Here’s more of what Twin Cities author Michaelangelo Matos had to say in an interview about the central figures in his new book, “Can’t Slow Down: How 1984 Became Pop’s Blockbuster Year.”

Michael Jackson: “In 1984, everybody is chasing ‘Thriller.’ It’s a lot like in 1968, when everyone wanted to imitate ‘Sgt. Pepper.’ Everyone in 1984 wanted a record like that with that many stand-alone pop hits on it.”

Prince: “Outside of Michael, he was the biggest figure that year. That album was at the top of the charts for damn near half the year. ‘When Doves Cry’ knocked [Springsteen’s] ‘Dancing in the Dark’ off the top of the chart, and after that it was all Prince, all the time.”

Madonna: “Out of any group or artist in pop music after the ’60s, she’s probably the most written-about single figure in American pop music. There are pages of Madonna bios, Madonna compendiums, you name it. I had no shortage of material to draw on. She’s just always drawn a certain fascination.”

Bruce Springsteen: “He was naturally going to head in the other direction and make a jollier, poppier record after [1982’s stark acoustic album] ‘Nebraska.’ It really wasn’t that hard to make a record less scary than ‘Nebraska,’ but he seemed to feed off that contrast. And the record he made really struck the right chord at the right time in America, with Ronald Reagan and all.”

Lionel Richie: “The Commodores were the biggest Black group of the ’70s, and it wasn’t because of their R&B or disco-funk base. It was because Lionel wrote these family-friendly ballads that even grandmas enjoy. He had spent a decade reaching for the mainstream, and he became massive when he got there.”