Talk:Power pop

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Pete Townshend quote[edit]

The Pete Townshend quote can be found in Dave Marsh's biography of The Who, Before I Get Old. Townshend also described The Small Faces as power pop.

List of songs/artists removed from article[edit]

The following is a list I removed from the article. See below. Tuf-Kat

This a good article, but[edit]

This a good article, but there are a lot of ambiguities and disagreements about exactly what "power pop" is among power pop fans and others not acknowledged here. Although most fans would agree that The Beatles are highly influential on power pop bands, they would not consider The Beatles themselves power pop. Mostly power pop devotees would think that something was changed about the Beatles Liverpudlian pop sound to make it "power" pop. Power Pop John Dougan All Music Guide essay on Power Pop says this about the Beatles The musical sourcepoint for nearly all power-pop is theBeatles. Virtually all stylistic appropriations begin with them: distinctive harmony singing, strong melodic lines, unforgettable guitar riffs, lyrics about boys and girls in love; they created the model that other power-poppers copied for the next couple of decades. Other profound influences include the Who, the Kinks, and the Move, bands whose aggressive melodies and loud distorted guitars put the "power" in power-pop.[1] Also digitaldreamdoor 100 Greatest Power Pop Songs has several Beatles songs including 4. Please Please Me - (1963) Beatles. [2]

"Power" Pop - Cheap Trick is probably the band most cited as power pop, and they essentially are what Pete Townshend meant when he first coined the term "power pop" - power chords and a harder rock edge added to straight-ahead pop. Here, power pop is truly a melding of rock and pop. Other bands after Trick, like The Knack, Matthew Sweet, Material Issue, Sloan and Tsar would fall into this same category. Some power pop fans consider this the only true definition of power pop.

Over-the-Top Pop - The Raspberries were the first in a wave of over-the-top pop bands that took pop to the most dramatic extremes. Often these bands were lush, and often experimental with their pop. Electric Light Orchestra and Jellyfish would take what The Raspberries started even further.

Indie Pop - Big Star, who are almost always considered a power pop band, would meld The Beatles sound with the beginnings of what would become indie pop. The dB's, The Replacements and Teenage Fanclub would follow in this vein.

There is also the more traditional Beatlesque pop played by bands like Badfinger and New Wave power pop played by bands like The Romantics, The Shoes and 20/20.

These are just some very loose ideas, and I'm leaving out important artists here, like Todd Rundgren. I'd like to at some point rewrite the general power pop article, adding categories and different lines of thinking. This is just a start, and looking for feedback.



  1. ^ Essay on Power Pop John Dougan
  2. ^ digitaldreamdoor 100 Greatest Power Pop Songs


Contrary to Sensorium's comments, Jet certainly qualify as "power pop" due to their obvious debts to not only the Beatles, but also to Badfinger and the Raspberries. They qualify as much as Fountains of Wayne or Rooney. One could also make a good case for the Vines being power pop, although their obvious debt to Nirvana - who were influenced by power pop but usually are not considered such - may disqualify them.


1) a) Removed sentence about lyrics confined to romantic love, which is completely false. Take some of the most prominent bands, such as Big Star, Cheap Trick, or even the Knack, who rarely sing about "romantic love", and often times not even about sex. b) Removed Jet again. Sorry. I don't want to play this back and forth game, but the rest of the bands listed are truly power pop. I have a power pop collection of thousands of cd's and records, and have worked with many of the top bands and fans in the field. Fountains and Rooney are considered straight-ahead power pop. Jet is not. Jet may have some power pop elements, but they are steeped in an early Stones, garage rock sound, which is far different from the rest of these bands. There are many, many more power-pop like bands, popular and not, that should be listed here before Jet. There is a page of power pop bands -- list them there, if you must, althouth I don't really believe they should be there either. c) Removed the Cars paragraph. Please cite sources as to where they are influential, if this is the case. The Cars are an electronic-based new wave band, certainly influential, but as influential to Fountains of Wayne, Matthew Sweet, Tsar, etc as numerous other bands are? I disagree with this as well. If you want a band who is oddly influential to power pop bands, who isn't itself power pop, take Queen, whose influences on Jellyfish, Sugarbomb, The Blakes, etc, are extraordinary.

I don't mean any offense by any of this, and definitely don't want to get stuck in a changing-back-and-forth vibe on this page, so, if someone wants to continue an ongoing discussion here or by mail, I'm willing to do so. Why don't you guys who are working here sign up for an account, so we can discuss more easily?

I still think the opening paragraph is extremely flawed in its definition of power pop, but I haven't had time to rewrite it.


More bands[edit]

Okay - edit if you wish...but I've been hearing some Cars' influence - but it may be one of the influences...I've been hearing more Cars like synth lines on the most recent bands.

However i've added two more artists due to extensive research through websites... I was a power-pop aficionado...buying stuff like *The Shoes, 20/20, Paul Collins Beat, The Knack, The Plimsouls, The Romantics etc. from 1979-1983 and also listened to Dwight Twilley in my youth to the current day stuff.

Badfinger was great for all their turbulence... They had that one great tune that was not their hit, Nilsson's "Without You" in 1972.

I agree with Jet being excluded from the list - they are actually an Australian garage rock outfit.

However I consider the Buzzcocks and the Ramones to be punk than power-pop (I was in a punk band myself in 1977) - they have tendencies but they are not in anyway like any of the other bands you've listed. In fact I heard that Joey was bitter on his death bed - seeing that punk has finally made mainstream and his band never got their due when they first came out in 1976.

Regarding - The Beatles - i totally's usually the jangly-pop singles between 1965-1966 (the pre-Sgt. Pepper era) that includes "Ticket To Ride," "Day Tripper," "Help" and "Paperback Writer." However, some of those late 70's power pop bands such as The Knack and The Romantics used the 64 Merseybeat Beatles as nspiration... e.g. harmonica solos on "Good Girls Don't" and "What I like about you."

Instrumental Solos[edit]

In the introductory paragraph:

Musically the style is characterized by strong melodies...with instrumental solos kept to a minimum.... The Knack's "My Sharona" (1979) [is one] of the most commercially successful singles best representative of the power pop genre.

I'm sorry to inform you, but "My Sharona" has like a two minute guitar solo. Personally, I don't think that's kept to a minimum, except maybe compared to a jam band like The Allman Brothers Band or O.A.R. I think the distinction should be made there, instead of where it is right now. Akrabbim 04:04, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Artists (ctd)[edit]

I'm with you on all that stuff, rg. Ramones are definitely primarily punk and secondarily power pop. Buzzcocks, probably the same, though the gap is less wide.

I definitely think the Beatles are extremely influential on power pop, it's just difficult to call them that themselves, since most people believe it began with Raspberries, Big Star, Todd Rundgren, Badfinger, et al.

To me, the ultimate power pop band is Cheap Trick, along with, in many ways, the Knack -- those bands really ARE a blend of Beatlesque pop with harder music and power chords. Though, admittedly, some of this is a personal preference. There is a big gap between Cheap Trick and, say, Marshall Crenshaw (who I'd personally consider more twee pop) -- but both are undoubtedly considered power pop, and their music is extremely different -- this is exactly why it's so hard to have a page explaining what power pop is. A lot of bands in the power pop category have so little in common.


I's power pop is different - so their point of reference is a little bit more modern since they are much younger - that's why I believe that they have a little more "Cars" influence than say bands in 1978-79, they may have been fans or acquired the influence second-hand probably from Weezer who was produced by Ric Ocasek on their major label debut in 1993.

The power pop bands from 1979-1983 not only used Beatle-type arrangements and harmonies, but Pete Townshend style power chords and also in the case of songs such as The Beat's "You won't be happy"(Paul Collins Beat)- Keith Moon styled solo drumming courtesy of influences from "My Generation," and "I can see for miles."

So when the Who says they were power-pop; they were prophets. I agree totally with that statements. Some of the ones that you missed was Phil Seymour's Precious to me (1981) - Dwight Twilley's drummer... and Let's Active's "Every word means no." in (1985).

-- I removed Ramones and Buzzcocks as you suggested, as you are probably correct. They are power pop, but only peripherally so, so they shouldn't be on this list.

Sensorium 23:26, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

Subtractions from the song list[edit]

I found some of the recent subtractions from the song list unhelpful to the article -- especially the deletion of Material Issue, one of the most popular power pop bands of the last twenty years, and Pursuit of Happiness, who had one of the few Power Pop hits during their time period. So I added them back.

In addition, I removed the weird Pezband line in the middle of a paragraph about THE 80'S -- and in doing so also removed the line about Pezband "leading the charge" in the 70's. Pezband, although an important power pop band, was neither influential nor popular enough to be considered leading the charge during Cheap Trick and The Knack's heyday.

