frequently sold better and, in recent years, they've been critically reappraised, with due respect being given to those that paved the way with their often great writing. "What's so bad about groovy?" asked Professor Norma Coates at last month's Pop Conference, hosted by Seattle's Museum of Pop Culture.
Here's our list of some of the great teen mags of their day, right up to the present.
1. Seventeen (1944-present)
Teen mags first got going in the US, and Seventeen was launched in 1944 as a very civic-minded effort aimed at helping teenage girls to develop into the best women they could be. "Seventeen is your magazine, High School Girls of America - all yours! It is interested only in you... you're going to have to run this show - so the sooner you start thinking about it, the better."
Seventeen developed as the concept of the teenager did, and helped - through their reader surveys - to define that emerging market for advertisers. It published poems and stories by a young Sylvia Plath, and also from its earliest days, featured articles on music, shifting deftly with the times. In 1944, it was Bing Crosby and Cab Calloway, while in 1962, Connie Francis was the star alongside now-dubious articles such as 'Science confuses you, and math? Strictly for boys!', 'You'd like to marry young - and you probably will', and, 'You wish you knew an older man with a mustache.' But by the 90s, there were features on riot grrrl bands and Aaliyah, and around the turn of the millennium, the resurgence of the pop market saw female pop stars making the cover as often as models, from Christina Aguilera and Pink to Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez.
The oldest magazine in this list, Seventeen is still rolling with the punches with a circulation of over 2 million. You can read more about its impressive history in Fashioning Teenagers: A Cultural History of Seventeen Magazine by Kelley Massoni.
2. Jackie (1964-1993)
Published by Dundee firm DC Thomson - best known for The Beano, The Dandy and Oor Wullie - Jackie ran from 1964 until 1993 with the subtitle 'for go-ahead teens'. It focussed mainly on romance and teen life with a strong focus on pop (its first cover star was Cliff Richard, the second Joe Meek protege Heinz, and the third George Harrison) and was the best-selling teen mag for a decade.
One of its first teen writers was future children's author Jacqueline Wilson, who joined the staff age 17, and models featured in its photostories and fashion shoots over the years included Garbage's Shirley Manson, newsreader Fiona Bruce, Hugh Grant and Leslie Ash. It also featured weekly pullout pop posters and a Silly Star File, a section that focused on light-hearted interviews.
Throughout its classic 70s era, it featured the likes of the Bay City Rollers and Hot Chocolate. Punk was less visible, though there were features on The Clash and The Stranglers, and a "beautiful Bob Geldof pinup". In the 80s, it moved on to Duran Duran and The Human League, then in the 90s to New Kids on the Block, Jason Donovan and Bros.
Though its Cathy and Claire advice column had been controversial in its day, by this time, Jackie was starting to look a bit quaintly dated, and seeing the way the market was moving, DC Thomson opted to close the mag rather than go down the route of making it more sexually explicit and high-fashion. Jackie still holds a place in the affections of many women who grew up reading it, and in 2013, its inspired a new musical, in which Jackie, a fifty-something divorcee, uses the advice in her old magazine's problem pages to guide her back into the world of modern dating.
3. Fabulous 208 (1964-1980)
Published by Fleetway in the UK from 1964 to 1980, this mag - as the name might suggest - was initially heavily Beatles-focused, with full-colour pinups, a big sell in the days of black-and-white inkies. The '208' was added after the magazine signed a deal with Radio Luxembourg to print its listings from 1966, 208 being the station's wavelength. At is peak, Fabulous had a circulation of 250,000 - almost four times as much as the biggest-selling music magazines in the UK today.
Celebrity guest editors in its early days included Donovan, Cat Stevens, Gerry Marsden, The Kinks and Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich. In its later years, it moved more towards targeting teen girls explicitly but found itself outflanked on both sides by both Jackie and Smash Hits.
4. Rave (1964-1969)
A glossy UK music monthly, Rave launched in 1964 with richer photography and longer articles on the 60s music scene than the weeklies. A more 'serious' approach to music journalism, covering the likes of The Yardbirds, The Byrds and The Who didn't prevent it squarely aiming itself at women, though. As well as the obligatory Beatles cover, its first issue boasted Dusty Springfield's fashion tips and insider info on where the stars took their holidays. A 1967 issue not only featured Paul Jones on the cover but the intriguing cover line, "Rave offer: Boyfriends by computer." A 1969 issue, meanwhile, featured the face of Mick Jagger with psychedelically rainbow-hued hair and the warning: "Caution: extended exposure to this face may cause the heart to accelerate, the legs to weaken and the brain to boil."
