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Too young to buy?

The most successful rock and pop bands are no longer discovered playing in dingy pubs, they are created by agents and producers. And their target market is often children as young as five

By Jay Rayner   October 1999

For the cover of Top of the Pops magazine’s December issue in 1996, the editor, Peter Loraine, chose a photograph of five girls pictured piling into the frame, eyes wide, grinning madly. They were members of an all-girl band which was making some headway in the charts. Loraine thought that it was a good cover, just right for the teenage market that his magazine-a spin-off from the BBC television chart show-tried to serve. And yet while he knew it fitted the bill, he didn’t consider it anything special.

Today, he calls that cover his “Spice Girls Christmas present.” “Suddenly we…

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