Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s: Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein: Paperback

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As a teenager back in the early ’80s, this music was what I loved and hunted for in every record store that I could find. I taped songs off the radio (CFNY and CHUM FM), hunted down British magazines and the odd book from usually the UK. This gave me a few insights that I had not know before and made me actually care about some of the bands that didn’t really stand out to me back then…or now.

With snappy writing and comments from the two writers telling us their memories and likes and dislikes, it added a nice personal touch to the interviews with the artists. It starts off with a cool intro by Nick Rhodes and ends with Moby giving us their thoughts and memories of the times and in between, we get to hear about certain popular songs and the careers of the bands that stood out back then. I learned that BERLIN messed up their chance to perform at the Oscars by being hardheaded. While “Take My Breath Away” was soaring in the charts, singer Terri Nunn received a call from the Academy Awards’ producers asking the band to perform a few lines as part of a medley. “I said, ‘If I can’t sing the whole song, I’m not doing it.” So they watched the show on TV from “somewhere in Taiwan” as their song, which was performed by Lou Rawls, took Best Original Song. ANIMOTION’s interview was really interesting and made me feel bad about how “Obsession” really destroyed the band, but no matter what, I still don’t care about A-HA. Sorry. The recommended playlist during the interviews are an interesting mix of songs that give you a nice collection to put on your music player. It was also cool to read about the NORMAL which never get written about and having Martyn Ware talk about his days in the early HUMAN LEAGUE, shame that Phil Oakey didn’t want to be interviewed as well.

With some great insights from the artists, plus great pictures and being well-written, this is a great read from cover to cover. I read this book and remembered exactly where I was when I heard these songs and even though it made me a bit sad that those days are over, it made me happy to be there when these songs first came out and music was fresh every time I turned on the radio.

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