5. Tiger Beat (1965-present)
Amazingly for a magazine with the most 60s title imaginable, Tiger Beat, like Seventeen, is still being published in the US. It was created by former teacher Chuck Laufer, who had been dabbling in mags since 1955, when his female students were telling him they had nothing fun to read. Tiger Beat stepped into the void left by the dwindling of the old Hollywood fan magazines and snapped up the new teen audience for pop. The first issue, in 1965, had a cover shared by The Righteous Brothers and a cavorting cartoon tiger, with cover lines pointing to features on Chuck Berry, The Beach Boys, Mia Farrow and The Beatles (twice).
Tiger was slang for 'hottie', and so the name indicated the mag's twin interests: sexy boys and sexy music. It focussed on non-threatening, pretty stars such as David Cassidy and The Monkees, and sometimes just launched its own, such as the DeFranco family, as Consequence of Sound reported.
During the 80s, the mag birthed two bimonthly spinoffs, Tiger Beat Star and Tiger Beat Rock, the latter featuring the likes of Duran Duran ("Why they stir your reflexes!"), Jane Wiedlin and, later, Nirvana.
Tiger Beat's core concern, though, has remained pop. In 2015, the magazine, starting to struggle, was bought by a group of investors that included the Daily Mail and music manager Scooter Braun, and subsequently revamped with an eye to becoming a multimedia teen superbrand. In a sign of the changing nature of pop stardom, the latest issue - also available online and in-app - features YouTube and Musical.ly sibling stars Johnny and Lauren Orlando on the cover. But there are still plenty of posters and quizzes.
6. Right On! (1972-2011)
Seventeen launched in 1944, but did not feature a black model on its cover until 1971, when Joyce Walker appeared alongside a white model. Whitney Houston also modelled for the magazine in the early-80s, again alongside a white model. But although The Laufer Company, publishers of Seventeen, initially seemed reluctant to include black people in its pages, they did however launch a separate mag aimed at the African-American market.
The 1972 first issue of Right On! featured The Jackson 5 on the cover, who, finding it difficult to get coverage to match their record sales in mainstream pop mags, were its core concern for several years, alongside The Temptations and Diana Ross. Like other teen magazine, Right On! featured makeup and relationship advice, as well as pen pal listings and fan art depicting pop idols in the back pages. In the 80s, Prince replaced the Jackson 5 as Right On!'s favourite artist, though there was still plenty of room for Michael Jackson and the birth of rap, with the likes of Run-D.M.C., Public Enemy, LL Cool J, MC Hammer and more gracing the cover. The magazine kept going strong until 2011, when it shut down.
7. Smash Hits (1978-2006)
The lasting legend among the UK's teenage pop magazines, Smash Hits is still shaping the style of pop-oriented music journalism to this day, thanks to inheritors such as Popjustice. Its infectious enthusiasm and obsessive love of pop was tempered with irreverent - sometimes caustic - wit, and bolstered by giveaways of stickers, badges and posters. It was once edited by Mark Ellen, who went on to be launch editor of Q and Mojo, and also boasted writers such as Miranda Sawyer, Sylvia Patterson and Neil Tennant, who aimed to become editor before getting waylaid by his side-project the Pet Shop Boys.
Launched in 1978, it's best remembered for its 80s heyday, with the likes of Boy George, Bananarama and Wham! and later Tiffany, A-Ha and Bros ("We used to read Smash Hits at school, and now we're on the cover - weird!") gracing its covers. Such stars also lived and died by the Smash Hits readers' poll.
But its remit stretched wider than that, taking in the less on-brand likes of Then Jerico, U2, The Cure, Bon Jovi and The Mission over the years. To delve deep into the Smash Hits spirit, check out Brian McCloskey's archive Like Punk Never Happened.
8. Just Seventeen (1984-2004)
Launched with a free issue given away with Smash Hits in 1984, J-17, as it soon became known, was the market leader in young women’s mags for a decade. Despite the name, it was primarily read by 13-14 year olds who wanted to feel older and more sophisticated, in the know with slang like 'crush', 'snog' and 'boyf'.
