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Hit Parader was an American music magazine focusing on the genres of hard rock and heavy metal. The monthly publication reached its peak in the 1980s as heavy metal music achieved high levels of popularity and commercial success.
The magazine was originally started as a pop song lyric magazine by Charlton Publications in 1942. Charlton sold off the magazine before the company went under in 1991.
The magazine is mentioned in the Guns N' Roses song "Get in the Ring", where it is criticized for "printin' lies instead of the things we (Guns N' Roses) said" and "rippin' off the fuckin' kids while they be paying their hard earned money to read about the bands they wanna know about, printin' lies, startin' controversy." The song came in response to a Hit Parader cover piece featuring Axl Rose and Sebastian Bach of Skid Row, published in the magazine's March 1991 issue, which it touted as "Bas & Axl Interviewed Together For the First Time!" The exclusive joint interview turned out to be simply a transcript from a Howard Stern radio show telephone interview with the duo. Rose and Bach both later protested that Hit Parader editor Andy Secher was misleading his readers with such tactics.
Bands frequently covered by Hit Parader in the 1970s were Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Elton John, David Bowie, Blue Öyster Cult, The Kinks, Three Dog Night, The Who, Cheap Trick, Kiss, and Van Halen. The magazine always featured song lyrics, album reviews, interviews, fan mail, bits of trivia on popular rock acts, and reader polls, the results of which were typically published in a future issue. The magazine became a leading heavy metal publication in the 1980s, as it provided extensive coverage of the era's popular acts such as Motley Crue, Quiet Riot, Def Leppard, Ratt, and Ozzy Osbourne.
Hit Parader also released many "Top 100" lists issues, such as "Top 100 Metal Bands", "Top 100 Guitarists", "Top 100 Vocalists", "Top 100 Bassists & Drummers" and so on.
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