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Lost Notes: 1980 (Season 3)

In 1980, the horizon was bursting with possibility.

The Voyager 1 had confirmed a new moon of Saturn. “The Miracle on Ice” had happened and the country was still buzzing. “The Empire Strikes Back” and Pac Man were released on back to back days. 

In the music world, Sugarhill Gang were riding the success of Rapper’s Delight to release a debut album. 

Siouxsie and the Banshees were ascending to their creative peak.

Yet, is it ever that simple? 

David Bowie got divorced. Lou Reed got married. Ian Curtis died before Joy Division got to touch down on a U.S. Tour.

And by the end of the year, John Lennon’s death would signal the end of a rock n’ roll era. 

1980 was a monumental year in popular music. It had immense losses, revolutions, redefinitions and reformations. The decade stumbled into its own brilliance as time went on. But the third season of Lost Notes will spend time looking at its first year - its brilliant, awkward, and sometimes heartbreaking opening. 

Your host is Hanif Abdurraqib. He’s a nationally celebrated poet and essayist from Columbus, Ohio. His critically-acclaimed book Go Ahead In The Rain: Notes To A Tribe Called Quest was a New York Times bestseller. He’s released several collections of poetry and essays including They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us and A Fortune For Your Disaster. 

For Lost Notes: 1980 Abdurraqib looks at how the first full-length album from the Sugarhill Gang set the stakes for an entirely new genre of music, how record producers set out to bring Minnie Riperton back to life and how Stevie Wonder delivered on the comeback he was due. Abdurraqib shares an Ian Curtis song that the fallen singer’s bandmates used to birth New Order plus a reflection on the concert that the South African government never wanted Hugh Masekela and Miriam Makeba to perform. You’ll learn how punk singer Darby Crash tried to rise to immortality but was interrupted when John Lennon passed away the very next day and how, in 1980, Grace Jones rose from disco’s death rattle -  reinforced and reimagined - into a new decade freshly obsessed with risk. 

Find Lost Notes: 1980 on September 24th wherever you listen.


Lost Notes Season 2

Celebrated  music journalist and author Jessica Hopper takes the reins of this newest season of the music documentary podcast Lost Notes. The author of The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic has unearthed an epic haul of untold music stories.

This season looks at artist legacies. How do they hold up? How do they change over time? Learn how decades on, a song can find new meaning, something different than when it was written. Find out what happens when we apply our 2019 politics to 1974’s songs. And hear from pioneering women who have been written out of music’s history.

Subjects this season include a profile of synth pioneer Suzanne Ciani, a reexamination of guitarist John Fahey’s career via the women who knew him best, an interview with ahead-of-their-time 70s female rockers Fanny, a dive into indie songstress Cat Power’s album The Greatest, and much more.

Lost Notes Season 1

The debut season of Lost Notes was hosted by Solomon Georgio and includes untold stories about The Shaggs, Captain Beefheart, New Edition, the rock anthem Louie Louie from journalists Susan Orlean, Kristine McKenna, David Weinberg and many others.

Listen to the Lost Notes playlist, featuring music behind the stories from Lost Notes seasons 1 and 2: