There was a time when Rolling Stone magazine was "it" as far as music was concerned. The editors knew how to pick the artists whose work would be an enduring part of our culture -- not necessarilty the most popular artists, but those whose work would actually amount to something. These were the folks who made the cover.
They also used to be fairly good at rating music. As matter of fact, their ratings used to be gospel as far as the quality of a group's music was concerned. There used to be objectivity, but now everyone seems to get three stars just for putting out an album -- many of which, one year later, you can't even give away to used CD stores.
They were also considered somewhat cutting edge as far as their editorials concerning political issues, as well as thumbing their nose at bland corporate culture. There was a time when Jann Wenner didn't care whose toes he stepped on, as long as he got his point across. Now he has to be concered about who he offends -- gotta keep getting invited to those parties, you know.
Sadly, Rolling Stone has succumbed to the same corporate culture they used to abhor. Now you'll see Britney and other flavors of the month on the once coveted cover simply to sell magazines. What once was prime material for Tiger Beat and 16 is now good enough for Rolling Stone. So sad to see. And as far as politics go -- very far to the left with little or no balance.
There are occassionally very good articles -- occassionally -- but they are now far and few between. Maybe it's a symptom of the climate of horrible commercialized music, maybe it's the influx of liberal bias on the editorial staff... whatever it is, I hope it gets fixed soon, because what was once was a very good magazine is now nothing more that your typical teen trash music rag.
The only reason I am giving this magazine 2 stars is that the articles on music artists and movies are pretty strong. The thing that I mostly dislike of this magazine is that the CD reviews are horrible. Whoever reviews the CDs must listen to 5 seconds of each song and find the lyrics of one song to critique the whole album.
I also do not like that the magazine only reviews the most popular albums of the time. If lesser-known and/or underground artists are not able to get their CD reviewed, they will never be put out to the public and the public will not be able to find new artists to listen to. I recommend a magazine strictly for music and music-related media, such as Blender, which is very entertaining.
I read rolling stone for the music and those who make it, not for some guilt ridden, agenda blasting editorial team that feels their politics (and guilt at being so much the establishment they wish they could hate) is something we should all read about at nauseum. when they stick to music, it's good, when they parade their shreiking political views, it's boring.
I subscribed to Rolling Stone five years ago, but I have since let it run out because it started drifting away from feature stories about talented rock and hip-hop groups and started focusing more on Britney Spears and N-Sync. Whereas it used to offer quite remarkably in depth stories about the lives and work of real musicians, it has started to cater more towards the pop fluff of teeny boppers and bubblegum blasphemy. Every now and then I will see it on the newsstand with an article about Bruce Springsteen or Keith Richards, real musicians who have quality stories to tell, but the majority of what I find is useless. You'll be better off to limit yourself to an issue-by-issue basis as opposed to buying 26 issues at once. But like I said, it can still please every now and then. I just feel its quality stories are too few and far between.
As an entertainment magazine, Rolling Stone is still fun and occasionally fresh, if rarely cutting edge.
As a political magazine however, most of the articles and editorials read like sanctimonious rants from an overzealous, know-it-all freshman poly-sci major. To say that it's a left leaning magazine is to understate the obvious. But the insanely over-the-top invective in many of their articles is just downright unprofessional.
The main reason I got Rolling Stone was for the pictures and interviews. I always waited for when they'd do a Q&A or even a teeny weeeny section on some band I absolutely love. So I subscribed hoping that I wouldn't miss out. So for the past year I got some issues that have my favorite bands (i.e. Weezer, Saves the Day, Dashboard Confessional, Incubus etc.) but compared to the other stuff like Britney Spears and Sum 41 (oh dear god!) it's nothing. Rolling Stone pretty much covers stuff that's totally mainstream. Sum41 sucks but RS praised it and so did their readers in polls. Poor mindless youth. So I mean the pictures are great and some interviews are interesting but save your money, make a friend tell you when your fav band is in, and go buy something more underground and honest like AP. Oh and what the heck was with the "Incubus's One Night of Sin"?? That was a complete waste of paper even though I love the music and was thrilled that Brandon Boyd is not a pervert like Alex. But c'mon, there are plenty of bands that people don't know of and that have amazing stories. Maybe Rolling Stone is just a wuss.
I have subscribed off and on to Rolling Stone for decades, and while I missed the golden era, it used to be the undisputed champ of music magazines for a reason. It was usually ahead of the curve, the photos were amazing, and the reviews and interviews often soared into the realm of profound. It was a magazine for people who truly loved music. My father, an old jazz musician, used to steal my copy. It was what you read if you wanted to know what was good, especially if you'd never heard of it. Now it's what you read if you want to know what's fashionable with the mainstream, and believe me, it's always something you have heard of for years. Rolling Stone is now way behind the curve, and it breaks my heart watching them struggle to retain a readership by reprinting nostalgia from their own heyday and then topping it off with a teen idol on the cover pulling his or her shirt up. They can't make up their minds whether they want the grandpas or the grandkids, and in trying for both, they neglect the readers who are neither retired nor pubescent. When it comes, I read Random Notes, which sometimes has glimpses of the people they should be writing about partying backstage with people they do. Two stars to represent my eternally crossed fingers that both this magazine, and Rock will someday return from the living dead.
these guys pander so much to rock stars and the industry it makes me want to wretch(blahargh!!). I just did. But neway, some good articles. Cover is excellent for defacing with a sharpie marker. I think that's the only reason I subscribe.
Magazines were prompt being shipped out but the magazine's content was not as I remembered. I was not really impressed with the articles.
I signed up to get the 6-month subscription for a good deal. My first issue came and it was for the week before. Not that big a deal. The next day the current issue arrived. Then two days later, the issue that was three weeks old arrived, and then two days after that the issue with a date more than a month old arrived. That effectively cut six weeks off of my 6-month subscription. I won't be renewing based on these tactics.