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Music writers Jeff Giles, Jason Hare and Mike Joseph (all formerly of popdose.com) spend an hour (or so) breaking down the “imperial phases” of some of the great pop artists of their childhoods!

Episodes

Hey Folks! Let's celebrate good times with the '80s most successful R&B group- Kool & the Gang!

Mike & the Gang (Mike Joseph, Jeff Giles and Jason Hare) trace the band's history back to its less commercial and significantly more funky origins, but mostly focus on the salad days of 1980-1985. During this time, Robert "Kool" Bell, singer James "J.T." Taylor, and their band of (seemingly) thousands ruled radio with smashes like "Joanna", "Fresh", "Cherish" and the #1 anthem "Celebration". 

Where did Kool find J.T.? Did their "Jungle Boogie"-era fans and their "Ladies' Night"-era fans coexist peacefully? Who the hell convinced Van Halen to allow 21st century era Kool (no J.T.) to open for them on their final tour? Why was J.T. always proposing eternal love and marriage, not meaningless sex like just about everyone else in the '80s? Find out on the latest episode of FM to MTV and don't forget to rate, subscribe and comment!

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They're back! Mike, Jason and Jeff wrap up their three part series looking at the career of legendary British musician George Michael. This episode covers the period starting with George's collaborations with Elton John and Queen, through his passing in 2016. Along the way, the panel discusses the "comeback" albums Older and Patience, the compilations Ladies and Gentlemen...The Best of George Michael and Twenty-Five, a lengthy stream of covers, B-sides and one-off singles, and the arrest that led to George coming out as gay. 

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The gentlemen of the FM to MTV podcast: Jeff Giles, Jason Hare, and Mike Joseph, are continuing their jaunt through the career of pop/soul royalty George Michael. In this follow-up to the Wham!-cast, the trio digs through the most imperial of George's imperial phase and discusses the years 1987-1992. These years include the wildly successful Faith album, and the not-as-successful but still pretty damn successful Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1. The trio discusses George's randy makeover, share memories of the Faith tour, and wonder why George's relationship with Sony Music couldn't be saved. 

 

Stay tuned for Part 3!

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The FM to MTV guys are huge George Michael fans.

 

Wait. 

 

TWO of the FM to MTV guys (Jason and Mike) are huge George Michael fans. Actually, the idea for this whole podcast was a result of a conversation Jason & Mike had about George Michael. So, folks, here's the first part of a whammy (pun intended). A three part look at the career of George Michael, with Part 1 covering the Wham! years. Released in time to commemorate George's birthday, Pride month and the 35th anniversary of the duo's final concert, this episode finds the team (which of course also includes Jeff Giles) diving deep into the career, music and imagery that defined one of the strangest and most successful careers in music history. From the meticulous process of creating "Careless Whisper" to the embryonic nature of "Fantastic" to attempting to find out exactly what Andrew Ridgeley did, the volume of Wham! factoids is immense. Hope you enjoy and stay tuned for Parts II and III. 

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From the cotton fields of Nutbush, Tennessee to the hills of Zurich, Tina Turner is one of the most inspirational success stories in rock music history. In this episode of FM to MTV, Jeff Giles, Jason Hare and Mike Joseph discuss her journey and the music she made along the way. 

Much of this podcast discussion is framed around the recent HBO documentary Tina! (it's a must watch), and in addition to the topics covered in the documentary, the panel discusses the genre ambiguity of Tina's '80s and '90s hits, the insurmountable odds against which her success took place, childhood impressions of Tina, some interesting choices in song selection and duet partners (hello Barry White!) and an incident in which she shot a member of the Jackson family. And as usual, the episode is supported by a Spotify playlist containing some of Tina's best music.

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We blabbed so much about Phil Collins and Genesis that the episode had to be split in two. In this installment, me (Mike), Jason and Jeff talk about Phil's drumming (and a very cool trick he'd do in concert), his late-career unraveling, Genesis's upcoming concert tour (for which official dates have been confirmed since we recorded this episode) and we talk about our favorite PC/Genesis songs. There's also a Playlist! If you use Spotify, click here for a listing of our favorite Genesis songs. Enjoy!

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The name "Phil Collins" is synonymous with the '80s, and the FM to MTV team of Jason, Jeff and Mike had so much to say about Phil (and Genesis, the band from which he spawned), that it covers two episodes. 

Part One covers the panel's introductions to Phil's music and his ubiquity for a solid decade. Solo records. Band records. Concerts. Production for artists including Frida of ABBA, Philip Bailey of Earth Wind & Fire, Eric Clapton. Charity work. Even films. How the hell did a short, balding (and eventually just bald), pasty British guy become a superstar on the level of Prince or Michael Jackson?

Was it his incredibly soulful voice? His creative videos? The drum sound that defined an entire decade of music (with apologies to the Linn drum popularized by Prince?) Maybe a little of all those things. It might have also helped that Phil was one of the few artists to maintain a thriving solo career while making frequent returns to his mothership band. This episode covers all of the above and more.

Plus, check out the Spotify playlist tailor made for this episode, covering some of the panel's favorite Phil songs. 

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The latest episode of FM To MTV finds Jeff, Jason and Mike exploring the career of singer/songwriter/king of the soundtrack Kenny Loggins. Kenny is an interesting case, with a varied and eclectic career that has seen him amass a hell of a Rolodex and score hits in just about every feasible music format of the '70s, '80s and early '90s, but never really form an identity of his own. 

Discussions within the discussion: Loggins' relationship with Michael McDonald (which resulted in a sea of hits for both), the biographical arc of his solo compositions, and the oddity The Unimaginable Life, a book and album that explored Loggins' second marriage in intense (and often uncomfortable) detail. 

Buy "The Unimaginable Life" on Amazon

The somewhat improbable/borderline nonsensical video for "I'm Free (Heaven Helps the Man)"

Kenny shows off his White boy dance movies while performing "This Is It" on TV in 1980.

A playlist compiled by Jeff, Jason and Mike with their favorite Loggins songs.

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In this episode of the FM to MTV podcast; Jeff, Jason and Mike go deep into the catalog of those singing sisters from Oakland: Ruth, June, Anita and Bonnie Pointer. While the focus is on the group's early '80s run of hits; the crew touches on the wildly diverse set of songs that initially gained the family fame. Discussion points include the randy streak that ran through many of the Pointers' hits, the vocal versatility that sometimes rendered them anonymous (how many of you who were around at the time knew immediately that "Automatic" was a Pointer Sisters song?) and their ability to spice up songs by songwriters ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Steely Dan. You'll also find out about Anita Pointer's dalliance with Stevie Wonder (it's in her book!), and we manage to work a tribute to Saved By the Bell's Dustin Diamond seamlessly into the discussion. 

 

More about Jeff, Jason and Mike here.

 

And here's a Spotify playlist containing the panel's favorite Pointer Sisters songs. 

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Elton John was one of the '70s biggest stars, but that star had begun to level off by the time the '80s rolled around. What happened to turned Elton from THE MAN to just another pop star? Jason, Jeff and Mike explore what turned out to be kind of a lost decade for the British piano man. Although he managed at least one Billboard top 40 hit every year, many of those '80s hits were somewhat forgettable. A few were outright embarrassing. There were lots of duets (with Cher, George Michael and Millie Jackson), there were odd song titles ("Sartorial Eloquence", "Lil' Frigerator"), there was LOTS of cocaine. 

 

After the episode, check out the fellas' Elton-centered Spotify playlist here. 

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