Saturday, 28 March 2015

Loaded - The End of an Era

Today brings the news that Loaded, the seminal lads mag founded in 1994, is to close with this week's edition - featuring, quite fittingly, 90s figureheads Noel Gallagher and Irvine Welsh - being its last.

The brain child of Mick Bunnage, Tim Southwell, former NME deputy editor James Brown, Loaded magazine first hit the newsagents twenty-one years ago and quickly represented, shaped and informed the 90s, capturing the burgeoning 'lads culture' after the 80s trend for the 'new man' began to fade. Taking it's name from the Primal Scream song of the same name, Loaded was said to appeal to 50% Sun readers and 50% Guardian readers and delivered a diet of football, alcohol, music and - to use the 90s phrase - 'totty', along with a dash of Viz style humour, to attract a six figure readership. Its success was emulated but seldom bettered, via the likes of FHM, Maxim and in later years, the frankly insulting Nuts and Zoo.

In the last few years however the writing has been on the wall for Loaded with circulation routinely dropping and the magazine going through several changes in ownership as online alternatives have come to the fore.

It's sad, but let's remember how, for much of the 1990s, Loaded represented a generation, for better or worse.

The following somewhat iconic covers will show just how much historical cultural significance these back issues have and will continue to have.

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