Defining a decade – a new book is set to showcase ‘ten moments of pop genius that defined the 80s’


From The Specials’ Ghost Town to ABC’s The Look of Love, and from Sugarhill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight to Madonna’s Like A Virgin, the 1980s was a decade filled with pop milestones.

A new book by author and journalist Dylan Jones, set to be published by White Rabbit books this summer, will select ten of the iconic moments in 80s pop history, and how they helped to define the decade.

Shiny And New: Ten Moments of Pop Genius that Defined the ’80s will frame the decade through some of its most important and popular hits, choosing records which either epitomised their time, or ushered in a new cultural shift.

Throughout the decade, each year brought a new twist as technology shifted and genres snowballed, MTV reigned supreme and the story of pop became globalised. Whether in downtown New York or post-industrial Manchester, it was an era of transcendent pop perfection.

According to Jones, the book “is a completely new take on the Eighties, a book which not only shines a light into the decade’s dark crevices, but which also used ten moments of pop perfection to illustrate the extraordinary musical variety that decade encouraged. The Eighties will never die, they just keep mutating!”

White Rabbit’s Lee Brackstone, who previously worked with Jones while at Faber, is similarly enthused about the project.

“It’s very much the case that this book didn’t exist, so we had to invent it,” he says. “How could there not be an absorbing, contentious, celebratory history of pop music in the 1980s, the decade that ‘popped’ more than any other? Well, there is now. Shiny And New is the tonic we all need right now; a celebration of pop at its most thrilling and the huge personalities who defined the decade.”

Shiny And New: Ten Moments of Pop Genius that Defined the ’80s will be released on White Rabbit on 8 July 2021. Also keep an eye out for a second book set to be penned by Jones, Faster Than A Cannonball: 1995, Cool Britannia, Britpop, The Beatles And All That, which is set to be published in 2022.

To get you in the mood, here’s a curated playlist with a track from each year of the 1980s.

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