Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s

Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s

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by Lori Majewski, Jonathan Bernstein
     
 

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Mad World is a highly entertaining oral history that celebrates the New Wave music phenomenon of the 1980s via new interviews with 35 of the most notable artists of the period. Each chapter begins with a discussion of their most popular song but leads to stories of their history and place in the scene, ultimately painting a vivid picture of this colorful,

Overview

Mad World is a highly entertaining oral history that celebrates the New Wave music phenomenon of the 1980s via new interviews with 35 of the most notable artists of the period. Each chapter begins with a discussion of their most popular song but leads to stories of their history and place in the scene, ultimately painting a vivid picture of this colorful, idiosyncratic time. Mixtape suggestions, fashion sidebars, and quotes from famous contemporary admirers help fill out the fun. Participants include members of Duran Duran, New Order, The Smiths, Tears for Fears, Adam Ant, Echo and the Bunnymen, Devo, ABC, Spandau Ballet, A Flock of Seagulls, Thompson Twins, and INXS.

Editorial Reviews

Ian Drew
"Holy Human League! Mad World professes to not be a definitive history of New Wave, but its authors could've fooled me. Every fantastic detail of the era pops back to life via the vivid tales of its top titans, from Adam Ant to Kajagoogoo (that's right! Kajagoogoo!). Getting lost in story after story made me never want to return to the world of twerking, texting and soy lattes. Come on, Eileen — can't we just whip it good forever?"
Music Editor, Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter - Shirley Halperin
Mad World is an exhaustive, revelatory history of one of the most important eras of modern pop music. Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein lived it, breathed it, and loved it—and make you want to relive it all over again. In a word: awesome.”
Alan Light
"Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein take us behind the hairspray and eyeliner to reveal the inside stories of the songs that defined an often-overlooked era — tales of inspiration, ambition, tension, and, of course, hairspray and eyeliner.”
contributing editor to Rolling Stone and author of Talking to Girls About Duran Duran - Rob Sheffield
“Here it is—the whole glossy, gory, glorious story of the 1980s new wave revolution, in one addictive chapter after another. These are the artists who lived it all out, whether it’s Duran Duran making the “Girls on Film” video or Kim Wilde finally explaining the “East California” enigma. Mad World captures the wild enthusiasm of the moment, evoking a time of perfect songs, innovative style, and lipstick cherry all over the lens.”
co-author of VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV's First Wave and DJ, SiriusXM - Martha Quinn
“If you thrill to the sight of the MTV flag waving on the moon, if camera-click sounds make your heart skip a beat in anticipation of Duran Duran’s “Girls On Film,” and you know precisely what killed the radio star, then you’ll melt with Mad World! Interviews with artists (Adam Ant, Kim Wilde, Howard Jones, Morrissey!) provide inside scoop on the MTV Generation hits we love.”
New York Magazine's Vulture and former MTV VJ - Dave Holmes
“Remember the feeling you had in your youth, when you’d meet a stranger who had your obscure favorite band’s pin on their jacket? Reading Mad World feels exactly like that, except your new friend is charming, much smarter than you, shockingly well connected, and ready to dish. My one problem with the book is my one problem with the New Wave era: that it had to end.”
USA Today's Pop Candy Blog
“Co-authors Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein interviewed all of the bands and uncovered many tidbits that blew my mind. I called Lori to reminisce about the ’80s—and dang, I’d love to have 12 more conversations with her, because we didn't even touch upon INXS or Depeche Mode.”
The Hollywood Reporter Online
“The book tells the tale of some of the decade’s most unforgettable songs . . . in fascinating detail, letting the architects of these memorable records shine a light on how the sound of a generation came to be.”
New York Post
“In the book Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s, journalists Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein interviewed some of the most memorable musicians of the genre to find out how it came to be.”
The Huffington Post
“Many tomes about Rock and Roll exist, but Mad World is one of the first to give artists from the 1980s another day in the sun.”
RollingStone.com
“If you miss the days when the world was made of mesh and lace, you’ll want to check out Mad World . . . hugely entertaining.”
The Los Angeles Review of Books
“While Mad World is a must-have for the formerly frosted bangs set, it serves as a useful primer for anyone curious about the oft-maligned new wave era.”
People.com
“A really informative and insightful read.”
Adam Ant
“It’s a book that pays due to an overlooked generation.”
executive producer of the Howard Stern Show, on the post-Stern Wrap Up show - Gary Dell'Abate
“I want to plug a book that I have nothing to do with but that I’m reading and loving and recommending to friends. It’s called Mad World. If you’re a big fan of 80s new wave music, they take all of those songs, and each chapter is a behind-the-scenes about the song, like “Come On Eileen,” “Take on Me,” [“True” by] Spandau Ballet. I am fascinated by this book.”
USA Today’s Pop Candy Blog

