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5 Most Popular News Stories of 2008


Without a doubt, the return of Guns N’ Roses — even if only the “Rose” part resembles the original band of hooligans who once welcomed us to the jungle — was the most popular news story of the year on Metallica’s back-to-basics new album and tour wasn’t far behind. Read on to find out about those two monsters of rock, plus the other three most popular stories of the year according to readers.


As an April Fool’s joke in 2006, SPIN published a fake review of Chinese Democracy, the decade-in-the-making new album from Axl Rose, surmising what it might sound like if it ever actually materialized. This year, the dreams (and, for some, nightmares) of GNR fans came true when it really appeared, a confounding, frustrating, but, ultimately, kinda good record.READ OUR COVERAGE:

  • SPIN’s review of Chinese Democracy Read >>
  • The Guns N’ Roses tease: A timeline Read >>
  • Deputy editor Steve Kandell’s first listen to the debut single Read >>
  • Video: What if Chinese Democracy went onsale at Best Buy, and nobody came to buy it? Watch >>
  • More Kandell: Chinese Democracy vs. The Phantom Menace Read >>


While their fans hadn’t been waiting ten years for new music, Metallica was neck-deep in a post-millennial identity crisis: long hair vs. short hair, more metal vs. less metal, loving digital music vs. fighting digital music. So it came as no surprise that their 2008 release, Death Magnetic, signaled a return to the band’s heavier ’80s roots, and that their live setlists reached back into the oldest corners of their back catalog.READ OUR COVERAGE:

  • Metallica Kick Off World Tour Read >>
  • Exclusive: Metallica’s Kirk Hammett Discusses Kurt Cobain Read >>
  • Metallica Tells All About New Album Read >>
  • Metallica Dust Off Cobwebs at L.A. Benefit Gig Watch >>


If hard rock titans like Metallica and GNR weren’t at the forefront of the pop-culture lexicon this year, it was another of the devil’s children: Vampires. The film adaptation of teen novel series Twilight sank its teeth deep into America this year, pleasing young fans with tales of adolescent love and a soundtrack with new cuts by thelikes of Paramore, while convincing the rest of us with its blockbuster box office sales.READ OUR COVERAGE:

  • Twilight Author Reveals Musical Inspirations! Read >>
  • Listen to Paramore’s New Twilight Song! Read >>
  • First Look: The Twilight Movie Trailer! Read >>
  • Twilight: Movie Review Read >>
  • Paramore’s Hayley Williams: “I’m In Love With a Vampire” Read >>


At 4:30 A.M. on June 14, 2008, Bonnaroo concertgoers were confused — and it wasn’t the ‘shrooms. Kanye West, a notorious diva, was scheduled to headline the Tennessee festival, but after over three hours of delays, he still hadn’t taken the stage. Finally as the sun began to rise, West emerged to perform — for about 30 minutes. In the aftermath, fans, Bonnaroovians, and bystanders took to the web to offer their two cents on the debacle — as did Kanye himself!READ OUR COVERAGE:

  • Kanye West’s Bonnaroo Debacle Read >>
  • Kanye West Finally Addresses Bonnaroo Incident Read >>


We here at love a good cover, which makes this video of Weezer leading more than 100 fans through an interpretion of Radiohead’s early classic “Creep” all the better. Recorded in San Francisco, CA, during one of frontman Rivers Cuomo’s “Hootenannys,” this clip was a favorite of both readers and SPIN staffers.READ OUR COVERAGE:

  • Weezer Cover Radiohead’s ‘Creep,’ Jam with Fans in S.F. Read >>
  • Video: Rivers Cuomo’s L.A. Weezer-Fest! Read >>