Photo Gallery: Guitar World Magazine Covers Through the Years — 1998
There's little doubt as to who owned the covers of Guitar World in 1998. With a new singer and a new album and a No. 1 song on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks, Van Halen was once again standing on top of the world.
Guitar fans were particularly ecstatic over Ed's return, and the legendary guitarist made a total of four Guitar World cover appearances in '98 (Check out this photo gallery of all the Eddie Van Halen Guitar World covers throughout the years).
But sadly, the euphoria was shortl-ived. Van Halen III, the first and last album to feature Extreme vocalist Gary Cherone, failed to match the impact of either the David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar eras. It would be Van Halen's last studio album to date -- though excitement is spreading over word of a new VH album for 2012 featuring Roth on vocals.
But there was much more than just Van Halen happening in 1998. "Hit me baby one more time," anyone?
Jocularity aside, here are the covers of 1998, with Edward and company.
GW started the year with a one-two hard rock combination featuring an Angus Young interview and Led Zeppelin cover story. AC/DC was paying tribute to its departed singer, Bon Scott, with the box set, Bonfire, and Zeppelin had just released The BBC Sessions, their first release of live material in more than 20 years.
Van Halen might have dominated the covers in '98, but it was one of Eddie's disciples who took home the title of Best Hard Rock/Metal Guitarist. The Readers Poll winner was none other than Dimebag Darrell. Pantera hadn't released a studio album since 1996's Great Southern Trendkill. Dime won on pure ass-kickery.
In what might have been his coolest cover photo ever -- who doesn't want that T-shirt? -- Eddie Van Halen used the March issue to discuss Van Halen III, the first and only album to feature Van Halen's third singer, Gary Cherone.
Much was expected of 1998. In our February issue, Metallica, Van Halen, Jeff Beck and Kiss, among others, gave a sneak peak of their upcoming projects and plans for the year.
When Pilgrim hit shelves on March 10, It had been almost 10 years since Eric Clapton released his last album of original material. Fans were eager for the return of Slowhand, as was evident by Pilgrim's respectable No. 4 peak on the Billboard 200.
The rock world was abuzz over Walking into Clarksdale, Jimmy Page's collaboration with former Led Zeppelin bandmate Robert Plant. The single "Most High" won Page and Plant a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance.
When you're at the top, there's nowhere to go but down. The Smashing Pumkins had reached the alternative apex with Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, so ringleader Billy Corgan forged a new path with the band's fourth album, Adore.
Ozzy Osbourne has never been one to mince words. In this interview, heavy metal's prince of darkness reflected on the origins of Black Sabbath. "The whole hippie thing was still happening around that time, and for us, that was bullshit. We lived in a dreary, polluted, dismal town in Birmingham, England, and we were angry about it -- and that was reflected in our music."
In one of, if not the, most popular lists ever presented in Guitar World, we asked readers to write in -- this was 1998, remember -- their votes for the greatest guitar solos of all time. The top five were "Stairway to Heaven," "Eruption," "Free Bird," "Comfortably Numb" and Hendrix's "All Along the Watchtower."
Psycho Circus was the original Kiss lineup's first album in more than 18 years, though the contributions of guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss were minimal. The album would prove to be the beginning of the end for the band's reunion.
Along with co-guitarist Zim Zum, Twiggy Ramirez helped Marilyn Manson branch out into glam rock on the concept album Mechanical Animals.
Garage, Inc. was on its way down the pipe. James Hetfield and Kirk Hammet gave Guitar World an inside look at the making of their covers/compilation LP.