What’s power pop, you ask? It’s ridiculously radio-friendly hooks and close vocal harmonies, mixed with a hefty dose of Marshall stacks and relentless four-on-the-floor beat. Perfect for music fans who like a little sugar in their rock! The genre has its roots in the British Invasion sound of the mid-sixties, borrowing heavily from The Who and The Beatles, as well as Americans, The Byrds. Following the demise of the Fab Four at the start of the ’70s, a host of new groups hoping to carry the pop torch amped up their jangling Rickenbacker 12-strings and made a bid for Billboard glory. Only a few made it, but the music that came out of the power pop golden era (1973-1982) is still among the catchiest ever committed to wax.
Read on for 20 essential power pop tracks that will be lodged in your brain for the rest of your life. Overly commercial? Maybe. Guilty pleasures? Possibly. But you’ll be singing right along, we guarantee it! Be warned: This ear candy is so sweet, you’re going to have to brush your speakers before bedtime.
Last night, Dave Grohl used part of the Foo Fighters‘ Best Rock Video VMA speech as a call to “look a little harder” but “Never lose faith in real rock n’ roll music.” Just thirty-odd hours earlier, The Strokes, arguably one of the higher-profile recent standard-bearers for “real rock n’ roll,” were not exactly hiding?they headlined the main stage at the UK’s Reading Festival.
Apparently the band was a little abashed that they’d be playing afterPulp, because they invited that band’s lead singer Jarvis Cocker onstage to accompany them in a cover of The Cars‘ 1978 hit single “Just What I Needed.” Watch above as Cocker trades lines with Julian Casablancas (after the Strokes lead singer’s two false starts). This clip is just what we needed this afternoon.