COME ON LET’S GO! POWER POP GEMS FROM THE 70s AND 80s.
Come On Let’s Go! Power Pop Gems From The 70s and 80s.
Label: Big Beat.
In 1967, Pete Townsend of The Who was promoting Pictures Of Lily, and was asked how he would describe their music, he replied: “power pop is what we play.” Back then, music journalists weren’t always wanting to pigeon hole music, so the power pop sub-genre never really caught on. It wasn’t until the late-seventies when power pop became common currency amongst music journalists. They knew exactly what power pop sounded like, and was a form of musical shorthand.
Power pop was essentially guitar based pop that is driven along by a dynamic and powerful beat that is energetic, joyful and played with enthusiasm. That was the case with groups like The Raspberries, Big Star and The Flamin’ Groovies who showcased and pioneered power pop, and feature on a new compilation released by Big Beat, an imprint of Ace Records, Come On Let’s Go! Power Pop Gems From The 70s and 80s. It features twenty-four tracks from familiar faces, old friends and what will be new names to many people.
That isn’t the case with the track that opens Come On Let’s Go! Power Pop Gems From The 70s and 80s, Come On Let’s Go which was released on Sire in 1978 and finds The Paley Brothers and Ramones joining forces. It’s infectiously catchy and epitomises everything that is good about power pop, and sets the bar high for the rest of the compilation.
Inspired by The Beatles, The Raspberries were formed in Cleveland, Ohio, and in 1972 released I Wanna Be With You on Capitol on Capitol. By early 1973 I Wanna Be With You had reached number sixteen on the US Billboard 100. This was one of seven US Billboard 100 hits The Raspberries enjoyed. I Wanna Be With You which is a power pop cult classic, is one of The Raspberries’ finest hours.
In 1977, the Dwight Twilley Band released their Twileuy Don’t Mind album on Arista. Its was produced by Denny Cordell, an English expat based in Los Angeles. One of the highlights of the albums is Looking For The Magic a carefully crafted, melodic and timeless track from the Dwight Twilley Band.
Often it’s interesting to hear the original version a band record of a track and compare it to the single or album track. That is the case with the first version of Shake Some Action by The Flamin’ Groovies. It was recorded in 1973, and is a power pop hidden gem from one of its finest purveyors.
Joyous, energetic and hook-laden describes Radio Heart by The Secrets. It was recorded in 1978 by The Secrets, a group from Kansas City, who had been signed by a local label Titan Records. With its radio friendly sound, Radio Heart should’ve been released at the earliest opportunity. Sadly, iyt wasn’t until 1982 that a rerecorded version of Secret Heart was released. For The Secrets it was a case of what might have been? However, Secret Heart is a welcome addition to Come On Let’s Go! Power Pop Gems From The 70s and 80s and showcases a truly talented power pop group.
As Nuclear Boy is the title-track to 20/20’s sophomore album, which was released by Portrait in 1981. 20/20’s take on power pop is darker, and sometimes they sound not unlike The Jam, Nuclear Boy is upbeat and long on hooks.
Melodic and memorable describes The Toms’ anatomic sounding Nothing Comes Close. It featured on The Toms’ Black Sheep album which was released on the Throbbing Lobster label in 1987, and Nothing Comes Close is another power pop hidden gem that has been unearthed.
Straight away, The Rooks’ Glitter Best, which was released in 1995, sounds as if it was inspired by Teenage Fanclub at their most melodic. This is another track that falls into the category of hidden gem and is a welcome addition to Come On Let’s Go! Power Pop Gems From The 70s and 80s.
The Shivvers featured keyboardist Jill Kossoris, who also took charge of lead vocals. Teen Line was released by Fliptop in 1980, and benefits from a youthful exuberance and vibrancy on this slice of punchy power pop.
Without doubt, the best known and best track on Come On Let’s Go! Power Pop Gems From The 70s and 80s is Big Star’s September Gurls, from their 1974 album Radio City. Quite simply, September Gurls is a timeless power pop classic and nothing else on the compilation comes close.
Rock and Roll Is Dead by The Rubinoos sounds as if it’s been inspired by the Rolling Stones. The song featured on The Rubinoos’ 1977 eponymous debut album, and forty-two years later Rock and Roll Is Dead is still a favourite of power pop connoisseurs.
Closing Come On Let’s Go! Power Pop Gems From The 70s and 80s is Utopia’s One World. It was produced by Utopia and Todd Rundgren who also cowrote the song which featured on the 1982 album Swing To The Right. One World was one of the album’s highlights and is a anthemic slice of power pop.
For anyone with even a passing interest in power pop, or just anyone who loves well crafted pop music, then Come On Let’s Go! Power Pop Gems From The 70s and 80s is a must-have album. It’s a full of joyous and guitar based pop played with energy and enthusiasm. Hooks haven’t been rationed, on a compilations where the music is irresistibly catchy and anthemic. These tracks come courtesy of familiar faces and what will be new names to many music fans.
Sadly, some of these tracks failed to find an audience when they were released, and only now will they be heard by a wider audience. Other tracks like Big Star’s September Gurls is a power pop classic, and a tantalising taste of this seminal and hugely influential group. However, there’s more to Come On Let’s Go! Power Pop Gems From The 70s and 80s than one track and the twenty-four tracks that come courtesy of familiar faces and what will be new names to many music fans are part of a lovingly curated compilation that is one of the best in recent months and a perfect introduction to power pop
Come On Let’s Go! Power Pop Gems From The 70s and 80s.