Sensorium 06:43, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

I removed the whole list. A lot of genre articles tend to spawn lists of notable bands, songs or albums, but they're never appropriate, and consensus is always to remove them. If a song is so notable that the article is malinformative without it, then it should be mentioned and explained in the article. A list is going to be ignored by most anyone who doesn't already know about the genre, and is inherently made up of the editors' opinions. If there is significant discussion about which songs are the most notable in powerpop, then make a list called list of power pop songs or something, and ascribe those opinions to whoever holds them. Tuf-Kat 07:26, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

Fair enough. Sensorium 06:24, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

Power pop - pop or rock?[edit]

Is power pop a form of pop or rock, or both? Pop templates do not feature power pop, but from its name alone, one would surmise it is a part of pop music. Mandel 01:11, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

It's both. Power Pop is often an amalgamation of rock and pop. That's my opinion at least. Though, I'd essentially consider rock a form of pop in many ways as well.

Sensorium 02:35, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

Rock and roll played such a majopr part in the development of pop music that it's often hard to seperate the too. A sizable amount of modern pop uses beats, bass lines and composition that were derived from rock and roll --Neon white 16:31, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

US Centered?[edit]

The term was well known in the UK but was slightly different in it's usage. The british bands sometimes used sixties references as well but included a smart punk edge into their music. Because Powerpop happened straight after the Punk explosion. The best known artists were The Vapors or The Jags - somebody remember them? There are some more relations to punk/garage/sixties punk. For further information please visit the Bomp Records page [1] or read the article about Garage Rock. You can also include The Who related Mod-Bands like The Jam, The Chords and so on. There has never been a Mod-Rock genre for them. So i think in some cases Powerpop is their cup of tea. Some more ideas: [2]. It is a littlebit strange dating Powerpop back into the sixties. It's not working. You can not make the complete British Invasion of the sixties a Powerpop thing. Otherwise you should correct the place of origin to Great Britain ;-) It seems to be the best way to describe Powerpop as a modern and polished form of Garage Rock. Mostly short and straight songs, sixties-pop (Beat music) influenced and played with punk-power. My english is not good enough to rework this article. Maybe someone can check this informations and add a few pionts.-- 19:39, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

You make excellent points. I've added a section in the article about late '70s UK groups and how by that time the term "power pop" had become ambiguous, with different meanings in the two countries. Starry Eyes 21:55, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree with this. I think a lot of these bands don't qualify as power-pop at all. I don't think it's right to even credit The Beatles as power-pop, as the term developed after their demise. --No Underbites 03:09, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

First, thanks to Starry Eyes for his additions. :-) Now, I think parts of this article are problematic, in that they contain circular references, and the authors concentrate too much on the music, less on the term. I try to explain what I mean: The Cramps became a founder of the Psychobilly genre. Their music is somewhat pure Rock'n'Roll with tons of references to the music, movies, comics and and and of the 50s and early 60s. Following the idea of the Powerpop article, Elvis, Buddy Holly and Bill Haley were psychobillys. This is easy to understand, but lets get somewhat crazy now ;-): The australien band The Saints recorded what is called a Punk Rock album in 1976/77. As their contemporaries Radio Birdman, they never wanted to record what is called "a Punk Rock album". Both stood deep in the tradition of The Stooges and other Garage Rock bands, but their releases happened to coincide with the punk explosion. Depending to the Punk Rock article the term punk was applied to garage rock bands during the 70s. So the Saints and Radio Birdman recorded a garage album categorized as a punk album, but the term punk was used for garage bands. This disguise is a circular reference simply produced by replacing one term by an other term. There are no big musical differences between punk and garage, as there are no big differences between Powerpop and Beat music in the 60s. To my opinion the term powerpop is partially quoted out of context in this article. It seems better to put "Powerpop" into the right place - the temporary context - and the collisions with terms like (and bands depending to) Beat music, (the) British Invasion and Garage Rock are gone.

Power Pop[edit]

It is interesting to note that it is much easier to exclude artists from power pop genre,than to define them by it.Aimee Mann and Michael Penn have incorporated elements of songwriting (catchy melodies,layered harmonies,acoustic/electric guitar-based,brief solos,introspective lyrics,etc.)from power pop,but neither are mentioned as disciples of it.Similarly,Del Amitri,Tal Bachman,Fastball,The Jayhawks,10cc,Gerry Rafferty and Crowded House have all released material that must be considered mainstream power pop,but they are not limited stylistically to that niche.Nevertheless,all of them owe something to their previous generation,as one can hear Pete Ham's fills,or Eric Carmen's overproduction tendencies in the mix of many of their songs.The combination of Byrd-like 12 strings with Townsend power chords,thrown together with a soaring Justin Hayward tenor,backed up by reverbed Nash,Furay,and Young vocals and you get an irresistable blend of rock/folk/pop whose appeal will never die. A Charter Member

Starting list of songs[edit]

I've just started List of notable power pop songs from the list which was removed from the article. Still just a stub and needs more work, ordering, sorting, etc. I was thinking maybe sort into sons which were number 1 hits, songs which were in the top 10, etc., and alphabetize wtihin those. I think having a list like this is important, and in some ways more useful than List of power pop musicians because of the nature of the genere. This (IMO) is more a genre of singles - of big hit songs which get stuck in a lot of peoples heads and are often more well known than the musicians themselves (and almost always more well known than the album they were on). So anyhow, didn't have much time right now to do much with the list, but hopefully it can grow and improve... ENpeeOHvee 06:35, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Removing songs?[edit]

Removing The Knack from the list???? How can that be - that is so over the top Beatles as you can get down to the orange and yellow Capitol label on the 45 to the album cover to the "LOve me do" influence on "Good Girls Don't." But if it's true that you're reworking the list then I take back my statement. I've added to this list previously by researching books and the internet and like any style of music, Power Pop retains some of its features but added new tricks as well. It doesn't sound the same in the 00s as it did in the 70s... - but you can tell what it is. 17:33, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Whoa, whoa, whoa...[edit]

"Power pop influence is also evident in the music of pop punk bands like blink-182, Tsar, and Jimmy Eat World."
When did Jimmy Eat World become a Pop Punk band? JOJOFACE 10:33, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Where did the list go?[edit]

There was a red-linked "List of power pop musicians" which I changed to "bands" to parallel other articles. ("Musicians" IMO is confusing--makes it sound like every member of The Beat or whoever should be listed...) I can't find any list except in this discussion! I guess I'll start the page for now...

--Hcethatsme 18:44, 26 March 2007 (UTC)


Can we really consider "Buddy Holly" to be a power pop song?

Yes, in my opinion. But my opinion on WP doesn't matter (WP:OR). What matters are citations:
  • [3] "Power Pop Weekly Top 100" ("of our great practitioners of power pop, responsible for such catchy slices of sun as Buddy Holly..." )
  • [4] Sean Daly, "Weezer's oddball frontman a mad scientist of catchy power pop", The Washington Post
  • [5] "the perfect power pop of 'Buddy Holly'..."


Edit-warring from, who is also known as[edit]

Two issues:

Issue one:

1) Anonymous editor, your constant and unacceptable reversions of my edit concerning the late 70's/early 80's power pop bands being signed to major record labels. I've already pointed out to you back on a June 13, 2007 edit that Shoes, the dB's, and Paul Collins' Beat were all signed by major record labels. You, however, keep reverting that edit.

Fact: After "Black Vinyl Shoes" was released on their own label, Shoes were then signed to Elektra Records, as this Allmusic link shows.

Fact: After the dB's released their first singles on the Albion label, they were then signed by I.R.S. Records, whose distributor was A&M Records.

Fact: Paul Collins' Beat was signed to Columbia/CBS records.

That is all that needs to be said on the topic. Stop reverting the edit.

Issue 2: Anonymous editor, you are editing using at least two different IP's. Please register an actual editor handle.

-- J.R. Hercules 18:37, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

As I hope you are aware, Wikipedia policy dictates that anonymous edits are to be considered the same as username edits. I have added to Wikipedia for several years now. But I've chosen NOT to register to avoid the sort of interpersonal squabbles and longterm feuds that I believe damage this site. My IP changes every 1 to 3 weeks, and that satisfies me... I've used more than 2 IPs on this article alone. Thank you for your invitation to register, though.

