How Metallica's Black Album changed the world: only in the new issue of Classic Rock

The cover of Classic Rock 292
(Image credit: Future)

By 1991, Metallica were a big fish in a relatively small pond. Then that summer they released the album Metallica, swiftly to be known as The Black Album. A multimillion-selling, game-changing monster, it sold far wider than to just the metal masses, and within months the band were catapulted into the super-league. 

Thirty years on, we tell its story.

The new issue of Classic Rock is on sale now (opens in new tab).



Crown Lands: With plenty of current and historical things in their native Canada to fuel their fire and ire, their music wraps punk spirit in a luxury prog package that “draws a lot from Genesis and Yes and Rush”.

Janis Joplin: In our exclusive extract and images from her fascinating scrapbook, bandmates, friends and family talk about that voice, her band Big Brother & The Holding Company, and the largely unseen Janis behind the public persona.

Danko Jones: Plunged into anxiety hell by COVID-19, their dreams of rock stardom never seemed more impossible. Fortunately, new album Power Trio brings the band roaring back to life.

The Byson Family: After quitting the Temperance Movement under a cloud, their former vocalist Phil Campbell says his new band is his rebirth.

David Crosby: Drugs can be dangerous. Don’t believe the hype. Global warming is real. America might be doomed. Life is short. Love works. Racists are stupid. These are just some of the things that shape his world view.

Manic Street Preachers: With COVID still taking lives, and the band having have undergone their fair share of emotional upheaval recently, it’s little wonder their new album has its melancholic side.

KK Downing: After more than 40 years with Judas Priest, the guitarist is loving life with his own band, but still harbours grudges about his departure, and disappointment that he wasn’t allowed back.

The Stranglers: Forty-four years on from their first hit and almost 10 since their last album, they’ve weathered storms and return with a new record dedicated to their late keyboard player.

Classic Rock 292

(Image credit: Future)
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The Dirt: New albums from Iron Maiden and Yes; Ronnie Wood, Rod Stewart and Kenney Jones recording first new material as Faces since 1973; How Maiden’s Adrian Smith nearly joined Def Leppard… Welcome back Medecine Head… Say hello to The Dead Deads and Cardinal Black… Say goodbye to Dusty Hill, Robby Steinhardt, John Lawton and Joey Jordison.

Q&A: Brian Setzer
The Stray Cats guitarist and big-band leader on “sexy” rockabilly, quiffs, moving to the UK, and being a heartthrob.

Six Things You Need To Know About… Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real
The country-rockers on close encounters with marine life, backing Neil Young and continuing a family tradition.

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 Samantha Fish, The Record Company, The Wildhearts, The Hot Damn!, Mother Vulture, Gorilla Riot and more.

New albums from The Wildhearts, KK’s Priest, Manic Street Preachers, Ronnie Wood, Steve Hackett, The Stranglers, Bernie Marsden, Alabama 3, Danko Jones, Neal Morse Band, Robben Ford… Reissues from Metallica, Rory Gallagher, Leslie West, Be-Bop Deluxe, Van Der Graaf Generator, Black Francis, Nightwish, Eric Clapton… DVDs, films and books on Led Zeppelin, Ronnie Dio, Genesis, Rainbow, Bob Dylan, Marianne Faithfull… Lockdown live reviews of Anthrax, The Darkness, Wildhearts, Kris Barras Band, Those Damn Crowes, Uriah Heep, Ronnie Dio Benefit Concert, Within Temptation, Mastadon.

Buyer’s Guide: Mutt Lange productions
His production technique might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but he has overseen classic albums by AC/DC, Def Leppard, Foreigner, The Cars and more.

Back To Live
With gigs and festivals taking place again, we talk to Saxon frontman Biff Byford, promoter and events co-ordinator Brett Hall and music events transport company Vans For Bands’ Tarrant Anderson. Plus full gig listings – find out who’s playing where and when.

The Soundtrack Of My Life: Bernie Marsden
The well-travelled guitarist/vocalist 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.