On June 6th, 1981 the first-ever "Kerrang!" issue was published. "AC/DC’s" guitarist, Angus Young, was on the cover.
Founded by Geoff Barton, it was first published as a supplement part of the "Sounds" newspaper. Named after the word that derives from the sound made when playing a power chord on a distorted electric guitar, "Kerrang!" was initially devoted to the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and the rise of hard rock acts.
Launched as a monthly magazine in 1981, "Kerrang!" began to appear on a fortnightly basis later, and in 1987 it went weekly.
During the 1980s and early 1990s, the magazine placed many thrash and glam metal acts on the cover (like "Mötley Crüe", "Slayer", "Bon Jovi", "Metallica", "Poison" and "Venom"), but later discarded them when Grunge acts such as "Nirvana" rose to fame. After that the magazine became the trendy headliner, posting the new hottest bands/genres on the front page.
Many big bands were criticizing "Kerrang!" for going after "yellow" articles and not focusing on music, one of the famous was "Guns N' Roses" in the song "Get In The Ring"
"And that goes for all of you punks in the press
That want to start shit by printin' lies instead of the things we said
That means you andy secher at hit parader, circus magazine
Mick wall at kerrang, bob guccione jr. at spin
What you pissed off 'cause your dad gets more pussy than you?
Fuck you! suck my fuckin' dick!"
Today Kerrang! is more than a printed magazine...
Since 1993, the magazine has held an annual awards ceremony to mark the most successful acts and bands. This became one of Britain's most recognized events.
In 2000, "Kerrang!" launched a digital radio station, across the United Kingdom. Kerrang!'s website, was launched in the summer of 2001. Also in 2001 "Kerrang! TV" was launched. As with the radio station, the television channel covers the more mainstream side of rock music as well as classic rock bands.