“Co-authors Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein interviewed all of the bands and uncovered many tidbits that blew my mind. I called Lori to reminisce about the ’80s—and dang, I’d love to have 12 more conversations with her, because we didn't even touch upon INXS or Depeche Mode.”
executive producer of the Howard Stern Show, on the post-Stern Wrap Up show - Gary Dell’Abate

“I want to plug a book that I have nothing to do with but that I’m reading and loving and recommending to friends. It’s called Mad World. If you’re a big fan of 80s new wave music, they take all of those songs, and each chapter is a behind-the-scenes about the song, like “Come On Eileen,” “Take on Me,” [“True” by] Spandau Ballet. I am fascinated by this book.”
Tony Fletcher
“There aren't many books where you find The Smiths sharing cover space with Adam Ant, or Echo & The Bunnymen considered peers of Duran Duran. But that’s Mad World for you—“An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s,” in which all manner of unlikely bedfellows are assigned equal space and glory in a very American perspective on that early 1980s period of big hair, big mouths, and, in far too many cases, very bad trousers. (Or pants, if you’re a Yank.) In gathering up copious first-person interviews—including, to their enormous credit, a certain Morrissey—the American-born Majewski and Scots-raised Bernstein have assembled a thorough, and thoroughly entertaining, oral history of a vital period in popular music.”
Buzzfeed
“The new wave era is often dismissed for its one-hit wonders and silly haircuts, but Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein’s book examines the period with a great deal of love and reverence.”
Library Journal
05/15/2014
Writing an oral history of new wave music is an appreciably tall order given its sheer breadth and lack of distinct genre boundaries. Clearly recognizing this, coauthors Majewski and Bernstein (Pretty in Pink) have taken a generally sound approach in this book. Eschewing a comprehensive take, they instead focus on one song per artist included and use introductory descriptions, interviews, and where-are-they-now updates to provide a snapshot of where the song (and artist) fit within the movement. Their selections lean more toward new wave's pop-heavy and audience-friendly period in the early 1980s, which means that bands closer to the post-punk spectrum, goth rock groups in particular, receive less attention. Yet they demonstrate a strong knowledge of their subject without (mercifully) being overly glib or snarky in tone. Fans looking for juicy specifics likely won't be disappointed with the detail-laden interviews, particularly with verbal grenades lobbed between A Flock of Seagulls and many other artists. VERDICT As a good overview of new wave, this title should appeal to a wide audience of pop music lovers.—Chris Martin, North Dakota State Univ. Libs., Fargo

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781419710971
Publisher:
Abrams Image
Publication date:
04/15/2014
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
261,247
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Lori Majewski was a cofounder and editor-in-chief of Teen People. She was also an executive editor of Entertainment Weekly and Us Weekly. She lives in Weehawken, New Jersey.
 
Jonathan Bernstein is a Los Angeles–based writer. He is the author of, among other titles, Pretty In Pink: The Golden Age of Teenage Movies, and has contributed to publications such as The Guardian, Spin, Rolling Stone, and The Face.

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Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was an easy read - each song had just enough pages dedicated to it to keep your attention and not drag on too long. Anyone who loved the 80's and it's music will enjoy this book.