I have been known to complain about Rolling Stone. I have complained that there is not enough music coverage, too much politics, and what is the deal with not having a musician on the cover? I had to come to terms with the fact that even though Rolling Stone is synonymous with MUSIC in my mind, in reality, it is more diversified than that. Fine. Okay.
There was even a move to reduce the size of the magazine. It went from a colossus, almost newsprint gazette size, to a smaller, but still oversized magazine, to a “normal” sized magazine with a spine, to then a saddle stapled thin affair in the last few years. Sad really, but in this day and age I guess I should be happy they even exist.
It could be worse I suppose. I recall the magazine Dalton used to get Alternative Press which went to digest size.
This month however, I was surprised to find a large Rolling Stone in my mailbox. I was like “what???…” At first I thought it might be some special edition, but on closer inspection, nope, this was this month’s issue.
Last month compared to this month. Sorry for the shameless promotional item obscuring my address.
Not only bigger, but considerably meatier too. With a return to a spine!
and the cover of this issue (sneak peek above) has a musician! I don’t really know who Cardi B & Offset are, but that’s on me. Not my style of music, but at least a musician cover and not an actor or politician or terrorist.
So, bigger and more pages and better paper… a return to the old days a bit. I’m impressed.
Also, for the really astute Rolling Stone subscriber, you may now remove the shipping label. That is if you are hugely a freak about such things. I got it this far for a photo. Not perfect, but if you take your time it can be removed cleanly and completely.
In the last few years the address label was simply printed directly on the cover, sometimes marring what would have been a stunning music room showpiece. Ahem, the David Bowie and Prince issues. Disfigured if you ask me. Shout-outs to some local places for obscuring this time.
So that is an another improvement. I left the label on this issue, sorry Kardi B & Offset, but if they do another Bowie or Prince cover, I will definitely take a few moments and peel ever so carefully so that the label doesn’t become permanently stuck on. Just know that it is possible for you freaks like me.
A few pages in I came across the editor’s letter that talked about the move to the new format in some detail.
I have to say, they got me. I am really impressed, and I don’t mind the monthly instead of bi-weekly. I like this step up, and think it’s a bold move considering a lot of magazines and newspapers going strictly online these days. Rolling Stone already has a great website, so it wouldn’t be a shock if one day they did away with the print media, but for now, enjoy.
Inside, my old eyes delighted to the larger pictures in the Random Notes section.
I read the Johnny Depp article, and thought the chart on “How The Music Biz Came BAck From The Dead” was very interesting indeed. Streaming is kicking downloads butt? Wow.
In all I have to say I am really pleased with the new format. I do have my hard and fast criticisms still. Less politics, more music reviews and more music articles! But I have made my peace with knowing that this will never happen.
I does seem they heard my complaints about the miniaturization of the magazine itself. Now how about moving the admittedly improved address label to the BACK of the magazine. That must be technically possible, yes?
You never know.
At any rate, good job Rolling Stone. You went big. Props.