MTV's newsstand magazine launched sometime in the mid-nineties, with the aim to give quality music news, reviews and interviews much like every other music magazine you can buy.

But Blah Blah Blah had something extra. Oh, yes.

The designers of the magazine had the substance they needed and got to work on the style. The result; an spine-bound collection of pages that could not only be used to learn about what was going on in the world of popular music but also as a staggering work of art. Fittingly, the design company responsible for such beauty was called Substance. The layout could best be described as 'fucked up' and placed on a parallel with Kyle Cooper's opening titles for Se7en and Dave McKean's work for the Sandman books. According to the opinions of a lot of my friends, it was clearly an acquired taste as far as aesthetics went but for Those Who Knew it was breath-taking to look at. No, really.

This carried on for three issues and then, somehow, the magazine stopped appearing on the shelves of my local newsagent. I asked about it and he said that it wasn't on his list of available magazines that month so it became apparent that, like all genius, Blah Blah Blah was short-lived.

A few months later, looking across the shelves, me and a friend were overjoyed to see the Blah Blah Blah masthead that we had been sadly missing. Quickly picking it up and flicking through the pages was like having a knife pushed into our hearts and slowly twisted. The super-cool design had gone, been downgraded, diluted and replaced with the regular four-columns of copy text and a few pictures school of Quark XPress theory that had been done a million times before. It seemed that the strength of it being an acquired taste in pure beauty was also it's weakness and, once again, the ideas of the mainstream got the vote.

Disheartened, we put the magazine back from whence it came and left the shop, stopping only to buy some cheer-up chocolate. Whether the magazine is still going or not I don't know, although I doubt it. But for me it had always died just after issue three.

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