The 100 most influential guitarists ever: only in Classic Rock, on sale now

Classic Rock issue 287
(Image credit: Future)

Where would rock’n’roll be without guitarists, eh? Answer: nowhere – because there’d be no flippin’ rock’n’roll. 

This month we take a look at some of the sonic architects without whom the musical landscape would look (and sound) a helluva lot different. Join us in our deep dive celebrating many of the players who don’t always get the love and attention they deserve.

Also in this issue: a digital download album, a downloadable eBook, an official Gary Moore plectrum and a set of stickers (more details below). 

The new issue of Classic Rock is on sale now.

Lightning bolt page divider

Cover feature

The 100 Most Influential Guitar Heroes
We look beyond just the ‘usual supects’ who top polls, and bring you the guitarists who really made a difference, plus some relatively new kids on the six-string block. Including…

Tosin Abasi
Anyone who thinks there’s nothing new left to be done on guitar, watch this space.

Joni Mitchell
Her mostly open-tunings one-of-a-kind guitar playing occupies a field of its own.

Gary Clark Jr
His Grammy-winning combination of guitar playing, music and lyrics has fast-tracked him to its top table.

Terry Kath
If Hendrix said the Chicago guitarist was the best, who are we to argue?

Rory Gallagher
He was in it for just one thing – the music. And when this Irish wizard played it, he was one of the greatest.

Hank Marvin
Brian May on the profound influence the underrated Shadows leader and prototype guitar hero.

Mick Ronson
A reluctant rock star, the quiet genius who just wanted to play music the way it was meant to be played


Sylvain Sylvain
He had the look, the attitude, the talent, the desire, and he reckoned his band the New York Dolls, not the Stones, could have been the Greatest Rock’n’Roll Band In The World.

Todd Rundgren
A wizard? A true star? We revisit the case for the singer, songwriter, producer’s guitar genius.

Nancy Wilson
One of the few high-profile female guitarists, the heart of Heart inspires others to fight for their right.

Steve Cropper
If you’ve ever heard anything on the Stax Records label, then you’ve heard his masterful guitar playing.

Gary Moore
A gifted guitarist who could turn his hand to any style of music, “he never really got the acclaim”.

Greta Van Fleet
With a new album about to give them a boost, the only way is up as they reach for the stars.

Cheap Trick
Deep into their fifth decade of existence, they’re enjoying a late-career surge of creativity.

The Treatment
Shedding band members but swaggering on, they’re betting on an upturn in fortunes with their new fifth album.

Royal Blood
The hard-hitting turbo-duo return with their most danceable, most feel-good album yet – and one member’s new sobriety.

While their return will be a delight for AOR fans, it’s also likely to see the return of a 40-year-old story with a sting in the tail.

Classic Rock 287

(Image credit: Future)

What else comes with my magazine?

Digital Download album: It’s A Six-String Thing
All this talk of guitarists got you hankering for some hot six-string action? We’ve teamed up with the good people at Mascot Records to bring you this exclusive compilation of some of the very best, including Steve Lukather, Joe Bonamassa, Walter Trout, Steve Cropper,Robby Krieger and more.

Downloadable eBook: Guitar Gods
30 years of classic interviews, including BB King, Gary Moore, Mark Knopfler, Jimmy Page, Brian May, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Slash, Pete Townshend, Angus Young and more, plus a gallery of historic guitars and a series of audio lessons.

And that's not all
Classic Rock 287 comes with an official Gary Moore plectrum to mark the upcoming How Blue Can You Get album, plus a guitar-themed sticker set.


The Dirt
Rock rules the Top 20 again – guitar music back with a bang; Mick Fleetwood plans farewell Mac tour; Download 2021 among new cancellations; Ronnie Dio autobiography finally about to be published; David Gilmour insists he “absolutely” doesn’t want to play with Pink Floyd again… Welcome back The Offspring, Chris Holmes and Dropkick Murphys… Say hello to Jacob Bryant and Levara… Say goodbye to Chick Corea, Bunny Wailer, LG Petrov, Chris Barber…

Q&A: Michael Schenker
The influential guitarist on immortality, alcoholism and why he’ll never make peace with elder brother Scorpion Rudolf.

Six Things You Need To Know About… The Dust Coda
They all like AC/DC, they’re not always on 11, they spent lockdown getting a record deal, they’ve played some unusual gigs, they rock hard, but have a soft side too…

New albums from Greta Van Fleet, Chris Cornell, Neil Young, Saxon, Cheap Trick, The Dust Coda, Paul Stanley’s Soul Station, Suzi Quatro, The Treatment, Blackmore’s Night… Reissues from The Allman Brothers, The Almighty, L7, Steve Harley, Dire Straits, Georgia Satellites, Jon Anderson, Gang Of Four, Joe Strummer… DVDs, films and books on The Who, Steve Marriott, Kiss, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith… Lockdown live reviews of Todd Rundgren, Crowbar, Jimmy Eat World…

Gig Listings
Find out who’s playing where and when.

The SoundtrackOf My Life: Suzi Quatro
The glam-rock icon on the records, artists and gigs that are of lasting significance to her.


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

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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.