It was the dawn of a new decade. The excess of the eighties was about to awaken to a sobering musical evolution -- one that detested the indulgent guitarist who'd reigned king for so long.
But it wasn't over yet. The covers of Guitar World were still rampant with the top talent of the day, including Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde and Edward Van Halen. April saw the results of Guitar World's first ever Reader's Poll; in September, Guitar World ran its first special "blues" issue, featuring Jeff Healey on the cover.
Of course, nothing could top July's 10th-anniversary commemoration, with its comprehensive retrospective of the magazine's first decade of publication and a collection of quotes culled from ten years worth of interviews.
For fans of the intricate guitar work that defined the eighties, check out this gallery of covers from 1990. You'll never see so many wildly-colored axes again.