Hit Parader was an American music magazine that operated between 1942 and 2008. A monthly publication, it was a general popular music title until the 1980s, when its focus turned to the genres of hard rock and heavy metal. The magazine reached its peak during the 1980s as heavy metal music achieved high levels of popularity and commercial success.
|Final issue||December 2008|
|Company||Charlton Publications (1942–91)|
|Based in||Derby, Connecticut|
Hit Parader was launched in 1942 by Charlton Publications, based in Derby, Connecticut. Along with Billboard, Down Beat and Song Hits, it was among the first and longest-lasting American music magazines. Consistent with its title – which referred to the pre-music charts hit parade – Hit Parader began as a popular-song lyric newspaper. It continued to reproduce the words to contemporary songs until that practise became financially prohibitive in the mid 1970s.
For much of the 1960s, Jim Delehant worked as a staff writer and editor for the magazine. According to his recollection, it covered "an extremely boring music scene" before the emergence of rock groups such as the Beatles and the Beach Boys in 1964. In addition to Delehant's contributions, Hit Parader subsequently published articles by music journalists Ellen Sander, Keith Altham and Derek Taylor. Over the following decade, its contributors included Nick Logan, Barbara Charone, Lenny Kaye, Jonh Ingham and Alan Betrock. The magazine's future editor, Andy Secher, joined as a staff writer in 1979; he said in a later interview that the publication "functioned with an amazingly small staff throughout the years" and attributed its longevity to support from the music industry.
During the 1970s, Hit Parader frequently covered rock acts such as Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Elton John, David Bowie, Blue Öyster Cult, the Kinks, Three Dog Night, the Who, Cheap Trick, Kiss, and Van Halen. The magazine typically featured song lyrics, album reviews, interviews, fan mail, bits of trivia on popular rock acts, and readers' polls.
In 1984, the magazine began to focus mainly on the hard rock and heavy metal genres. Over the ensuing decade, it became a leading heavy metal publication, providing extensive coverage of the era's popular acts, including Mötley Crüe, Quiet Riot, Def Leppard, Ratt, and Ozzy Osbourne.
Charlton sold off Hit Parader before the company went under in 1991. Later that year, Guns N' Roses' album Use Your Illusion II included the track "Get in the Ring", which accused the magazine of "printin' lies instead of the things we said" and "rippin' off the fuckin' kids … [and] startin' controversy". The song was written partly in response to a March 1991 cover piece, featuring Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose and Sebastian Bach of Skid Row, in which the magazine declared: "Bas & Axl Interviewed Together For the First Time!" Rather than an exclusive, the interview turned out to be a transcript from a Howard Stern radio-show telephone interview with the two musicians. Rose and Bach both claimed that Hit Parader editor Andy Secher was misleading his readers with such tactics.
Speaking to the music website rockcritics.com in the early 2000s, Secher identified the magazine's target readership as "a young, male demographic … They want short, pithy interviews and features – along with BIG color photos. The formula is fairly basic." He also defended Hit Parader's championing of heavy metal, despite the disapproval the genre attracted from some music critics, saying: "I always sensed that people like Christgau had to justify their existence by promoting the artistic aesthetics of the rock form. I've never taken any of this that seriously. Hit Parader isn't the New York Times … it's a frikkin' fanzine, and proud to be exactly that."
The magazine closed down following the publication of its December 2008 issue. During its years of operation, Hit Parader also published issues dedicated to "Top 100" lists, such as "Top 100 Metal Bands", "Top 100 Guitarists", "Top 100 Vocalists" and "Top 100 Bassists & Drummers".
Aaron Lewis (born April 13, 1972) is an American singer, songwriter and musician who is best known as the lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and founding member of the alternative metal band Staind, with whom he released seven studio albums. He has also enjoyed a successful solo career in country music with his debut EP Town Line, which was released on March 1, 2011 on Stroudavarious Records. Lewis' first full-length solo release, The Road, was released by Blaster Records on November 13, 2012. Lewis released his second studio album Sinner on September 16, 2016. His third studio album State I'm In was released on April 12, 2019.
In 2006, Lewis was ranked at number 49 in the Top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalists by Hit Parader.Andy Secher
Andy Secher, based in New York City, is the long-time editor of Hit Parader, a magazine geared for the heavy metal rock and roll audience. Secher began writing about rock music in college. Soon after graduating, he started a syndicated column that ran in major newspapers, including the New York Daily News and the Sacramento Bee. He began working for Hit Parader in 1979. Secher is one of three rock critics trashed in the Guns N' Roses song, "Get in the Ring".
