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Classic Rock Issue 316 (Summer 2023) Queen

Classic Rock Issue 316 (Summer 2023) Queen

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Classic Rock Issue 316 (Summer 2023) Queen: The Difficult Debut Album

A royal birth: the real story of Queen's first album

Also in this issue: Tina Turner, Star Fleet Project, Scorpions, Billy Gibbons, Geezer Butler, Drive-By Truckers, Vintage Trouble, The Alarm, Luke Morley, Buckcherry and more

There comes a point in every Hollywood superhero tale when it’s time to tell their origin story: how did Batman come to be? How did Spider-Man’s odyssey begin? Well, this month it’s the turn of those rock superheroes Queen.

To coincide with the 50th anniversary of the release of their debut album Queen, we trace the route (involving the No.9 bus, no less) that Brian May, Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor and John Deacon took to begin to make their mark on the world and bring that first record to fruition.

And while we’re talking Queen, we also talked to Brian May about his collaboration with Eddie Van Halen on the Star Fleet Project album, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

During the making this issue, the sad news of the death of Tina Turner broke. We take a look at her amazing life and incredible contribution she made to the music we love. She was an absolute force of nature who will be sorely missed.


Queen - One minute they were taking the bus and watching their Top Of The Pops performance in a shop window, the next they had the world at their feet. With Queen’s debut album turning 50 this year, we look at the birth of the band that went from stars in their eyes and fierce ambition to rock royalty.

Tina Turner - From a cotton-picking child, through years of physical abuse at the hands of her husband, her talent and determination saw her rise to become one of the greatest ever music stars, the Queen Of Rock’N’Roll, simply the best.

Star Fleet Project - A forgotten curio from 1983, the Star Fleet Project saw a supergroup come together with members of Queen, Van Halen and REO Speedwagon. Brian May reminisces about working with EVH and tells us the story.

Yes - With the deaths of two key members, a rival band, and fans who just won’t let the old days go, the past 10 years have been a roller-coaster ride for Yes. But with the release of a new album, Mirror To The Sky, the enduring prog legends are not about to give up.

Vintage Trouble - They’ve been off the radar for a while, but Vintage Trouble have returned with new album Heavy Hymnals, and this time their blazing rock’n’soul is fuelled by heartbreak, social commentary and racial injustice. Just don’t call it a comeback.

Luke Morley - Thunder guitarist Luke Morley on his new solo album, singer Danny Bowes’ illness and rehabilitation, fans’ generosity, and feeling old when hearing his songs being covered.

Scorpions - In 2012 the Scorpions announced their retirement. A decade later, they’re still with us. Classic Rock caught up with the core members to look back at the life and times of one of hard rock’s great and most enduring bands.


The Dirt - Rumours suggest Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson might work together again next year; were Nikki Sixx’s bass parts secretly replaced on early Mötley Crüe albums? Welcome back Alcatraz, The Lemon Twigs and The Defiants; Say hello to Empire State Bastard and Ashley Sherlock; Say goodbye to Tina Turner, Pete Brown, Francis Monkman, Algy Ward.

The Classic Rock Interview: Geezer Butler - He went from the suburbs of Birmingham to performing on the world’s biggest stages, helping invent heavy metal along the way. The Black Sabbath bassist/lyricist looks back on more than 50 years of defecating singers, setting drummers on fire, intra-band bust-ups and a lifelong struggle with depression.

Q&A: Mike Peters - The Alarm leader on when the drugs don’t work, thinking he might never sing again, the new album, and the state of rock.

Six Things You Need To Know About… The Revivalists - The New Orleans octet on how to deal with a mega-hit, and giving something back to their community.

Buyers Guide: Drive-By Truckers - Their blend of southern rock, country, classic rock and more has poured into some albums that you really should hear.

Reviews - New albums from Queens Of The Stone Age, Ghost, The Who, Gov’t Mule, The Dust Coda, Ayron Jones, Steve Lukather, Tommy Stinson’s Cowboys In The Campfire, Raven, Royal Thunder, Swans. Reissues from Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Gary Moore, Brian May + Friends, Drive-By Truckers, Rory Gallagher, Sabbat, Ratt, Eric Clapton, Frank Zappa, John Mayall, Grateful Dead. DVDs, films and books on Geezer Butler, Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd, Genesis, David Paton, Siouxsie And The Banshees. Live reviews of Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, Peter Gabriel, Jeff Beck tribute concert, Sparks, Bruce Springsteen.

Live - We preview tours by Billy F Gibbons, The Tubes and The White Buffalo. Plus gig listings – who’s playing where and when.

The Soundtrack Of My Life: Josh Todd - The Buckcherry frontman on the records, artists and gigs that are of lasting significance to him.

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