Interview with Lori Majewski (March 2015): Author of “Mad World”
Earlier this year, we reviewed “Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs that Defined the 1980s” by Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein. This book is a “must have” for any pop music aficionado as the book chronicles the journeys of the bands that together defined the creative manifesto for the last truly innovative period in pop music history. A substantial portion of the stories are told through narratives by the artists and bands themselves. Noteworthy examples include Curt Smith from Tears for Fears, Peter Hook from New Order, and Magne Furuholmen from a-ha. We have been wanting to interview both authors for a while and we finally got our chance to interview Lori Majewski almost three weeks ago. Our discussion revolves around the book and the music industry. We profusely apologize in advance for the lag time between the actual interview date and the publishing of this interview on our radio blog. Here it is:
During the interview, we did something to Lori that we love doing to our interview guests. We put her on the spot and asked her to recommend newer songs by the artists in her book that she believed could be radio hits in today’s pop music landscape. Lori asked for additional time to send us this list and here it is for you (in her own words):
1. Duran Duran: “Pressure Off” (coming soon!)
Yes, Nile Rodgers and Janelle Monae feature on this lead-off single from Duran’s forthcoming 14th album. But while cool collaborators have brought them buzz over the years (see Timbaland and Timberlake’s guest appearances on 2008’s tragically underrated Red Carpet Massacre), it’s the funky, rock-solid rhythm section of bassist John Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor that’s always separated new wave’s most enduring act from their early-80s contemporaries.
2. Spandau Ballet: “Steal“
I had the fortune of getting to hear the band play this, one of songwriter Gary Kemp’s most recent compositions — it’s included on their most recent greatest-hits collection, The Story: The Very Best of Spandau Ballet — during Spandau’s January 2015 in-studio session for SiriusXM’s First Wave. As I told Kemp afterward, “Steal” could’ve been written 30 years ago, 20 years ago, or just yesterday. Like his most timeless song, “True,” it’s a classic.
3. Midge Ure: “Dark, Dark Night”
When I first heard the Ultravox/Visage maestro’s latest album, 2014’s Fragile, I was so impressed that I had to reach out to fellow Midge fan Moby to make sure he had a listen. Turns out, Moby actually contributed to one of the tracks — and my favorite, to boot! “Dark, Dark Night” is a gorgeous slice of melancholy from my number-two record of all of last year, which also happens to be my number-one Midge solo effort of all time.
4. Echo and the Bunnymen, “Meteorites”
Frontman Ian McCulloch is one of the most colorful interviews in Mad World, in part because his narcissism is endlessly entertaining. But go and listen to “The Killing Moon.” And “The Cutter.” And even 2014’s “Meteorites.” If there were a soundtrack for Heaven — hmm…make that Purgatory — this would surely be on it.
5. U2: “Every Breaking Wave.”
Months after their latest album, Songs of Innocence, was lambasted by jaded music critics (more than a few had a problem with the way U2 were “gifting” it to anyone with iTunes, and therefore refused to give it a proper listen), I’m still playing — and loving — this track.
We are an American internet radio station that broadcasts worldwide. The station features an eclectic mix of current pop and rock music from both sides of the Atlantic alongside hits, forgotten gems, and rarities from the last three decades. Unlike most broadcast radio stations featuring pop/rock music, we regularly feature newer material by the artists and bands whose stories are chronicled in “Mad World” alongside music by newer artists thus giving the listener a broader view of the modern pop music landscape.
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