Photo Gallery: Guitar World Magazine Covers Through the Years — 1996
Thinking of 1996, only one thing comes to mind: "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls!
Well, maybe not.
In retrospect, 1996 is arguably most memorable for revivals and finales. Kiss kicked off the year with a bang when all four original members appeared on stage in full makeup for the first time in 17 years at the 38th Annual Grammy Awards. The ensuing Alive/Worldwide reunion tour would be the highest-grossing concert tour of the year.
Less than a month later, The Sex Pistols announced they were reuniting for a 20th anniversary tour, which would begin in June.
But while England's punk rock pioneers were regrouping, America's punk icons were playing their swan song. After years of relentless touring, The Ramones played their last gig on August 6 at The Palace in Hollywood. Sadly, there would be no future reunions for the Ramones. Lead singer Joey Ramone died of lymphoma five years later.
Another final performance occurred on July 3 in Kansas City, Missouri. Alice in Chains played their last show with original vocalist Layne Staley while opening for Kiss. Staley would fall into a drug-fueled depression soon after. The singer remained a recluse until his death in 2002.
All of the aforementioned bands -- save, disappointingly, The Ramones -- appeared on Guitar World covers in 1996. Check out the gallery below to see who else found their way onto our pages.
That the Sex Pistols could reunite after 20 years of squabbling gives hope to Smiths and Guns N' Roses fans the world over. Singer Johnny Rotten and guitarist Steve Jones sounded off on the punk rock icons' reunion tour.
Never ones to rest on their laurels, Metallica thought outside the box with 1996's Load. It was a new sound for the world's biggest metal band, but at the time it seemed all anyone could talk about were the band members' new short haircuts.
If the year belonged to any artist, it was Kiss. The Seventies' premier arena band reformed with all four original members and embarked on the highest-grossing tour of the year.
It had been more than two years since Kurt Cobain took his own life, but the late guitarist's legacy lived on. A year prior to his death, Cobain gave a candid interview with noted rock journalist Jon Savage. It hadn't seen the light of day until it was published in this issue of Guitar World.
R.E.M. fans got an inside peek of the pioneering Eighties alternative band, thanks to guitarist Peter Buck, who discussed the group's entire catalog, from Murmur to 1996's New Adventures in Hi-Fi.
Antichrist Superstar propelled Marilyn Manson from flash-in-the-pan shock rocker to goth icon. Along the way he garnered a lot of conservative critics. "It would probably be easier for a lot of the world to swallow the concepts that I deal with if they were to assume that I'm merely a character. But it's very real to me."
If there was one band you couldn't keep down in the Nineties, it was Pantera. The Texas groove metal gods followed up the hugely popular Far Beyond Driven with 1996's equally lauded The Great Southern Trendkill.
As the grunge movement reached its commercial peak, bands like The Presidents of the United States of America found themselves on the dividing line of integrity and sensationalism. Said Presidents guitarist Chris Ballew, "Kim Thayil says there are two different factions in Seattle. One thinks we're an annoying joke, while the other thinks we're a good band ... sort of."
Occasionally --and daringly -- Guitar World will hand interviewing reigns over to a special guest columnist. In this issue, grunge rock wunderkind Billy Corgan sits down and talks with the king of guitar, Eddie Van Halen.
It should have been a match made in heaven, but alas, Dave Navarro's tenure as a Red Hot Chili Pepper only lasted a couple years after this interview with Alan Di Perna. He released one album with the Chili Peppers, 1995's One Hot Minute, which was poorly received by critics despite spawning three hit singles.
The mostly live Stripped kept the Rolling Stones abuzz on the album charts and the radio, thanks in no small part to the band's much-anticipated cover of Bob Dylan's classic "Like a Rolling Stone."
Alice in Chains began 1996 on a high note. Their self-titled album was a runaway success, and the band's performance on MTV's Unplugged series was released as its own album in July and reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200. But the success disintegrated when lead singer Layne Staley succumbed to a debilitating drug addiction later in the year. Alice in Chains went on hiatus until Staley's death in 2002. The group has since reformed with new singer William DuVall.