Sound Opinions

Saturdays 9-10 p.m.
  • Hosted by Greg Kot, Jim DeRogatis

Sound Opinions is where music lovers come together. You can make discoveries, debate, learn about pop culture, engage, have fun and find new ways to further enrich your life through music. Whether you're an expert, or just a casual fan, Sound Opinions is your source for smart and engaging music criticism and conversation. Each week on the show, nationally respected rock critics Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis interview artists, talk about pop culture and music industry news, review new record releases and give trends a historical context. And, because on Sound Opinions,“everyone's a critic,” you are invited to join in the debate.

Ways to Connect

Sound Opinions: Songs About Writers

Feb 14, 2019

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot explore literature’s influence on popular music and how famous scribes like Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and more get name drops. They'll share some of their favorite songs about writers.

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk with author Geoff Edgers about his 2019 book Walk This Way: Run-DMC, Aerosmith, and the Song that Changed American Music Forever. They discuss how Run-DMC's 1986 collaboration with Aerosmith came about, and trace its impact. Plus, a review of soulful singer-songwriter Emily King's latest album, Scenery.

Sound Opinions: Weird Instruments of Rock

Jan 31, 2019

Forget about the guitar, bass, and drums. This week, Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot explore some of the weirder instruments of rock from the theremin to the ocarina to the cowbell.

Sound Opinions: Buried Treasures

Jan 24, 2019

Looking for some exciting new music to augment your 2019 playlist? Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of their latest buried treasures: favorite recent under-the-radar records that you need to hear!

Revolver Cover Artist and Bassist Klaus Voormann

Jan 17, 2019

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot sit down with artist and musician Klaus Voormann. Klaus shares his unique vantage point to rock and roll history: he designed the cover artwork for The Beatles’ album, Revolver, lived with George and Ringo and was a session bassist on many iconic albums in the 1970s including Imagine, All Things Must Pass and Plastic Ono Band.  

Sometimes songs make a strong, memorable statement from the very first note. This week, to start off the new year, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of their favorite songs with iconic starts.

Sound Opinions: Great Duets & Malcolm Gladwell

Jan 3, 2019

There’s something about two performers, sometimes from different styles and points of view, coming together and creating a musical moment. This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of their favorite duets. They'll also interview author Malcolm Gladwell and journalist Bruce Headlam from the Broken Record podcast.

Sound Opinions closes out 2018 with the year in song. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot present a mixtape of tracks that tell the story of the the past year. And we remember some of the many musicians who passed away in 2018.

Sound Opinions: Rush

Dec 18, 2018

Famous for its instrumental virtuosity and heady, sci-fi influenced lyrics, the Canadian prog-rock trio Rush has amassed an obsessive cult following. Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of Rush join hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot to discuss the band's remarkable 40 plus-year career.

This is a Christmas special like none other. Holiday music collector and expert Andy Cirzan scours record stores, dustbins, and basements to find the best and rarest tunes for the season. And each year he treats Sound Opinions listeners to a much-anticipated hour of music. This year’s compilation is called Rudolph Pouts...And Pouts Again and is a 'best of' from the last 30 years of Andy's collections. 

The Sound Opinions Holiday Spectacular: 2018

Dec 13, 2018

Whether you've been naughty or nice, Sound Opinions has a new sack full of holiday music for you. Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot welcome back record crate explorer and Christmas music aficionado Andy Cirzan for our annual Holiday Spectacular. This year, Andy celebrates his 30th season of hunting for Christmas music you'll hear nowhere else!

Best Albums of 2018

Dec 7, 2018

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share their favorite albums of 2018. They also hear picks from Sound Opinions producers and listeners.

Sound Opinions: The Best Albums of 2018

Dec 6, 2018

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share their favorite albums of 2018. They also hear picks from Sound Opinions producers and listeners.

Sound Opinions: Singer-Songwriter Amanda Shires

Nov 29, 2018

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot have a conversation with country singer-songwriter Amanda Shires at the Goose Island Tap Room in Chicago. They discuss her literary lyrics, her latest album To The Sunset and how becoming a mom has influenced her art. She'll also perform live.

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot conduct an Album Dissection of Van Morrison's 1968 classic Astral Weeks. The landmark release celebrates its 50th anniversary this month. Then, we hear from recent Sound Opinions guests about their Desert Island Jukebox picks... Tracks they can't live without.

Sound Opinions: Buried Treasures & Dad Rap

Nov 15, 2018

Looking for new music that's out of the mainstream? Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot uncover some buried treasures: recent releases that you need to hear! Plus, Jim and Greg talk with author Steven Hyden about the parallels between "Dad Rock" bands and "Dad Rap" stars.

