In 1987, Guitar World made the big jump from six issues to eight.
There were plenty of new faces to add to the ever-growing list of Guitar World cover artists (Oddly, the omnipresent Edward Van Halen was missing this year).
While Yngwie Malmsteen ushered in a new year for the second time in a row, the remaining covers featured well-established artists making their first appearances on the front page. Steve Vai & Billy Sheehan, Chris Squire and Trevor Rabin, Andy Summers, Mark Knopfler, The Edge, Joe Perry: All were active and on top of their game in '87. All but one.
In June, Guitar World paid tribute to Randy Rhoads, who died in a plane crash five years before, with the late guitarist's first cover issue. He first appeared within the magazine's pages a short time before his death. Since then, his fixture in the heavy metal community had become solidified, based virtually on just two major-label releases with Ozzy Osbourne, Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman.
In 1987, the live album Tribute was released. It was the only live recording of Rhoads since the Mr. Crowley Live EP. Unlike other fallen artists, Rhoads left behind very little unreleased material, so there was much fanfare over the release of Tribute.
There have since been no new major releases from the Rhoads estate, but Guitar World continues to this day to pay homage -- with the occasional cover story -- to one of the great heavy metal guitarists who redefined the parameters of his instrument in an all-too short career.