All Right Now is the ultimate British expression of the blues-rock explosion of the late 1960s and the hard rock movement of the early 1970s. Arguably, All Right Now is also the signature tune of Free, consisting of Paul Rodgers (vocals), Paul Kossoff (guitar), Simon Kirke (drums) and Andy Fraser (bass).(more…)
Every kind of music under the sun
THE BEST PINK FLOYD SONGS OF ALL TIME is an interesting proposition. Mainly because we tend to think of Pink Floyd as the definitive album rock band. So, THE BEST PINK FLOYD SONGS OF ALL TIME as a feature seems in appropriate. But once again think of THE BEST PINK FLOYD SONGS OF ALL TIME list as an introduction to Pink Floyd and perhaps that makes it more palatable.(more…)
THE BEST PUNK SONGS OF ALL TIME – a potentially divisive and contentious topic to discuss! Probably more so than THE BEST POWER POP SONGS OF ALL TIME that I posted not too long ago. But as usual in order to list down THE BEST PUNK SONGS OF ALL TIME, I need to explain a few concepts first.(more…)
BANDS THAT SOUND LIKE THE KINKS. A list of bands that might possibly be more famous, more well-known than The Kinks. BUT probably owe their success, nay, even their very existence to the brilliance of The Kinks.(more…)
Comfortably Numb might be my favourite song ever. I mean, if push came to shove and I needed to select just one favourite song then Comfortably Numb would be it. Nestled on the end of side three of Pink Floyd’s monster hit album, The Wall, Comfortably Numb is a true highlight in a landmark best-selling (double) LP.(more…)
Prima facie, an article about THE BEST KINKS SONGS OF ALL TIME would seem like a piece of cake. But the opposite is true. The trick was despairing over the songs I had to omit from THE BEST KINKS SONGS OF ALL TIME. In the end, while twenty tracks seems just about right – not too little and not too much. Which is to me, an indication of how much I value Ray Davies as a songwriter.(more…)
When you consider the massive influence that The Beatles has exerted on pop and rock music since they first exploded onto the public consciousness in the early 1960s, it’s seems superfluous to even think of the BANDS THAT SOUND LIKE THE BEATLES!(more…)
THE BEST POWER POP SONGS OF ALL TIME! Now that’s a social media minefield on so many different levels. And it’s not merely about arriving at a consensus as to what are THE BEST POWER POP SONGS OF ALL TIME. Fact of the matter, the first point of contention would be the definition of Power Pop itself!(more…)
Recently, I posted THE BEST WHO SONGS OF ALL TIME and remarked that the seminal music of The Who had spawned numerous rock sub-genres. From pop-rock to melodic hard rock to power pop to punk to indie rock, the fingerprints of The Who’s power chord guitar agenda are clearly discernible. Perhaps to prove my point, it was necessary to provide irrefutable evidence in the form of BANDS THAT SOUND LIKE THE WHO.(more…)
The Who. What more is there to say about The Who? Probably the most influential rock band of all time? And I do mean ROCK! A seminal band in every sense of the word. Think of all the rock sub-genres that have emerged in their wake, and it would be impossible not to trace The Who as the source. So doesn’t it make sense for me to make up a list of THE BEST WHO SONGS OF ALL TIME???(more…)
Diehard fans of the legendary Neil Young will be more than keenly aware of the vast number of unreleased material that the singer-songwriter still holds in his vaults even after over 50 years of recording and releasing music. Thus, Neil Young Archives II is a much-anticipated release after the well-received first volume came out over a decade ago in 2009.(more…)
Queen – News of the World is the next to be featured in our regular feature of classic album reviews. Of course, as usual, what qualifies as a classic album is a matter of opinion and typically, I will highlight albums that I have listened to quite a fair bit in order to ultimately arrive at this particular specific assessment.(more…)
XTC – Apple Venus Volume 1 is the next to be featured in our new (hopefully) regular feature of classic album reviews. Of course, as usual, what qualifies as a classic album is a matter of opinion and typically, I will highlight albums that I have listened to quite a fair bit in order to ultimately arrive at this particular specific assessment.(more…)
U2 – Achtung Baby is the next to be featured in our new (hopefully) regular feature of classic album reviews. Of course, as usual, what qualifies as a classic album is a matter of opinion and typically, I will highlight albums that I have listened to quite a fair bit in order to ultimately arrive at this particular specific assessment.(more…)
Steely Dan – Aja is the first to be featured in our new (hopefully) regular feature of classic album reviews. Of course, as usual, what qualifies as a classic album is a matter of opinion and typically, I will highlight albums that I have listened to quite a fair bit in order to ultimately arrive at this particular specific assessment.(more…)
Elton John Jewel Box is the latest retrospective collection to be released in recent times. As with other similar products, Elton John Jewel Box is not for casual music fans but for the diehard Elton John fans out there.(more…)
