Courtesy of the publisher and the authors, we are able to offer this contest for two fans to win a copy of Mad World, An Oral History of the New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s — featuring an entire chapter on a-ha and interview with Magne Furuholmen!

Mad World

Two lucky winners will win a copy of the book — which also includes interviews with Duran Duran, New Order, The Smiths, Simple Minds and a whole lot more — as well as a handful of cute Mad World promo buttons, just like the ones you used to pin to your jean jacket!

Mad World pins

To enter the contest, send an e-mail to with ‘Mad World Contest’ in the subject line by April 18. Winners will be announced during the week of April 21.

If you’re not one of the lucky winners, you can order the book at one of the outlets listed here.

Says Mad World co-author Lori Majewski:

I’m excited for A-ha fans to read the band’s chapter in Mad World. Many of the biggest groups of the new wave era came out of Britain, and their members were raised on David Bowie, Roxy Music and the Sex Pistols.

A-ha gave us the unforgettable juggernaut “Take On Me” — to name just one of their many hits they had around the world — but they hailed from Norway, a country that had not spawned a global music act before.

I wanted that outsider’s perspective, and Mags more than delivered it. It was a pleasure to interview him. Though not his native tongue, his grasp of English and impressive vocabulary were better than many of the Brits and Americans we talked to. And he so beautifully described the influence that Norwegian culture had on A-ha as musicians and as people.

He also talked at length about “Take On Me” and the complicated relationship that he, Morten and Paul have had with it over the years. My favorite part was when he played a bit of the song on piano for me, to demonstrate how the song really isn’t meant to be a happy dance tune (despite what Pitbull and Christina Aguilera might think!).

I knew the A-ha chapter was special when my close friend — an entertainment journalist of 20 years — who’d read an advance of Mad World commented that it was his favorite. That’s all down to Mags, of course — he was quite candid and generous with his time and memories. I’d love to hear A-ha fans’ thoughts after they read it — tweet me at @lorimajewski or @madworldbook. Thank you!


Abrams Image
Contact: Maya Bradford, Publicity

An Oral History of New Wave Artists
and Songs That Defined the 1980s

By Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein
Foreword by Nick Rhodes
Afterword by Moby

“The eighties have had a massive revival. . . . It took a good 20 years for people to go, ‘You know, those records were great, and that was a fantastic time for pop music.’”
—Kim Wilde (“Kids in America”)

Remember the first time you saw Duran Duran’s X-rated “Girls On Film” video? Painted a white stripe across your face like Adam Ant in “Kings of the Wild Frontier”? Cried when they played “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” at graduation? Sang along to “Come On Eileen,” even though you couldn’t make out any of the words apart from the chorus?

How could you forget?! This was last golden age of pop. This was the new-wave era.

New wave is the defining music movement of the 1980s, encompassing everything from synth pop, new romantic, and goth, to industrial, electronic, and alternative rock. It began as the brainchild of a bunch of British punks who hated guitars but who were enamored of Bowie, disco, and Kraftwerk. It exploded all over America with the help of MTV, and lives on via radio, karaoke bars, and as an influence on today’s hit makers. Now there is finally an authoritative volume on the colorful and popular music that defined a generation: Mad World (Abrams Image; $19.95; ISBN: 978-1-4197-1097-1; April 15, 2014) by Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein.

The book is a highly entertaining and completely original oral history that celebrates new wave through all-new interviews with 35 of the most notable artists of the period, alongside a parade of vintage photographs. The stars of the decade discuss their breakthrough songs, as well as their histories and place in the scene, ultimately painting a vivid picture of this exciting, genre-bending, idiosyncratic time. Mixtape suggestions and fashion sidebars help fill out the fun. Participants include: Duran Duran, New Order, Tears for Fears, Adam and the Ants, Depeche Mode, INXS, Simple Minds, Soft Cell, Yaz, A-ha, Berlin, Psychedelic Furs, Joy Division, ABC, Echo and the Bunnymen, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, The Waitresses, and more!

Plus, in Mad World, you’ll learn about:

–The near-death experience that inspired Gary Numan’s “Cars.”
–The classic novel and pop-star crush behind Spandau Ballet’s “True.”
Morrissey’s belief that the other Smiths were embarrassed by his lyrics for “How Soon is Now?”
–How Modern English romanticized death by nuclear holocaust in “I Melt With You.”
–Why Bow Wow Wow’s teenage singer, Annabella Lwin, was fired after “I Want Candy.”
–Why DJs thought Devo were singing about masturbation in “Whip It.”
…and much more!

About the Authors

A veteran magazine editor and writer, Lori Majewski was a cofounder and editor in chief of Teen People, and an executive editor of Entertainment Weekly and Us Weekly. She has contributed to the Guardian, Women’s Health,, and more.

Jonathan Bernstein is the author of, among other titles, Pretty in Pink: The Golden Age of Eighties Teenage Movies. He has contributed to the Guardian, Spin, Rolling Stone, and the Face and is also a screenwriter of the feature films Just My Luck, The Spy Next Door, Max Keeble’s Big Move, and Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector.

About the Book

Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s
By Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein; Foreword by Nick Rhodes; Afterword by Moby
April 15, 2014
Abrams Image
US $19.95
ISBN: 978-1-4197-1097-1
320 Pages; 6 x 8″; 42 color and 28 black-and-white Illustrations

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a reply