I bought this to extend my r.s. subscription. Instead now I
I am gettint 2(two) of the same magazine every delivery! Apparently they are too stupid to figure out the same name amd same address should be extended not duplicated.
Smaller version of Rolling Stone is ok. Good to get a magazine in the mail but very thin on articles and quality.
Rolling Stone was conceived in the '80s as a counterculture music magazine. It covered acts like the Grateful Dead, CSNY, the Rolling Stones (of course), and the Jimi Hendrix Experience when they weren't part of the pop culture spectrum. Rolling Stone started out as trippy.
Rolling Stone has changed a great deal since its '60s-70s heyday. It is now more of a nostalgia magazine (like their self-adulating 40th anniversary issue,with Baby Boomers like Al Gore, Mick Jagger,etc) It still cares about acts like AC/DC,Bon Jovi,and Guns n' Roses,when young people have moved on. Rolling Stone faces a great challenge- young people's musical tastes are more varied. The iPod has individualized music. The songs dominating iTunes range from High School Musical/Camp Rock/Jonas Brothers songs to the latest rap hit. There's also a great deal of world music available,from the hippieish Putumayo World Music to the hip Six Degrees Records,and Oxfam has their own acoustic "unplugged" label. It's hard to cover such a broad spectrum.
Rolling Stone has also gotten more political-- probably meriting another magazine in itself. I have no problems with musicians having political views,or music magazines having politics,but Rolling Stone stumbles.
Rolling Stone still has hilarious reviews--for music and movies. Their snack-size review of "Everything is illuminated" was pithy,funny,and memorable. I might not always agree with their music reviews, but they're good for some insight or a laugh.
Rolling Stones gather no moss. Unfortunately,this one has. Sort of.
Rolling Stone use to cover rock music at one time. That is the reason I subscribed. When did Kanye West become rock music? YUCK! The articles about John Lennon were very good. Otherwise the magazine sucks.
You might as well read Vibe, People or Spin--they're all the same editorially as the current shell that is called Rolling Stone. The quality that used to define RS as a distinguished platform for thoughful cultural reflection is gone.
Two years ago, Rolling Stone and MTV teamed up to create a list of the "top 100 pop songs of all time." According to that list, the number 10 song OF ALL TIME is, I kid you not, "I Want It That Way" by the Backstreet Boys. It was then that I started to suspect the once-great Rolling Stone was losing it.
In 1967, Rolling Stone started with a simple idea: a "real" music magazine to counteract trendy teenage fluff like "Tiger Beat." As the years wore on, they stayed true to their mission despite the inroads of disco and the MTV pretty boys of the '80s. Sure, artists like Duran Duran appeared on a few covers, but on the whole Rolling Stone worked hard to maintain its credibility, giving much-needed exposure to then-cutting-edge acts like Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, U2 and Nirvana.
Then, through a series of mergers and acquisitions, Rolling Stone eventually became part of the Vivendi Universal empire. Soon, pressure to increase circulation and "appeal to a younger audience" escalated. The people at Vivendi, a French water company that knows nothing about entertainment, seem to think "a younger audience" doesn't want to read anything about artists they've never heard of. In fact, "a younger audience" probably doesn't want to read at all; they just want to see a sexy pinup photo of Britney's boobs or Justin's pecs, whatever you prefer.
Now here's where I lost my last shred of respect for RS: All those Britney/boy band covers and the MTV Top 100 fiasco were bad enough, but what gave them the nerve to put CLAY AIKEN on the cover?! Any magazine with a reality-show contestant on its cover instantly loses all "music" credibility. They might as well hold their own "American Idol"-style contest to pick their next cover boy/girl. (You can see where that kind of strategy has gotten Vivendi; now they're desperate to sell off their entertainment assets so they can get back to what they know best, preventing cholera and dysentery among the French.)
In its heyday, Rolling Stone was a rallying point for those who truly appreciate great music. Today it's a glorified pinup fanzine with slightly better writing and production values than "Tiger Beat." Come on, Clay Aiken on the cover? Imagine the Rolling Stone of 1967 with an Ohio Express cover.
