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An Oral history of UK Pop - 1996 to 2006 with Michael Cragg


06-07-2023 • 1 hora 5 min

Episode 220 is a chat with the journalist, pop culture writer, and author Michael Cragg.

Michael's new book Reach for the Starsis a rip-roaring oral history of UK pop music between 1996 and 2006, told through the interviews with the popstars, the songwriters, producers, label executives, pop fans, svengalis and culture writers of the day.

It's an unputdownable behind-the-scenes history of British pop music that tells the story of the Spice Girls, 5ive, Steps, S Club 7, Atomic Kitten, Girls Aloud, JLS, Liberty X, Sugababes, The X-Factor and more.

The book contains many anecdotes like Geri Halliwell missing the Spice Girls audition because she had sunburn or 5ive saying 'Baby One More Time' is "fucking wank” to Max Martin's face.

We spoke to Michael about pop stars' mad schedules, the lack of mental health awareness, Xenomania, the moguls like Pete Waterman; the homophobia around boy bands coming out, TOTP, Smash Hits and the media landscape of the day, and the crazy pressure they were under in which a number two record is considered was failure.

Michael Cragg will also be appearing for an interview and Q&A with our pal Louise Bruton at the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party on Saturday July 15th at Wigwam. Tickets are on Eventbrite.

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