The air of modern sophistication meant no Jackie-style photo stories, but still plenty of posters of hot pop boys, and wider music features, from the likes of Stock Aitken Waterman pop acts, Paula Abdul, Take That and East 17 to the more leftfield likes of The Smashing Pumpkins and Björk.
Though the relationship and sex advice featured in its pages would seem tame today, it was controversial at the time, although it always strove to do right by its imaginary core reader, Tracey from Grantham. Rae Earl, author of My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary, cited Just Seventeen as her inspiration, saying, "That magazine saved my life," growing up in another Lincolnshire town, Stamford.
Just Seventeen's primacy in the teen mag market was eventually taken away by the franker and racier likes of Mizz and More, and then by the increasing pressure of the internet. It went monthly in 1997 before closing in 2004.
9. Sassy (1988-1994)
Legendary among magazine nerds, Sassy was a relatively short-lived title that catered for young women with more alternative tastes in music, founded by Australian feminist Sandra Yates and based on Australian teen mag Dolly. Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love appeared on the cover in 1992 under the heading "ain't love grand?". Other amazing cover lines included "one girl against the patriarchy", "reforming teenage murderers - should we bother?" and, in 1991, "What the heck are we doing in the Persian Gulf?"
The staff were so cool they had an in-house band who once opened for The Lemonheads at New York punk venue CBGBs. As well as its bold writing, it included fiction, fanzine reviews, imaginative fashion shoots inspired by Twin Peaks and featured diverse models (including Chloë Sevigny, who was an intern). Editor Jane Pratt now runs the website xojane.com, "where women go to be their unabashed selves". You can read more about Sassy's revolutionary influence in the book How Sassy Changed My Life by former Teen Vogue editor Kara Jesella and Marisa Meltzer.
10. We Love Pop (2011-2017)
The latest and perhaps last in the line of print media teen pop mags, Egmont Publishing's We Love Pop bravely launched in 2011, just as many of these other mags were going to the wall. "With pop domination of the charts, and a host of TV shows like Glee and X Factor feeding the buzz, we believe the time is right to bring the pop world to life for a new generation of teens," said editor Malcolm Mackenzie, formerly of free news-sheet The London Paper.
"Don't bore us, get to the chorus" read the ebullient strapline. The first issue, featuring Rihanna and the tantalising coverline "I weed on a hamster: The Wanted's most shocking confessions", did relatively well with 119,000 sales, although those numbers were still lower than Smash Hits' figures when it closed a few years before. The magazine clearly invoked the Smash Hits spirit, and employed a new generation of younger pop loving writers inspired by it. Despite such great cover stars as Tulisa, Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Niall from One Direction with the unforgettable coverline "I'm not just the Irish one!", it wasn't to last, shutting up shop in 2017.
11. Rookie (2011-present)
Tavi Gevinson first came to public attention as a 12-year-old with her precocious fashion blog Style Rookie in 2008. The blog, written from her home in middle-class suburban Chicago, soon had tens of thousands of readers, and led to Gevinson being interviewed by the New York Times, attending the world's biggest fashion weeks and modelling for cult US brand Rodarte.
As Gevinson grew up in public, her blog shifted focus from pure fashion to include pop culture and feminism. Soon her ambitions outgrew Style Rookie’s charmingly lo-fi pages, and in 2011, aged 15, she founded the online mag Rookie (which also publishes print yearbooks). It was initially supposed to be a joint venture with Sassy editor Jane Pratt, but Gevinson ultimately decided to go it alone. The mag's unique approach to web publication - monthly themes, with updates at three set times a day - and in-depth, high-quality articles has made it a hit well beyond its age range. Most of its content is written by teenage girls, but it also has guest writers and appearances by celebrities not least on its popular Ask a Grown video advice column, a smart update of a teen mag perennial.
Musically, Rookie's core artists are the likes of Lorde and Taylor Swift, but its interests spread far beyond current pop through interviews, thinkpieces and regular Friday playlists. St. Vincent, meanwhile, offered a lovely tutorial on how to do a rainbow kick.
Renaissance woman Gevinson is now moving into acting at the age of 20, but Rookie is still going strong under her editorship.