|Final issue||September/October 2012 (print); 9 years ago|
|Company||Next Management Partners|
|Based in||New York City, New York, U.S.|
Spin (often stylized in all caps) was an American music magazine founded in 1985 by publisher Bob Guccione, Jr. Now owned by Next Management Partners, the magazine is an online publication since it stopped issuing a print ion in 2012. Spin releases accolades and year-end lists in the categories of Artists of the Year, Single of the Year, and Album of the Year.
Spin was established in 1985 by Bob Guccione, Jr. In August 1987, the publisher announced it would stop publishing Spin, but Guccione Jr. retained control of the magazine and partnered with former MTV president David H. Horowitz to quickly revive the magazine. During this time, it was published by Camouflage Publishing with Guccione Jr. serving as president and chief executive and Horowitz as investor and chairman.
In its early years, Spin was known for its narrow music coverage with an emphasis on college rock, grunge, indie rock, and the ongoing emergence of hip-hop, while virtually ignoring other genres, such as country and metal. It pointedly provided a national alternative to Rolling Stone's more establishment-oriented style. Spin prominently placed rising acts such as R.E.M., Prince, Run-D.M.C., Beastie Boys, and Talking Heads on its covers and did lengthy features on established figures such as Duran Duran, Keith Richards, Miles Davis, Aerosmith, Tom Waits, and John Lee Hooker.
On a cultural level, the magazine devoted significant coverage to punk, alternative country, electronica, reggae and world music, experimental rock, jazz of the most adventurous sort, burgeoning underground music scenes, 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 and New Wave movements were heavily featured in Spin's orial mix. Spin's extensive coverage of hip-hop music and culture, especially that of contributing or 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, and 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, the AIDS crisis, outsider artists, Twin Peaks, and other non-mainstream cultural phenomena distinguished the magazine's early years. In July 1986, Spin published an exposé by Robert Keating on how the funds raised at the Live Aid concert might have been inappropriately used. Beginning in January 1988, Spin published a monthly series of articles about the AIDS epidemic titled "Words from the Front".
In 1990, Spin hired John Skipper in the new position of publishing director and president while Guccione, Jr. continued to serve as or and publisher. In the early 1990s, Spin played an influential role on the grunge era, featuring alternative rock artists such as "Nirvana and PJ Harvey on its covers when more mainstream magazines often failed to acknowledge them".
In 1997, Guccione Jr. left the magazine after selling Spin to Miller Publishing for $43.3 million. The new owner appointed Michael Hirschorn as or-in-chief. A partnership made up of Robert Miller, David Salzman, and Quincy Jones, Miller Publishing also owned Vibe, which together made up Vibe/Spin Ventures. In 1999, Alan Light, who previously served as or of Vibe succeeded Hirschorn at Spin.
Sia Michel was appointed or-in-chief in early 2002 to succeed Light. With Michel as or, according to Evan Sawdey of PopMatters, "Spin was one of the most funny, engaging music publications out there, capable of writing about everyone from the Used to [Kanye West] with an enthusiasm and deep-seated knowledge in genre archetypes that made for page-turning reading". In 2003, Spin sent Chuck Klosterman, a senior writer who joined the magazine in the 1990s, on a trip to visit the death sites of famous artists in rock music, which became the basis of his 2005 book, Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story. Klosterman wrote for Spin until 2006.
In February 2006, Miller Publishing sold the magazine to a San Francisco-based company called the McEvoy Group LLC, which was also the owner of Chronicle Books. That company formed Spin Media LLC as a holding company. The new owners appointed Andy Pemberton, a former or at Blender, to succeed Michel as or-in-chief. The first and only issue to be published under Pemberton's orship was the July 2006 issue which featured Beyoncé on the cover. Pemberton resigned from Spin in June 2006 and was succeeded by Doug Brod, who was executive or during Michel's tenure.
In 2008, the magazine began publishing a complete digital ion of each issue. For the 25th anniversary of Prince's Purple Rain, in 2009, Spin released "a comprehensive oral history of the film and album and a free downloadable tribute that features nine bands doing song-for-song covers of the record".
In March 2010, the entire collection of Spin magazine back issues became freely readable on Google Books. Brod remained or until June 2011 when he was replaced by Steve Kandell who previously served as deputy or. In July 2011, for the 20th anniversary of Nirvana's 1991 album, Nevermind, the magazine released a tribute album including all 13 songs with each covered by a different artist. The album released for free on Facebook included covers by Butch Walker, Amanda Palmer and Titus Andronicus.
With the March 2012 issue, Spin relaunched the magazine in a larger, bi-monthly format and, at the same time, expanded its online presence. In July 2012, Spin was sold to Buzzmedia, which eventually renamed itself SpinMedia. The September/October 2012 issue was the magazine's last print ion. It continued to publish entirely online with Caryn Ganz as its or-in-chief. In June 2013, Ganz was succeeded by Jem Aswad, who was replaced by Craig Marks in June of the following year.
