Steven Wilson was remixing Tears for Fears’ “Songs from the Big Chair” and “The Seeds of Love” when he found himself missing the blend of ambition and pop sensibilities that had defined so many classic albums he loved growing up in the ’80s.

“I did a Simple Minds record around the same time,” Wilson says. “And I did Roxy Music’s first album, all of these records that could be described as arty pop or progressive pop. And I kind of fell in love with that notion all over again.”

Just enjoy the music
One of the qualities he loves the most about those types of records, Wilson says, is that the artists wanted people to enjoy their music.

“They’re not trying to be difficult,” he says. “They’re very accessible records with catchy choruses. But at the same time, there’s no sense of compromise in the ambition. And I really miss those kind of records.”

Outside of hip-hop, Wilson says, “there’s precious little these days which you could say occupies the area that bands like Talking Heads once occupied, or the Police, or an artist like Prince or even Michael Jackson, that idea of being able to make a really ambitious record that is at the same time unashamedly aiming for a mass audience.”

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