As for the "unacceptable" edit, your allmusic links do not tell the whole tale. The dBs did not sign with IRS until 1987; their three previous releases (not just a few singles) were on independent labels-- first Albion, then Bearsville. If you see the first three dBs albums with "IRS" on them, it's a MUCH later re-release. If you doubt this chronology, I suggest you review the dB's page on Wikipedia. As these are the albums that made the dBs' reputation (such as it is), your preferred phraseology is misleading... unless you consider a 1987 IRS album to be from "the late 1970s and early 1980s."

I believe my last edit eliminates this discrepancy, while also keeping the spirit and tenor of what you wish to include. If you disagree, please explain why without further ominous commentary about "constant" "edit warring" or "anonymous IPs." 04:00, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't agree with your reasons to remain unregistered, but I do agree with your edits. Thanks for pointing out my error re. The dB's. -- J.R. Hercules 15:55, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Powerpop Definition[edit]

The lead-in says "Power pop is a musical genre that draws its inspiration from 1960s British and American pop and rock music." I believe this should be changed. It seems there are two schools of thought:

  1. As currently written, it includes only music that was inspired by certain up-beat songs by the likes of the Beatles and the Who (e.g. "Ticket to Ride", "The Kids Are Alright")
  2. The other viewpoint considers bands like the Beatles, Who, Them, the Everly Brothers, the Hollies and others as the originators of the genre, and therefore they are included, along with those (later) who are influenced by the original sound.

The opinions of people on either side are not of much concern here, as we have historical precedence that can't be denied. Since the term "power pop" was used in 1967 by Pete Townshend to describe a certain type of rock music being created at that time, its definition is clearly music of The Who, Beatles, etc. Townshend could not possibly have been referring to the Raspberries or Badfinger. In fact, rather than saying "the Raspberries play powerpop" it may be more correct to say "the Raspberries play music inspired by 1960s powerpop" (although I would not put it like that myself).

It then says "The music is characterized by strong melodies, crisp vocal harmonies, economical arrangements and prominent guitar riffs" - I suggest that, as currently written, it indicates that a song is only powerpop if it contains all of the the elements (strong melodies, crisp vocal harmonies, economical arrangements and prominent guitar riffs.) This is simply not true.

Let's take the "prominent guitar riffs" part. Largely, this is true, but consider the following examples of powerpop, where guitars are not at all prominent:

I'm proposing that the main article should say is something like "The music typically incorporates a combination of musical devices such as strong melodies, crisp vocal harmonies, economical arrangements, and prominent guitar riffs."

I would like to fix the article, placing the etymology closer to the beginning with citations, making the aforementioned modifications, and correcting the current definition based on historical use. Your thoughts are appreciated. -- Gekritzl 00:14, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't have a problem with adding the words "combination of" to the existing topic sentence, but it's not correct to label the early music of the Who and the Beatles as "power pop", even if Townshend did coin the phrase back in the day. The whole point about "power pop" is that it was a style of rock music inspired by the British Invasion music, and developed by younger bands which came after that period. Sure, songs like "I Can't Explain" and "She Loves You" fit the "power pop" criteria, but they were brief musical excursions by The Who and The Beatles. They produced a few more songs in that style, then moved on and never played that kind of music ever again. And I'm not sure The Zombies' "She's Not There" is what one could call "power pop", either. Like most of the Zombies' faster stuff, the rhythm swings more than it "rocks", and the dynamics vary throughout the song. Plus, the electric piano solo is jazz-like; even if it were played on an electric guitar, it still wouldn't sound like a typical power pop guitar solo. -- J.R. Hercules 15:52, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Changes to the bands listed[edit]

I don't think the New pornographers can be described as a prominent band. They have had very little success compared to the other bands listed, in fact it's only in the last year that they have had any real recognition. We have to be strict with these to stop editors simply adding their favourite bands to the list. --neonwhite user page talk 05:35, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

An editor who wanted Cute Is What We Aim For included is in no position whatsoever to make baseless accusations about edits motivated by "personal opinion" and "favorite band" status. The New Pornographers are the best-reviewed band currently recording in the genre, and by every major national music publication: Rolling Stone, Spin, Entertainment Weekly, Onion, Pitchfork, Pop Matters, Billboard, Blender, Mojo, L.A. Times, NME, Village Voice, etc. Metacritic lists almost 100 reviews for the New Pornographers' four albums; three of these average out to "universal acclaim," and the fourth is "generally favorable." Metacritic lists 0 reviews for Cute Is What We Aim For, and you write that the "New Pornographers are even less prominent." This is silliness. (talk) 07:44, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
The number of reviews a band has has absolutely nothing to do with it, this band has had one minor successful album, which only reached #34, compare this to Fountains of wayne (5 albums and a major hit in the US and UK, plus much exposure in tv and film) number, jimmy eat world (6 albums, two reaching #5 and a number 5 hit on the U.S. Hot 100), all american rejects (two chartig album on the billboard 200, one at #6, 3 hit singles on the hot 100 and uk charts), new pornographs (one album that reached #34, no charting singles) they simply are not prominent in any way. Please use common sense and do not disrupt the article by re adding it without making your case here based on something a little more substancial than your own personal view of the band. --neonwhite user page talk 21:05, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Fountains of Wayne have had a total of one Top 100 hit, "Stacy's Mom" (which reached #21). They've had one album that reached the Top 100, "Traffic and Weather" (which reached #97). However, it would be just as absurd to delete Fountains of Wayne for their "lack of success" because-- PRECISELY LIKE New Pornographers-- they have been recognized and celebrated for several years as being among the prominent acts in the power pop genre. Why don't you go compare the (largely nonexistent) Billboard placements for Big Star, the dB's, 20/20, Shoes, the Records, Jellyfish, and several other bands cited in this article? In citing chart numbers, you're showing a fundamental misunderstanding of this genre of music. As you've repeatedly made what appears to be a retaliatory edit, made personal accusations of bias, and then invoked an "edit war," I've submitted this to "third opinion." (talk) 21:38, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Keep New Pornographers listed, per They seem -- to my unfamiliar read -- to be a notable performers within the power pop genre. MilesAgain (talk) 05:50, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Weak delete for New Pornographers. I'll freely agree that chart numbers aren't the leading criteria for success here, but I don't think New Pornographers are nearly as influential as the other bands listed. Snowfire51 (talk) 05:58, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
The criteria is not notability but prominence and being well known performers, which they are clearly not. There has been alot of problems with anon users adding their favourite bands to this section so we have to be strict about inclusion. This is not a list of power pop bands, it is a paragraph about it's influence on important bands It needs to be limited, if we allow every slightly known band inclusion we are going to end up with hundreds listed. Having a brief period of success based on one single album's half decent sales does not indicate importance. Please use common sense Fountains of Wayne are obviously an extremely relevant band within this genre. They have had much success outside of the US. I feel you have too far a americentric view, wikipedia views things in a worldwide context, where jimmy eat world and fountains of wayne are extremely well known and new pornographers largely unheard of. There is no consensus to add this. Please do not until the issue has been decided. --neonwhite user page talk 17:18, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually, it shouldn't be deleted without consensus. As for "too far a Americentric view," the new Pornographers are from Canada. (talk) 18:43, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
It was added without any consensus to change the list and without sourcing so therefore it should be established here first. --neonwhite user page talk 22:12, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
For context, the content of Wikipedia's Power Pop article repeatedly discusses the limited chart and commercial impact of the genre, which belies Neon White's interest in identifying some minor chart difference between two acts and using it as a rhetorical wedge or requirement. Quoting the article: "....achieved sporadic chart success during the period. However, the most influential of all the early-to-mid 1970s "pre" power pop-era groups was arguably Big Star, who released two unsuccessful albums and spent years relegated to cult status.... This early generation of power pop bands found they could not sustain their careers, as their British Invasion-influenced sound was strongly out-of-step.... power pop continued as a creatively viable —if commercially limited— genre.... independent, grass-roots power pop bands gained a small but dedicated cult following in the United States.... power pop flourished in the underground.... The sound made a mainstream appearance with the success of Weezer .... several Scandinavian groups such as the Cardigans, Merrymakers, and Wannadies enjoyed a modicum of critical favor with their take on the genre...." In the Village Voice's critically comprehensive and well-publicized "Pazz and Jop" album voting poll, the New Pornographers' first three albums finished 17th (2001), 7th (2003), and 9th (2005). Fountains of Wayne's second album finished 19th (1999), and its third album finished 3rd (2003); neither their debut nor their fourth album were listed. None of Jimmy Eat World's albums were listed. (talk) 18:43, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
The paragraph in question is about power pop's influence on promininent and well known current bands. It has nothing to do with the popularity of power pop over the years. Bands that are not well known and have had little success (the chart differences are not minor) really have not business being included. This is not an all-inclusive list. Obscure mentions in list articles vote by a handful of unknown critics simply don't make a band 'prominent'. The three bands listed have all had siginificant mainstream success and media attention. The New Pornographers are just not a stand out band like the others and any importance has not been demonstrated. --neonwhite user page talk 22:21, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
As it happens, the chart differences are not minor. The New Pornographers' "Twin Cinema" album debuted at #44 on the Billboard chart, and "Challengers" debuted at #34, more than 50 places above Fountains of Wayne's highest-charting album ever (#97). To repeat a point, Billboard charts have virtually nothing to do with standing in the genre, but they don't even help your comparison. The New Pornographers have received Juno awards and nominations (Canadian Grammys). Their music has been licensed in numerous ads, films and television series. They've performed in venues ranging from the David Letterman Show to Britain's annual Glastonbury festival. Your remark about "obscure mentions... by a handful of unknown critics" is not just an unexpected comment from someone who worries about "personal opinion," but also demonstrably incorrect-- the list of publication mentions are as "obscure" as Entertainment Weekly, the L.A. Times, or Rolling Stone. They are without question a prominent power pop band-- the critical consensus is that they're one of the most prominent power pop bands currently recording. Rolling Stone wrote "For seven years, the New Pornographers have been one of Canada's best rock exports," [1] Pitchfork calls the band "a Davis Cup team of Canada's finest indie singer-songwriters"[2], All Music reports "When the New Pornographers released their first album, Mass Romantic, in 2000, they were a cult sensation...But by that point [their second album], the band had its own word-of-mouth following, large enough to attract the attention of indie rock standard-bearer Matador"[3], National Public Radio (NPR) declared " The New Pornographers' members have spent nearly a decade carving out a richly deserved reputation as virtually unparalleled masters of clever, lustrous power-pop"[4], writes that the band "garnered a good deal of critical praise, receiving near-perfect rankings from such influential outlets as Rolling Stone and Pitchfork"[5], and even Ticketmaster notes "their albums have been hailed, by many, as power-pop masterpieces."[6] The onus is on you to explain why this does not qualify as "significant" media attention. Perhaps while clarifying your understanding of genre prominence, you could also explain why you think the New Pornographers are "even less prominent" than Cute Is What We Aim For, as your edit summary of January 24 stated. As you requested above, I have provided ample sourcing to establish the (unremarkable) claim, and I will be citing some of the above links in the article proper. If you can provide a counter-sourced argument or a consensus to delete, please do so. (talk) 07:21, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
As the billboard includes airplay, it is relevant if a band hasn't had airplay, my belief is that the new pornographers may have a cult folowing but have not broken into the mainstream in the same way as the other bands have largely due to their hit singles in multiple countries. You can't use record reviews (especially those that are of an excessively promotional nature) as proof that a band is big. Everyone is reviewed and critcs are now a dime a dozen on the internet. The article is not saying they are prominent within the genre but have mainstream prominence. If they'd headlined Glastonbury then they would be prominent, but thousands of bands have played there. --neonwhite user page talk 23:18, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm happy to leave it as it is now and just mention a handful of notable bands rather than have an ineffective criteria based on a largely subjective view of what 'prominence' means. --neonwhite user page talk 23:43, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
A classy coda to a well-reasoned case. (talk) 03:51, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Hüsker Dü[edit]