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot discuss the post-Beatles careers of John Lennon and Paul McCartney... The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Plus, Jim and Greg review the latest album from rapper Vince Staples and a hip-hop infused jazz album from drummer Makaya McCraven.

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot discuss the impact of protest music in the 21st century and name a few of their favorite tracks from the genre from the last 18 years. They also review Robyn's new album, Honey, and Greg chooses a favorite song to add to the Desert Island Jukebox.

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot celebrate Halloween this week with a few of their favorite genre-spanning scary songs. Plus, we hear a selection of scary tunes nominated by listeners from around the country. And, Jim and Greg review the debut album from rock band Greta Van Fleet.

This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk with Emmy-winning music supervisor Susan Jacobs. Over her 30 year career, she's worked with directors like Spike Lee, David O. Russell and Robert Altman on placing music within movies. Most recently, she made the jump to television with HBO's Sharp Objects and Big Little Lies. Jim and Greg talk to Susan about the effects of great music on screen and how she convinced Led Zeppelin to let her expertly use the band's music in Sharp Objects.  

Buried Treasures and Remembering Geoff Emerick

Oct 11, 2018

It's Buried Treasures time yet again. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some new under-the-radar music that you need to hear! Plus, they revisit their 2006 conversation with Geoff Emerick, an audio engineer who worked on the classic Beatles albums Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road. Emerick passed away this month at the age of 72.

Sound Opinions: Wayne Kramer of the MC5

Oct 4, 2018

As the lead guitarist of the groundbreaking political rock band the MC5, Wayne Kramer experienced both the highs of recognition and the sting of defeat. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk with Kramer 50 years after the band's iconic debut Kick Out the Jams. They chat about his new memoir, the '60s Detroit rock scene and discuss his experiences with overcoming drug abuse and jail time.

Sound Opinions: Diss Tracks & Rock Doctors

Sep 27, 2018

Though music can be a mighty force that brings people together, it can also be weaponized. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot look at memorable times musicians have used their art to settle scores in song: their favorite diss tracks of all time. They also bring back the Rock Doctors segment to help a mom find songs that empower her son without toxic masculinity- basically the polar opposite of diss tracks.

Dessa & Opinions on Paul McCartney

Sep 19, 2018

Dessa is a poet, singer and hip hop artist who is as interested in scientific theory as she is in lyricism. Her latest album, Chime, showcases her unique hybrid of clever rapping and singing about sometimes weighty issues. Dessa joined hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot at the Goose Island Tap Room for a conversation and a live performance. Plus, Jim and Greg review Sir Paul McCartney's latest, Egypt Station.

Sound Opinions: Disco & Seymour Stein

Sep 12, 2018

For decades, people have maligned disco music. This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot take an in-depth look at the genre from its origins in marginalized communities to its height of popularity. They'll also explore groundbreaking artists like Sylvester, the Bee Gees and more. Also, Greg talks to Sire Records co-founder Seymour Stein about signing acts like the Ramones and Madonna.

Sound Opinions: Buried Treasures and Bat Fangs

Sep 6, 2018

Looking for new music that's out of the mainstream? Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot uncover some buried treasures: under the radar tunes that you need to hear! They also interview the '80s hair metal-inspired band Bat Fangs.

Sound Opinions Show

Aug 30, 2018

Over seven albums and 18 years, Mastodon has stretched the definition of metal. Co-founder, drummer and lyricist Brann Dailor recently joined hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot to look back over the band’s career. The conversation ranges from forming in Atlanta to coping with personal tragedy through music. Jim and Greg also couldn’t resist asking how the heck they wound up as wildlings on Game of Thrones.

Sound Opinions: Brian Koppelman

Aug 23, 2018

Brian Koppelman makes his living as the showrunner, co-creator and writer for the Showtime series Billions. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk with Koppelman about how he innovatively uses music in the critically acclaimed show. They also discuss his past career as an A&R executive, where he discovered artists like singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman. They'll also review the soundtrack to the critically acclaimed film Sorry to Bother You and the new release from country artist Amanda Shires.

Sound Opinions Remembers Aretha Franklin

Aug 16, 2018

The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, has died at age 76. This week, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot celebrate the life and career of the legend. They'll discuss her discography, music activism and impact. They also dig into the best selling album of Aretha Franklin's career, Amazing Grace, with Aaron Cohen, who wrote a book about that seminal recording.

Sound Opinions: Remembering Aretha Franklin

Aug 16, 2018

Aretha Franklin’s voice was powerful, moving, and unmistakable. Sound Opinions remembers the life, legacy and music of the Queen of Soul. Hosts Jim Derogatis and Greg Kot talk about her life and share some of her most memorable recordings. They also speak with keyboardist Spooner Oldham who recorded with Aretha and dig into her most successful album, 1972’s Amazing Grace.

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