I’ve been ranting and raving about how music fans nowadays don’t bother about the past. So, I’m gonna the push the past in your face – like it or not!
When Power of Pop was first set up in 1998, my main concern was to promote the power pop genre and/or the Pop underground scene.
Yes, the term was originally coined by The Who’s Pete Townshend when asked to describe the band’s then new single – Pictures of Lily – to the NME.
“Power pop is what we play—what the Small Faces used to play, and the kind of pop the Beach Boys played in the days of ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’ which I preferred.”
Typically, power pop involves power guitar chords (or jangling ones), infectious melodies, multitude of vocal harmonies and a pummeling rhythm section. The early 60s pioneers – beside the above mentioned bands – include The Beatles, The Kinks, The Byrds, the Hollies, the Monkees and the Zombies.
By the 70s, the genre had solidified somewhat and stuck to bands like Big Star, Raspberries, Badfinger, Cheap Trick and The Knack. The 80s saw a softening of the appeal of pure power pop as many of the post-punk/new wave generation (like Elvis Costello, The Cars, Squeeze, Blondie, Marshall Cranshaw, The Smithereens) had elements of power pop in their music but would not be treated exclusively as power pop bands.
The early 90s witnessed a pure power pop revival of sorts as bands like Jellyfish (above), The Grays, Greenberry Woods, Material Issue, Redd Kross, Matthew Sweet, the Posies and Wanderlust released major label albums.
The revival petered out somewhat by the mid-90s (due largely to the grunge movement) but had gained enough momentum to spawn an underground of power pop bands/artists, often referred to as the “pop underground”, with labels such as Not Lame Records, Big Deal Records, Jam Records at the forefront.
So, this new feature – Living in the Past – will go back to the roots of Power of Pop to highlight “lost” “power pop” songs/albums/bands of the past for the music loving generation of 2010. Hope you’ll come along for the ride… whilst it lasts…
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