I believe Hüsker Dü should be mentioned, not just as a prominent group of this genre, but as one of the defining groups to whom critics have applied the term. Google search Badagnani (talk) 03:52, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Existence of the refimprove tag[edit]

I removed the refimprove tag, though other editors keep reinserting it. We have NINE references already for an article that's not large to begin with; that's more than sufficient. The template has been attached to the article for years now.

If those editors who insist on keeping the refimprove tag up want to keep it up, I suggest they either a) specify exactly what within the article needs to be referenced; or b) add the references themselves. J.R. Hercules (talk) 01:04, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

List of power pop musicians article[edit]

The List of power pop musicians article contains way too many artists incorrectly labeled as "power pop". I removed XTC (who were new wave, avant-garde, Beatlesque, you name it), Freedy Johnston (singer-songwriter folk-rock), Elvis Costello (a million styles of music), Utopia, The Kinks (calling one of the genre's influences "power pop" is like calling Mozart "neo-Classical"), and Twisted Sister (good grief) well as some other artists.

I'm not even sure about the list of power pop musicians even after my edits; how can we call Todd Rundgren a "power pop musician" when he only recorded a handful of power pop songs (great as they were)? Same goes for artists like Blondie, the Flamin' Groovies, and Marshall Crenshaw, to name just a few.

It would be best to limit the list to musicians who worked primarily in the power pop style. J.R. Hercules (talk) 01:04, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

the list is a list of notable bands and musicians that have been described as playing power pop music, or as contributing to the power pop genre. --neonwhite user page talk 18:44, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia's most distinguishing feature is NOT its many "list" articles, which often devolve into users inserting their pet bands/movies/characters/whatever. However, it's worth noting that two of the so-called "Three B's" of power pop -- Beatles, Beach Boys, Big Star -- aren't even on the "notable" list. Meanwhile, all-time legendary acts such as We Are Balboa, Danielle Egnew, 4 Out Of 5 Doctors, Ginger Sling, and Until June (just to unfairly pick on five) are. Forget it, Jake-- it's Fanboytown. (talk) 08:57, 2 April 2008 (UTC)


What about Everclear, specifically So Much For the Afterglow, which was very popular in the 90's. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:05, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

It would have to be sourced, Everclear doesn't seem like a Power Pop band. Great album, though. It changed my life. Redrocket (talk) 08:24, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Bubblegum Pop?[edit]

Since when did the Bubblegum pop become a sub-genre of Power pop? Can anyone find any trace of The Beatles or The Byrds in the Backstreet Boys and N'Sync? There is no source I'm aware of that claims that Bubblegum pop is a sub-genre of Power pop. If anyone can cite it, please do. Otherwise I think it should be removed. Thorburn (talk) 22:23, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

It's bullshit. Someone's obviously smoking some powerful stuff. (talk) 18:23, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Bubblegum pop does NOT refer to the Backstreet Boys or N'Sync--check the link if you doubt that. Bubblegum pop is the teen stuff from the late 60s and early-mid 70s. I don't know that I would exactly call it a sub-genre of power pop, but it's certainly a related genre. "Goody Goody Gumdrops" by the 1910 Fruitgum Company, "Love Grows" by Edison Lighthouse, "Fox On The Run" by Sweet and just about all of the hits by the Bay City Rollers would be considered classics of both bubblegum pop and power pop. Brettalan (talk) 06:51, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Power Pop "Bands"? Give It Up![edit]

I have wonderful news for you all: you can stop arguing about what bands are power pop and what bands aren't, because there is no such thing!! And that's because "power pop" is actually a very narrow musical term which can be defined quite simply, without all the nitpicking that's been tossed about here: power pop songs are POP songs - melodic and traditionally structured - which have POWER - uptempo beats with loud & crunchy passages known to guitarists as "power chords". It's that simple! Listen to "Can't Explain" & "Pictures of Lily": isn't it easy to see what Townshend was describing? It's a sound, a very recognizable one, that can be heard in any classic power pop song. But nobody - not the Who, the Beatles, the Raspberries, Badfinger, or anyone else you want to label as a "power pop band" - played that way on every song. Not even close! Every band mentioned in this article has made plenty of songs that are in no way power pop: they all stretch their wings to make ballads, bluesy rock, whatever. Songs are power pop, not bands: if a band played exclusively power pop, they would be very tiresome indeed. (Granted, the Records tried to make a go of it, but look where it got them :P ) SteveStrummer (talk) 22:12, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Whither The Cars?[edit]

J.R. Hercules-- While the Cars had a mix of styles, they're widely recognized as being in the power pop family. Some examples: The Onion: "one of the most distinctive power-pop bands of the '70s and '80s"[1] WNEW-FM: " important bridge between the guitar-based rock of the '70s and the power-pop, synth-oriented sounds of the '80s."[2] CD Universe: "The Cars are filed under rock, but they are closer to power pop than any other genre."[3] Amazon (reprinting record company promotional copy): "The result is an energetic paean to the Cars' power-pop heritage"[4] Wal-Mart: "...managed to acheive both massive commercial success and New Wave credibilty with their mix of power pop, Roxy Music-influenced art-rock, and melodic synth hooks."[5] There's even a tribute album to the Cars, released by the power pop record company Not Lame.[6]

