Hit Parade

The Bridge: Genre vs. Generation, ’80s to ’10s

Chris Molanphy and Ned Raggett discuss the ’80s wave of British alt-rock.

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About the Show

Chris Molanphy, a pop-chart analyst and author of Slate’s “Why Is This Song No. 1?” series, tells tales from a half-century of chart history. Through storytelling, trivia, and song snippets, Chris dissects how that song you love—or hate—dominated the airwaves, made its way to the top of the charts, and shaped your memories forever.

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  • Chris Molanphy is a feature writer and critic who writes widely about music and the pop charts.

Episode Notes

In this midmonth mini-episode of Hit Parade, host Chris Molanphy is joined by Ned Raggett, freelance music writer for All Music Guide and the Quietus, and expert on the ’80s U.K. bands celebrated on the most recent full-length episode of Hit Parade. Chris and Ned discuss what they call the “holy quartet” of British postpunk bands—the Cure, the Smiths, Depeche Mode, and New Order—and Ned weighs in on the challenge of what to call this wave: Is it goth? Mope rock? Do these bands actually constitute a genre, or more of a generational cohort? Also, Chris quizzes a Slate Plus listener with some music trivia, and the contestant turns the tables with a chance to try to stump Chris with a trivia question of his own. And finally, Chris teases the upcoming full-length episode of Hit Parade, which will be a retrospective look at the 2010s.

While this episode is available to all listeners, our trivia round is open only to Slate Plus members. If you are a member—or once you become a member—enter as a contestant here.

Want your question featured in an upcoming show? Email a voice memo to hitparade@slate.com.

Podcast production by Asha Saluja.