Album: ORANGES & LEMONS
Written by: ANDY PARTRIDGE
No one can deny the obvious Beatles influence in this song, in fact Andy Partridge has said it's a re-write of The Beatles All You Need Is Love. The beginning of this song even has a Sgt. Pepper's Billy Shears style audience cheering intro. Plus, let's not overlook that very George Harrison sounding guitar solo. It's not only a great reminder of The Beatles, it's also a great song in it's own right.
Song #15: Posted on 4/16/2019
i grow up fast
Song: i grow up fast
Band: david brookings & the average lookings
Album: scorpio monologue
Written by: david brookings
There's a new review of Scorpio Monlogue, the new album by David Brookings & The Average Lookings. GO HERE
Song #14: Posted on 3/25/2019
Song: TRUST ME
Band: YOUNG BEAUTIFUL IN A HURRY
Album: Young Beautiful In A Hurry
Written by: Brendan McCreary
How often do you have not one but two music prodigies in the same family? Well, that's the case with The McCreary brothers, Bear and Brendon. Bear is better know for scoring the music to hit shows like The Walking Dead and Battlestar Gallactica. So it was probably daunting for Brendan to carve out a musical career of his own.
Young Beautiful in a Hurry is just the project needed to give Bear a run for his money, an amazing group with songs that should be on every radio station and upcoming movie.
Brendan's powerhouse vocals are a cross between Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury and Adam Lambert. Many of the songs on the two YBH albums sound like lost Michael Jackson tracks merely missing the king of pop's famous hee hee, aoow and shamone! Other songs bring to mind the powerful choruses of groups like Queen or The Feeling. While Young Beautiful In A Hurry doesn't land in the square center of Power Pop, there's enough of the genre in these songs to merit it a spotlight here on Hop On Power Pop.
Brandon's brother is the famous film/television composer Bear McCreary
Bear McCreary wrote the theme song for The Walking Dead
Brandon has followed in his brother's footsteps and mostly composes for television shows today
Brendan performs as frontman in the John Vatos Oingo Boingo Dance Party, where he sings lead alongside original members of Oingo Boingo
Brandon's vocal range is incredible yet he admits he's not professionally trained, nor practices with any sort of regularity
He used to play saxaphone
Song #13: Posted on 3/25/2019
i dont wanna shine
Song: I DON’T WANNA SHINE
Band: THE ORANGE PEELS
Album: Circling The Sun
Written by: Allan Clapp & Jill Pries
Originally I had picked Circling The Sun from this album but after a few listens it reminded me less of Power Pop and more like those college indie band songs that just are a stream of lyrics almost a rap. So in order to keep my personal bar up, I switched over to I Don’t Wanna Shine. It has a much more centered Power Pop vibe with backing harmonies and even the title sounds less Blink 182 and more Beatles by way of Julian Lennon.
The Orange Peels is a Northern California band that primarily produce music about life on the West Coast
Founding members Allen Clapp and Jill Pries have been the nucleus of the band
Both the title track Circling The Sun and the lead track, "Something in You," received more commercial airplay than any previous release
Song #12: Posted on 3/25/2019
i could be the one
Song: I COULD BE THE ONE
Band: VEGAS WITH RANDOLPH
Album: Legs & Luggage
Written by: Tom Curless
Vegas With Randolph has been around since 2008, but I only learned of the band this year from another Power Pop FB page. I ordered all four albums and haven't heard a track I didn't like...no wait, LOVE! All of their songs are catchy, well written, well played and recorded.
Based not out of Las Vegas but out of Washington D.C., the band reminds me of another East Coast Power Pop band, Fountains of Wayne. However, where Fountains of Wayne can sound light and almost facetious at times, Vegas With Randolph sounds like serious Rock 'n Roll and almost always in the Power Pop vein, which I love. I've still yet to devote some serious attention to their earlier works, but Legs & Luggage has definitely won me over.
This is Vegas with Randolph's 4th album
At the nucleus of VWR is the songwriting partnership of John Ratts and Eric Kern
The duo has penned hundreds of songs, many of which have received radio airplay, use in TV and video, compilation CD's, covers by several artists, and awards
Song #11: Posted on 3/25/2019
never been so blind
Song: NEVER BEEN SO BLIND
Band: YOUR GRACIOUS HOST
Written by: Tom Curless
It never ceases to amaze me how many great, talented and catchy Power Pop bands there are out there that most people have never heard before and go unnoticed because the giant money making labels are so powerful they dictate what the public hears. So when a band like YOUR GRACIOUS HOST finally makes it onto my radar, I feel like an idiot that I’m only just now hearing about them.
