Sunday, February 28, 2016


I noticed, while rereading an older post, that I would do a post and Ipod playlist for power pop or, as they were known in L.A. in the 80s, "skinny tie bands."

This is one of those "Is it a genre or not" forms of rock & roll. The term "power pop" was first coined by The Who's Pete Townsend, who used it to describe the music of The Who and Small Faces. Other bands of that era (The Monkees, The Raiders, The Searchers, The Kinks) could be considered as influences on the Power Pop sound, however the major influence on the sound and look of Power Pop was The Beatles.

Shortly after the 70s began, a group of bands began springing up that hearkened back to that British Invasion sound. One of the first was the British band Badfinger, who were on the Apple label and even recorded a song written by Paul McCartney (He produced it, as well).

Another group that set the pattern for the Power Pop bands to come was the American group The Raspberries, lead by Eric Carmen. Later on, the San Francisco based band The Flaming Groovies switched from a rockabilly sound to a Power Pop sound.

The phrase Power Pop was next used by a music critic in 1978 to categorize this growing trend. The boom years for these bands were from 1978 to around 1986. The most successful of these groups was The Knack, who were from L.A. Club owners in L.A. dubbed the Power Pop bands, with their Beatle-like suits and ties, the "Skinny Tie bands." The glam/heavy metal bands, known for their mounds of sprayed, long hair, were dubbed "Hair bands."  That is where those terms came from.

Of course, the early Power Pop bands didn't dress like The Beatles did in 1964. They looked like other bands of the early 70s. It was The Knack, who started the fashion trend to dress like The Beatles. They also took a ton of flak over it.

While the last year of this trend is 1986, the music continued to be popular at college frat parties for years to come. More recently the sound has hit the charts again by bands such as Fountains of Wayne, Semisonic and The Rembrants.

This is not a countdown. I'm not ranking these songs, it is just for your listening pleasure. It is the order they came up on my Ipod.

"My Sharona" - The Knack
"Shake Some Action" - The Flaming Groovies
"Cruel To Be Kind" - Nick Lowe
"What I Like About You" - The Romantics
"Scream" - Artful Dodger
"A Million Miles Away" - The Plimsouls
"The Hero Takes The Fall " - The Bangles
"You Don't Want Me Anymore" - Steel Breeze
"Yellow Pills" - 20/20
"Someday Someway" - Marshall Crenshaw
"Alex Chilton" - The Replacements
"This Beat Goes On / Switching to Glide" - The Kings
"I Wanna Be Wit You" - The Raspberries
"Every Word Means No" - Let's Active
"Walking On Sunshine" - Katina & the Waves
"There She Goes" - The La's
"Wake Up Boo" - The Boo Radleys
"Love Is For Lovers" - The dBs
"I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" - The Rubinoos
"Blood & Roses" - The Smithereens
"Hazy Shade of Winter" - The Bangles
"I'll Be There For You (Theme from Friends)" - The Rembrandts
"And We Danced" - The Hooters
"Superman" - R.E.M
"That Thing You Do" - The Wonders
"Girl of My Dreams" - Bram Tchaikovsky
"867-5309 / Jenny" - Tommy Tutone
"September Girls" - Big Star
"I Want You To Want Me" (live) - Cheap Trick
"Down On the Boulevard" - The Pop
"Hold On To Something" - Great Buildings
"All Come True" - World Party
"The Good Life" - Fire Town
"No Matter What" - Badfinger
"Talking In Your Sleep" - The Romantics
"Just a Smile" - Pilot
"Baby Its Cold Outside" - Pezband
"I Want To Help You Ann" - The Lyres
"Starry Eyes" - The Records
"Precious To Me" - Phil Seymour
"She Don't Know Why I'm Here" - The Last
"Lay Your Love On Me" - Racey
"Behind the Wall of Sleep" - The Smithereens
"Mary Anne" - Marshal Crenshaw
"Where Have You Been All My Life" - Fotomaker
"Tell That Girl To Shut Up" - Holly & The Italians
"Radio Free Europe" - R.E.M
"Driver's Seat" - Sniff N the Tears

"Tell It To Carrie" - The Romantics
"Magic" - Pilot
"Go All The Way" - The Raspberries
"Your Love" - The Outfield
"Stacey's Mom" - Fountains of Wayne
"Tonight" - The Raspberries
"I'm On Fire" - Dwight Twilley Band
"Ship Of Fools" - World Party
"Baby Blue" - Badfinger
"Too Late" - Shoes
"Good Girls Don't" - The Knack
"Rock & Roll Girl" - The Beat
"This Is Airebeat" - The Squares
"Day By Day" - The Hooters
"Time Won't Let Me" - The Smithereens
"In the Street" - Big Star
"Dreaming Is Easy" - Steel Breeze
"She Goes Out With Everybody" - The Spongetones
"I Will Dare" - The Replacements
"Lisa Anne" - Bill Lloyd
"Nothing From Today" - The Vipers
"Get Over You" - The Undertones
"Places That Are Gone" - Tommy Keane
"Whatever Happened To Fun" - Candy
"Chemistry" - Semisonic
"Girls" - Dwight Twilley Band
"Buried Alive" - The Lyres
"Come On, Come On" - Cheap Trick
"Fall On Me" - R.E.M
"Boy On a Roof" - The Outnumbered
"Honor Among Thieves" - Artful Dodger
"In a Different Light" - The Bangles
"L5" - Fools Face

The last one is a Springfield, MO. band, that had a statewide following in the 80s.

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