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New Wave & Alison Moyet

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 those videos represented everything you either love or hate about the 1980s—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, which was made possible by then-new technology like the digital synthesizer. Jim and Greg talk to Lori about her 2014 book Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and the Songs That Defined the 1980s, 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).