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They first met on the grade school playground in 1984, and quickly bonded over their fondness for contemporary pop music and their realization that they were both wise beyond their years when it came to their knowledge of music. Now, more than three decades later and living on opposite coasts (Chris lives in the Pacific Northwest, Jon in Southern New England), these two pals take a nostalgic look back and discuss some of their favorite music ever recorded.
 
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show series
 
Jon and Chris are joined by Jim Moscater and Listen Closely newcomer, Mike Slatky, for the finale of season two. The four take an insightful and entertaining look at Tattoo You from The Rolling Stones. Released nearly forty years ago and consisting almost entirely of previously unreleased demos and outtakes, Tattoo You was the surprise hit album of…
 
In a career that has spanned an impressive sixty years, the great American troubadour, Neil Diamond, has given the world plenty of hits (and a few misses). One of the more fascinating moments in this career came when he joined forces with Robbie Robertson of The Band (much to the chagrin of Robertson's bandmates) for 1976s Beautiful Noise. While th…
 
Starting 2021 off with the most contemporary album they have discussed to date, Chris and Jon do a deep dive into 2014s Lost in the Dream from American indie rock band, The War on Drugs. Upon its release, this album quickly garnered praise from critics, many of whom considered it to be one of the best albums of the year. Lost in the Dream is a mood…
 
Jon and Chris welcome Jim Moscater back to the podcast, and the three say goodbye to 2020 in style by paying homage to the Brazilian Bossa Nova craze of the 1960s, and the album that started it all. Featuring the brilliant American saxophonist, Stan Getz. and the legendary Brazilian guitarist, Joao Gilberto, the album introduced America to the beau…
 
In this very special (and somewhat long) episode, hosts Jon and Chris take a fond and sentimental look back at their favorite Christmas music of all time, and each of them count down their top five Christmas carols. The duo also discuss their December 1985 acting debuts in a third grade production of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, in which Jon…
 
There was no escaping the Fine Young Cannibals and their chart-topping album, The Raw and the Cooked, in 1989 and 1990. Combining new wave, techno, and soul sounds, the album was #1 for seven consecutive weeks during the summer of 1989, and their lead singer, Roland Gift, graced the cover of Rolling Stone, was named one of People's 50 Most Beautifu…
 
As the lead singer and principal songwriter of the pioneering 1970s soft rock group, Bread, David Gates was one of the decade's most successful and accomplished songsmiths. Releasing six studio albums in their less than a decade together, Bread had more than a dozen hit singles (five of which peaked in the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 between 1…
 
Though they had been together since the late 1970s, Sheffield, England's Pulp would ride the Britpop wave of the 1990s to finally achieve superstar status in the UK and beyond. Fronted by the cheeky and lanky singer/songwriter, Jarvis Cocker, the group combined new wave, disco and synth-pop sounds with Cocker's irreverent, witty, and often times de…
 
By the mid-1970s, Fleetwood Mac were a well-established blues/rock band with a cult following and a revolving door of guitarists. Widespread commercial success, however, had eluded them. That would all change in 1975 with the addition of a brilliant young guitarist and singer, Lindsey Buckingham, and his incredibly talented on-again/off-again girlf…
 
Though it had been fifteen years since their debut, Genesis released their eponymous album in the fall of 1983. This was a fitting move, as the album signaled both a change in the group's songwriting process, and also a move toward a new, more accessible pop/rock sound with traces of their progressive roots interspersed periodically. Across the cou…
 
Rock and Roll can often times be a bit of a soap opera, and the circumstances surrounding the making of this landmark album were no exception. Addicted to heroin, drinking heavily, and obsessed with a gorgeous blonde model (who happened to be married to his best friend, George Harrison), a young Eric Clapton assembled a stellar line-up of musicians…
 
The 1990s were quite the decade for U2. They reinvented their sound and style with the daring album, Achtung Baby, and then quickly released the equally impressive follow-up album, Zooropa, less than two years later. But 1997s Pop proved to be a commercial and critical disappointment, and left many wondering if Bono and the boys were starting to ru…
 
Despite the massive commercial success of their debut single, Creep, in 1993, most critics dismissed Radiohead as a one-hit wonder. But two years later, their sophomore effort, The Bends, took the world by storm and by surprise. Filled with dark and lovely ballads, soaring vocals, and grinding guitars, the album would go on to be considered one of …
 
Released nearly five years before their commercial blockbuster, Brothers in Arms, made them MTV superstars, 1980s Making Movies is considered by most critics and fans to be Dire Straits' true masterpiece. Though it contains only seven tracks, each of them tell a spectacular tale (from star-crossed lovers, to a sultry girl on roller skates, to the l…
 
When it was released in the summer of 2004, Hot Fuss- the debut album from the Vegas-based band, The Killers- took America (and eventually the world) by storm. Chock-full of catchy, anthemic songs and a synth-laden sound that calls to mind the best of 1980s New Wave, Hot Fuss went on to become one of the most well-received albums of the new millenn…
 
