From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sophisti-pop is a subgenre of pop music which developed out of the new wave movement in the UK during the mid 1980s.[1][2] The term has been applied retrospectively[3][4][5][6] to describe acts who blended elements of jazz, soul, and pop with lavish production.[4][7] Music so classified often made extensive use of electronic keyboards, synthesizers and polished arrangements.[4] Artists also utilized cutting-edge studio technology and perfectionist recording methods.[8] The genre has been described as mellow, romantic, and atmospheric.[8]

Stylus Magazine suggested that acts were influenced by the work of Roxy Music (such as 1982's Avalon, often cited as the first sophisti-pop album[8]) and Bryan Ferry's mid-1980s albums, Bête Noire and Boys and Girls.[5] Sweetwater named major artists in the genre as including the Blue Nile, Prefab Sprout, the Style Council, Scritti Politti, Everything but the Girl, and Danny Wilson.[8] AllMusic added Simply Red, Sade, Basia, and Swing Out Sister.[4] Writer Iain Munn added to the list Level 42, the Blow Monkeys, and Joe Jackson's 1984 album Body and Soul.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Treble staff (24 April 2014). "10 Essential Sophisti-pop albums". Treble. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  2. ^ Terich, Jeff; Blyweiss, Adam; Bossenger, A.T.; Prickett, Sam (24 April 2014). "10 Essential Sophisti-pop albums". Treble. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  3. ^ Kirkham, Neil (2017). "Polluting young minds? Smash Hits and 'high Thatcherism'". Journal of European Popular Culture. 8 (2): 139–152. doi:10.1386/jepc.8.2.139_1. Retrieved 13 December 2018. 'Sophisti-pop' (Inskeep and Soto 2007) is a term now used, retrospectively, to describe a collection of 'intelligent', lavishly produced British pop acts of the mid–late 1980s.
  4. ^ a b c d "Pop/Rock » Punk/New Wave » Sophisti-Pop". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  5. ^ a b Inskeep, Thomas; Soto, Alfred (22 February 2007). "The Bluffer's Guide – Sophisti-Pop". Stylus. Archived from the original on 4 September 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  6. ^ Cills, Hazel (15 June 2016). "Playlist: Underrated New Wave". MTV. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  7. ^ "9 different music genres in the internet age – 2/10 – Sophisti-Pop". The Economic Times. 7 September 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  8. ^ a b c d Jenkins, Jake. "Sophisti-pop: The '80s' Most Elegant Genre". Sweetwater. Retrieved 13 September 2022.
  9. ^ Munn, Iain (2011) [1996]. Mr. Cool's Dream: The Complete History of The Style Council. Wholepoint. p. 23. ISBN 9780955144318.


External links[edit]