Can't Slow Down: How 1984 Became Pop's Blockbuster Year

Can't Slow Down: How 1984 Became Pop's Blockbuster Year

by Michaelangelo Matos


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


A Rolling Stone-Kirkus Best Music Book of 2020

The definitive account of pop music in the mid-eighties, from Prince and Madonna to the underground hip-hop, indie rock, and club scenes
Everybody knows the hits of 1984 - pop music's greatest year. From "Thriller" to "Purple Rain," "Hello" to "Against All Odds," "What's Love Got to Do with It" to "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," these iconic songs continue to dominate advertising, karaoke nights, and the soundtracks for film classics (Boogie Nights) and TV hits (Stranger Things). But the story of that thrilling, turbulent time, an era when Top 40 radio was both the leading edge of popular culture and a moral battleground, has never been told with the full detail it deserves - until now. Can't Slow Down is the definitive portrait of the exploding world of mid-eighties pop and the time it defined, from Cold War anxiety to the home-computer revolution. Big acts like Michael Jackson (Thriller), Prince (Purple Rain), Madonna (Like a Virgin), Bruce Springsteen (Born in the U.S.A.), and George Michael (Wham!'s Make It Big) rubbed shoulders with the stars of the fermenting scenes of hip-hop, indie rock, and club music.
Rigorously researched, mapping the entire terrain of American pop, with crucial side trips to the UK and Jamaica, from the biz to the stars to the upstarts and beyond, Can't Slow Down is a vivid journey to the very moment when pop was remaking itself, and the culture at large - one hit at a time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780306903373
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 12/08/2020
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 99,943
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

MICHAELANGELO MATOS is the author of The Underground Is Massive: How Electronic Dance Music Conquered America (Dey Street, 2015) and Sign 'O' the Times (Bloomsbury, 2004). He contributes regularly to Mix-mag and the New Yorker and lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Table of Contents

Introduction vii

1 WPLJ-FM, New York City, August 7, 1983 1

2 Supreme Court, Washington, DC, January 17, 1984 15

3 Newsweek: "Britain Rocks America-Again," January 23, 1984 24

4 Sunset Strip, Hollywood, February 25, 1984 42

5 Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, February 28, 1984 63

6 Castro Theatre, San Francisco, April 24, 1984 92

7 Island Records, London, May 8, 1984 108

8 The 13th Annual International Country Music Fan Fair, Nashville, June 4-10, 1984 118

9 WPIX Channel 11, New York City, June, 29, 1984 128

10 Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri, July 6, 1984 150

11 Mann's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, July 26, 1984 168

12 Matter No. 9, Chicago, Illinois, July-August 1984 188

13 New Music Seminar, New York City, August 6-8, 1984 209

14 Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, August 12, 1984 228

15 Radio City Music Hall, New York City, September 14, 1984 244

16 Civic Arena, Pittsburgh, September 21, 1984 266

17 EMI Records, New York City, November 13, 1984 285

18 SARM Studios, London, November 25, 1984 306

19 Westwood One, Culver City, California, April 20, 1985 328

20 Wembley Stadium, London, and JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, July 13, 1985 346

Acknowledgments 373

Notes 375

Index 447

Customer Reviews