50 years on: the ultimate celebration of Led Zeppelin IV - only in Classic Rock

Classic Rock 289
(Image credit: Future)

It’s the album we’re celebrating in this month’s issue; an album that’s celebrating its half-century in 2021; a little record most commonly known as Led Zeppelin IV.

We’ve tried to offer a different insight into the oft-told tale of Zeppelin’s mighty fourth album, with a deep-dive track-by-track, and thoughts and explanations from the band, the engineer, a music professor, rock-star fans and more. We've also included a super special gift of a sheet of 'Write Your Own Led Zep Lyrics' fridge magnets.

Elsewhere in this issue we speak to Billy Gibbons and Blackberry Smoke, get to know Wolfgang Van Halen, lean a lot more about Paul Gilbert, and catch up with German metal legends Helloween. Full contents below. 

The new issue of Classic Rock is on sale now.

Lightning bolt page divider

Cover feature

Led Zeppelin
All that glitters is gold. A 20-page spectacular celebrating Led Zeppelin’s epic fourth album in its golden anniversary year. A complete track-by-track musical breakdown, including stuff you never knew, unpublished thoughts from its late engineer, Geddy Lee on the album’s genius, Jimmy Page on his Stairway solo and so much more.


Billy Gibbons
Art lover, musical explorer, friends in unexpected places, slipper salesman… Behind the beard and sunglasses there’s a different Billy Gibbons from the one most people think they know.

Punk rock renegades who burst onto the Sunset Strip as grunge dawned, they burned brightly and left a trail of thrilling chaos in their wake.

Chris Catalyst
The guitarist tells us about band hopping, mental health, and why he’s allowed to call Ginger Wildheart “a knob”.

Blackberry Smoke
These southern rock road warriors want you to know there’s more to their music and their homeland than dog-eared clichés and ill-fitting stereotypes.

With hatchets buried and differences sorted, the German metallers return with an expanded line-up and one of the best albums of their career.

Wolfgang Van Halen
Following in the footsteps of a famous parent often means forever being in their shadow. Can the son of Edward Van Halen be one of the ones who escapes it? (We think so.)

Classic Rock 289

Classic Rock 289 - out now (Image credit: Future)


The Dirt
We look back at the life and work of the late Jim Steinman, the self-styled ‘Little Richard Wagner Of Rock’; Peter Green, Black Sabbath, AC/DC and Genesis books on the way; Game Of Thrones’ Esmé Bianco suing Marilyn Manson… Welcome back Deap Vally and Pop Evil… Say hello to Arielle and The Damn Truth… Say goodbye to Jim Steinman, Les McKeown, Mike Mitchell, Rusty Young…

The Stories Behind The Songs: Dropkick Murphys
A collision of Celtic punk and beyond-the-grave lyrics, I’m Shipping Up To Boston was the ultimate drinking anthem.

Q&A: Paul Gilbert
The guitar whiz on Mr. Big, experiencing near-Beatlemania in Japan, clean living and coke-head mice.

The Hot List
We look at some essential new rock tracks you need to hear and the artists to have on your radar. This month they include Yola, Prosperina, Kitten Pyramid, The Record Company, Cedric Burnside, Buckcherry, Wolf Alice and more.

New albums from Blackberry Smoke, Paul Weller, Billy Gibbons, Helloween, Paul Gilbert, Monster Magnet, The Black Keys, Peter Frampton, Nancy Wilson… Reissues from Black Sabbath, The Who, Lou Gramm, Clutch, The Yardbirds, Cream, David Bowie, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Patto, Frank Zappa… DVDs, films and books on Lynyrd Skynyrd, Francis Rossi, Dave Grohl, Alice Cooper, Jim Morrison, Bob Dylan… Lockdown live reviews of Iggy Pop, Korn, Weezer, Tame Impala, Big Thief, Ruts DC.

Buyer’s Guide: Meat Loaf
He was at his best when paired with songwriter Jim Steinman (RIP), and their bombastic Wagnerian rock is almost a genre in itself. But there’s more to Meat than just Bat Out Of Hell.

Gig Listings
Find out who’s playing where and when (hopefully!).

The Soundtrack Of My Life: Don Letts
The broadcaster, filmmaker, musician and DJ on the records, artists and gigs that are of lasting significance to him.


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Classic Rock Magazine

Classic Rock is the online home of the world's best rock'n'roll magazine. We bring you breaking news, exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes features, as well as unrivalled access to the biggest names in rock music; from Led Zeppelin to Deep Purple, Guns N’ Roses to the Rolling Stones, AC/DC to the Sex Pistols, and everything in between. Our expert writers bring you the very best on established and emerging bands plus everything you need to know about the mightiest new music releases.