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Spin: 20 Years of Alternative Music: Original Writing on Rock, Hip-Hop, Techno, and Beyond

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  101 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Twenty years ago, SPIN magazine began with the promise to feature uncompromising writing about the music that was turning on/freaking out the Reagan generation. Through the introduction of MTV and the alternative rock revolution, it's been many things. Rude. Brilliant. Soulful. Snotty. Angry. Delirious.

In the past two decades, genres have spawned like mad, from goth, indi
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 27th 2005 by Three Rivers Press
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Oct 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: music, non-fiction
This book is a quick and detailed read for anybody interested in modern music. The problem is not with the music this book covers, but the arrogant, snobbish tone that is employed throughout (just like an issue of Spin magazine!) If you can get past the feeling that the authors of this book are looking down their noses at you, then this is a pretty good read.
Phillip Gipson
Oct 18, 2022 rated it liked it
Some of this is interesting and quite enjoyable, like the sections on Alt-Country, ecstasy anthems, The Smiths, and proper emo like Rites of Spring and SDRE. Some sections were very cringey, like the brief section on goth, although I'm pleased they included minor nods to Dead Can Dance, Cocteau Twins, Love and Rockets, and This Mortal Coil. ...more
Jan 28, 2008 rated it liked it
Intussen wat zitten bladeren in SPIN - 20 Years Of Alternative Music (2005), een terugblik op wat er allemaal gebeurde sinds de oprichting van het Amerikaanse muziekmagazine in 1985, met, als ik het goed heb begrepen, een verzameling oude (klassieke) en nieuwe (overzichts-)artikels. Het tijdschrift wilde oorspronkelijk een leemte opvullen en was daarmee net op tijd. Alternatieve muziek was bezig aan een tocht uit de underground, en SPIN was de missing link tussen de subculturen en de mainstream. ...more
Jon Arnold
Mar 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: essays, music
I picked this up nearly a decade ago; it looked perfect for me – a glossy American version of the NME for the NME reader I was then. I’ve long since fallen out of love with the NME and perhaps I would have liked this better had I read it then.

Or maybe I wouldn’t. Spin clearly has some smart, knowledgeable writers but on this evidence they’re rarely allowed to express themselves at length. Most of the essays that lead these sections off cover no more than a couple of pages; if they’re any good th
Super Amanda
Apr 01, 2013 rated it did not like it
Madonna? Alternative? This book is NOT about alternative rock or even alternative music if her putrid sounds are mentioned.Since when does an unoriginal who has simply trend hopped and who has spawned more talentless airheads in her own image than one can role call and who has countless top ten hits, qualify as "alternative?" Someone at SPIN was obviously trying to kiss madonna's masculine behind because there is absolutely no reason for her to be mentioned in this rambling, misguided attempt at ...more
Jun 26, 2016 rated it liked it
I picked this up about 10 years ago when Borders was going out of business and forgot about it until recently. Reading it primarily made for an entertaining walk down memory lane. The title is inaccurate, of course: this book isn't about "alternative" music (which was never a clear genre, anyway). It's about 20 years of Spin magazine, minus the interesting political/cultural articles. Spin has always had a tendency to be a bit too snarky, but getting angry at their writers is part of the fun. ...more
Neil Parsons
Feb 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
If only I had heard half the stuff described herein...or felt like I could spring for the cost of buying it all to hear for myself. Oh well, I'll settle for slowly increasing my music collection at SPIN's behest. ...more
Jun 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite magazines...turned into a book!
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Hi there. I write about music and popular culture for Rolling Stone, The New York Times and other outlets, and am a regular contributor to National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." I co-edited "SPIN: 20 Years of Alternative Music" with my pal Sia Michel. ...more

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