Secher is also a serious trilobite collector.Ann Wilson
Ann Dustin Wilson (born June 19, 1950) is an American musician, best known as the lead singer and songwriter of the hard rock band Heart. Wilson was listed as one of the "Top Heavy Metal Vocalists of All Time" by Hit Parader magazine in 2006. Wilson has a dramatic soprano vocal range.Badlands (Badlands album)
Badlands is the first studio album by the band of the same name. This album features Ray Gillen and Eric Singer, who previously played together in Black Sabbath. This album also features guitarist Jake E. Lee and bassist Greg Chaisson. Singer later played on Chaisson's solo album It's About Time. The album had sold 400,000 copies by 1990, according to Chaisson, in a Hit Parader interview from that year. The album features at No. 35 of Rolling Stone list of 50 Greatest Hair Metal Albums of All Time.Bon Scott
Ronald Belford "Bon" Scott (9 July 1946 – 19 February 1980) was an Australian singer, songwriter and instrumentalist, best known for being the lead vocalist and lyricist of the Australian hard rock band AC/DC from 1974 until his death in 1980.Scott was born in Forfar, Scotland, and spent his early years in Kirriemuir. He moved to Australia with his family in 1952 at the age of six, living in Melbourne for four years before settling in Fremantle, Western Australia. Scott formed his first band, The Spektors, in 1964 and became the band's drummer and occasional lead vocalist. He performed in several other bands including The Valentines and Fraternity before replacing Dave Evans as the lead singer of AC/DC in 1974.AC/DC's popularity grew throughout the 1970s, initially in Australia, and then internationally. Their 1979 album Highway to Hell reached the top 20 in the United States, and the band seemed on the verge of a commercial breakthrough. However, on 19 February 1980, Scott died after a night out in London. AC/DC briefly considered disbanding, but the group recruited vocalist Brian Johnson of the British glam rock band Geordie. AC/DC's subsequent album, Back in Black, was released only five months later, and was a tribute to Scott. It went on to become the third best-selling album in history.In the July 2004 issue of Classic Rock, Scott was rated as number one in a list of the "100 Greatest Frontmen of All Time". Hit Parader ranked Scott as fifth on their 2006 list of the 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Vocalists of all time.Bret Michaels discography
The discography of Bret Michaels consists of 5 studio albums, 4 compilation albums, 2 EPs and 26 singles.
Bret Michaels first gained fame as the lead vocalist of the glam metal band Poison who have sold over 45 million records worldwide and 15 million records in the United States alone. The band has also charted ten singles to the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100, including six Top 10 singles and the number-one single, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn".Besides his career as lead singer, he has several solo albums to his credit, including the soundtrack album to the movie A Letter from Death Row in which Michaels starred, wrote and directed in 1998, and a classic Poison-style rock album, Songs of Life, in 2003. Michaels has appeared in several movies and TV shows, including as a judge on the talent show Nashville Star which led to his country influenced rock album Freedom of Sound in 2005. He starred in the hit VH1 reality show Rock of Love with Bret Michaels and its sequels, which inspired his successful solo album Rock My World. He was also the winning contestant on NBC's reality show Celebrity Apprentice 3 and also featured in his own reality docu-series Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It, which inspired his highest charting album as a solo artist, Custom Built, reaching No. 1 on Billboard's Hard Rock list. He is also known for hosting on the Travel Channel. In 2006, Hit Parader ranked Michaels at #40 on their list of greatest Heavy metal singers of all-time.Circus (magazine)
Circus was a monthly American magazine devoted to rock music. It was published from 1966 to 2006. In its heyday the magazine had a full-time editorial staff that included some of the biggest names in rock journalism, such as Paul Nelson, Judy Wieder, David Fricke, and Kurt Loder, and rivaled Rolling Stone in sales and surpassed Creem. In 1974, a sister publication was launched, titled Circus Raves, but by 1977 that venture had been abandoned.Gerald Rothberg originally put together the magazine under the name Hullabaloo in 1966 (23 issues), before changing the name to Circus in 1969. Since then he has been the publisher and editor-in-chief of the magazine. In its early years it covered hard rock acts like The Doors and Grand Funk Railroad. Later, Circus began to cater to teenage boys focusing mainly on the popular rock acts of the time. In the late 1970s, the magazine started focusing on pop culture as a weekly in the vein of People Magazine, which caused a drop in sales. The magazine gradually shifted to Heavy Metal acts in the early and mid-1980s, then began focusing coverage on glam metal groups like Bon Jovi and Def Leppard in the mid-to-late 1980s. Until the arrival of grunge, Circus prospered in this style. When grunge did arrive, however, the magazine lost focus and sales again dropped.
As the 1990s progressed, Rothberg changed the longtime design and logo of the magazine, pared the staff down to a bare minimum, and started using stories from freelancers. It was during this period that the magazine was attacked in the Guns n' Roses song "Get in the Ring".
