Guns N’ Roses released their debut album, Appetite for Destruction, in July 1987. Believe it or not, the biggest debut album of all-time up to that point was not a massive seller in the beginning. It premiered on the Billboard charts at No. 182 and hovered in the lower depths of the charts for months. It was another full year before Appetite finally landed at the top of the charts, and that came with the help of MTV and a lot of radio airplay. One of the reasons that MTV and radio finally came around to Guns N’ Roses was because they’d been written about as the “future of music” by a then relatively new magazine called Spin.
Spin magazine had launched just two years before, after its founder Bob Guccione, Jr. took out a loan from his dad, the publisher behind Penthouse magazine. Guccione had started the magazine as a kind of alternative to the leading music mag, Rolling Stone, with a focus on a broader variety of music, in particular college indie rock and hip-hop, which was still in its infancy at the time. While Rolling Stone was publishing profiles on one of the biggest artists of the day, Tina Turner, Spin magazine was tracking down her ex-husband, Ike Turner, who many had thought was dead (including Tina). Turns out, Ike was just homeless.
Spin quickly caught on as a trendsetting publication, so when the magazine declared that relatively little known artists like Sinead O’Connor, Public Enemy and Guns N’ Roses were the “future of music,” the industry took notice.