If you are absolutely clueless on what those two words mean, that's OK. You can begin your journey here. There are Power Pop experts that may steer you in a different direction, but if you are here right now and reading this, you may as well stick around and hear what it is all about... unless one of those Power Pop experts threatens your life, of course. Always listen to the experts, especially if they are wielding some sort of weapon...
If those two words make your heart skip a beat, then you are more than likely aware that everyone has their own opinion about what defines Power Pop. The fact is, they are all right. The pure, raw essence of Power Pop is in every band that anyone bothers to fit under this genre, whether other people agree or not.
In all things Power Pop, you're going to get a 3 minute song - give or take 30 seconds - with a cracking tune, killer harmonies, joyful guitars, maybe some keyboards, energy and a chorus that you'll be humming mere seconds after the song has ended. More than likely, that song will be stuck in your head for the next 24 to 48 hours. Power Pop bands don't just write smashing melodies, they create universal ear worms that naturally fit anyone willing to listen.
You can search all over the internet for Power Pop lists from respected experts. I agree with nearly everything I see on those lists. As I said before, the experts know what they are talking about.
However, I am not an expert. I'm just a guy who loves Power Pop. So, instead of posting a list of bands/songs that I believe define the genre, I thought I'd share 21 tracks that I believe are essential for anyone wanting to explore the outer -and obscure - regions of Power Pop. Everything here was originally released during my favorite era of Power Pop - the late '70s and early '80s. And as you can tell by the subject of this blog post, this is only VOLUME ONE. There is much more to come...
Some of these bands are not generally labelled Power Pop, while other might be some of the genre's most respected artists but I've chosen songs that don't always end up on the experts' 'best of' lists. And some may just be no-brainers but I chose to include them anyway.
P.S. Yes, there are many bands and songs I've left out for now... gotta save some great ones for future posts!
P.S. Most everything listed here is currently available and can be ordered/purchased at your favorite e-tailer/retailer. Happy shopping! There's nothing more invigorating than throwing on some classic Power Pop!
GRUPPO SPORTIVO/Happily Unemployed
THE LAUGHING DOGS/Reason For Love
THE KILLERMETERS/Twisted Wheel
SQUIRE/I Know A Girl
THE SCOOTERS/Someone Tonight
THE KNACK/I Want Ya
THE INNOCENTS/Sooner Or Later
SHOES/Okay (Single Version)
4 OUT OF 5 DOCTORS/Heart On A Chain
THE RECORDS/Hearts Will Be Broken
THE MONROES/What Do All The People Know
PHIL SEYMOUR/Baby It's You
THE JAGS/Back Of My Hand
20/20/The Night I Heard A Scream
THE LAST/This Kind Of Feeling
THE PINKEES/I'll Be There
THE KEYS/I Don't Wanna Cry
THE RUBINOOS/As Long As I'm With You