What Rolling Stone does well, it does consistently well at. The political articles are usually good, as are the pieces on current larger issues in music (i.e. napster, contract battles, etc). That, and for basic stuff like album reviews and billboard chart info, it's fairly solid. (Of course, you can just read those online and skip purchasing the magazine entirely.)
Having said that, the musical content of the magazine gets swept along with whatever's popular at the moment (two years ago, it was teen pop stars on every cover; now it's cookie-cutter nu-metal bands). So, if you aren't a fan of what's hip at the moment, the musical portions of the magazine will probably bore you to tears. And ultimately, if you're out to read a music mag, you should be drawn to the musical content, right? Instead, if you're out to discover new bands and music, I'd recommend going to something like UnCut or Q, which, while also loaded with advertisements, at least talk about people you haven't seen on MTV twenty billion times already.
Rolling Stone has a big, fat, schizophrenic problem--they still want to be the "rebel" magazine, and pretend rock and roll is still "dangerous" like it was when they first began waaaay back when. Problem is, rock is no longer a dominant force in the world and hasn't been "dangerous" in over 20 years. On the other hand, they want to be mainstream as well. In the 70s and 80s, they were mostly able to avoid the arena-rock groups and hair-metal bands, but not now--now they can't put Britney and N'sync on the cover enough. And since being taken over by the same guy who runs Maxim, look for ever more cheesecake to splatter on the cover (Is there any other reason to put a Jennifer Love Hewitt or Asia Argento on the cover?) I first got the hint that the mag was going downhill when the Spice Girls made the cover five years ago; when they gave Mick Jagger's solo record 5-stars last year, that clenched it. I give it two stars because it's still Ok to glance at the news items in the front and the record reviews in the back but the middle of mag is not worth your money.
Judging from the old issues from the Seventies and Eighties I've read, RS used to be a great magazine. They published articles on important bands and issues in the musical community, had intelligent reporting, and staffed people who could actually write well. Now this magazine is only really good for the political articles, if that. They've been focusing way too much on insubstantial singers and excuses for bands since at least the pop explosion of 1997. This is supposed to be a magazine about rock music, not teenybopper pop and pseudorock. Maybe the reason so many people complain about how hard it is to find singers and bands who write and sing about important issues and who make good worthwhile music is because such acts are almost never covered by magazines such as this. It gives the impression that the only worthwhile musical acts out there today are people like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. It also follows that such untalented schlubs, and other of the same calibre, have been on the cover untold amounts of times. On what universe do these peoples' albums deserve such high ratings? And let's not forget how embarrassing it was that they gave Mick Jagger's solo album 'Goddess in the Doorway' 5 stars, only to have it bomb miserably, even after a huge media campaign, and only sell like 900 copies the first day. The times when they actually cover real music, and give honest ratings, are far and few between. It was also incredibly irresponsible journalism when they published a long article by RJK, Jr., full of junk science and discredited studies, alleging to establish an irrefutable link between autism and the MMR vaccine. They even had the nerve to publish a follow-up article continuing to spew these claims which have long been debunked by practically every other responsible news source out there. It's too bad; once they actually used to stand for something and have worthwhile interviews, articles, and album reviews.
What is with Rolling Stone in the past decade. When are they going to wake up and realize what quality music is. It seems like the whole entertainment world is being taken over by Clear Channel. Rolling Stone has been around forever. With all the pull they have, they should be promoting good music. Not the pre-determined corporate crap that the media forces on audiences just to make more money.
The album reviews absolutely suck! Do these people even listen to the music before they start typing away. In some cases I highly doubt it. They fly through a two paragraph review without giving any background on the band, or even giving reason for their lame opinions. They usually focus on one thing in a review, rarely a valid point. I feel embarrassed for all the kids out there that read Rolling Stone's opinions and disregard good music for crap.
Aside from album reviews, their editorial articles can be very informative in several cases. I'm a big fan of the "Top 500 albums of all time" sort of articles. There are some good writers who know what they're talking about. They need to fire all the idiots, and corporate sell-outs, and create a quality writing team.
Rolling Stone is like fast food. You know it's bad for you, but sometimes you just gotta have it.