Wind of Change

Crooked Media, Pineapple Street Studios

Wind of Change


Critic Rating

It’s 1990. The Berlin Wall just fell. The Soviet Union is on the verge of collapse. And the soundtrack to the revolution is one of the best selling songs of all time, the metal ballad “Wind of Change,” by the Scorpions. Decades later, journalist Patrick Radden Keefe heard a rumor: the song wasn’t written by the Scorpions. It was written by the CIA. This is his journey to find the truth. Wind of Change is an Original Series from Pineapple Street Studios, Crooked Media and Spotify.

Critic Reviews

Score: 4

Kevin Chang Barnum • Jul 3, 2020

"Regardless of what the investigation uncovers, Wind of Change irreversibly introduces a new conspiracy to the cultural consciousness. Nothing, however, actually points to the C.I.A.’s hand in the writing or distribution of “Wind of Change.” The team does a good job at making the story seem plausible, and dresses it up with slick production, but a plausible story without evidence is still a story without evidence. If Wind of Change wasn’t so insistent about the “Wind of Change” conspiracy, it might have been a really good podcast. Though Wind of Change does attempt to examine truth, these moments of reflection are somewhat of a mixed-bag. The show, to its credit, has the self-awareness to suggest that there is no reason we should trust Keefe either. The series is an entertaining ride, but its commentary on truth is flawed at best. If its goal is to provide us a story that we should listen to with skepticism, it succeeds. But in the year 2020, we don’t need any more of those stories."

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Score: 3.5

Nicholas Quah • Vulture May 11, 2020

"A rambling voyage of a podcast that leads Keefe down a labyrinth of rabbit holes as he susses out different leads that may bring them closer to the truth. The podcast takes its time to unfurl the investigation across its eight episodes. Still, the series is a really enjoyable listen. Probably one of the better audio documentaries that’s come out this year so far. It’s fun, it’s globe-trotting (a distinct pleasure during life under lockdown), and it’s especially appealing if you, like me, are the sort of person who’s already drawn to spy stories. When the vibe propelling Wind of Change forward gets good, it gets really good."

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