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SPIN’s Complete Covers Gallery: The 1980s

In 1985, the first issue of SPIN arrived with the following statement of purpose from founder Bob Guccione Jr.:

On March 19th, SPIN magazine hit the newsstand to give Rolling Stone the competition everyone but Rolling Stone hoped it would get.

SPIN is a fresh, intelligent alternative to a mostly tired, complacent music press. It is an upbeat magazine without the politics and in love with rock’n’roll and all its kindred spirits. It will get beneath the surface of stories, cover what’s new and most exciting and echo nothing and no one. Because SPIN gets turned on, so will you.

Our magazine will entertain you, surprise and compel you, and sometimes shock you. We’ll make you laugh because we have a sense of humor and we’ll make you think because we have a serious side, too.

We’ll be open, unafraid, independent, and unpretentious. We’ll take chances and probably a few lumps. Most of all we’ll be fun.

A confession: SPIN is imperfect. it’s rough edged, restless, insatiably curious. A little aggressive, a little cocky. Youthfully uncompromising but maturely flexible.

Romantic – definitely!
Irreverent – sure.
Unpredictable – yes.
Very alive.

Born March 19th.

To celebrate SPIN’s 28th birthday, we’ll be looking back at all our covers, from the Herb Ritts-shot Madonna image that appeared on our very first issue to the the fresh photography that continues to make an impact on our covers today. Here’s our first decade, at a glance.

See our second decade here: The 1990s.