Before the magazine was shut down in May 2006, Circus covered contemporary heavy metal, competing against magazines like Hit Parader.Complete Control
"Complete Control" is a song by The Clash, released as a 7" single and featured on the U.S. release of their debut album.The song is often cited as one of punk's greatest singles and is a fiery polemic on record companies, managers and the state of punk music itself, the motivation for the song being the band's label (CBS Records) releasing "Remote Control" without asking them, which infuriated the group. The song also refers to managers of the time who sought to control their groups–Bernie Rhodes (of The Clash) and Malcolm McLaren (the Sex Pistols)–the song's title is derived from this theme. Joe Strummer said in 1991:
Bernie [Rhodes] had a meeting in The Ship in Soho after the Anarchy Tour. He said he wanted complete control... I came out of the club with Paul [Simonon] collapsing on the pavement in hysterics at those words.
The track also refers to the band's run-ins with the police, their practice of letting fans into gigs through the back door or window for free and a punk idealism seemingly crushed by the corporate reality they had become part of and the betrayal and anger they felt.
This message was scorned by some critics as naïveté on the part of the band – the DJ John Peel was one of those, suggesting that the group must have realised CBS were not 'a foundation for the arts' – while others were strong in their support of the single, for example Jon Savage:
Instead of a piece of cynicism, Complete Control becomes a hymn to Punk autonomy at its moment of eclipse.
The track was recorded at Sarm East Studios in Whitechapel, engineered by Mickey Foote and produced by Lee "Scratch" Perry. Perry had heard the band's cover of his Junior Murvin hit "Police and Thieves" and was moved enough to have put a picture of the band (the only white artist accorded such an honor) on the walls of his Black Ark Studio in Jamaica. When the Clash learned that Perry was in London producing for Bob Marley & the Wailers, he was invited to produce the single. "Scratch" readily agreed.
During the tracking session, some Clash and Perry biographies claim, Perry blew out a studio mixing board attempting to get a deep bass sound out of Paul Simonon's instrument, while a 1979 New Musical Express and Hit Parader article penned by Strummer and Jones stated that Perry had complimented Jones' guitar playing, saying he "played with an iron fist". Perry's contribution to the track, however, was toned down - the band went back and fiddled with the song themselves to bring the guitars out and played down the echo Perry had dropped on it. The song was also Topper Headon's first recording with the band, following the departure of Terry Chimes.
"Complete Control" reached number 28 in the singles chart, making it The Clash's first Top 30 release. In 1999, CBS Records reissued the single with a live version of "Complete Control". In 2004, Rolling Stone rated the song as No. 361 in its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The song is featured as a playable track in the video games Guitar Hero: Aerosmith and Rock Band.Get in the Ring
"Get in the Ring" is the fifth song on the Guns N' Roses album Use Your Illusion II. Written by Axl Rose, Duff McKagan and Slash, it is directed at music critics. Mentioned by name are critics from Hit Parader (Andy Secher), Circus, Kerrang! (Mick Wall) and Spin (Bob Guccione, Jr.).John Cafiero
John Cafiero is an American punk rock musician, film director and film producer. He is best known as the frontman for the punk supergroup Osaka Popstar, whose debut album was released the summer 2006. The full album lineup toured the UK in September 2006, followed by a tour of the United States and Canada with the legendary punk band The Misfits in Fiend Fest '06.Lajon Witherspoon
Lajon Jermaine "LJ" Witherspoon (born October 3, 1972) is an American musician best known as the vocalist for the Atlanta-based alternative metal band Sevendust.
Members from bands such as Staind, Seether, Alter Bridge, and Diecast have listed Witherspoon and Sevendust as musical influences. In March 2008, Witherspoon was recognized in Hit Parader as one of the "Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time." He was ranked number 35, placing over numerous famous rock vocalists such as Bret Michaels, Scott Weiland, and David Bowie.Marc Ferrari
Marc Ferrari (born January 27, 1962) is an American musician, author, entrepreneur and investor.
Marc Ferrari is best known for his work as a guitar player in the 80’s and 90’s rock bands Keel, Cold Sweat, and Medicine Wheel. Keel, recipient of ‘1985’s best new band’ awards from Circus, Hit Parader and Rock Scene magazines was known for its power rock anthem “The Right To Rock” from the album of the same name produced by Gene Simmons of KISS. The band toured extensively with the likes of Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe, Dio, Queensrÿche and others before disbanding in 1989. Ferrari then formed the band Cold Sweat, which released its only major label offering “Break Out” in 1990.In the 1992 feature film Wayne's World, Ferrari appeared as the guitarist of Crucial Taunt, reprising his role in Wayne’s World 2 (1993). He followed these films with various TV appearances including "Murder, She Wrote" and "Step by Step." He also performed as a guest on Pantera's 1988 album, Power Metal, appearing on the track “Proud to Be Loud,” which he wrote. An in-demand writer, he co-authored the track “5 Card Stud” with original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley’s on Frehley’s solo release “Trouble Walking.”
