Thursday, December 06, 2007

Power Pop Kicks Butt!

Today in Music History:

In 1978, Sex Pistol Sid Vicious smashed a glass in the face of Patti Smith's brother Todd Smith during a fight at the New York City club Hurrah.

Homercat goes power popIf one peruses the archives for Good Rockin', one gets the sense that homercat likey all kinds of music, which he does. For the most part I lean towards the harder rock as my faves. Without a doubt my favorite genre of music is Power Pop. You just can not beat a rip roaring, kick ass power pop song. I dare say that almost every rock act has leaned toward a power pop song sometime in their career.

Power Pop is loosely defined as music that typically incorporates a combination of musical devices such as strong melodies, crisp vocal harmonies, sparse arrangements, and killer guitar riffs. Solos are usually kept to a minimum, and blues elements are largely downplayed. Recordings tend to display production values that lean toward compression and a forceful drum beat. Instruments usually include one or more guitars, bass guitar, a drum kit, and occasionally an electric keyboard.

Allegedly Pete Townshend coined the phrase power pop in an interview from 1967, saying that "power pop is what we play." However, four years before the term "power pop" was coined, The Beatles were already recording a series of influential hits that some have retroactively classified as power pop, including "From Me to You", "She Loves You", "I Want to Hold Your Hand", and "Can't Buy Me Love". Probably the most influential of all the early-to-mid 1970s "pre" power pop-era groups was Big Star, who released two unsuccessful albums and spent years languishing in cult status.

An example of some good power pop tunes are the following tunes. No Matter What" (1970), The Raspberries' "Go All The Way" (1972), The Cars' "Just What I Needed", The Knack's "My Sharona" (1979), Cheap Trick's "I Want You To Want Me" (1979), Rick Springfield's "Jessie's Girl" (1981), Tommy Tutone's "867-5309/Jenny" (1982), and Weezer's "Buddy Holly" (1994) are but a smidgen of what power pop is about. One thing you can count on, a good power pop tune will get every single person at a party up and dancing when it comes on. I know in my short list I have neglected a lot of great power pop artists and someone might be tempted to say, Hey what about so and so? Hey I just didn't have room or time to list all the great ones. My personal all time favorite band happens to be Cheap Trick who just happen to be power pop virtuoso's. Rick Nielsen is a genius. So anyways if you somehow missed the power pop boat I'll sample up a few of my favorite anthems. And if'n you want to, let the cat know who your fave power pop group is. Long Live Power Pop!

Baby Loves to Rock by Cheap Trick-Sheer perfection in action.
Buy it

Joe Strummer by Cowboy Mouth -"I had to let her go because she didn't know who Joe Strummer was" One of the best lines ever.
Buy It

Come and Get It by Badfinger -Modern power pop gained momentum in 1970 with recordings by Badfinger (although at this time, the musical style was not yet classified as power pop).
Buy It

Money Honey by the Bay City Rollers -Falsely accused by many as bubblegum rock. Nope pure power pop here.
Buy It

Love Me to the Max by the Romantics -These guys knew what power pop was all about.
Buy It

Roxy Roller by Sweeney Todd -Had to throw in a Canadian classic.
Good luck trying to find it

Funny Toon