SHE’S GOT THE POWER! FEMALE POWER POP, PUNK AND GARAGE.
She’s Got The Power! Female Power Pop, Punk and Garage.
Label: Big Beat Records.
Release Date: ‘28th’ April 2023.
Back in August 2020, Big Beat, an imprint of Ace Records, released the compilation Girls Go Power Pop to widespread critical acclaim. Now, just under three years later, comes the much-anticipated followup, Girls Go Power Pop. It will be released on CD on the Girls Go Power Pop. For fans of power pop, the wait is nearly over.
This carefully curated compilation features twenty-four tracks that were released between 1978 and 2018. There’s contributions from familiar faces as well as a number of hidden gems on She’s Got The Power! Female Power Pop, Punk and Garage. It features artists and bands from the USA and UK as well as Brazil, Japan, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Spain. For fans of power pop, the compilation is a veritable musical feast.
Power pop’s origins can be traced to 1967, when Pete Townsend of The Who was promoting Pictures Of Lily. He was asked how he would describe their music? He replied: “power pop is what we play.” That day, a new genre was born.
Back then, music journalists didn’t always feel the need to pigeonhole 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 it was like a form of musical shorthand.
Power pop was essentially guitar based pop with melodic hooks and vocal harmonies that is driven along by a dynamic and powerful beat and is energetic and played with enthusiasm. However, while power pop is described as happy sounding music, it’s often underpinned by a sense of despair, longing, sadness and yearning. That’s part of the music’s charm, and why it’s still so popular fifty-six years after Pete Townsend coined the term “power pop.”
Opening She’s Got The Power! Female Power Pop, Punk and Garage is Hanging On The Telephone by Blondie.It featured on their 1978 album Parallel Lines, which was produced by Mike Chapman. Although the song was originally recorded by The Nerves, Blondie make it their own thanks to the irresistibly catchy chorus and Debbie Harry’s unmistakable vocal. The result is power pop perfection and the perfect way to open the compilation.
Bad Moves were formed in Washington DC in 2015, and three years later in 2018, released their debut album on Don Giovanni Records. One of the highlights of the album is Spirit FM. Power pop is combined with elements of punk and indie pop on a truly memorable track where the four piece band rail against FM radio.
Baby Shakes were formed in New York in 2004 by bassist Claudia Gonzalez and guitarist Judy Lindsay. The pair met at a CBGB concert and soon the group took shape. It was influenced by everything from Little Ricard and Chuck Berry to sixties girl groups and seventies. In 2015, the group self-released their sophomore album Starry Eyes. It featured I’ll Be Alright, a melodic and memorable slice of slick power pop that’s a welcome addition to the compilation.
Pittsburgh-born singer-songwriter Amy Rigby moved to New York in 1976, and her career began in the early eighties. She and her brother were members of Americana group Last Roundup, who released their album Twister in 1987. In the nineties, she was part of the folk rock trio The Shams. Then in 1996 she released her debut album Diary Of A Mod Housewife. Nine years later came her seventh solo album Little Fugitive. It features Dancing With Joey Ramone which combines early rock ’n’ roll, sixties music, punk and power pop. It’s an intoxicating mix of musical genres.
Suzy and Los Quattro was formed in Barcelona in 2002. They were influenced by Blondie, The Ramones, The Beach Boys and Suzy Quattro. When the group released their sophomore album Stick With It in 2008 It featured Rock Boys. They fuse power pop with elements of glam, new wave and punk on this hidden gem of a track.
Cocktail Slippers were formed in the Norwegian capital Oslo, and in 2002, released their debut album Rock It! Seven years later in 2009, they released their third album Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. It features In The City where garage rock and power pop are combined to create their own unique and unmistakable sound that proves popular everywhere they play.
Dawn Chorus and The Bluetits were formed in Leeds in the mid-eighties. The group featured future BBC DJ Liz Kershaw, her neighbour Lindsay Forrest and Carol Voderman, who at the time, was appearing on the TV quiz Countdown. They recorded a cover of The Undertones’ Teenage Kicks which was initially released as a single on The Wonderful Musical World of Chri$ Dixon label in 1985. Later that year, Stiff released the single but it failed commercially. The trio’s dream was over. This was their one and only single. It was inspired by sixties girl groups, power pop and indie rock and has stood the test of time.
Norwegian band The Dahlmanns released their debut album All Dahled Up in 2012. One of the standout tracks was Bright City Lights. It showcases this talented group’s unique fusion of power pop punk, garage rock and sixties influences, including The Beach Boys and California sunshine pop pioneers, The Association.
Lydia Loveless released her Boy Crazy EP on Bloodshot Records in 2013. The title track has a tough, edgy sound as elements of power pop, indie rock and even country are combined on this oft-overlooked hidden gem.
In 1995, LA-based Sun 60’s released their third and final album Headjoy on Epic. The music was quite different from their 1993 sophomore album, Only. Gone was the indie rock sound to be replaced by grunge. That was apart from Cmon + Kiss Me. It’s as slice of pop perfection that shows another side to a band who sadly, never scaled the heights that they should’ve.
In 1979, London-based Girlschool released their debut single Take It All Away. This driving, rocky track was the start of a forty year career that saw the band enjoy three hit singles and four alums which charted in the UK.
Closing She’s Got The Power! Female Power Pop, Punk and Garage is Unforgiven by the Go-Go’s. It’s taken from their 2001 album God Bless The Go-Go’s. The classic lineup of the group are at their best as they combine power pop and rock on this track. Despite this, the album stalled at fifty-seven on the US Billboard 200. Sadly, the group never released another studio album after this.
When Big Beat released their previous power pop compilation Girls Go Power Pop it set the bar high for future collections. However, compiler Dave Burke dug deep into his collection and came up with the twenty-four barnstorming tracks on She’s Got The Power! Female Power Pop, Punk and Garage It’s all killer and no filler. This is a compilation that will be of interest to anyone with even a passing interest in power pop. Especially power pop that was released between 1978 and 2018.
Big Beat’s new compilation She’s Got The Power! Female Power Pop, Punk and Garage is a magical mystery tour. Climb aboard and enjoy the journey and discover power pop perfection.
She’s Got The Power! Female Power Pop, Punk and Garage.
- Posted in: Indie Pop ♦ Indie Rock ♦ Pop ♦ Post Punk ♦ Power Pop ♦ Punk Rock ♦ Rock ♦ Uncategorized
- Tagged: Ace Records, Amy Rigby, Baby Shakes, Bad Moves, Big Beat, Blondie, Cocktail Slippers, Dawn Chorus and The Bluetits, Go-Go’s, Lydia Loveless, Punk and Garage, She’s Got The Power! Female Power Pop, Sun 60, Suzy and Los Quattro, The Dahlmanns
Sold! Sounds fantastic