The albums! The bands! The stories! The new issue of Classic Rock is the ultimate celebration of the 1980s

Classic Rock - The 80s issue logo
(Image credit: Future)

This month we are wallowing in some neon-tinged nostalgia, celebrating that oh-so-garish and oh-so-wonderful of decades, the 1980s – a time of change, a time of new technology, a time of new scenes, new bands and, frankly, some amazing music. 

We look at the decade’s defining albums, revisit some of the scenes and movements, and talk to various artists who lived to tell the tale, including Iron Maiden, Girlschool, Alice Cooper, Tigertailz, Thor and J Mascis. And, of course, we spend some time exploring Sunset Strip.

Turn back the clock: Get the new issue of Classic Rock.



The Albums That Built The 80s
Rock, hard rock, heavy metal, big rock, stadium rock, alt.rock, AOR, punk, goth, grebo, NWOBHM, pop-rock, rap-rock and more… The 80s was the decade that had it all. 

When Iron Maiden hit the road in Europe to see if the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal could survive outside the UK. 

Two of the band look at what it was like for women in rock when they began, and today.

Alice Cooper
Seemingly washed up at the beginning of the 80s, before the decade was over he was back in the game – and the charts.

The Prog Revival
By the end of the 70s they thought it was all over. And few would have bet on prog rock ever coming back. But it did.

The Sunset Strip
Bands flocked to LA to join its burgeoning ‘hair-metal’ scene seeking fame, fun and fortune. Some made it big. Most didn’t.

Stadium Rock
With Live Aid and huge tours by Metallica, Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen and Ozzy Osbourne, the 80s was a decade of OTT mega-shows. Here are just some that blew our minds.

The Welsh band’s Sunset Strip dreams remained just dreams. But four decades on, they’re still here, older and a lot wiser.

Jon Mikl Thor
Linking Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lemmy and exploding hot water bottles, he was a cult metal stars of the 70s and 80s.

Dinosaur Jr.
For J Mascis, the 80s was a time of noisy punk and alt.rock, paving the way for what would explode that scene: the 90s.

My 80s Mixtape
Lzzy Hale, Neil Fallon and Phil Collen pick their favourite tracks from the decade that gave musicians permission to be bigger and louder than ever before.

The cover of Classic Rock 318

(Image credit: Future)


The Dirt
Eagles confirm farewell tour; Ozzy Osbourne delays his stage comeback; Roger Waters releases his The Dark Side Of The Moon reboot in October; Welcome back The Guess Who, Oli Brown and Vega; Say hello to Tempt and The Bites; Say goodbye to Sinead O’Connor, Mo Foster, Randy Meisner.

The Stories Behind The Songs: Europe
Rock The Night proved that there was more gold in the band’s catalogue than just monster hit single The Final Countdown.

Q&A: Duane Betts
The Allman Betts Band guitarist/singer and also solo artist on his debut album, a famous dad and the term ‘southern rock’.

New albums from Alice Cooper, The Hives, Public Image Ltd, Slipknot, Starbenders, Dirty Stranger, Vandenberg, Neal Morse, Big Big Train, Osees; Reissues from Aerosmith, Steely Dan, Status Quo, Oliver/Dawson Saxon, Primal Scream, Supergrass, Melvins, Magnum, Big Country; DVDs, films and books on John Wetton, David Bowie, R.E.M., Johnny Thunders, B-52’s; Live reviews of Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden, Billy Gibbons, Bruce Springsteen, Dead And Company, Neil Young.

We preview tours by Graham Nash, Blue Öyster Cult and Vandenberg. Plus gig listings – who’s playing where and when.

The Soundtrack Of My Life: Pelle Almqvist
The Hives frontman on the records, artists and gigs that are of lasting significance to him


* Copies of the new issue of Classic Rock can be purchased online from Magazines Direct

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Siân Llewellyn
Classic Rock, Editor

Classic Rock editor Siân has worked on the magazine for longer than she cares to discuss, and prior to that was deputy editor of Total Guitar. During that time, she’s had the chance to interview artists such as Brian May, Slash, Jeff Beck, James Hetfield, Sammy Hagar, Alice Cooper, Manic Street Preachers and countless more. She has hosted The Classic Rock Magazine Show on both TotalRock and TeamRock radio, contributed to CR’s The 20 Million Club podcast and has also had bylines in Metal Hammer, Guitarist, Total Film, Cult TV and more. When not listening to, playing, thinking or writing about music, she can be found getting increasingly more depressed about the state of the Welsh national rugby team and her beloved Pittsburgh Steelers.