Classic Rock is a British magazine dedicated to rock music, published
by Future PLC, who are also responsible for its "sister" publications
Metal Hammer and Prog magazine. Although firmly focusing on key bands
from the 1960s through early 1990s, it also includes articles and
reviews of contemporary and upcoming artists it deems worthy of note.
Despite starting as an on-off project it became one of the UK's best
selling music magazines. In September 2010 it published its 150th
issue and now has a higher circulation than the NME.
Former owner TeamRock bought Metal Hammer, Prog and Classic Rock from
Future PLC in 2013. On 19 December 2016, TeamRock called in the
administrators with the loss of 73 jobs, after experiencing financial
difficulties, and suspended publication of all three titles. On 8
January 2017, Classic Rock, along with sister magazines Metal Hammer
and Prog, were bought by previous owners Future Publishing for
£800,000, and resumed publishing.
1 Key acts
2 Contemporary acts
3 '100 Greatest British Rock Albums Ever'
4 Landmark issues
6 Roll of Honour Awards
7 Notable contributors
9 External links
The magazine focuses on established bands with credentials dating back
to the 1960s. Indeed, many of the artists who have appeared on its
cover are deceased (
Jimi Hendrix and
Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy
featured on early covers, as did bands with deceased members such as
Queen and The Who).
Acts to have appeared on the front cover three times or more to date
include Queen, Guns N' Roses,
Black Sabbath / Ozzy Osbourne, Bon Jovi,
Iron Maiden, Aerosmith,
Led Zeppelin (
Jimmy Page has been on the cover
on his own right at least 4 times), Metallica, Thin Lizzy, Pink Floyd,
Jimi Hendrix, Genesis, AC/DC, and Mötley Crüe. More recent acts to
have been on the cover include The Darkness and
Velvet Revolver have
been on it twice.
Despite the dominating nature of acts undeniably falling into the
category of classic rock, the magazine also includes heavy metal,
progressive rock, blues and grunge acts.
Classic Rock reviews any release that even comes close to being
classified as rock, including albums, DVDs, concerts and books. It
includes an annual award for best new band. Acts such as Rose Hill
Drive, Muse, DragonForce, The Trews,
Wolfmother and The Answer have
all been featured.
'100 Greatest British Rock Albums Ever'
For the 91st issue (in April 2006), the magazine presented 'The 100
Greatest British Rock Albums Ever', which were voted for by Classic
Rock staff and various people associated with rock music (including
Glenn Hughes of
Deep Purple and
Black Sabbath fame,
Francis Rossi of Status Quo). The magazine decided to
AC/DC be classed as a British act, although the band was formed in
Australia. All of the band's singers (Dave Evans,
Bon Scott and Brian
Johnson) and guitarists Angus and
Malcolm Young are of UK descent. Led
Led Zeppelin IV reached first place.
The 100th issue contained all the regular features, but only one
article, in which 100 names in rock were asked to write a piece on
their nomination for a "rock icon". Contributors included Brian May,
Lemmy (who nominated Tina Turner, and was then himself nominated by
Ian Camfield), Ian Gillan, Gary Moore, Angus Young, Phil Collins,
Sebastian Bach, Peter Frampton, Jerry Cantrell, Chris Cornell, Paul
Rodgers, Chad Smith, Jack Black,
Zakk Wylde and Matt Bellamy.
The 200th issue contained short interviews with 200 different rock
artists, including Black Sabbath,
Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, Lars
Ulrich of Metallica, and
Thijs van Leer
Thijs van Leer of Focus.
Classic Rock has also published, in conjunction with Metal Hammer,
special decade issues featuring 1970s (Issue I), 1980s (Issue II), and
1990s (Issue III) hard rock and metal bands, throughout 2006. In 2007,
three special editions were also published with bonus DVDs for £7.50.
These each focussed on one genre of rock music - first blues rock
(Issue I), then progressive rock (Issue II which has now become a bi
monthly magazine due to the popularity), and finally, heavy metal
(Issue III). A special 2007 collectors edition bookazine was produced
entitled "High Voltage", featuring stories by
Mick Wall and
Ross Halfin on Jimmy Page, Ozzy Osbourne, and Axl Rose.
In 2010, Classic Rock partnered with Road Runner Record UK to publish
the Classic Rock Presents: Slash. Believed to be the first magazine
publisher to top an online album chart, the pioneering “Fan Pack”
release gives fans in Europe Slash’s debut solo album, one month
before it receives a standard release with a full 132 page magazine
about Slash. The partnership marks the first-time a major album has
been released exclusively with a magazine publisher, ahead of general
Roll of Honour Awards
Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards are an annual awards program
established in 2004. Winners of the awards are chosen by the awards
team and voted on by readers of the magazine. Winners are announced at
an annual awards show and featured in the magazine.
^ "Mag ABCs: 137 out 516 consumer mags put on circ year on year, full
breakdown". Press Gazette. 14 February 2013.
^ John Plunkett (11 February 2010). "Mojo overtakes Q as top-selling
music magazine". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
^ John Plunkett. "Ex-GMG Radio chief's venture buys Future Publishing
titles in £10.2m deal". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
^ "Jobs lost as rock music media firm Team Rock collapses". BBC
Business. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
^ "No need to fret:
Metal Hammer magazine saved from closure".
Retrieved 8 January 2017.