What Makes a Song a Smash Hit?

The Culture Gabfest chats with the host of Hit Parade, a new podcast about our favorite pop songs.

In the Slate Plus bonus segment of Wednesday’s edition of the Culture Gabfest, Dana, Stephen, and Julia chat with Slate music critic Chris Molanphy about Hit Parade, his new podcast for chart nerds that explores the history of our favorite songs. They discuss what’s up next for the podcast, why storytelling is such a good way to explore a smash hit, and what Chris looks for when he deconstructs a song’s backstory.

Stephen Metcalf is Slate’s critic at large. He is working on a book about the 1980s.

Chris Molanphy is a feature writer and critic who writes widely about music and the pop charts. Follow him on Twitter.

Dana Stevens is Slate’s movie critic.

Julia Turner is the editor in chief of Slate and a regular on Slate’s Culture Gabfest podcast.

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