Agreed that they're not the platonic ideal of the genre, but the Cars are power pop, they're new wave, and they're a few other things besides. (talk) 10:00, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Please explain the zeal to de-Cars this article. New Wave and power pop occupy the same stream of music. The New Cars' own publicity explicitly refers to "power pop" in describing the band's past history.
Other references from this Wikipedia article:
  • Fusion genres: New Wave
  • In the late 1970s and early 1980s, spurred on by the success of New Wave pop bands
  • Some, such as 20/20, the dB's, and Shoes, occasionally incorporated synthesizers into their music, though not to the same degree as did their New Wave counterparts.
  • Many of these groups have also been described as mod revival, punk rock, or New Wave.
  • Additionally, the American New Wave group Blondie was often labelled as "power pop" by the UK press.
  • Notable power pop singles: The Cars' "Just What I Needed" (1977)
But "like the Cars" must be eliminated? Explain, please. (talk) 05:27, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
I think the Cars are on the border of power-pop; something like "Just What I Needed" fits well enough with some of the stuff in the genre, and clearly there's evidence here showing that they've been referred to as such. At the same time, though, generally I don't see them included in stuff written by power-pop fans (I don't think they're in Ken Sharp's book, for example). The reference here seems harmless enough but I don't think it's a big deal to exclude them. OTOH, the guy who keeps removing them doesn't help his case by A) refusing to explain his edits here, and B) constantly adding the Avril mention. There was no support offered, and even if someone somewhere has referred to her as power-pop, there are tons of songs that belong on the list more than that.
Now, can we behave like adults and put an end to this revision war? Brettalan (talk) 03:13, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
While I personally don't agree with the inclusion of the Cars (I think of them as New Wave), I'm disturbed by the unexplained deletion/warring by user talk:Wiki_libs on this issue. talk did, in fact, ask that Wiki_libs provide a rationale for the deletions, but the latter has refused to comply. J.R. Hercules (talk) 17:59, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
on edit: I just now noticed that user talk:Wiki_libs did provide some rationale for his latest deletion/revert. I'd prefer that Wiki_libs engage here on the discussion page, but I agree his citing of WP:RS and WP:LC: Wal-Mart and CD-Now web-page item descriptions are not valid sources. J.R. Hercules (talk) 18:05, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Those two cites were deleted many edits ago, at Wiki libs' unspoken request. The other two cites are from the Onion's AV Club and from WNEW-FM. Their validity has not been challenged yet. (talk) 22:04, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Read the edit summaries. See WP:RS. The Real Libs-speak politely 23:34, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Which of your edit summaries would you suggest? "Revert to revision 255820306 dated 2008-12-04...", "Revert to revision 258600116 dated 2008-12-17," Revert to revision 259176713 dated 2008-12-20," "Revert to revision 259415480 dated 2008-12-21," "Revert to revision 259523202 dated 2008-12-22," "see: WP:RS and WP:LC," "Revert to revision 260810021 dated 2008-12-30," or "see WP:RS"?
Also, I have seen WP:RS. Are you arguing that valid, reliable sources do not include the Onion AV Club, which is generally considered to be a primary pop culture review publication and website, and WNEW-FM, which is generally considered to be the nation's leading progressive/classic rock radio station for about 30 years? If so, you'll need to expand on that position, while citing actual language and policy from WP:RS. Please do. (talk) 19:43, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
I've added a ref to an interview in which two of the Cars' members discuss their own stylistic influence on Fountains of Wayne's "Stacy's Mom," a song listed as "notable" on this page and which is widely cited elsewhere as an exemplar of power pop. (talk) 04:47, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Artist interviews are not acceptable for references. Lemmy claims that Motorhead are not a heavy metal band in every interview he does. But they are. (talk) 12:50, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

That's ridiculous. I can find books, newspapers, and websites with inaccurate statements in them; does that mean that books, newspapers, and websites are not valid references? ISTM that has gone to great lengths to both support his inclusion of the Cars and to write it in such a way as to acknowledge that there are different points of view. At this point, I'm satisified to let it stay, and if you're going to argue otherwise you're going to need something stronger than "artist interviews aren't valid because one artist says something stupid." OTOH, I would also vote to let the bit about the visual style of the new wave/power pop bands stay.
In the meantime, would anyone object to taking Rick Springfield and Tommy Tutone off the singles list? Both are kind of borderline. Is that Beyonce song really power-pop? Brettalan (talk) 03:07, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

The Cars arent in the power pop genre, did they use power pop? yes, but they also used hard rock, rock, new wave and even rockabilly. So why are the Cars even mentioned in the power pop article? MajorHawke (talk) 23:15, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

POWER POP made in ENGLAND[edit]

Badfinger IS THE Pionner band of this music.

  • Power pop,glam metal,blues rock,indie rock,new wave,synth pop,heavy metal,hard rock,pop rock...and more MADE only in ENGLAND! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Albertrocker (talkcontribs) 02:21, 1 January 2009 (UTC)


Seriously, what is up with people insisting on putting "MMMBop" on this list? Someone finally offered some references...but the references don't come *remotely* close to estblishing that "MMMBop" is a power-pop song, let alone one of the most notable ones. The first one has this line: "Jackson Five voices offset by slick power-pop guitars and the sharp hip-hop production care of the Dust Brothers." OK, so it's saying that the *guitars" on the song are what? Is this also one of the most notable hip-hop singles of all time because it uses the word "hip-hop"? The next two don't even mention "power pop" in reference to "MMMBop"; they describe more recent Hanson records with the term. (I must concede I have no way to read the offline reference.)

"MMMBop" sounds a lot more like the Jackson Five than it does like power pop. It's a fine bubblegum-soul pop record, but it's not really power pop, and it isn't mentioned in any of the sources about major power pop music (like the Sulpy/Sharp book, the Borack book, or the AllMusic essay, for example), is it? I don't want to create another edit war, but can anyone give me any argument or source to suggest that "MMMBop" is more notable in power-pop than anything by, say, the Bay City Rollers, the Bangles, Marshall Crenshaw, or the Smithereens? (Artists who aren't represented on the notable singles list at all?) It's hard to give a reference for a negative, but I think I've laid out a good case that this song doesn't belong in this article. Thoughts? Brettalan (talk) 02:41, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

  • I propose removing the list entirely because it lacks verifiability and neutral POV. These types of lists only serve as a magnet for editors who have nothing of substance to contribute but merely want to advance their own POV by trying to shoehorn a name or song into an existing article or section where it doesn't belong. Piriczki (talk) 15:07, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Power pop is inherently a subjective term, as evidenced by some of the delicate phraseology in the article's text. Therefore, I'm inclined more towards the "inclusion" side of things. I'd argue that a greater encyclopedic understanding is gained by mentioning non-paradigm acts and songs (along with context) than in eliminating them because they don't perfectly represent a standard that this same article can't specifically articulate. "MMMBop" was an atypically prominent #1 single with wide-ranging critical acclaim. From a historic standpoint, it precipitated the wave of boy band/Max Martin-y pop. Though the song may not be "emblematic of the genre," it amply qualifies on "substantial mainstream visibility or commercial success" and comfortably fits as an influential single. In my view, Hanson's got a better case than (for example) OK Go, Gin Blossoms, Tommy Tutone, or even Matthew Sweet. I'd lean towards adding "Someday, Someway," too. (talk) 15:05, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
No question that "MMMBop" was an important record in ushering in the boyband pop era. It's just that that has nothing to do with power pop. It's too R&B based. You make a good point about mentioning non-paradigmatic acts, but that's better done in text rather than on a list because there's context. (That's why I support the mention of The Cars even though I don't really consider them a power pop band.) I do agree that if we're going to keep the list, "Someday Someway" belongs. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Brettalan (talkcontribs) 03:00, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

I've edited the page in accordance with Brettalan's observations. Also added a couple more songs, which are certainly up for discussion. I'm unsatisfied about the disproportionate cluster of tracks from 1978-82. I would like to settle on a few examples from the past 15 years, if we can find a way to do that without turning it into just another deletable faves list. (talk) 16:50, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Click Five?[edit]

Thoughts on "Just The Girl" being on the notable singles list? I see they describe themselves as power pop, but to my ears they're borderline at best; too boy-bandish, too influenced by contemporary R&B. The poster raises objections to the Weezer song; to my ears that fits better, but I wouldn't (and didn't) put it on my list of the top 100 singles in the genre, so I wouldn't object to it going. Thoughts? Better yet, cites for either being among the most important power pop songs? Brettalan (talk) 04:01, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

