I've been an on-off again reader of Rolling Stone for 30 years. It's still a great magazine. But I'm finding some of the feature articles to be a bit of "fluff." I just can't swallow some of these artists (Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, etc.) to be anything more than slick packaged "bubble-gum." To me just the latest Spears. Give me more rock music to believe in!
Because many people grew up on ROLLING STONE, they have certain expectations of the magazine that are no longer true. But the times have also changed and certainly the interests of Jann Wenner (founder of RS).
When RS started, rock musicians were generally ignored by the mainstream press (unless they were getting arrested) and nobody except RS really cared about them as artists. And of course, there were few other places to get rock LP's reviewed by people who understood what they were listening to.
Eventually, rock became a normal part of society and even celebrity royalty - and so RS changed.
So, if you can get beyond that - Rolling Stone is a lifestyle magazine with a slight tilt towards music. In the mid 80s to the late 90s, RS was one of the greatest graphic designs in America along with some of the best music/celebrity photographs that have become iconic of our times.
Unfortunately, they sort of lost their way in the late, late 90's and they are slowly waking from their slumber. They are not quite back yet as they try to figure out their new place in the world.
Part of it is that RS has aspirations to be a great magazine with insightful commentary and hard-hitting investigative journalism - except it's all a bit jarring when that story on poisoned well-water is right after a soft feature of a 19-year old pop singer along with photos of her essentially naked.
RS has always been focused on the 17-24 audience and in another sense, until the 1980's, if you listened to rock & later rap, that has meant mostly being anti-establishment and usually liberal ... but now, it's not a contradiction to be conservative and be into every kind of music.
So, for many - RS is a turnoff because its focus still tends to be liberal and for some liberals, all that focus on nubile women/girl singers is just unPC so RS tends to polarize people and they are still trying to find their way.
With that said, it's still one of the best written magazines in America. The true test is that even if you're not that interested in that celeb/artist, etc ... the writing will draw you in. If you're interested in what the touchstones of pop culture are in America today - you simply have to read ROLLING STONE and frankly, there is no one better at celebrity/pop culture interviews and commentary. You can skip the political coverage if it offends you in some way and there is still much to get from each issue. There is also no one better at reaching into their archives and creating a mostalgia issue or a "list" issue. While the photographs are not as iconic as they once were, they still grab attention.
ROLLING STONE may not be what you want it to be or what you once thought it was but if you want to get a pulse of America pop culture that's thoughtful and well written - no one is better, not the men's mags, not VANITY FAIR, not PEOPLE - ROLLING STONE is still the big rock.
The Rolling Stone is a music/entertainment magazine as it has always been. It highlights the people, music, movies and so on, that are popular in the world now...I suppose they will put a greater focus on good music when some current bands start making good music. Neo-rock leaves a lot to be desired. Let's face it, can't write about topics that don't exist. And, as far as beautiful half-naked women adorning the cover of every issue...it grabs my attention. That's the idea, right? As a young male adult, I have absolutely no problem with beautiful, smiling, seductive, barely clad girls on the cover of Rolling Stone. It puts a smile on my face, a big smile. And, yes, the magazine has evolved over the years, like the title implicates. The world is change, naturally the editorials will follow. So, not that the Stone needs a review, I think we are all familiar with the magazine, but I just wanted to defend a great publication that has withstood the test of time. And one that will be writing music reviews when my grandchildren have grandchildren. Peace
Being a major music fan, Rolling Stone seems like the obvious choice for a subscription. In fact, I think it's pretty good. No magazine is going to be perfect for any one person, and sure there's alot covered in this I don't care about. But, the goods out-weigh the bads. Nice size, covers nearly all genres of music, some articles to make you think, and some articles that are just eye-candy. Lists, reviews, top 40, etc. It's also a cheap subsciption, especially considering it comes out twice a month. However I'd say pass If you're a fan of the President, or of numerous album reviews. Those are a tad skimpy sometimes. Bottom line is that it's just a magazine, it'll pass the time on your flight or your break at work.
Got this as a free subscription. Good magazine but would not pay for it!
I would like to take a moment to defend Rolling Stone. I understand what you all are saying, and in general, i agree. Too many ads, talentless pretty faces on the cover. But it still has really interesting in depth political articles, news, and fair music and movie reviews, as well as beautiful photography. It sounds to me like most of you are just bitter about the state of popular music today, which is not Rolling Stone's fault. They cover popular music, they don't create it. Altogether, an interesting, worthwile read for any music fan.
Since I was able to get the first year subscription for almost nothing I subscribed. The jury is still out.
MUSIC LOVERS PARADISE - I love looking for new upcoming rock bands and this magazine tells all. From ACDC to Burning Brides, this company really trys to let you know what is happening. Personally I don't like a lot of the editors choices and reviews, because they seem a little stuck up (You don't seem them on the road) but hey, that's just me..
I can't believe that there is a picture like this on Toys R' Us website. I used to let my kids go on this website all the time but if they can find pictures like this they won't be anymore!!
I have been a faithful subscriber to RS for almost twenty years, and I have witnessed the magazine slowly transform from a credible rock and roll journal to the music equivilent of Tiger Beat. In the 1980s, Rolling Stone's passion was music, and it often gave well-deserved nods to artists that were on the cutting edge: U2, Prince, REM, the Smiths, and so on. These days, its attempts to sell copies are getting more desperate as they feature people like Britney, NSYNC, and BSB on their cover sometimes as much as twice a year. I have nothing against teen pop; after all, RS gave Duran Duran a cover story in the 1980s. But it's troubling to see a magazine follow trends when they used to create them.
The record reviews are, for the most part, dubious. Rob Sheffield is one of the usual suspects. Three-and-a-half stars for Britney and Destiny's Child? More trustworthy critics include longtime writer David Fricke, Anthony DeCurtis, and Barry Walters. These guys seem to know what they're talking about when they review records.
The only section of the magazine worth reading is the movies section by Peter Travers, a critic I may not always agree with but one I do respect. Travers has enough heart to go against the grain of public opinion by trashing shallow, self-important, corporate driven, Holllywood movies. It really seems that he is criticizing the very hype machine the rest of Rolling Stone seems to embrace.
All in all, RS has its moments, but its getting disappointing within recent years. Here's hoping it can regain the edge it once had back in the 1970s and 1980s.