Much of the music on Boomerang is a mix between Power Pop and late 90s Power Poppy Punk reminiscent of band like Sunny Day Real Estate and The Meices. NEVER BEEN SO BLIND strikes a perfect mix of both genres and its hook will stay with you long after the song has ended
Your Gracious Host is the brainchild of singer-songwriter and multi instrumentalist Tom Curless
The band is based in Michigan
The band has released 7 records, as well as a solo album by Tom Curless
Song #10: Posted on 3/25/2019
cruel to be kind
Song: CRUEL TO BE KIND
Band: NICK LOWE
Album: Jesus of Cool
Written by: Nick Lowe and Ian Gomm
This song has a long history as it was originally recorded by the band Brinsley Schwarz for It’s All Over Now but was never officially released.
Then when it was released, it was a B-Side to the song Little Hitler. Fun fact: Johnny Cash is Nick Lowe’s Father in law and the wedding footage in the music video is actual footage from Nick and Carlene Carter’s wedding.
Lowe and Gomm were hoping the song would be a pop hit for Brinsley Schwarz, and crafted it for mass consumption. Lowe only grudgingly recorded it, and he considered it an aberration, a pop sell-out song. When he performed the song on The David Letterman Show, he called it "wimpy" and had little interest in discussing it
Lowe cribbed the phrase "cruel to be kind" from Shakespeare, who used it in Hamlet
The official video is a comedic reenactment of Lowe's marriage to Carlene Carter, who plays herself in the clip
The video was one of 206 that aired on MTV's first day of broadcasting: August 1, 1981
Musically, the song was originally closer to a soul style
The song made it on the U.S. Billboard Hot charts 100 at #12
Song #9: Posted on 3/25/2019
Band: THE RASPBERRIES
Album: Side 3
Written by: Eric Carmen
From The Raspberries third album, Ecstasy is a but of an overlooked song. Granted they are best known for the hit songs "Go All The Way," "Let's Pretend," "Overnight Sensation" and "I Wanna Be With You." Ecstasy is a powerhouse in the Power Pop catalogue that seems to combine hook and harmony elements of The Beatles with the electric power and drums of The Who all while remaining true to The Raspberries sound.
The album cover is diecut like a basket of Raspberries
Side 3 is the Raspberries 3rd album
The Raspberries were an American pop rock band formed in 1970 from Cleveland, Ohio
The band broke up in April 1975
"Ecstasy" was released as a single with "Don't Want to Say Goodbye" on the B-side
The song made it to #116 on US Cash Box Magazine and #118 on US Record World Magazine
Song #8: Posted on 3/25/2019
Song: nobody cares
Band: the 88
Album: over and over
Written by: keith slettedahl
The Los Angeles based band, The 88, teeter on almost proving me wrong that Power Pop today is "unpopular pop." Since forming in 2002, their songs have been used on films and television shows like The OC, Grey's Anatomy, The Lorax and have the title song to the show Community. In addition, they've toured and played with Ray Davies, The Flaming Lips, The Smashing Pumpkins, The B-52's, Elvis Costello, The Zombies and Elliott Smith. But today it's difficult to find people who even know who they are, fitting right back into Power Pop obscurity.
The music video to Nobody Cares is fun and quirky. Let's hope the band continues to gain in popularity and success.
The 88 is an American band from Los Angeles, California
From 2010 to 2012, the band toured and recorded with the Kinks leader Ray Davies, serving as his opening act and backing Davies for his set
The 88 wrote and performed "At Least It Was Here", the theme song for the television series Community
Song #7: Posted on 3/25/2019
no matter what
Song: no matter what
Album: no dice
Written by: pete ham
I've delayed picking a Power Pop song from the legendary band Badfinger. The main reason for putting this off is that it's impossible to narrow down all the great songs to just one. I'm certain, much like The Raspberries, Klaatu or The Kinks, I'll inevitably post several songs from the group.
After hearing Badfinger playing on my husbands iPod in the shower this morning, I got a hunger to rewatch the 1997 documentary Badfinger: A riveting and emotionally gripping saga by Gary J. Katz.
It's an emotional rollercoaster, to be sure, but when the song No Matter What comes on, you're immediately transported back in time to how amazing a band they were. No Matter What was their 2nd hit single, following the Paul McCartney penned Come And Get It. The Magic Christian song, Come And Get It is a fabulous song, but you can tell the band wanted to write and record an original song of their own. No Matter What has a freshness and power that went on to define the very heart of Power Pop. It has everything a great Power Pop song should have: hooks, melody, harmonies, crunchy guitar riffs and Beatles sound. It's also amazing to note that the song was written by Pete Ham and can be seen played on George Harrison's cherry red 1964 Gibson SG Standard which George played on Paperback Writer, which George gave to Pete in 1969. That guitar could tell some Power Pop tales.