From his early days as the frontman for the pioneering art-rock band, Roxy Music, right up until present day, the great Bryan Ferry has crafted both a sound and style that has been imitated countless times, but never quite duplicated. In honor of this suave and dapper crooner and songwriter's 75th birthday on September 26th, Jon and Chris take a lo…
 
His upbeat and snappy 1988 solo debut, Faith, made him an unexpected global superstar and- in his own words- ‘every little hungry schoolgirl’s pride and joy.’ But with his 1990 follow-up, Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1, the late George Michael did an about-face and released a stripped-down, deeply personal collection of songs that reflected his ow…
 
There isn't much to be said about the 1976 masterpiece from the Eagles, 'Hotel California,' that hasn't already been said. And yet, in the Season Two premiere of Listen Closely with Jon & Chris, the two manage to devote an entire hour to the album. Featuring their trademark polished harmonies, Hotel California also includes some of the finest work …
 
Widely regarded as one of the most influential bands of all time (they're Jon’s #1 favorite band) and long praised by critics, Roxy Music were finally inducted into the Rock and Roll of Fame in 2019. Yet their 1980 album, Flesh + Blood, was largely panned by critics and dismissed by many die-hard Roxy Music fans. In the final episode of season one …
 
In the penultimate (a word both Jon and Chris are quite fond of) episode of season one of Listen Closely with Jon & Chris, the guys are joined by longtime friend and fellow popular music enthusiast, Jim Moscater. The three discuss the jazzy, funky, and cryptic 1977 masterpiece, Aja, by Steely Dan. Featuring the finest session musicians of the era, …
 
After a five-year disappearing act which landed him on a mountaintop surrounded by Buddhist monks, the charming and eloquent Canadian singer-songwriter/poet/ladies man returned to the music scene refreshed and reinvigorated with several new songs (ten, to be exact), Cohen also joined forces with this album's secret weapon: Sharon Robinson, a multi-…
 
On July 13th, 1985, the Live Aid concerts were held simultaneously in London and Philadelphia. They featured the top pop and rock musicians of the day, and over sixteen hours of live music. Organized by a fading post-punk/new wave performer (Bob Geldof) the purpose of the concerts (which were referred to as a 'Global Jukebox') were to raise money f…
 
Perfect July 4th Weekend listening, this landmark album from the legendary Boz Scaggs is blue-eyed 70s soul at its absolute finest. Featuring incredible musicianship, smooth vocals, and slick production, the album is filled with infectious melodies and bizarre lyrics (track #2, 'Georgia,' is not an ode to the Peachtree state, but is instead about a…
 
A monumental album from The Boss. Chris loves it, Jon has mixed feelings about it. But both agree that this is one of the most important and significant rock albums of the 1980s and perhaps even of all time. Listen as Chris gets all professorial while discussing the finer points of the title track, and Jon spends a large part of the episode singing…
 
One of the most underrated bands of the 1990s (and beyond) is undoubtedly the multi-talented Manchester band, James. Produced by the legendary, Brian Eno, their 1993 album - which contains the hit song, 'Laid'- is widely considered to be one of the best to come out of the UK in the 1990s. Take a close listen as Jon and Chris examine the album, and …
 
This genre of music (often referred to as 'Yacht Rock' or Marina Rock') is so near and dear to both Chris and Jon that they obnoxiously devote over an hour to it. Listen to this often entertaining and occasionally rambling analysis of the smooth, easy sounds of the late-70s and early-80s. And what better way is there to launch a summer of isolation…
 
Breakout your favorite red headband, and listen closely as Jon and Chris discuss one of the most popular and successful rock albums of the 1980s. And while the two agree that the album (featuring incredible guitar, vocals and lyrics by the incomparable Mark Knopfler) is a watershed moment of 1980s music, take a listen as Jon and Chris nearly end a …
 
Mysterious, angry, boozy, sweeping. These are just a few words to describe this often underrated 1980s masterpiece by Elvis Costello and the Attractions. The album finds Costello at the peak of his powers as a singer/songwriter, and the album's production was unlike anything he had done before or since.Listen as Chris and Jon analyze this haunting …
 
Dark, brooding, funky, and sexy. This album reintroduced the world to U2, who returned after a lengthy hiatus with a new sound and a new style. Chris and Jon take a close look at this masterpiece, and discuss its staying power and how- nearly thirty years after its release- it is still as relevant, intense, and bold as ever.…
 
He was everywhere in 1985, as a singer, songwriter, drummer, producer, actor (!). But how well does Phil Collins' wildly successful, seminal 1985 album No Jacket Required hold up 35 years later? Take a listen as I'm joined by my friend and fellow music nostalgia fanatic, Chris Ciarmiello, as we pull apart anything and everything about this synth-he…
 
Mick, Keith and the boys at their swaggering and sexy best. Not just a landmark Rolling Stone's album, but the benchmark by which all other great rock albums are measured. Doom and gloom lurk at every corner of these finely crafted ten songs, and while the Stones would have a hell of a run in the 1970s (and beyond) it's questionable that they would…
 
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