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New Wave

No one of a certain age can hear "Rio" without picturing Simon LeBon and the members of Duran Duran crooning off the side of a yacht. They were the“Rolling Stones of the New Wave era”according to writer Lori Majewski, and through such videos represented everything you either love or hate about the 1980's—the excess, the sex, the fashion and the pure pop production. But, while this was a very visual era of music (with infamous clothes and even more infamous hair), there's a lot to be said for the sound. Jim and Greg talk to Lori about her new book Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and the Songs That Defined the 1980's, co-written with Jonathan Bernstein. In it, the authors reveal why New Wave caught on so strongly with pop fans and the media, especially post-punk in the U.K. (Certainly the NME would rather photograph Adam Ant than a spitting Johnny Rotten). And Jim and Greg reveal their own affection for music by Boy George, The Cars, A Flock of Seagulls and most anything brought to the big screen by John Hughes.

Here are other New Wave acts we fondly remember:

  • Duran Duran
  • Gary Numan
  • Spandau Ballet
  • Adam Ant
  • Yaz
  • Human League
  • A-Ha
  • Kajagoogoo
  • Tears for Fears
  • OMD
  • Psychedelic Furs
  • Simple Minds
  • Culture Club
  • A Flock of Seagulls
  • New Order

And check out Lori Majewski's favorite New Wave Videos and follow us on Beats Music for a full playlist.

Go to episode 456