During the pandemic, Richard Evans set out to create a definitive record of electronic pop music during its earliest and most defining era, between 1978 and 1983. Instead of interviewing people with rose-tinted and distorted memories of that period, he instead decided to research the very magazines and publications being created as things happened to piece together an accurate record of the movement as it unfolded in real time.
His book Listening To The Music The Machines Make - Inventing Electronic Pop 1978-1983 sets out to examine the multitude of influences that led to the synthpop revolution that spanned a five year period; telling the definitive story of a true golden age of British pop music through the careers, releases and stories of the movement’s pioneers with the input of key figures, including Vince Clarke (Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Erasure), Martyn Ware (The Human League, B.E.F., Heaven 17) and Daniel Miller (The Normal, Mute Records).
Interviewer Rob Puricelli talks to Richard about his 500 page epic!
00:00 - Introduction
01:16 - Why choose this 5-year period?
04:40 - What made you want to write this book?
12:17 - What do you consider milestone songs in electronic pop?
17:29 - Were producers and labels more important back then?
20:07 - Why was British electronic pop at the forefront of the movement?
28:00 - The impact of Bowie
31:29 - The influence of literature and politics on early electronic pop
35:05 - Witnessing electronic music live
40:00 - Will we ever see a musical revolution like that again?
44:05 - What did you learn about how under-represented women were in this genre?
Richard Evans - Biog
Richard Evans has worked in the music industry for over thirty years in a variety of roles, including positions at London Records, Factory Records and MTV Europe. In 1998 he set up marketing consultancy The Fan Base and has been connecting musical artists with their audiences ever since. He is the founder of the This Is Not Retro website and record label and has worked for Andy Bell, Vince Clarke and Erasure since 2009. Richard is based in Dorset, where he lives in perpetual fear of being asked what his favourite record is.
For details about where to buy the book visit:
Accompanying Spotify Playlist:
Interviewer: Rob Puricelli - Biog
Rob Puricelli is a Music Technologist and Instructional Designer who has a healthy obsession with classic synthesizers and their history. In conjunction with former Fairlight Studio Manager, Peter Wielk, he fixes and restores Fairlight CMI’s so that they can enjoy prolonged and productive lives with new owners. He also writes reviews and articles for Sound On Sound, his own website, Failed Muso, and other music-related publications, as well as hosting a weekly livestream on YouTube for the Pro Synth Network and guesting on numerous music technology podcasts and shows. Rob also works alongside a number of manufacturers, demonstrating their products and lecturing about music technology at various educational and vocational establishments.
About the Electronic Music podcast channel
On this channel we feature some of the pioneers of the industry, interview musicians and talk about retro and current gear.
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