I don't any justification for its inclusion on a short list of notable singles. Besides, there are already two Adam Schlesinger songs listed. Piriczki (talk) 14:24, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm not terribly impressed by the cites offered. None say that it's one of the most important power pop songs, and some merely use the term to describe the band. I could find similar references for literally thousands of songs. Brettalan (talk) 04:30, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
What is the problem, here?! It's evident that you're biased against me because I disagree with you about the relevance of "Buddy Holly," but I've provided more than enough evidence for the inclusion of "Just The Girl" on this list. It seems to me that you don't quite understand the definition of powerpop. If Badfinger, The Cars, Raspberries, and Cheap Trick are the origins of powerpop (which, of course, they are), then The Click Five clearly falls in line with their style of music. To say that they are "too boy-bandish" immediately suggests your bias. The marketing of a band has absolutely nothing to do with the genre of music that it produces. Powerpop is a genre of music. The Click Five plays powerpop. "Just The Girl" was written by Adam Schlesinger, who is very well-regarded as a powerpop enthusiast. By this page's own definition, powerpop is characterized by "strong melodies, crisp vocal harmonies, economical arrangements, and prominent guitar riffs." Many of the songs listed have almost none of these elements in them. I love Jimmy Eat World, but in no way is "The Middle" a powerpop song. Similarly, "What I Like About You" by The Romantics is punk pop, at best. If you are going to further argue the validity of my claim, then I suggest first deleting every song on the current list that doesn't have a citation, which would eliminate more than 70% of the list, and with it, most of the songs which actually do belong on it. "Jessie's Girl", "There She Goes", "That Thing You Do", and "Stacey's Mom" are exemplars of the powerpop genre, yet none have even one citation. "Just The Girl" contains all of the elements listed in the description of "Powerpop", and I've provided numerous examples that suggest as much. I just don't see the problem, here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:52, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, that's's "evident" that I'm biased against you because you didn't want "Buddy Holly" on the list. Despite the fact that I specifically said that I agreed with you about that. Jeez. For the record, I completely agree about "The Middle"--it doesn't belong. "What I Like About You", on the other hand, has long been considered a major power pop song. If you want me to provide citations for that, that's fair, and I will. Your argument continues to be that "Just The Girl" belongs on a list of the most notable power pop singles because you have references that say it's a power pop song. Again, by that logic we should have ten thousand songs on the list. My point about "Buddy Holly" was that I have cites for that which not only say it was a power pop song, but that say it was one of the most notable power pop songs, so if you say it doesn't belong on the list, then how do your sources support putting "Just The Girl" on the list? Do you have any evidence that it's one of the most notable power pop songs? Brettalan (talk) 02:38, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Please, forgive me for my overbearing tone; it was wrong of me to deal so harshly. What I am trying to say is that I do not understand your reluctance to include such a popular example of powerpop on this list (given numerous sources demonstrating its renown), when 70% of the songs listed don't have any support for their inclusion. I challenge you to name 10 singles (not already listed) that each have at least 2 articles demonstrating their noteworthiness as examples of powerpop and which abide by the definition of powerpop given at the article's introduction. If you can, I will gladly remove "Just The Girl" from this list. Thanks!
Here you go. I limited myself to artists who aren't represented on the list. Several of the sources are listed more than once as they mention multiple songs. Also, I've given three links for some songs.
Piriczki does have a good point about the list being a magnet for personal favorites, although I do think it's useful to have a list. Do you think that if we gave two sources for everything and put in a note that said don't insert anything without two sources, it would make a difference? If not, perhaps we could just include the top entries from an existing list? I'd be willing to offer the list from which I'm the author of, although I feel highly presumptuous suggesting such a thing; I'm just saying that since it's mine I can waive the copyright. (I didn't use my list for the references below, although several of the songs are on it.)

Smithereens - "A Girl Like You"

Dwight Twilley - "Girls"

Rubinoos - "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend"

Only Ones - "Another Girl Another Planet"

Undertones - "Teenage Kicks"

Gentlemen Jesse & His Men - "I Don't Wanna Know"

Nerves - "Hanging On The Telephone"

Squeeze - "Pulling Mussels (From The Shell)"

Go-Gos - "We Got The Beat"

Bram Tchaikovsky - "Girl Of My Dreams"

