Spin magazine has officially ceased its print publication following a hiatus after its purchase by BuzzMedia, which plenty of media watchers guessed would be the calm before the culling. Now, the venerable alternative music publication will exist solely as a website — an excellent website, to be sure, staffed by some of the best and talented names in music writing, but still just a website. That’s a peg below being one of the top music magazines in the country, which Spin was for a very long time; in my eyes it rated second in prominence to only Rolling Stone, and crafted dozens upon hundreds of memorable stories and issues over a nearly 30 year run.
You can look at some of those stories and issues via Google Books, which has hosted an archive for a few years; plenty of it holds up, and it’s nice to move backwards through music history and see how things have changed since its start. Personally speaking, Spin was the first magazine I ever wanted to write for, which is why I’m a little bummed to see it fall victim to the changing structure of the music writing industry, unavoidably defanged during the rise of the blog and the fall of the editorial budget. But that’s how things go, and how they’ll continue to go as long as the costs for print stay so high compared to how publications are able to monetize themselves.