New Wave and Opinions on Sinead O'Connor

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.

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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.

reviewI'm Not Bossy, I'm the Boss (Deluxe Version)I'm Not Bossy, I'm The Boss available on iTunes

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

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.


Featured Songs

  1. Taylor Swift, Shake It Off, 1989, Big Machine Records, 2014
  2. Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Bang Bang, Sweet Talker, Lava Records Records, 2014
  3. Aphex Twin, Windowlicker, Windowlicker, Warp, 1999
  4. Duran Duran, Rio, Rio, Atlantic/Elektra/Rhino/Warner Bros., 1982
  5. Gary Numan, Cars, The Pleasure Principle, Beggars Banquet, 1979
  6. Spandau Ballet, True, True, Chrysalis Records, 1983
  7. Duran Duran, Girls on Film, Duran Duran, EMI, 1981
  8. Adam Ant, Goody Two Shoes, Friend or Foe, CBS Records, 1982
  9. Yaz, Only You, Upstairs at Eric's, Rhino/Warner Bros., 1982
  10. Human League, Don't You Want Me, Dare!, Geffren/Universal, 1981
  11. A-ha, Take On Me, Hunting High and Low, Rhino, 1985
  12. Kajagoogoo, Too Shy, White Feathers, Capitol/EMI, 1982
  13. The Waitresses, I Know What Boys Like, Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful, N/A, 1982
  14. Gary Jules, Mad World, Trading Snakeoil for Wolftickets, Modular Recordings, 2001
  15. Tears For Fears, Shout, Songs from the Big Chair, Mercury, 1985
  16. Tears For Fears, Everybody Wants to Rule the World, Songs from the Big Chair, Mercury/Unviersal, 1985
  17. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, If You Leave, Architecture &Morality, Eagle Rock, 1981
  18. The Psychedelic Furs, Pretty in Pink, Talk Talk Talk, Sbme Special Mkts., 1981
  19. Simple Minds, Don't You (Forget About Me), Don't You (Forget About Me), Virgin, 1985
  20. Adam and the Ants, Kings of the Wild Frontier, Kings of the Wild Frontier, Epic, 1980
  21. Culture Club, Karma Chameleon, Kiss Across The Ocean, CBS, 1984
  22. The Cars, Just What I Needed, The Cars, Elektra, 1978
  23. A Flock of Seagulls, I Ran (So Far Away), A Flock of Seagulls, Mbob Direct, 1982
  24. Sinead O'Connor, Take Me to Church, I'm Not Bossy, I'm The Boss, Nettwerk, 2014
  25. Sinead O'Connor, 8 Good Reasons, I'm Not Bossy, I'm The Boss, Nettwerk, 2014
  26. Sinead O'Connor, Harbour, I'm Not Bossy, I'm the Boss, Nettwerk, 2014
  27. Tom Waits, Please Call Me, Baby, The Heart of Saturday Night, Elektra, 1974
  28. The Who, Love Reign O'er Me, Quadrophenia, MCA, 1973
  29. Frank Zappa, Joe's Garage, Joe's Garage: Act 1, Rykodisc, 1979
  30. Emmylou Harris, The Ballad of Sally Rose, The Ballad of Sally Rose, Reprise, 1985
  31. Stevie Wonder, The Secret Life of Plants, Journey Through The Secret Life of Plants, Motown, 1979


nytimes.com Taylor Swift pushes new release youtube.com“Shake it Off” wsj.com Ariana Grande's triple push theguardian.com New Aphex Twin rollingstone.com New Dylan twitter.com Lori Majewski madworldbook.com Mad World sineadoconnor.com Sinead O'Connor chicagotribune.com Greg's Sinead review wbez.org Jim's Sinead review