Released today in 1984: 80’s Romance

Stiff BUY200

Stiff BUY200

“This is 80s romance (say it)/text books in our pocket, dirt on our faces/This is 80s romance (what’s it all about?)/some money and our life in our hands,” sang The Belle Stars in 1984, shortly before they themselves went the way of many an 80s romance and split up. (They reduced from seven members to three after this single – Smash Hits cover star Jennie McKeown was not part of the trio – and there was just one more The Belle Stars single, World Domination, in 1986 before they parted ways for good.) In tribute to 80’s Romance, here is If You Were There’s guide to ten marriages which paired Smash Hits cover stars with other well-known personalities during the decade:

Jim Kerr and Chrissie Hynde
Date of marriage: May 5th, 1984.
Children: Yasmin, 1985.
Status: divorced, 1989.
💔 A union of two Smash Hits cover stars no less: Hynde was on the cover of the first issue of Smash Hits to be published in the 1980s, along with the rest of her band Pretenders.

Kirsty MacColl and Steve Lillywhite
Date of marriage: August 18th, 1984.
Children: Jamie, 1985; Louis, 1987.
Status: divorced, 1995.
💔 Lillywhite produced just about everything MacColl recorded from 1984 up to and including Angel (1993), the lead single from her fourth album Titanic Days released here in 1994. He did mix the other tracks featured on it but wasn’t producer; MacColl later called it her “sad divorce album”.

Madonna and Sean Penn
Couples1Date of marriage: August 16th, 1985.
Children: none.
Status: divorced, 1989.
💔 Madonna dedicated her third album, True Blue, to “…my husband, the coolest guy in the universe”. It was all over 18 months later.

Couples2Simon Le Bon and Yasmin Parvanah
Date of marriage: December 27th, 1985.
Children: Amber, 1989; Saffron, 1991; Tallulah, 1994.
Status: still together.
💗 The only couple to be pictured together on the cover of Smash Hits: a cropped version of this photograph was used on the corner of the issue of 29 Jan – 11 Feb 1986 indicating the inclusion of an interview with the recently-married Simon and Yasmin.

Toyah Willcox and Robert Fripp
Date of marriage: May 16th, 1986.
Children: none.
Status: still together.
💗 Willcox married her “soul mate” Fripp, guitarist from progressive rockers King Crimson, on his 40th birthday.

Bob Geldof and Paula Yates
Date of marriage: June 21st, 1986.
Children: Fifi, 1983; Peaches, 1989; Pixie, 1990.
Status: divorced, 1996.
💔 Geldof and Yates first met in the ‘70s and they had been together nearly ten years before their wedding. In 1992, Yates became one of the original presenters on ‘The Big Breakfast’ (a Channel 4 programme produced by Planet 24, co-owned by Geldof). In January 1995, she interviewed another Smash Hits cover star Michael Hutchence on the show, describing him on air as “a guest that I want to have my leg over,” which she in fact quite literally did during an outrageously flirtatious six minutes. By the end of the year, Yates’s marriage was over, she had left ‘The Big Breakfast’ , and she was pregnant with Hutchence’s daughter Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily.

Paul Weller and Dee C Lee
Date of marriage: July 25th, 1987.
Children: Natt, 1988; Leah, 1991.
Status: divorced, 1998.
💔 In the feature, ‘Excuse me, my mate fancies you’ from the 1986 Smash Hits Yearbook, various pop stars were asked their opinion of the attractiveness of their peers. Among them were Weller and Lee, who had this is say about each other: “A nice chick who can hold her drink”; “I like a man who likes a good drink.” A perfect match: they were married within a year of the interview.

Siobhan Fahey and David A Stewart
Date of marriage: August 1st, 1987.
Children: Sam, 1987; Django, 1991.
Status: divorced, 1996.
💔 Another joining of two people who had appeared on the Smash Hits cover: Stewart as part of Eurythmics, and Fahey both as a member of Bananarama and solo when she launched Shakespear’s Sister.

Patsy Kensit and Dan Donovan
Date of marriage: April 30th, 1988.
Children: none.
Status: divorced, 1991.
💔 “Actually my current boyfriend is a pop star – it’s Richard from Living In A Box, but we’ve been going out for eight months before Living In A Box were successful and he’s actually the first musician I’ve been out with,” Kensit told Smash Hits (21 Oct – 3 No 1987), in unprompted denial of newspaper reports of relationships with the like of Nick Heyward and John Taylor. Just six months later she began a side-career as a serial rock wife when she got hitched to Dan Donovan of Big Audio Dynamite. “I can honestly say I’m going to grow old with Dan. I’ll be old and fat with six children,” Kensit told the US magazine People (31 July 1989). It wasn’t to be: in the 1990s she married two fellow Smash Hits cover stars: Jim Kerr (after his divorce from Chrissie Hynde), and then Liam Gallagher (who appeared on the cover in the 1990s) of Oasis.

Martin Kemp and Shirlie Holliman
Date of marriage: November 14th, 1988
Children: Harley, 1989; Roman, 1993.
Status: still together.
💗 Kemp and Holliman (who appeared on the Smash Hits cover herself as half of Pepsi and Shirlie) were introduced to each other by George Michael. “I remember the first date that Shirlie and I ever went on,” Kemp told Piers Morgan on the latter’s ‘Life Stories’ show in January 2014, broadcast shortly after the couple’s 25th wedding anniversary. “George came as chaperone. I spent the whole evening trying to lose him so that me and Shirlie could sneak off somewhere and snog!”

NEW SINGLES on sale from Jun. 18
DEXY’S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS and The EMERALD EXPRESS (Kevin Rowland) Come On Eileen (Mercury DEXYS9)
VISAGE (Steve Strange) Night Train (Polydor POSP441)
The BELLE STARS (Jennie McKeown) 80s Romance (Stiff BUY200)
The HUMAN LEAGUE Life On Your Own (Virgin VS688)


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