Wednesday, August 09, 2017

"It's like looking at Patrick Bateman's record collection"

Episode 19 of Sounding Bored finds host Rob joined by regular panellists Amy and David to discuss the musical quality and enormous cultural impact of mainstream 1980s pop. Extensive consideration is (quite rightly) given to Wham/George Michael, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Madonna, as well as to some of the factors that distinguished the 1980s from the previous decade: the rise of MTV, the critical importance of the video and the recognition of music as a visual medium as well as an aural one; the use of synths and production bells and whistles; the pursuit of exposure leading to courting controversy and the advancement of progressive causes such as feminism and gay rights.

Over the course of the hour-long episode, Rob mentions the era-defining Band Aid/Live Aid gigs and singles; Amy offers a stout defence of the Stock Aitken Waterman hit factory and brands the monstrously popular Phil Collins "yuppie pop"; and David underlines the fascinating difference between the UK and the US in terms of 1980s album sales (the latter charts were dominated by rock rather than pop acts), as well as admitting he burst into tears when George Michael broke into 'Father Figure' at Wembley Arena and at one point talking about "giving crying black Jesus a blow job" (in relation to Madonna's 'Like A Prayer' video, of course).

Album of the month is Haim's very 1980s-influenced Something To Tell You, which - according to the panel - doesn't actually have much to say, sounding largely like a glossy, "soporific" and unadventurous take on Wilson Phillips and Warpaint.

And if all that isn't enough to tempt you into giving the podcast a listen, it kicks off with Amy talking about Taylor Swift being smuggled into her own house in boxes...

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