When Tom Breihan was my guest two and a half years ago on Episode 253, we talked primarily about movies and how PR people can stand out in an endless swirling sea of crappy pitches. It was an incredibly fun chat, and although I had been a weekly reader of his prior to that, after that chat I picked up his column The Number Ones on Stereogum and have been reading him at bare minimum three times a week since.
He recently released a book, The Number Ones: Twenty Chart-Topping Hits That Reveal The History Of Pop Music, and it was the perfect opportunity for me to get more time with him. Because here, two things are true: 1. This book was absolutely everything I wanted it to be. It was a fun read, it gave me insight into pop music and the culture as a whole I didn’t have before reading it, and his writing remains like catnip for my sensibility; and 2. I was happy to have a real reason to vibe with him again just because I enjoy the back-and-forth with him so much.
So on this week’s show, Tom shares how the book deal found him, why Billboard #1 Singles are a great lens through which to understand culture, the greatness that was a hardcore show put on by God’s Hate where a bunch of AEW wrestlers showed up, why being snotty about your taste is an annoying but common phase, and a ton more.