Sound Opinions

Sat 3p

Take two nationally respected rock critics, the latest music news, personal commentary, and exclusive interviews and performances, add a huge pile of records old and new, and the result is Sound Opinions—the world's only rock and roll talk show.

Based in Chicago, Sound Opinions is hosted by Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot, two of the finest and best-recognized pop music writers in the nation. For over a decade they were dedicated competitors at Chicago’s two daily newspapers—Jim at the Chicago Sun-Times and Greg at the Chicago Tribune. Today, Jim writes about music for and teaches criticism at Columbia College.

Every week, Sound Opinions fires up smart and spirited discussions about a wide range of popular music, from indie rock to classic rock, hip hop to R&B, and every genre under the sun.

Sound Opinions' consistently informed, engaging, and controversial dialogue makes it a unique and essential source for the top stories, albums, and trends in music. This is cutting-edge criticism and journalism presented in the great tradition of Siskel and Ebert. The discussion is as indispensible to the hardcore music fan as it is to the casual music fan who feels out of touch.

Sound Opinions is a direct result of the experience and credibility of its creators. Jim and Greg are both critically acclaimed authors who also write for some of the nation's most prestigious rock magazines, including Rolling Stone, Spin, and Vibe.

Before coming to WBEZ Chicago in December 2005, Sound Opinions aired for seven successful years on one of the Midwest's most powerful rock radio stations, Chicago's WXRT. The show has built a thriving and loyal community of inquisitive and engaged fans hungry for smart conversation and new sounds.

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, love is in the air. And what's more romantic than that cute moment of love at first sight? Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some of their favorite tracks about first impressions. Plus, they review the new album from DC punk band Priests and pay tribute to the influential composer David Axelrod.

Of all the artists in the English folk revival, Shirley Collins was the most devoted to traditional song. After a nearly 40 year recording hiatus, she's finally released a new album. Shirley Collins joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot to discuss her career and her experiences traveling through America to collect field recordings with Alan Lomax. Plus, reviews of the new albums by Japandroids and Ty Segall.

Sound Opinions: Krautrock & Remembering Maggie Roche

Dec 1, 2017


The Album Leaf combines digital and organic instruments to make a unique sound. Bandleader Jimmy LaValle joins Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot to talk about the importance of giving electronic music a live experience and how the Album Leaf grew from a side project into a full time gig. Plus, reviews of the new albums from the Flaming Lips and the xx.

Sound Opinions: Esperanza Spalding

Nov 30, 2017


Best Albums of 2017

Nov 30, 2017

With the year winding down, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot reveal their lists of the Best Albums of 2017. They also hear top album picks from Sound Opinions listeners. Featured artists include Kendrick Lamar, Aimee Mann, and Lorde.

Sound Opinions Remembers Tom Petty

Oct 6, 2017

The great Florida rocker Tom Petty died on October 2, 2017 at the age of 66. Sound Opinions hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot pay tribute to American musical icon. They revisit a 2003 interview with Petty and explore his background, his songwriting, and his legacy.

Sound Opinions: Generic Promo "We're Here For You"

Jun 9, 2017

New :30 generic promo. Lighthearted, focusing on caller interaction.

Sound Opinions: The New Analog

May 18, 2017

In a world becoming increasingly digital, Galaxie 500 co-founder and author Damon Krukowski says we need to hang on to aspects of analog media. Damon joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot to talk about the value of noise, liner notes, and his book The New Analog. Plus, a review of the latest from barroom rockers Low Cut Connie, and Lydia Loveless shares the song that got her Hooked on Sonics.

Sound Opinions Fundraiser: Going Solo

Apr 10, 2017

This is a special fundraising edition of Sound Opinions hosted by Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot. This episode features Jim and Greg's collection of songs from artists known for being in a band who went on to made a successful solo record. Features the music of Lauryn Hill, Peter Gabriel, Morrissey, Justin Timberlake, and more.