Badfinger was signed to The Beatles label, Apple Records. Peter Ham used one of George Harrison's Gibson guitars on this
Many people thought this was The Beatles when they heard it. Badfinger was one of the first groups signed to The Beatles record label, Apple Records
In 2001, The Gap wanted to use this in a commercial. Apple Records, which owns the rights to it, asked for an enormous sum of money and were turned down
As a demo, "No Matter What" was originally recorded by Ham on acoustic guitar and performed with a mambo beat
This song is also noted for its false ending, after the final chorus, where, after a short pause, the song repeats the last line twice before its final ending chord
The song is notable for being one of the first successful records associated with the power pop sound, using all of the elements attributed to the genre
Song #6: Posted on 3/25/2019
Song: COME DOWN
Band: THE COMMON COLD
Album: Released as a 45rpm single
Written by: bill rhinehart
I only found out about The Common Cold band from their contribution on the compilation album Where The Action Is Los Angeles Nuggets 65-68. This song was released as an A-Side single with Dream World in the B-Side. It’s a beautiful, dreamy song that evokes The Kinks more ethereal songs. I call this the softer side of Power Pop
Formed by two friends Ajay Saggar and Mark Wareing
They used to play a type of play a set of psych jam
The song was produced by Harold Battiste
The song was released on the compilation "Where The Action Is: LA Nuggets 65-68"
Bill Rinehart, a pivotal, if largely unheralded figure in L.A.'s Sunset Strip scene during the 1960s, passed away in 2017 at the age of 71
Song #5: Posted on 2/11/2019
live like a king
Song: LIVE LIKE A KING
Band: PARTHENON HUXLEY
Written by: Parthenon Huxley
Parthenon Huxley (P Hux) is such an underrated songwriting genius, but then again, isn't ALL Power Pop in that same category? Highly brilliant yet vastly underrated! This is from his 2nd Studio album, Deluxe. Parthenon has worked with ELO and appeared in a few films.
Deluxe was Parthenon Huxley's 2nd studio album
He was born Richard Willett Miller but Parthenon Huxley is now his legal name
He was an official member of Electric Light Orchestra (ELO Part II)
He has also made cameo appearances in several films including Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story and The Flintstones
Song #4: Posted on 2/11/2019
Song: SAME THING
Band: THE GRAYS
Album: Ro Sham Bo
Written by: Jon Brion
One of the best Power Pop bands in the world, The Grays consisted of Jon Brion, Jason Faulkner, Buddy Judge and Dan Mccarroll. Supergroup. Great album.
Ro Sham Bo is the first and only studio album by The Grays
It's a supergroup comprised of Jon Brion, Jason Falkner, Buddy Judge and Dan McCarroll
According to Jason Falkner, Jon Brion initially got into contact with him after listening to a mixtape of the album Odessey and Oracle by the Zombies he had compiled for his then-girlfriend. Brion called Falkner to invite him to an informal jamming session with musicians Buddy Judge and Dan McCarroll
The intention of the band was to be a democratic collective of musicians, rather than a hierarchical group with a leader and backing musicians
Jon Brion, who was the first to leave the group
Despite glowing reviews from critics, Ro Sham Bo was a commercial disappointment
Song #3: Posted on 2/11/2019
you wanna go
Song: YOU WANNA GO
Band: TINY VOLCANO
Album: Tiny Volcano
Written by: JS Mcpherson
A Beatle-esque song of beauty. The album varies from ukulele, ballads, power pop gems and great songs. One of my favorites.
A total tribute to The Beatles including the final 6th cord
It is sung by Tony "Titanic" Cooper
If you like Tiny Volcano you should also check out McPherson/Grant
Song 2: Posted on 2/11/2019
Song: SEPTEMBER GURLS
Band: BIG STAR
Album: Radio City
Written by: Alex Chilton
A power pop gem. A staple in Power Pop songs from the 70s. Populist included it in their Top 100 songs of all time, Rolling Stone lists it at 180 in Top 500 songs. In Power Pop history this should be in the top ten of all time power pop songs.
Alex Chilton once said of his songwriting: "I really loved the mid '60s British pop music, all two and a half minutes long, really appealing songs. So I've always aspired to that same format, that's what I like."
This paen to "September Gurls" was penned by vocalist Alex Chilton for Big Star's second album Radio City. Released as a single, it did not chart despite receiving excellent reviews, due mainly to poor marketing. The song was rated #178 by Rolling Stone in their 2004 list of the Top 500 songs of all time.
Song #1 Posted on 2/11/2019
Song: PAPERBACK WRITER
Band: THE BEATLES
Album: Released as a single
Written by: John Lennon & Paul McCartney
To start off, I feel one of the first songs that kicked off the Power Pop movement is The Beatles song Paperback Writer released in 1966. It involves jangly guitars, delicious power pop guitars and a pretty standard verse chorus format.
Paperback Writer wasn't originally released on an album, but as a single with "Rain."
On the US Billboard Hot 100, the song was at No. 1 for two non-consecutive weeks
The first #1 hit for The Beatles that was not about love
Ringo's bass drum was emphasized on this track. A microphone was placed an inch away to make it boom.