In 2016, Puja Patel was appointed or and Eldridge Industries acquired SpinMedia via the Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group for an undisclosed amount. Matt Medved became or in December 2018.
Spin was acquired in 2020 by Next Management Partners. Jimmy Hutcheson serves chief executive officer with Daniel Kohn as orial director and Spin's founder, Guccione Jr., who rejoined the magazine as creative advisor.
In 1995, Spin produced its first book, entitled Spin Alternative Record Guide. 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. 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." 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.
For Spin's 20th anniversary in 2005, it published a book, Spin: 20 Years of Alternative Music, chronicling the prior two decades in music. The book has essays on grunge, Britpop, and emo, among other genres of music, as well as pieces on musical acts including Marilyn Manson, Tupac Shakur, R.E.M., Nirvana, Weezer, Nine Inch Nails, Limp Bizkit, and the Smashing Pumpkins.
SPIN began compiling year-end lists in 1990.
|1994||The Smashing Pumpkins|||
|1997||The Notorious B.I.G.|||
|1999||Rage Against the Machine|||
|2006||Artists on YouTube and MySpace|||
|2007||Kanye West and Daft Punk|||
|2009||Kings of Leon|||
|2010||LCD Soundsystem, Florence and the Machine, and The Black Keys|||
|2013||Mike Will Made It|||
|2020||Run the Jewels|||
|1995||Moby||"Feeling So Real"||United States|||
|1996||Fugees||"Ready or Not"||United States|||
|1997||The Notorious B.I.G.||"Hypnotize"||United States|||
|1998||Fatboy Slim||"The Rockafeller Skank"||England|||
|1999||TLC||"No Scrubs"||United States|||
|2000||Eminem||"The Real Slim Shady"||United States|||
|2001||Missy Elliott||"Get Ur Freak On"||United States|||
|2002||Eminem||"Cleanin' Out My Closet"||United States|||
|2003||50 Cent||"In da Club"||United States|||
|2004||Green Day||"American Idiot"||United States|||
|2005||Gorillaz||"Feel Good Inc."||England|||
|2006||Gnarls Barkley||"Crazy"||United States|||
|2007||Kanye West||"Stronger"||United States|||
|2009||Yeah Yeah Yeahs||"Zero"||United States|||
|2010||CeeLo Green||"Fuck You"||United States|||
|2011||Adele||"Rolling in the Deep"||England|||
|2012||GOOD Music||"Mercy"||United States|||
|2013||Daft Punk||"Get Lucky"||France|||
|2014||Future Islands||"Seasons (Waiting on You)"||United States|||
|2015||Justin Bieber||"What Do You Mean?"||Canada|||
|2016||Rae Sremmurd||"Black Beatles"||United States|||
|2017||Calvin Harris, Frank Ocean, and Migos||"Slide"||Scotland|||
|2018||Valee and Jeremih||"Womp Womp"||United States|||
|2019||Big Thief||"Orange"||United States|||
|2021||Japanese Breakfast||"Be Sweet"||United States|||
|1990||Ice Cube||AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted||United States|||
|1992||Pavement||Slanted and Enchanted||United States|||
|1993||Liz Phair||Exile in Guyville||United States|||
|1994||Hole||Live Through This||United States|||
|1995||Moby||Everything is Wrong||United States|||
|1997||Cornershop||When I Was Born for the 7th Time||England|||
|1998||Lauryn Hill||The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill||United States|||
|1999||Nine Inch Nails||The Fragile||United States|||
|2001||System of a Down||Toxicity||United States|||
|2002||The White Stripes||White Blood Cells||United States|||
|2004||Kanye West||The College Dropout||United States|||
|2006||TV on the Radio||Return to Cookie Mountain||United States|||
|2007||Against Me!||New Wave||United States|||
|2008||TV on the Radio||Dear Science||United States|||
|2009||Animal Collective||Merriweather Post Pavilion||United States|||
|2010||Kanye West||My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy||United States|||
|2011||Fucked Up||David Comes to Life||Canada|||
|2012||Frank Ocean||Channel Orange||United States|||
|2013||Kanye West||Yeezus||United States|||
|2014||The War on Drugs||Lost in the Dream||United States|||
|2015||Kendrick Lamar||To Pimp A Butterfly||United States|||
|2016||Solange Knowles||A Seat at the Table||United States|||
|2017||Kendrick Lamar||Damn.||United States|||
|2018||The 1975||A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships||England|||
|2019||Big Thief||Two Hands||United States|||
|2020||Fiona Apple||Fetch the Bolt Cutters||United States|||
|2021||Turnstile||Glow On||United States|||
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. Kid A was listed as number 2, the highest ranking given to an actual album.