New Wave and Opinions on Sinead O’Connor

duran

Get out your skinny ties and don your best Flock of Seagulls hairdo. Jim and Greg celebrate Duran Duran, A-Ha and the best of 1980’s New Wave with Mad World author Lori Majewski. Then, Jim and Greg review the latest album from iconic singer-songwriter Sinéad O’Connor.

Download Subscribe via iTunes

Music News

A number of artists are making news with novel strategies for promoting their upcoming projects. Taylor Swift, whose newest album 1989 is not out until mid October, has engaged her fans through social media, creating tremendous anticipation for the release. This has been helped by a controversial video for the first single Shake it Off. Fellow pop princess Ariana Grande has announced a collaboration with with Nicki Minaj and Jessie J and will appear at the MTV Video Music Awards with them. That, along with a relationship wtih Target and a slew of other TV commercials, should push Grande to the top. The reclusive electronic artist Richard D. James, better known as Aphex Twin, has taken the most cryptic approach to announcing an album drop. He let fans know about Syro, his first album in 13 years via blimps! So much for a press release. Finally, Bob Dylan will also be releasing a new album…sort of. A new Basement Tapes album produced by T Bone Burnett features songs partially written by Dylan while recording the original Basement Tapes in 1967. They have been set to new music and will be performed by a handpicked group of musicians including Jim James and Elvis Costello.

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.

I'm Not Bossy, I'm The Boss Sinead O'Connor

I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss (Deluxe Version)

Despite assertions that she wouldn’t be making more music, Irish iconoclast Sinead O’Connor up and did it anyway. Her 10th studio album I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss is out this month, and Jim and Greg aren’t terribly surprised by the move as the singer-songwriter has a history of marching to the beat of her own drum. She’s ventured unexpected territory before with her reggae album and a release of sexed up Irish folksongs. And Jim is enthusiastic about this latest pop experiment because underneath the fun rhythms and catchy hooks is the same old Sinead—unapologetically opinionated. I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss is a Buy It for Jim. Greg finds less to love about this latest laissez-faire output from O’Connor. The first half of the album puzzled him as it lacks her usual feistiness. The second half picks up steam with songs like Harbour and The Voice of My Doctor, which put O’Connor’s attitude ahead of the adult pop production, so Greg can say Try It.

Dear Listeners,

For more than 15 years, Sound Opinions was a production of WBEZ, Chicago's public radio station. Now that the show is independent, we're inviting you to join the band and lend a hand! We need your support more than ever because now we have to do all the behind-the-scenes work that WBEZ handled before (like buying insurance and paying for podcast hosting, ugh). Plus, we have some exciting ideas we'd like to try now that there's no one to tell us no!