There are three (3) episode segments plus an optional billboard to be aired sequentially during the Sound Opinions hour. Pitch time has been allotted.

Sound Opinions Remembers Chuck Berry

Mar 24, 2017

Chuck Berry died on March 18th at the age of 90. Jim and Greg celebrate the life of Berry by looking at his iconic tracks, as well as his vast influence on future artists. They also talk about his work in later years and what it was like to share a stage with the guitar legend.

Sound Opinions: Gene Chandler

Mar 2, 2017

From 1962 to 1970, Chicago soul singer Gene Chandler recorded nineteen top forty hits, but he'll forever be known as the "Duke of Earl." As a young artist, he performed across the country, including the Jim Crow South, later transitioning from performer to award-winning producer. Gene Chandler joins hosts Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis for a conversation. Plus, Jim and Greg review the new album by New Jersey rock band The Feelies.

Sound Opinions: Buried Treaures

Feb 23, 2017

Many great albums are released each year, but only a handful get the attention they deserve. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot share some recent Buried Treasures – the best albums that flew under the radar. Plus, they give the drummer some with a tribute to Clyde Stubblefield, James Brown's legendary sideman. And Jason Narducy joins us for a new segment called Hooked on Sonics.

Sound Opinions Presents: Best Albums of 2016

Dec 12, 2016

Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot love putting together a list of their favorite music of the year, and 2016 is no different. The critics share highlights from their lists. Plus, some listeners tell us about their favorite albums of the year. Featured artists include Solange, Nick Cave, Savages and more.

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 most unique tunes for the season. And each year he treats Sound Opinions listeners to a much-anticipated hour of music and a free mix to download.

538: Sound Opinions Show, 3/18/2016

Mar 10, 2016

1991 was the year punk broke again! Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot explore what made 1991 so special, including the musicians, producers and events such as the first Lollapalooza festival. They'll also discuss acts like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and N.W.A. and how they shook up the music stratosphere and introduced the world to their own unique styles.

Sound Opinions Evergreen Episode 2016

Feb 25, 2016


Coming up on Sound Opinions...hero worship music–Artists name-check their idols like Duke Ellington, Jackie Wilson and more!


Jim and Greg play a collection of songs that name-check great artists from the history of rock and roll including Duke Ellington, Alex Chilton and Kiss.


Greg adds a song to the Desert Island Jukebox by Laura Nyro and Labelle.


Professional music critics Jim and Greg discuss influential and game-changning music from the 1960s that provided a soundtrack to the civil rights movement. They analyze tracks by artists like Sam Cooke, The Staple Singers, Bob Dylan, Nina Simone and more. They also chat with former Chicago WVON DJ Herb Kent.

Sound Opinions Show

Jan 14, 2016

Sound Opinions Remembers David Bowie

Jan 14, 2016

This is your quintessential hour on rock's famous chameleon David Bowie. Hosts and critics Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot explore Bowie's long career and its musical highlights. Included are excerpts with legendary producers and Bowie collaborators Brian Eno and Tony Visconti.

Sound Opinions presents Tony Visconti on David Bowie

Jan 11, 2016

Rock chameleon David Bowie has died at the age of 69. Throughout his long career, one of Bowie's most important collaborators was producer Tony Visconti. Sound Opinions hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot spoke with Visconti in 2008 about his work with the music icon. He described meeting the 22-year-old David Bowie for the first time in 1969 as well as the 1977 recording of "Heroes."

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Dec 31, 2015

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Dec 22, 2015

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Dec 17, 2015

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Dec 17, 2015

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Dec 3, 2015

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Nov 25, 2015

Sound Opinions Show

Nov 25, 2015

Sound Opinions Presents The Best Albums of 2015

Nov 17, 2015

Hosts and music critics Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot countdown their Top 5 albums of 2015. New music from everyone from Janet Jackson to Blur made it tough for them to choose, but they managed.

Also, Jim and Greg hear nominations from listeners around the country.