This question concerns very recent history, I apologize if it is too recent. I recently saw an episode of the British comedy series Keeping Up Appearances from the early 1990's. In it, one of the characters can be seen reading a magazine called "Classic CD". Apparently this magazine is no longer in existence, and I became curious as to what type of magazine this was, when it started, and when and why it ceased to exist.

  • 4
    Classic CD was a monthly print magazine covering the classical music market, usually with a sampler CD attached. It disappeared around 2000 due to falling sales (in a familiar pattern, branching out into other genres to broaden its appeal just drove away its core readership).
    – Steve Bird
    Jan 27, 2016 at 7:44
  • 3
    @SteveBird - The mass migration of eyeballs from print media to online media probably had a little something to do with that as well. Rather a lot of magazines started folding around that time. The "branching" may well have just been a desperate attempt to stem the receding tide of readers.
    – T.E.D.
    Jan 28, 2016 at 14:49
  • @Steve Bird Why do you think they broadened into other genres, and in what manner are you saying they were doing this? Don't you think it might be related to the general dumbing down of society as well?
    – Alpha_Pi
    Feb 21, 2016 at 6:01
  • @T.E.D Still, there are no online alternatives, as far as I know. I think classical music would predominantly attract older readers, who aren't as likely to use computers, so I doubt your hypothesis of online media takeover.
    – Alpha_Pi
    Feb 21, 2016 at 6:09
  • There was renewed interest in classical music in the 90s from the launch of Classic FM in 1992. Although I'm not sure whether Classic CD would have appealed to Classic FM readers in particular.
    – Stuart F
    Jan 22 at 14:39

2 Answers 2


Classic CD was a monthly magazine which targeted the classical music market.

Classic CD Magazine Issue 2

The first issue had a cover date of May 1990, so it's not surprising that it featured in a BBC sit-com from the 1990s.

I think the final issue had a cover date of August 2000 (issue number 127). I've seen copies of the magazine come up on eBay (often complete with the cover CD) quite frequently.

  • 1
    used to buy it quite regularly. Often pretty good music on the CD, and in those days CDs bought separately were usually more expensive than the magazines with CDs included.
    – jwenting
    Jul 18, 2017 at 5:46

I wrote for Classic CD in its earliest years.

I suspect that the reasons for its disappearance included the success of BBC Music Magazine (launched slightly later) and the modernisation of The Gramophone, which were surely its chief competitors.

Also, its publisher Future Publishing underwent some ownership changes and an IPO around the time it closed, so it's very possible that it simply didn't fit into their business plan. Future tended to have multiple magazines in subject groups, but Classic CD didn't really fit into any of them.

It was a great magazine, though.

Somebody mentioned there not being online equivalents. That's not quite true - there are some, such as ClassicalSource.com. But it's fair to say they don't have a very high profile.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.