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Classic Rock January 2021

Every month Classic Rock is packed with exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes features on rock’s biggest names, from Led Zeppelin to Deep Purple, from Guns N’ Roses to the Rolling Stones, from the Sex Pistols to AC/DC and beyond. Each issue plays host to the heftiest rock reviews section on the planet. In an average issue, you’ll find over 150 albums reviewed, all from the ever-varied, multi-faceted world of rock - whether it’s hard rock or heavy metal, prog or punk, goth rock or southern rock, we’ve got it covered.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
13 Issues

in this issue

1 min

Welcome to the final issue of 2020. What a year it’s been, eh? When I was writing a similar editorial this time 12 months ago there was no way I (or anyone else for that matter!) could have predicted how 2020 would pan out. It’s the understatement of the century to say that it’s thrown everyone for a loop. Over the page we turn the spotlight on that in relation to the world of rock. But the more things change, the more things stay the same (thankfully). So it’s time for our annual look at what went down in rock over the past 12 months – the new albums and songs that got us excited, the reissues that put the spotlight on old favourites, and much more. We caught up with…

1 min
this month’s contributors

MICHAEL HANN Michael has spent most of 2020 interviewing the musicians of the NWOBHM for a forthcoming book. He can now speak at length about homemade pyro disasters, satanic rituals on Stanton Moor, and the time Angel Witch played an East German variety show. This issue he looks back on UFO’s live classic Strangers In The Night (page 64). DAVE STEINFELD Dave has been writing about music for the past 20 years, and has interviewed everyone from Andy Williams to Alice Cooper, from Norah Jones to Ne-Yo, from Patti Smith to Curt Smith. He has written for all the major American radio networks and is on the voting body of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Dave is thrilled to be making his CR debut with a piece on one of his…

7 min
the year that was 2020

We didn’t expect to be writing this. Usually at this end-of-year juncture this spot in the magazine would be filled by a snappy hit-list of major events from the past 12 months, including A-list reunions and notable splits, festival highlights and mega-shows. That didn’t feel quite right this time. Not least because many of the sort of things we’d ordinarily pick out simply didn’t happen. For the first time since Classic Rock’s inception, the rock lover’s diary has looked completely different: No festivals. No tours. None of the face-to-face activity we’d typically take as a given. Instead, ever since we took our laptops home back in March (“Three weeks!” we said. Oh how quaint that seems now), we’ve lived through our screens. A whole new language has evolved: terms such as ‘social…

4 min

James Broad Died October 27, 2020 The lead singer, guitarist and songwriter of UK power-pop band Silver Sun – once described in Classic Rock as “enigmatic, quirky and catchy as a cold” – has lost a battle with bowel cancer. Broad formed the group in London in 1995, and released their self-titled debut two years later. After a long period of hiatus a fifth record, Switzerland, was self-issued during lockdown. He was 50. Paul Travis August 21, 1947 – October 13, 2020 Oldham-born Paul Travis was a guitarist with the melodic hard rockers Liar, who released two albums (Straight From The Hip and Set The World On Fire) in the late 70s and toured with Slade and UFO. He also featured on their previously shelved third record, Sunset Plaza Drive, released belatedly earlier this year.…

8 min
ken hensley

The original keyboard player and second guitarist with Uriah Heep has died unexpectedly at the age of 75 following a short illness. During a ten-year stay, Ken Hensley wrote many of Heep’s signature songs, including Easy Livin’, Lady In Black, Stealin’, Sunrise and Wise Man. In a career that spanned six decades, he also played with The Gods, Toe Fat, Blackfoot, W.A.S.P. and Cinderella, among others, and also had solo projects and his own band Live Fire. He was born Kenneth William David Hensley in the south-east London suburb of Plumstead, and the family moved to Stevenage in Hertfordshire shortly afterwards. He first picked up a guitar at the age of 12. After spells with several prototype groups, he formed The Gods with future Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor in 1965.…

1 min
tears in my eyes

“Uriah Heep toured with us in the 1970s. We were thrilled to have them share the stage with us – a classic British powerhouse with a slew of killer songs and soaring harmonies. Ken was a huge part of their success and a true rock star.”Paul Stanley, Kiss“I was very sorry to hear the news about my friend Ken Hensley. He was a prince of a guy, a great musician and his contribution to the early years of Uriah Heep is immeasurable.”Eric Bloom, Blue Öyster Cult“Ken was more than just a great songwriter. He had the meanest Hammond sound ever! He made that instrument roar like a beast! He wrote so many songs that feel like they’ve become part of my DNA.”Mikael Åkerfeldt, Opeth“Ken was an incredible songwriter, guitarist and…