As a film/TV composer and producer, Ferrari was honored by the Academy of Arts and Sciences for his contributions to the 1995-1996 Emmy-Award winning show "Guiding Light," and is a two-time recipient of ASCAP's "Special Writer Award." He is credited in over 125 film and television soundtracks.
In the 1990s Ferrari wrote the column "Power Sources" for Metal Edge Magazine.
In 2002, Ferrari authored the book, Rock Star 101: A Rock Star's Guide to Survival and Success in the Music Business, considered to be one of the most authoritative books on the subject, offering a unique perspective of the Music Business from the viewpoint of a working musician.
In the early 1990s, Ferrari founded MasterSource, a company that produced and licensed original music for television and film soundtracks and other media. Under his leadership, MasterSource became a prominent supplier of pre-cleared songs, source music and production music. The company was acquired by Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) in 2007. Ferrari then worked as a senior executive at UMPG, serving as a division President from 2007 until 2012. Since 2012, Ferrari has continued to produce content for various UMPG production music libraries.In 2017, Ferrari became a published author for the second time with the release of a children's book called "Don’t Dilly Dally, Silly Sally" (Belle Isle Books / ISBN 978-1939930811). The Portsmouth Review praised the book as a "charming tale [that] easily captures the attention of children."Ferrari currently resides in Los Angeles, California where he advises and invests in media and technology startups. He is an active member of the Tech Coast Angels network.Paul Stanley
Paul Stanley (born Stanley Bert Eisen, January 20, 1952), is an American musician, singer, songwriter and painter best known for being the rhythm guitarist and co-lead vocalist of the rock band Kiss. He is the writer or co-writer of many of the band's highest-charting hits. Stanley established The Starchild character for his Kiss persona.
Hit Parader ranked him 18th on their list of Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time. Gibson.com Readers Poll also named him 13th on their list of Top 25 Frontmen.Scooter Ward
Scooter Ward (born Ronald Ward Jr. on May 7, 1970) is an American musician, founding member and lead singer of the Jacksonville, Florida hard rock band, Cold. He has also performed occasional guitar duties both in the studio and live. Before joining Cold he formed and named the band Grundig in 1986. Ward has been ranked in the Top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalists by Hit Parader (number 61).Scott Stapp
Scott Stapp (born Anthony Scott Flippen, August 8, 1973) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. Stapp is best known as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the rock band Creed. He has also fronted the band Art of Anarchy and has released two solo albums: The Great Divide (2005) and Proof of Life (2013).
Stapp has received several accolades, including numerous RIAA certifications. Stapp and Creed bandmate Mark Tremonti won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Song in 2001 as the writers of the Creed song "With Arms Wide Open". In 2006, Hit Parader ranked Stapp as the 68th-greatest heavy metal vocalist of all time.Sully Erna
Salvatore Paul "Sully" Erna Jr. (born February 7, 1968) is the American vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the American heavy metal band Godsmack. He is also a harmonica player, percussionist and pianist, performing these on albums and at live shows. He was ranked 47th in the Top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalists by Hit Parader.Tell Me What You See
"Tell Me What You See" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles that first appeared in 1965 on their album Help! in the United Kingdom and on Beatles VI in the United States. As with all Beatles compositions by either of the two, the song is credited to Lennon–McCartney. Regarding the song's authorship, Paul McCartney said, "I seem to remember it as mine. I would claim it as a 60-40 but it might have been totally me." John Lennon said, in his interviews with Playboy (1980) and Hit Parader (1972), that "Tell Me What You See" was written completely by McCartney.Tom Araya
Tomás Enrique Araya Díaz (Spanish pronunciation: [tom aɾaʝa]; born June 6, 1961) is a Chilean-American musician, best known as the lead vocalist and bassist of the American thrash metal band Slayer. Araya is ranked fifty-eighth by Hit Parader on their list of the 100 Greatest Metal Vocalists of All Time.
Araya was employed as a respiratory therapist in the early 1980s and used his earnings to finance Slayer's debut album Show No Mercy. Much of Araya's lyrical content is about serial killers, a subject he finds interesting; his first credited lyrical contribution was the vampire-themed track "At Dawn They Sleep" from 1985's Hell Awaits.Waldorf Music Hall Records
Waldorf Music Hall Records was a budget record label exclusively sold in Woolworth stores from 1954 to 1959. Waldorf was headed by Enoch Light and based in Harrison, New Jersey. Light's business partners in this venture were Casper Pinsker and Dick Davemos. The business model for Waldorf Music Hall appears to have been inspired by the popularity of the Your Hit Parade television program. In the 1950s it was common to refer to Waldorf Music Hall, and other labels like it, as 'Hit Parader Records.'