A collection of the greatest music stories never told. This season the poet and cultural critic Hanif Abdurraqib explores a single year: 1980 - the brilliant, awkward and sometimes heartbreaking opening to a monumental decade in popular music.
In 1980, anti-disco sentiment was at a high and Grace Jones was coming off a trilogy of disco albums. If she stayed stagnant, it felt like her career could be swept away. And so out of disco’s death rattle – driven by the discomfort of white...
Most know Minnie Riperton because of one part in one song. “Lovin’ You” was Riperton’s biggest hit, and she doesn’t sing that magic, piercing note until around the 3-minute mark. Cancer took Riperton away tragically in 1979, and the next...
Hugh Masekela & Miriam Makeba
In December of 1980, two exiled artists and freedom fighters attempted return to their home in South Africa for a concert. Jazz musician Hugh Masekela and singer Miriam Makeba were briefly married, but they had a robust collaborative relationship...
John Lennon & Darby Crash
Punk singer Darby Crash dreamed of immortality. The single full-length Germs album was to become a holy grail of music history, and his passing might’ve made him a legend, but Darby Crash died on December 7 th , 1980. By the time the news of his...
In May of 1980, Joy Division lost its lead singer, Ian Curtis. The band decided that they would carry on with a different name. From the cutting room floor, a song with Ian Curtis haphazardly slurring the words he’d written became the first single...
The Sugarhill Gang
In 1979, "Rapper’s Delight" was released and went on to become the first Top 40 hip-hop single. Sugarhill Gang almost had no choice but to follow the single up with a full-length. So in the early months of 1980, a six song, nearly forty minute...
Customer ReviewsSee All
I am devastated that there are no more episodes. Incredibly well paced and spaced. All episodes were so well researched and written. I have no one favourite- loved them all. Thank you for the listening pleasure. Paul,Newcastle, Australia.
Really like this podcast although nothing new (kitchen sisters). If you nerd out over music history then go for it- My issue is how they are framing their content- specifically the pirate radio ep. It was about one specific station but a lot of it made it out to sound like they had invented pirate radio which isn't the case- absolutely no time given to where pirate radio came from and how its an international thing. It was also a totally one-sided telling, you hear how these guys literally sabotaged other stations and everyone was the enemy- nothing from listeners, or law inforcment or other radio producers or musicians etc. Basically means I now take everything coming from this team with a large pinch of salt.