How many times does a freak accident change the course of hard rock history? Not all that often, we’d wager. But had a suspended ceiling in a Swiss casino not caught fire, then Deep Purple’s sixth studio album would have been a very different beast altogether.
I’m referring, of course, to Machine Head, and its signature song Smoke On The Water. In the new issue of Classic Rock we discover the inside story on the making of a true classic, in the band’s own words.
This month also marks the 50th birthday of Led Zeppelin’s fifth album Houses Of The Holy, so we’re celebrating it this issue. We also talk to The Answer, who return with a new album after a long hiatus; we venture behind the scenes of the making of David Bowie’s Let’s Dance album; sit down for a chat with Robert Fripp; we pay tribute to the late, great David Crosby, who passed away just after we’d gone to print with our last issue; and there’s much, much more for you to get stuck into.
Get the new issue of Classic Rock (opens in new tab)
Had Montreux Casino not burned down at the time, there would be no Smoke On The Water. And no Machine Head album as we know it. Read the story of the making of that album, in the band’s own words.
Released in 1973, Led Zeppelin’s fifth album was not without controversy. It also split fans, confused by its range of musical styles and wondering where its Whole Lotta Love or Stairway was. But Houses Of The Holy signposted the way forward for a band now operating at their peak.
Once red-hot property, five years ago The Answer found themselves out in the cold, their very existence in question, after their then-latest album failed to catch fire. Now they’re hoping that with new album Sundowners they’ll soon be bathing in the warm glow of success.
We look back at the life and times of the man who, with The Byrds, CSN, CSN&Y and solo, wrote and recorded some of the unforgettable music that was part of the glittering soundtrack to a golden era.
Ozzy Osbourne announces no more tours; Mick Fleetwood says Fleetwood Mac are “done”; the Journey feud continues – but the band play on. Welcome back Delain, Don Powell and The Hold Steady. Say hello to Hillbilly Vegas and Laura Cox. Say goodbye to Tom Verlaine, Van Conner, Barrett Srong, Anthony ‘Top’ Topham.
The Stories Behind The Songs: Jellyfish
The King Is Half-Undressed: how the paisley underground and a classic fairy tale inspired the West Coast quartet’s catchy first single.
Q&A: Robert Fripp
The King Crimson co-founder on choosing guitar, musical influences, band principles and heartbreaking departures.
Six Things You Need To Know About... Empyre
The new men in black have survived sickly gigs, killed rock giants, made grown men weep.
The Hot List
We look at some of the essential new rock tracks you need to hear and the artists to have on your radar. This month they include Rival Sons, Fantastic Negrito, The Cold Stares, Robert Jon & The Wreck, Crown Lands, The Heavy, Arielle and more.
New albums from Måneskin, Roger Waters, The Answer, In Flames, The Winery Dogs, The Long Ryders, Death Valley Girls, Fantastic Negrito, Gina Birch, Delain. Reissues from Genesis, Mötley Crüe, The Strokes, Motörhead, 10cc, The Auteurs, Bernie Marsden, Ten Years After, Trapeze. DVDs, films and books on Alice Cooper, Nik Turner, Holly Knight, Tears For Fears, Carole King. Live reviews of Black Stone Cherry, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pat Benatar, Rick Wakeman, Dropkick Murphys.
Buyer’s Guide: Queensrÿche
They were pioneers of progressive metal with a trio of great albums, and even after a bitter split made some excellent music.
We preview tours by Steve Hillage and Blackberry Smoke. Plus gig listings – find out who’s playing where and when.
The Soundtrack Of My Life: Steel Panther
Guitarist Satchel 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 (opens in new tab)
* Classic Rock is on sale in the UK in shops such as supermarkets and newsagents (opens in new tab), although delays are possible as stores prioritise the delivery of different lines of stock.
* In North America, Classic Rock is available is branches of Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million, although new issues do not go on sale until a couple of weeks after they're published in The UK.
* An easy option is to go digital. You can subscribe digitally from just £8.50 per quarter (opens in new tab). Individual issues and subscriptions are also from the Apple Store (opens in new tab), Zinio (opens in new tab), Readly (opens in new tab), Press Reader (opens in new tab) and Pocketmags (opens in new tab).
* Save money by buying a physical subscription. UK and overseas subscriptions are available (opens in new tab).