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Episode 42 : Dusty Springfield + Alicia Keys + Taylor Swift with Lucy O'Brien

30 August 2019

In this week's episode of the RBP podcast, Mark & Barney are joined by She Bop queen Lucy O'Brien to discuss her life in journalism – from her days distributing Spare Rib magazine at her convent school to being a member of the "soulcialist" faction at the NME. They explore how creeping consumerism and confusion about the paper's identity caused it to lose much of what set it apart, precipitating its eventual demise.

To celebrate the new revised and updated edition of Lucy's classic Dusty Springfield biography, they discuss what set Dusty apart as a singer and the problems she faced as a result of her sexuality. In the context of Lucy's definitive She Bop: The Definitive History of Women in Popular Music, the three of them consider a number of female artists including Madonna, Taylor Swift and Skunk Anansie's Skin, before listening to a clip from the week's audio interview with Alicia Keys, conducted by Maureen Paton in 2010.

Finally, exploring what else is new in the RBP archive, Mark reads from some of his highlights, including a somewhat perplexing Iggy Pop interview, Lemmy talking about Mods and combs, and Tim Westwood's cultural appropriation of hip hop.

Find Lucy O'Brien's website at and order Dusty: The Classic Biography from the publisher's website at

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie