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.
|Editor||Editor: Siân Llewellyn
Art Editor: Darrel Mayhew
Production Editor: Paul Henderson
Reviews Editor: Ian Fortnam
Features Editor: Polly Glass
Online Editor: Fraser Lewry
News/Live Editor: Dave Ling
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.
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.
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, Lemmy of Motörhead and Francis Rossi of Status Quo). The magazine decided to let 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 Zeppelin's 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.
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 photographs by 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 release.
The 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.