Photo Gallery: Guitar World Magazine Covers Through the Years — 1995
Music fans were still reeling over the suicide of Kurt Cobain the previous year, but eerily enough, 1995 had its own wake of artists dying by their own hands -- some in rather mysterious circumstances.
In March, Helloween drummer Ingo Schwichtenburg jumped in front of a subway train. A month earlier, former Iron Butterfly bassist Philip Taylor Kramer made a frantic call from LAX airport to police, claiming he was going to kill himself. He disappeared that day; his remains were found four years later.
Then there was Welsh rocker Richey Edwards, who went missing on February 1 and has not been seen since. Only circumstantial evidence suggests Edwards may have taken his own life; regardless, he was "presumed dead" in 2008.
In spite of this morbid trend among rock stars, Guitar World maintained optimism. The magazine celebrated its 15th anniversary in 1995 and hosted a plethora of great cover artists throughout the year, including Neil Young, AC/DC and -- after an unusual absence -- Eddie Van Halen.
Check out the gallery below to see who else appeared front and center in '95. And remember: stay positive!
In 1995 industrial metal was a true force to be reckoned with. Longtime mainstays like Ministry and Skinny Puppy were getting their due, but in large part, the rise of industrial rock music was owed mostly to Nine Inch Nails, whose 1994 album, The Downward Spiral, saw widespread commercial success, thanks to hits like "Hurt" and "Closer."
Before Experience Hendrix LLC was formed, Jimi's father, Al Hendrix, was locked in a bitter legal battle with his lawyer over the rights of his late son's music. The Hendrix family would eventually win the dispute and regain control over the guitar legend's music, but at the time it was a sensational fight over one of the most coveted catalogs in all of rock and roll.
Soul Asylum's 1992 album, Grave Dancers Union, made the band critical and commercial darlings. An earnest follow-up, Let Your Dim Light Shine, was set for release when the group sat down for this interview with Tom Beaujour, but it failed to match the previous album's success.
Neil Young was flying high in 1995 with Mirror Ball, which featured the radio-ready rock hit "Downtown." No doubt Young's resurgent popularity was due in part thanks to Pearl Jam, who guest appeared on Mirror Ball.
Guitar World got its one and only cover story with The Boss in 1995. It was Bruce Springsteen's most visible year in the Nineties as he had temporarily re-organized The E Street Band for new recordings on his Greatest Hits album and released his second acoustic record, The Ghost of Tom Joad. Winning an Oscar for Best Original Song the previous year didn't hurt, either.
It had been five years since the Brothers Young had turned out an album's worth of bluesy rock gems. But whereas 1990's The Razor's Edge had a fair share of polish -- relative to AC/DC's gritty standards -- 1995's Ball Breaker was a more ragged affair and a return to the band's late-Seventies form.
With grunge rock at its apex, it was an appropriate time for the genre to experience its definitive double album. It was given to fans in the form of the Smashing Pumpkins' Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. The title pretty much sums up the tenor of the musical times.
In our 15th Anniversary celebration issue, GW compiled a collection of its greatest interview, lessons and lists. But perhaps Editor-in-Chief Brad Tolinski said it best: "In our own twisted way, we actually enjoy trying to please every last reader -- even the psychopathic bastard who mailed us a paper mache replica of Dimebag Darrell's head last month."
Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready had seen the spoils of success, thanks to hit albums such as Vs. and Vitalogy. Unfortunately the band's rapid success took its toll on the guitarist and here McCready opens up to Guitar World's Jeff Gilbert about his battles with substance abuse.
The tragic and enigmatic frontman for Nirvana was still a dominant force in the world of grunge, even almost a year after his death. One of Kurt Cobain's last televised performances -- Nirvana's legendary appearance on MTV's Unplugged -- was released as an album in November of '94. In this issue, GW gave readers the inside story on Nirvana's great swan song.
The electric guitar king abandoned his typically jovial grin and offered a more serious demeanor in his interview with Tom Beaujour. Among the heavy topics on Ed's mind was drinking. "God gives everyone a bottle when they're born, and they have to make it last a lifetime. Well, I drank mine too quickly, so I just can't drink anymore."
It was apropos that Guitar World kicked off 1995 with a tribute to classic punk. Thanks to upstarts like Rancid, The Offspring and Green Day, punk was experiencing a revival. Tracing back to the genre's roots, a reminiscent Steve Jones said, "It came and went, but it made a dent. Hey, that's a good line, that!"