(Sorry this is so long...perhaps it can be archived once the "challenge" is settled.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Brettalan (talkcontribs) 04:12, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Many thanks for taking the time to compile this list! You have a few great examples of powerpop, here. Although, only 3 of the songs listed seem to pass the test; that is, only 3 seem to both abide by the definition given for powerpop and contain valid sources that suggest such, those 3 songs being “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” by The Rubinoos, “Girls” by Dwight Twilley, and “Girl Of My Dreams” by Bram Tchaikovsky. Here are some short notes on why the others don’t seem to work (refer to the definition of powerpop in the page’s introduction).
The Smithereens – “A Girl Like You”
- much too bluesy
- no strong melody
- extended guitar solo
The Only Ones – “Another Girl, Another Planet”
- no strong melody
- no harmony
- extended guitar solo
- no prominent guitar riff
- not economically arranged
- more in accordance with the “punk pop” sound
The Undertones – “Teenage Kicks”
- very bluesy
- no strong melody
- no harmony
Gentleman Jesse and His Men – “I Don’t Wanna Know”
- this song is not a single
The Nerves – “Hanging On The Telephone”
- this song doesn’t seem to have been released by this band as a single
- very bluesy
- sources given are not credible (“blogs” don’t count)
Squeeze – “Pulling Muscles From A Shell”
- this should probably be considered powerpop, as Squeeze generally thrives in this genre, but neither source refers to this song as powerpop
Go-Go’s – “We Got The Beat”
- no strong melody (not much of a melody, at all, actually)
- no harmony
- more in accordance with the “punk pop” sound
I like your idea about including 2 sources with whichever singles pass the test for inclusion. I think it's fairly challenging to find legitimately-sourced singles that actually exemplify the definition of powerpop that's given within the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:44, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
Most of these objections are purely subjective. What constitutes "too bluesey" or "extended guitar solo"? None of these songs have solos that go on like a Hendrix or Garcia solo, certainly. You really don't think "We Got The Beat" has harmony or melody? I don't see that at all. Besides, all of these things are what is defined as being *typical* of power pop; nowhere does the definition say that every power pop song has all of those elements.
The first source for "Pulling Mussels" (there are three) definitely refers to it as power pop. The third refers to the band as power pop and to the song as one of their most important--that's better than your sources for "Just The Girl" did. The second doesn't use the phrase "power pop", but it's written by a member of The Records, for what it's worth. "I Don't Wanna Know" was definitely released as a single--see for a discography listing. I suppose "Hanging On The Telephone" wasn't, but it was the main track on a 4-song EP, so that's a very fine hair to split. If you really insist on me replacing that with another song that was a single per se, I will, but I think I've met the substance of your challenge. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Brettalan (talkcontribs) 08:13, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
If you feel that we’re dealing with a topic too subjective to define, then you don’t really have any business trying to categorize music. Yes, I understand that musical genres can be difficult to identify, but we should either abandon the idea altogether, or be consistent in our attempts at classification. With that said, to claim that my opinions are “purely subjective” is to suggest that you don’t care enough about this cause to even consider the influence that the blues genre exercises on the songs that I’ve identified as bluesy. Each genre has a distinct sound, and, therefore, only songs demonstrating that sound are qualified for that particular genre. If we define powerpop a specific way in the introduction of the article, but then later cite songs that don’t conform to the definition given, then we are being inconsistent. The songs that I’ve noted fail to demonstrate the sound which is described on the powerpop page and which was first cultivated by Badfinger, Raspberries, The Cars, and Cheap Trick.
Concerning your objection about “We Got The Beat” by Go-Go’s: no, this song definitely has no harmony in it. We can determine this completely objectively. At no point within the song is there more than one voicing layered on top of the main vocal riff; you may be hearing unison, which is not harmony. Similarly, the “melody” is extremely limited in its phrasing, pitch variation, and melodic motion, which comprise the basis for “strong melodies”, as described in the definition of powerpop.
Concerning “I Don’t Wanna Know” by Gentleman Jesse and His Men: I think it’s safe to say that any band not even listed on Wikipedia, itself, probably shouldn’t have one of their songs included in this list.
Concerning “Hanging On The Telephone” by The Nerves: it’s not “a very fine hair to split”, at all. What exactly is a “main track” on an album without a single? The most popular song? The first song on the album? The song that most people like? If it wasn’t released as a single, it’s not to be considered.
Concerning the song “Pulling Mussels (From The Shell)”: I may be missing something, here, but the first reference doesn’t even mention Squeeze, other than two comments that people have made about how they like the band. Nevertheless, I will concede to this song being paradigmatic of the powerpop genre, just as I noted in my previous response. This would raise the total of qualified songs to 4.
I think a major problem seems to stem from the fact that many of our sources refer to songs from the punk pop, classic rock, alternative, and emo genres as powerpop, even though the songs don’t follow the stipulations described in the Wikipedia article. We are defining the genre of powerpop one way but are quoting articles by people who define the genre a different way (and, sometimes, have no idea what they’re even talking about).
At this point, I feel I’ve expended way too much time and energy on a cause which really isn’t worth the effort. Go ahead and remove “Just The Girl”, if you’d like. Wikipedia isn’t a very reliable source, anyway, and, I'm beginning to see how incredibly unrealistic it is to try to repair the countless inconsistencies that it harbors, since anyone who wants is free to edit it. In any case, take care! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:49, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
At the risk of beating a dead horse, I just want to address a few points. 1) I didn't say that the topic is too subjective to define; I said that your comments were too subjective to be useful. I would add that fans and writers alike have long ago decided that the Smithereens and the Go-Gos, for example, are core power pop bands; if your judgement is that they don't fit the definition, then either your judgement is wrong or the definition needs to be changed. In the case of "We Got The Beat", one of my cites is literally from the definitive book on the subject. And there are definitely blues elements in Badfinger and Cheap Trick; they just don't predominate the way they do in, say, Led Zep's work. 2) I never said the Gentlemen Jesse single belongs on the list. It doesn't. Your challenge was to find sources supporting ten songs not on the list, which I did. The fact that I could find better support for the Gentlemen Jesse song than you found for the Click Five song should tell you something. That said, someone really should put together an entry on the group. 3) The first reference for the Squeeze song lists it as one of the ten key examples of the genre. I don't know what you missed there. 4) The Nerves song isn't on an album; it's on a 4-song EP. I say it's hairsplitting because it's not unusual to have 4 songs on a single. 5) Your closing sounds like sour grapes. Perhaps if you had invested your time in repairing the inconsistencies in this article (which I admit exist) rather than trying to promote a personal favorite of yours, the job would be easier. Brettalan (talk) 17:14, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
The problem, 72.215, is that your sources are inadequate. The first cite ( is irrelevant. It doesn't even refer to the song. The second cite ( says "These five...bring back pleasant memories of another Boston-based power pop group, the Cars," "Straightforward catchy power pop; The 60's Beatles-ish haircuts and matching suits bring back good musical memories," ""Just the Girl" glides by on crunchy guitar and eminently singable lyrics... The bassline and 80's-ish keyboard backing gives more than a faint echo of the Cars, and it's a pleasant memory," and so forth. In other words, it's a pop song. Not only is there any indication of its notability or influence, the song (and the band) are described entirely in terms of the Click Five's influences sparking "memories" of previous, more notable acts.
The third cite from starts with more of the same: "...a good old-fashioned power-pop platter served up by guys who obviously have Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, the Knack and the Cars in their CD collections." Of your five refs, #3 contains the only text that remotely applies: "Their catchy debut single "Just the Girl," written by Fountains of Wayne member Adam Schlesinger, is the best blast of pure pop rock to rule the airwaves since... well, "Stacy's Mom" by FOW." But as Brettalan has explained, there are innumerable songs that have been deemed "catchy." That's not enough to demonstrate notability within the genre as a whole.
The fourth cite ( is nothing but a rundown for a music festival that refers to the Click Five doing power pop and having a hit single. Cite #5 ( is a commercial site which violates Wikipedia's sourcing guidelines. Even if it were allowable, all it says is "11 timeless power-pop confections," which I guess means we have 11 Click Five songs to add to the notable list, not just one.
You smirked, "Let me know if you need more citations." Here are a few for you.
"The most suspicious of the new corporate wave is The Click Five, a Boston quintet that's opened for Ashlee Simpson and Backstreet Boys, even though its own music more closely resembles Fountains Of Wayne. (And no wonder: FoW's Adam Schlesinger wrote The Click Five's hit single "Just The Girl.") The band's debut album, Greetings From Imrie House, sports 11 muscular, oil-slicked power-pop tracks, custom-made for teenage girls inclined to swoon over the kind of shaggy-haired boys who'd rhyme "memories" with "breeze in the trees." There's a place in this world for prefab pop, and for the kind of professional-grade craftsmanship The Click Five displays on songs like the booming "Catch Your Wave," the synth-massaged "Pop Princess," and the "Hey, remember the '80s?" cover of Thompson Twins' "Lies." But the virtues of precision timing don't make this enterprise any less creepy. When the thick chords and sugary melodies of rock's most enduring cult genre can be reproduced so easily and soullessly, it's enough to make any Cheap Trick fan shudder."[1]
"The Click Five, Just the Girl ...a jaunty cameo by a grown-up Peter Brady (Christopher Knight) upgrades The Click Five's clip from clichéd to crowd-pleasing."[2]
"Five good-looking guys. Moppy coifs. Matching outfits. Songs which lament the sorrows of lost love. Sounds like your typical formulaic recipe for teeny-bopper kitsch, doesn't it? Well, so what if it is?... I had low expectations of the CD before doing so; the single "Just the Girl" has been played on pop radio stations ad nauseam. It resembled the songs of other pop-rock bands like Fountains of Wayne and Simple Plan to the point where I felt The Click Five was just going to end up being another one-hit wonder boy band before long. Although that point has yet to be unproven, I now back the band wholeheartedly. True, they may not be original, but their songs are so indelibly catchy that all else is forgiven. The guys of the quintet are all of the age of twenty-three or younger and attended the Berklee School of Music, after which they lived together at a Boston pad called "Imrie House" (hence, the album's title). Among their musical influences are the Beatles, the Beach Boys and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. "Just the Girl," their first single, debuted in the top twenty on the iTunes album chart and continues to be a favorite on MTV and Fuse. What distinguishes The Click Five from most other pop-rock bands out there is their ability to mesh hard rock, grungy guitar riffs and solos with a sort of bubblegum-lightheartedness in their songs' content.... The Click Five may not be all that original or progressive in today's music industry, but who said they had to be? The Chicago Tribune calls Greetings from Imrie House "a blast of pure pop you'll be humming for months." And as can be inferred from the public's reception of the album, that attribute alone would suffice. Grade: B+"[3]
"They've found influence in everyone from Queen to Michael Jackson and they're making new fans across the continent as the openers for boy band gurus, The Backstreet Boys! So, if you're a fan of formulaic pop tunes, this just might be your new favorite disc."[4]
"The Click Five play power pop with the potential to actually become popular: They sport boy-band faces, hipster haircuts, Strokes suits and massive, multiple hooks.... Guitarist Elliott Easton solos on ["Angel to You"], and that's not the only connection with Easton's old band, the Cars: Not only do the Click Five add synthesizers to their hefty guitars, but they also pour on the harmonies and the slick production tricks in a way that recalls Boston's great power poppers. Simultaneously retro, current, mainstream-minded and knowing, the Click Five are poised to appeal to both Ashlee Simpson fans and their parents."[5]
The critical consensus seems to be that the Click Five is solid but formulaic, catchy but derivative, appealing but boy band-y. Maybe I've overlooked the sources that document "Just the Girl"'s "substantial success," or which "critically describe it as being emblematic of the genre," or which list it as "influential." Wikipedia isn't about winners and sore losers, but unless you can solidly demonstrate your premise, we're going to have to lose the song from the list. (talk) 06:15, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your response. I'm honestly not sure what the differences between your sources and mine are; they both lead to the same conclusions, and there's really no difference in scholarly validation between them. It's important to remember that the list we're intending to compile is meant to showcase singles, not just any songs that are powerpop. We, therefore, wouldn't include every song on the Greetings From Imrie House album, as the album only generated two singles. As I implied in my challenge to Brettalan, I think it would be more difficult than one may initially expect to compile an extensive list of powerpop singles with reputable sources. The songs would have to be singles and would need to assume the definition of powerpop as stated at the beginning of the article. There really aren't as many examples of such as one might anticipate.
An addendum regarding another song that's been discussed-- here's a pertinent reference:
"So how did a band like Jimmy Eat World — already dropped from one major label — come back and write arguably the power-pop anthem of the decade?"[1] (talk) 06:28, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

I suggested this over a year ago and I'll say it again, I propose removing the list entirely because it lacks verifiability and neutral POV. These types of lists only serve as a magnet for editors who have nothing of substance to contribute but merely want to advance their own POV by trying to shoehorn a name or song into an existing article or section where it doesn't belong. Piriczki (talk) 12:59, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Sources for notable singles list[edit]

Per the above discussion, I've begun adding references for the songs on the notable singles list. I will add more, but of course it would be good if other people contributed. The goal is to have at least two good sources for every item, and then to put up a note saying that nothing should be added without two good sources. Comments welcome, of course. Brettalan (talk) 00:12, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

