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Summary

The '80s were about big ideas writ large - new money, new style, gender fluidity, gay pride, attritional politics, the 'special relationship', nuclear fear, AIDS, cocaine, ecstasy, tabloid royalty, the rise of urban pop and ultimately geopolitical chaos. Using a big narrative approach, Dylan Jones' history of the decade in pop frames the decade through some of its most important and popular hits, choosing records that either epitomised their time or ushered in a new cultural shift. So we move seamlessly from 'Rapper's Delight' and the genre-defining moment of hip hop into The Specials' spectral 'Ghost Town'; from ABC and the apotheosis of New Pop ('The Look of Love') to Madonna's breakthrough moment with 'Like a Virgin', and so on. 

In the '80s each year brought a new twist as technology shifted and genres snowballed, MTV reigned supreme and the story of pop became globalised. It was a decade of excess in all areas, especially ambition, but it was in the transcendent moments of pop perfection that the '80s found its true art-form.

Subjective and idiosyncratic, Shiny and New takes us from downtown New York to post-industrial Manchester in the first widescreen attempt to weave together the stories, the songs and events that reshaped music and society.

©2021 Dylan Jones (P)2021 Orion Publishing Group

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Very good but slightly annoying performance

Generally well read, but annoying how so many words and names are mispronounced. Would still recommend though.

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The 80s that were

Like a virgin , shiny and new, I completed my first audio book. The advent of Sonos in every room made for the perfect backdrop to take a trip down memory lane. Beware I’ve been sharing this book with friends I shared this time or music with. Big up to Simon Slater I enjoy his narrative.