Rock's Backpages Rock's Backpages
the online library of pop writing

< back to list of all episodes

Episode 45 : Madonna audio interview + Sugarhill Gang's 'Rapper's Delight'

20 September 2019

In this week's episode, RBP's original power trio is reunited as Barney Hoskyns returns from holiday, joined by Mark Pringle and Jasper Murison-Bowie. Los tres hombres commence with a discussion of the Sugarhill Gang's groundbreaking 'Rapper's Delight', considering its place in the history of hip hop with reference to three contemporary articles about the record.

The week's featured writer is Hit Parader's girl-about-town in swinging '60s London, Miranda Ward, whose scenester piece on Otis Redding and TV interview with George Harrison are discussed. Talk then turns to the week's audio interview, which features Madonna in conversation with Steven Daly in 2002. La Ciccone talks about her forthcoming (and widely-mocked) film Swept Away, as well as the difference between British and American class and her lapsed Catholicism and devotion to Kabbalah.

Mark begins the archive highlights section with Karl Dallas interviewing Woody Guthrie's son Arlo in 1966, moves swiftly on to John Mendelssohn poo-poohing Humble Pie live in 1969 and sparks a conversation about whether or not the live album is dead with a review of Free: Live.  Jasper rounds out the episode by discussing an interview with Héloïse Letissier of Chris/Christine and the Queens and a review of Common's Black America Again.