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Spin (magazine)

Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain, wife Courtney Love, and daughter Frances on Spin, December 1992
Editor Jem Aswad[1]
Categories Music
Frequency Bimonthly
Total circulation
Year founded 1985
First issue May 1985
Final issue September/October 2012
Company Spin Media
Country USA
Based in New York City
Language English
Website .com.spinwww
ISSN 0886-3032

Spin is a music magazine founded in 1985 by publisher Bob Guccione, Jr.. The magazine stopped running in print in 2012 and currently runs as a webzine.[3]


  • History 1
    • Later years 1.1
  • Spin Alternative Record Guide 2
  • Contributors 3
  • Year-end lists 4
    • Single of the Year 4.1
    • Album of the Year 4.2
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Spin was established in 1985.[4] In its early years, the magazine was noted for its broad music coverage with an emphasis on college rock and on the ongoing emergence of hip-hop. The magazine was eclectic and bold, if sometimes haphazard. It pointedly provided a national alternative to Rolling Stone's more establishment-oriented style. Spin prominently placed newer artists such as R.E.M., Prince, Run-D.M.C., Eurythmics, Beastie Boys, and Talking Heads on its covers and did lengthy features on established figures such as Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, Miles Davis, Aerosmith, Lou Reed, Tom Waits, and John Lee Hooker[5]Bart Bull's article on Hooker won the magazine its first major award.

On a cultural level, the magazine devoted significant coverage to hardcore punk, alternative country, reggae and world music, experimental rock, jazz of the most adventurous sort, the burgeoning college rock and underground music scenes of the 1980s, and a variety of fringe styles. Artists such as the Ramones, Patti Smith, Blondie, X, Black Flag, and the former members of the Sex Pistols, The Clash, and the early punk/New Wave movement were heavily featured in Spin‍ '​s editorial mix. Spin‍ '​s extensive coverage of hip-hop music and culture, especially that of contributing editor John Leland, was notable at the time.

Editorial contributions by musical and cultural figures included Lydia Lunch, Henry Rollins, David Lee Roth and Dwight Yoakam. The magazine also reported on cities such as Austin, Texas, or Glasgow, Scotland, as cultural incubators in the independent music scene. A 1990 article on the contemporary country blues scene brought R. L. Burnside to national attention for the first time. Coverage of American cartoonists, Japanese manga, monster trucks, outsider artists, Twin Peaks, and other non-mainstream cultural phenomena distinguished the magazine's dynamic early years.

In late 1987, publisher Bob Guccione Jr.'s father, Bob Guccione Sr., abruptly shut the magazine down despite the fact that the two-year-old magazine was widely considered a success, with a newsstand circulation of 150,000. Guccione Jr. was able to rally much of his staff, partner with former MTV president and David H. Horowitz, locate additional new investors and offices and after missing a month's publication, returned with a combined November–December issue. During this time, it was published by Camouflage Associates. In 1997, Guccione sold Spin to Miller Publishing.

Later years

In February 2006, Miller Publishing sold the magazine for less than US$5 million to a San Francisco-based company called the McEvoy Group LLC, which was also the owner of Chronicle Books.[6] That company formed Spin Media LLC as a holding company. The new owners replaced editor-in-chief (since 2002) Sia Michel with Andy Pemberton, a former editor at Blender. The first issue to be published under his brief command was the July 2006 issue—sent to the printer in May 2006—which featured Beyoncé on the cover. Pemberton and Spin parted ways the next month, in June 2006. The current editor, Doug Brod, was executive editor during Michel's tenure.

For Spin‍ '​s 20th year, it released a book chronicling the prior two decades in music. The book has essays on grunge, Britpop, emo, and many other types of music, as well as pieces on musical acts including Marilyn Manson, Nirvana, Weezer, Nine Inch Nails, Limp Bizkit, and The Smashing Pumpkins. In February 2008, Spin released a digital edition available through Texterity. In February 2012, Spin relaunched the magazine in a larger, bi-monthly format with reviews being seen on the website and on Twitter rather than being read in the magazine which now does longer, extended editorials and interviews featuring up and coming talent.

In July 2012, Spin was sold to Buzzmedia, which eventually renamed itself SpinMedia.[7] The September/October 2012 issue was the last print issue for Spin.[8] However, its publication was ceased three weeks later.[4]

Spin Alternative Record Guide

In 1995, Spin produced its first book, entitled Spin Alternative Record Guide.[9] It compiled writings by 64 music critics on recording artists and bands relevant to the alternative music movement, with each artist's entry featuring their discography and albums reviewed and rated a score between one and ten.[10] According to Pitchfork Media's Matthew Perpetua, the book featured "the best and brightest writers of the 80s and 90s, many of whom started off in zines but have since become major figures in music criticism", including Rob Sheffield, Byron Coley, Ann Powers, Simon Reynolds, and Alex Ross. Although the book was not a sales success, "it inspired a disproportionate number of young readers to pursue music criticism."[11] After the book was published, its entry on 1960s folk artist John Fahey, written by Byron Coley, helped renew interest in Fahey's music, leading to interest from record labels and the alternative music scene.[12]


Notable contributors to Spin have included:

Year-end lists

SPIN began compiling year-end lists in 1990.

Single of the Year

Year Artist Song Nation Source
1994 Beck "Loser"  United States [45]
1995 Moby "Feeling So Real"  United States [46]
1996 The Fugees "Ready or Not"  United States [47]
1997 The Notorious B.I.G. "Hypnotize"  United States [48]
1998 Fatboy Slim "The Rockafeller Skank"  England [49]
1999 TLC "No Scrubs"  United States [50]
2000 Eminem "The Real Slim Shady"  United States [51]
2001 Missy Elliott "Get Ur Freak On"  United States [52]
2002 Eminem "Cleanin' Out My Closet"  United States [53]
2003 50 Cent "In da Club"  United States [54]
2004 Green Day "American Idiot"  United States [55]
2005 Gorillaz "Feel Good Inc."  England [56]
2006 Gnarls Barkley "Crazy"  United States [57]
2007 Kanye West "Stronger"  United States [58]
2008 M.I.A. "Paper Planes"  England [59]
2009 Yeah Yeah Yeahs "Zero"  United States [60]
2010 Cee-Lo Green "Fuck You"  United States [61]
2011 Adele "Rolling in the Deep"  England [62]
2012 GOOD Music "Mercy"  United States [63]
2013 Daft Punk "Get Lucky"  France [64]
2014 Future Islands "Seasons (Waiting on You)"  United States [65]

Album of the Year

Year Artist Album Nation Source
1990 Ice Cube AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted  United States [66]
1991 Teenage Fanclub Bandwagonesque  Scotland [67]
1992 Pavement Slanted and Enchanted  United States [68]
1993 Liz Phair Exile in Guyville  United States [69]
1994 Hole Live Through This  United States [70]
1995 Moby Everything is Wrong  United States [71]
1996 Beck Odelay  United States [72]
1997 Cornershop When I Was Born for the 7th Time  England [73]
1998 Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill  United States [74]
1999 Nine Inch Nails The Fragile  United States [75]
2000 Radiohead Kid A  England [13]
2001 System of a Down Toxicity  United States [14]
2002 The White Stripes White Blood Cells  United States [76]
2003 The White Stripes Elephant  United States [77]
2004 Kanye West The College Dropout  United States [78]
2005 Kanye West Late Registration  United States [79]
2006 TV on the Radio Return to Cookie Mountain  United States [80]
2007 Against Me! New Wave  United States [81]
2008 TV on the Radio Dear Science  United States [82]
2009 Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavilion  United States [83]
2010 Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy  United States [84]
2011 Fucked Up David Comes to Life  Canada [85]
2012 Frank Ocean Channel Orange  United States [86]
2013 Kanye West Yeezus  United States [87]
2014 The War on Drugs Lost in the Dream  United States [88]

Note: The 2000 album of the year was awarded to "your hard drive", acknowledging the impact that filesharing had on the music listening experience in 2000.[13] Kid A was listed as number 2, the highest ranking given to an actual album.


  1. ^ Spin Names New Editor-in-Chief
  2. ^ ABC
  3. ^ Chris Welch (December 10, 2012). "Publishers bring 195 new magazines to print in 2012 despite ongoing digital push". The Verge. Retrieved February 14, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Christopher Zara (December 22, 2012). "In Memoriam: Magazines We Lost In 2012". International Business Times. Retrieved November 8, 2014. 
  5. ^ Bull, Bart (April 2006). "Messin' with the Hook". Spin. Retrieved May 29, 2012. 
  6. ^ George Raine (March 1, 2006). "S.F. group buys 20-year-old rock music magazine Spin".  
  7. ^ Spin Magazine Is Sold to Buzzmedia, With Plans to Expand Online Reach
  8. ^ Spin is Dead! Long Live... Car and Driver?
  9. ^ Johnston 2007.
  10. ^ Anon. 2012, p. 313; Mazmanian 1995, p. 70
  11. ^ Perpetua 2011.
  12. ^ Ratliff 1997.
  13. ^ a b Spin, January 2001.
  14. ^
  • Anon. (2012). "Bibliography". In Ray, Michael. Alternative, Country, Hip-Hop, Rap, and More: Music from the 1980s to Today.  
  • Mazmanian, Adam (1995). "Library Journal". In White, William. Buyer's Guide.  
  • Perpetua, Matthew (2011). "The SPIN Alternative Record Guide".  
  • Ratliff, Ben (1997). "A 60's Original With a New Life on the Fringe".  

External links

  • Official website
  • Spin, for full view on Google Books
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