Even if you don’t know your Kajagoogoo from your Yaz, this oral history of New Wave is entertaining enough to suck up the next few hours of your life, regardless of your relationship with the genre. Culled from countless interviews by music journalists Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein, Mad World captures bands big (Duran Duran, The Psychedelic Furs) and obscure (The Normal, Ultravox) in this run down of the music that filled the void between punk rock and hair metal.
The book is written in a very casual, easy to digest manner, leading with an intro on each band, followed by a where-are-they-now catch up, reminiscent of VH1’a Behind the Music. Both authors add in anecdotes of their own tied to each band, making the book that much more fun.
There are a few bands included here that genre purists might quibble with (while The Smiths and Joy Division are both incredible bands, I would argue it’s a stretch to classify both as New Wave groups), but there is very little else to argue with here. The book is immensely fun and will have any child of the ‘80s running for their old box of tapes/CDs to check back in on Adam and The Ants and Berlin.