|First issue||May 1985|
|Final issue||September/October 2012|
|Based in||New York City|
In its early years, the magazine was noted for its broad music coverage with an emphasis on college-oriented rock music 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—Bart Bull's article on Hooker won the magazine its first major award.
Putting black artists and women artists on the cover was considered to be potentially damaging to newsstand sales. Moreover, the magazine devoted itself to a long term set of investigative pieces on the AIDS crisis at a time when even gay publications were concerned about losing advertisers by doing coverage of the disease. 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 cultural heritage pioneers in Spin's editorial mix, and were reviewed, featured, and mentioned constantly at a time when Rolling Stone and other publications scarcely acknowledged their existence. Spin's extensive coverage of hip-hop music and culture, especially that of contributing editor John Leland, was notable at a time when no other national publication was paying serious attention to the genre.
Editorial contributions by musical and cultural figures such as Lydia Lunch, Henry Rollins, David Lee Roth, Dwight Yoakam, and others were an innovation at the time. The magazine also did scene reports on cities such as Austin, Texas, or Glasgow, Scotland, at times when they were unrecognized as cultural incubators. 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.
Guccione sold the magazine to Miller Publishing in 1997.
2000s and 2010s
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. 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 last 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.
Notable contributors have included Barry Michael Cooper, Dave Eggers, Chuck Klosterman, Byron Coley, Kim France, Tad Friend, Elizabeth Gilbert, Andy Greenwald, William T. Vollman, Will Hermes, Dave Itzkoff, David Bourgeois, John Leland, Bart Bull, Greil Marcus, Matt Groening, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Glenn O'Brien, Norman Mailer, R. Meltzer, Karen Schoemer, Marilyn Manson, William S. Burroughs, Anton Corbijn, Bob Gruen, Roberta Bayley, Jon Dolan, Rob Tannenbaum, Jonathan Ames, Strawberry Saroyan, Paul Beahan (founder of Manimal Vinyl), Michael O'Donoghue, Bönz Malone, Hari Kondabolu, Dan Ackerman, and Marc Spitz.
Although SPIN began publication in 1985, it did not begin compiling year-end lists until 1990.
Single of the Year
|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||Cee-Lo Green||"Fuck You"||United States|||
|2011||Adele||"Rolling in the Deep"||England|||
|2012||GOOD Music||"Mercy"||United States|||
|2013||Daft Punk||"Get Lucky"||France|||
Album of the Year
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.
- Spin Names New Editor-in-Chief
- Bull, Bart (April 2006). "Messin' with the Hook". Spin. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
- George Raine (March 1, 2006). "S.F. group buys 20-year-old rock music magazine Spin". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-10-17.
- Spin Magazine Is Sold to Buzzmedia, With Plans to Expand Online Reach
- Spin is Dead! Long Live... Car and Driver?
- Christopher Zara (22 December 2012). "In Memoriam: Magazines We Lost In 2012". IBT. Retrieved 9 October 2013.