Neil Young has turned 75! So it’s probably the best day to present to you the click baiting listicle I call The Best Neil Young Songs Of All Time! AND… I have given myself the nigh impossible task of just naming TEN songs! But I think I am well satisfied with this list, keeping my selections to the less obvious and focusing on deep cuts. Without further ado, The Best Neil Young Songs Of All Time (in alphabetical order, natch!)(more…)
For The Best Police Songs Of All Time list, I decided to feature an article that I wrote a long time ago. This piece details the history of The Police first time round, without really discussing the reunion. After that you will find an Apple Music playlist of The Best Police Songs Of All Time.(more…)
It is the 50th anniversary of the release of David Bowie’s second album, The Man Who Sold the World. To celebrate this landmark, Parlophone have released a new remix of the album by Tony Visconti. David Bowie – Metrobolist was in fact the original title of the album till it was changed at the last minute to The Man Who Sold the World.(more…)
Elvis Costello – The Complete Armed Forces is a retrospective collection curated by Elvis Costello himself centred on Costello’s 1979 album with The Attractions, Armed Forces. If nothing else, Armed Forces is a personal landmark as the LP was the first Elvis Costello LP I picked up all those years ago.(more…)
The Style Council. A stylish experiment sandwiched in the middle of The Jam and Paul Weller. Or a huge misstep in the career of a music icon. There as many opinions about this as there are Jam and Weller fans. Somehow, The Style Council has never been taken as seriously as Weller’s other two incarnations.(more…)
Since I rebooted Power of Pop in late July, I have been moved to focus on movie and TV reviews with hardly any music reviews featured. This change in direction might be somewhat bewildering to anyone who has followed Power of Pop in the decades that it has been around.(more…)
Urgh A Music War is a 1981 British film featuring performances by punk rock, new wave, and post-punk acts, filmed in 1980. For me personally, the movie holds a special place in my heart as it provided me with a gateway to the new music that was sweeping over the UK and the USA, in the wake of punk.
Back in the early 70s, the Singapore government clamped down on the arts, labelling it “yellow culture” and therefore undesirable. Live rock music was banned in 1974 and the Ministry of Culture practiced an active censorship of pop culture. When punk emerged in the mid-70s, the authorities blocked releases by punk bands in Singapore. Suffice to say there was no rock music on TV either.
Thus, when I saw in the newspapers that Urgh A Music War was playing at the Rex Cinema, a relatively small theatre, I did not hesitate. The main attraction to me back then were The Police. Sting and company were one of the first newly styled rock bands that I had latched on too, together with the likes of The Jam and The Knack in 1979/80.
The movie was about two hours long and featured bands that I mostly had no clue about and styles of music that I was unfamiliar with. The Police opened the movie with “Driven to Tears” and it was a treat to finally watch them live, even if it was only on a movie screen.
The bands that followed made little impression until Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. That performance of “Enola Gay” blew my mind. I had not yet heard of synth-pop yet and it was a mind-ending experience.
This first exposure to electronic pop was cemented by the highlight of the movie – Gary Numan’s performance of “Down in the Park” with him seated in a moving chair! Both OMD and Numan certainly opened my mind (and ears) to brand new musical possibilities.
Strangely enough, I never quite felt any affinity with the out and out punk bands in the movie – they seemed somewhat insubstantial to me. But what did get my attention were the guitar bands that demonstrated more sophistication like Echo and the Bunnymen and XTC.
Naturally, considering my obsession with The Police, I was also drawn to the reggae outfits like Steel Pulse and UB40. It would be a rich vein that I would definitely tap in the coming years.
I realise now almost 4 decades later that there were probably numerous bands that were cut out of the Singapore release – I am sure I would have remember watching Dead Kennedys and Devo. I wonder how my musical habits might have changed if both were never excised. Would I have leant more towards the American punk scene than the British in the 80s? Who knows??
In the final analysis, I owe much to Urgh A Music War – the movie changed my life! 1982 would be a big year for music discovery.
… still there’s more …
In my recent opinion piece on music appreciation, I opined that music has become less time sensitive in the new media age. So I am starting a new music feature to highlight recommended new (mainly) pop-rock albums on a post-monthly basis. So here it is – Recommended Albums (September 2020). Check them out!(more…)
Global pandemic aside, the last 20 years have been horrendous for music and the music industry. The music culture that I have grown with from the 60s to the 90s has been utterly devastated for reasons I have enumerated in two articles viz. music is dead and the music industry is dead. However, despite all this, I can still defiantly proclaim : LONG LIVE ROCK!(more…)