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.

Sound Opinions: Conversation With Mavis Staples

Apr 6, 2017

As a member of her family group The Staple Singers and as a solo artist, Mavis Staples has used her huge voice to power the Civil Rights Movement and inspire generations. The gospel and soul legend joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot for an intimate discussion of her life and career.

Sound Opinions: Report from SXSW

Mar 30, 2017

Every spring, hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot head to Austin, Texas for the sprawling SXSW Music Conference. This week, they report back on their favorite musical discoveries of the festival.

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: Remembering Chuck Berry

Mar 23, 2017

Chuck Berry, one of the architects of rock 'n' roll, has died at age 90. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot reflect on the life, music, and enduring legacy of the legendary guitarist and singer.

Sound Opinion: Desert Island Jukebox

Mar 16, 2017

The proverbial Desert Island Jukebox is filled with songs that hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot would want with them if they were marooned on a remote isle. This week, Jim and Greg hand quarters out to guests like Mary J. Blige, Sleater-Kinney, and Rush to select the tracks they can't live without. Plus, an interview and performance from the Brooklyn rock band Sunflower Bean.

Sound Opinions: One and Done

Mar 9, 2017

Some artists deliver a fantastic debut album, yet never make another LP again. Hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot select some of their favorite “one and done” bands and explore what makes these one-album wonders so great. Plus, a review of the new record from multi-genre bassist Thundercat.

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 Show

Feb 16, 2017

The Gotobeds are known for outrageous stage antics and a biting sense of humor. But behind that is a lyrical sophistication and tight musicianship. The Pittsburgh post-punk band joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot for a raucous performance in the studio. Plus, a review of the new album from Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco and Jim has pick for the Desert Island Jukebox. 

Sound Opinions Show

Feb 9, 2017

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.

Sound Opinions Show

Feb 2, 2017

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 Show

Jan 26, 2017


****CONTENT ADVISORY: During the YOUR SOUND OPINIONS segment, the song “Kick My Ass” from Vic Chesnutt is mentioned and played. The phrase ‘kick my ass’ is NOT bleeped and is heard at 55:59 and 56:05 into the show****

Sound Opinions Show

Jan 19, 2017


ANNOUNCER COPY: Coming up…Jim and Greg review some new albums from UK electronic act The xx and psych rock mainstays The Flaming Lips. Plus, they talk  with The Album Leaf, a band that builds a cinematic sound based on electronics while retaining an organic warmth.



Jim and Greg review the new release from the English electronic band The xx. I See You is the group’s third album.

Sound Opinions Show

Jan 12, 2017


ANNOUNCER COPY: Coming up…Jim and Greg share an exclusive playlist full of their favorite apology songs to help you atone for your sins in the new year. Plus, they’ll review the new record from hip hop duo Run the Jewels.



The hosts break down important listening trends of 2016, from the growth of streaming to vinyl’s continued growth.


Sound Opinions Show

Jan 5, 2017


ANNOUNCER COPY: Coming up…Jim and Greg talk to Grammy Award winning artist Esperanza Spalding about defying musical genres and breaking into the boys club of the jazz world. Then, they’ll revisit David Bowie’s death one year later.



Sound Opinions Show

Dec 28, 2016



In the 'OBITS' section we play a portion of Negativeland's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" (Special Edit Radio Mix). The song makes use of samples of Casey Kasem swearing during a taping of his radio show. All expletives are fully bleeped. Bleeps occur at 17:44, 17:47 and 17:52 into the episode.

Sound Opinions Show

Dec 21, 2016


ANNOUNCER COPY: Coming up…the punk music collective The Mekons have been carving their own path for almost 40 years. They join Sound Opinions hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot for a live in-studio performance. Plus a review of the new album from R&B singer Dawn Richard (ree-shard).



Sound Opinions Show

Dec 15, 2016


ANNOUNCER COPY: Coming up… it’s the annual Sound Opinions Christmas Spectacular!   Tune in for rare pop, psychedelic, and soul Christmas tunes you won’t hear anywhere else.



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.

Sound Opinions Show

Nov 11, 2016


ANNOUNCER COPY: Coming up… hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot take a sonic tour of Canada and discuss the country’s music scene, from Drake to Rush. Later, they review the new record from singer and songwriter Alejandro Escovedo.


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."

Sound Opinions Show

Dec 31, 2015

Sound Opinions Show

Dec 22, 2015

Sound Opinions Show

Dec 17, 2015