I've now put in a note about this policy. Brettalan (talk) 01:38, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

Er—Buzzcocks not power pop?[edit]

Operators Manual: Buzzcocks Best [I.R.S., 1991] Punk's most incandescent singles band was rarely just catchy or even catchy-abrasive--these guys had a vision. Pete Shelley's wry, acrid, eager, inside-out romanticism connected with every kind of near-adult, and why not? But I'm betting that what inspired him to insist that his anger was about sex, defying punk's party line and INVENTING POWER POP in the process [emphasis mine], was also what kept him in the closet until "Homosapien." A

That's Christgau, who does know what he's talking about. But I suppose inventing the damn genre is different than making it popular—like punk and the Ramones, or rap and the Sugar Hill Gang. But to exclude them from the discussion altogether is like excluding, ok, like excluding King Crimson from prog rock. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Heliogabulus (talkcontribs) 11:03, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

I certainly agree that the Buzzcocks are an important power pop artist, worthy of mention in the article. However, to say that they invented the genre is ridiculous, even if it's said by a respected critic; even if you don't consider the 60s material (The Beatles, The Byrds, The Who, etc.) to reallyu qualify as power pop, I don't see how anyone can deny that the early 70s artists (Big Star, Badfinger, The Raspberries, Tood Rundgren) were making power pop music before The Buzzcocks were around.
Did someone say that The Buzzcocks shouldn't be mentioned? Because they do appear in the discussion of UK power pop, and "Ever Fallen In Love" is on the "notable songs" list as well. (Incidentally, we could use a second source for the latter--I'm trying to get to the point where we can limit that list to only songs with two solid sources that strongly support notability.) Brettalan (talk) 02:56, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
That the Buzzcocks did not play power pop, is said, or admitted only grudgingly, three times on this page, once in the More Bands section, twice in the Artists (ctd) graph. What you say is valid, Christgau is certainly overstating the case—but the attempt by some here to marginalize the Buzzcocks as power popsters got my dander up and I wanted to respond. And now I'm done.helio 19:51, 1 August 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Heliogabulus (talkcontribs)

Other terms for Powerpop[edit]

Here are other terms for powerpop:

  • Nu Rock and Roll
  • Nu Garage
  • Power Rock

Superastig (talk) 09:38, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Do you have any reliable sources for those?--SabreBD (talk) 10:14, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

I can see for miles?[edit]

I see two references for putting ICSFM on this list. Anyone who thinks one of the first great rock (as opposed to rock and roll) songs has any connection whatsoever to power pop should be writing about polka music. I Can See For Miles led to Led Zeppelin (no pun intended), not the freakin' Rasberries. And it moved in the opposite direction of pop songs, which are naturally tight and upbeat. ICSFM is performed on a grand scale - like Hendrix. The article gets it right in the the source of all power pop was the Beatles. Short, to the point, melodic, moderate to up tempo, pop subject - mostly romance - in a guitar based band. No blues base allowed - all major key harmonies. I Can See For Miles was a sonic sledgehammer, not a bouncy tune with a rhythm guitar kick. Take it from me - I remember it when it was released. It was a great song because it wasn't pop. MarkinBoston (talk) 03:47, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

I agree. "Can't Explain" is a better example.Herbxue (talk) 21:51, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, you know, find references for "I Can't Explain" (or "The Kids Are Alright"), and we can make the switch. Brettalan (talk) 11:53, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

Notable songs list[edit]

Before this turns into an edit war--as I said when I reverted, if we're going to get rid of this list, let's discuss it first. This list has been developed over time and we've eliminated anything without sources. Articles are supposed to be self-contained; that is, just because information exists elsewhere on Wikipedia doesn't necessarily mean that it doesn't belong in an article. That doesn't mean that there might not be good reasons to eliminate the list, and there have been objections to it before. Let's just discuss it first. If there's some degree of consensus to remove, I won't stand in the way.

There's also the question of what can be done to improve THAT list. It includes things such as Katy Perry and One Direction which obviously are not power-pop records. But someone found an article which uses the term. This is actually discussed in this article, that the term is often misused. Honestly, my thought is to get rid of THAT list, which seems to me to be arbitrary and useless, not to mention that the first half just seems to be an alternate version of Category:Power pop groups. Again, though, the key thing is, let's discuss it and try to reach some kind of consensus, no? Brettalan (talk) 13:30, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

  • Well, the edit warrior is you, having reverted me and Synthwave.94. That's first: you're editing against what is right now a consensus of two to one, and rather then revert me and start this discussion, you should have started the discussion without reverting me. Second, you can talk about sources all you like, but establishing that songs X and Y are power pop songs doesn't mean they're somehow exemplary (and thus should be listed here under that moniker). Third, many of the sources are simply not reliable or dead. I mean, note 30 is dead and goes to the Maxim main site. Note 8 goes to "" (does that sound like a reliable source?) and is dead. Note 29, to "Agentcausation", is dead, and I doubt it was reliable. Note 27 is to the Gibson Guitar Corporation, not a acceptable source for this sort of thing. And, fourth, when the source might be acceptable, what is derived from it isn't: note 31 is to a Blender article, which lists ten songs, but only two of them are in your list. Why? In other words, no, no, no, and no. Drmies (talk) 15:17, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
      • Do you want to have a serious discussion, or do you want to pick a fight? Because saying inane things luike "a consensus of two to one" makes it look like the latter. Again, the existence of another list doesn't necessarily mean anything about whether it's useful to have a list on this page. Dead links are a part of internet life, but, yes, I think the references were useful, and as for why only two of the ten songs mentioned in that article made the list, it's because we required TWO sources, precisely because it's hard to get an agreement about this. (And the other page includes the likes of and, so don't lecture me about how wonderfully sourced it is.)
      • For whatever reason, you two feel that, OH MY GOD, we can't POSSIBLY let this list stay up for another couple of days while people discuss this, so, fine, I won't revert it. But I want to hear what other people have to say. If there's a consensus that the list should go, I'm fine with that. I just don't understand what the rush is and why you couldn't show a little respect for something that other editors had put a lot of time and discussion into.
      • In the meantime, does anyone have any comments on whether the other list is appropriate as a page, and, if so, how to improve it? Because, again, the issue is that a lot of people misuse the term, and as that list proves, just because some reporter for a reliable source uses the term "power pop" to refer to an artist doesn't mean that the artist actually is. Brettalan (talk) 17:45, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
        • What fight? Arguments are presented and all you have in response is sneers. Your last sentences suggest you don't really know how this works here: reliable sources, not someone's notion of what something "actually is". And yes, if "another" list exists, that's a good reason not to have a list in this article. As for that other list, take it up there, on the talk page, or nominate it for deletion. Drmies (talk) 05:20, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

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List of power pop artists[edit]

Would adding a list of well-known artists be beneficial to this article? Some artists are named within the article, but maybe having a list, especially with the more prominent artists would be a good extension. CHOCHO17 (talk) 17:25, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

There is already an article list of power pop artists and songs. Adding subjective lists to regular articles attracts constant disruption and is generally not a good idea. Piriczki (talk) 17:44, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

Pop rock and rock[edit]

It seems that there is a problem here. User:Piriczki has been changing power pop to a plain rock subgenre instead of the sourced pop rock. The user has been replacing it with rock, and then self-reverting himself back to pop rock. It makes me confused as to what the user wants, as I and another user have been keeping it pop rock, while Piriczki has been going back and forth. There's another user who supports the rock version as well. I've tried to settle this on Piriczki's talk page, but he keeps blanking the page no matter how many times I ask what the issue is because it seems that he doesn't want to respond. So, I've come here for help. Thoughts? SuperLuigi22 (talk|contribs) 22:28, 10 January 2018 (UTC)

@SuperLuigi22: I readded pop rock because it is sourced, but I was thinking about readding rock to the stylistic origin as well because it is sourced in the intro and I did not notice that right away. Since both are sourced, I think both can be included. Bowling is life (talk) 23:20, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
@Bowling is life: Good idea, I think that's perfectly fine as long as pop rock gets top priority. SuperLuigi22 (talk|contribs) 23:25, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
@SuperLuigi22: Pop rock will stay but since rock is a more general genre, I was thinking about changing the lead genre to rock. Does that sound like a good idea? Bowling is life (talk) 23:31, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
@SuperLuigi22: Like this. It looks kind of wierd listing pop rock before rock.: Bowling is life (talk) 23:34, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
@Bowling is life: I think the infobox looks fine with pop rock at the forefront. Plus, we should always include the most prominent influence to a genre first, as the genre has all of the qualities of pop rock with a slight hard rock twist, as well as structures built on guitar riffs and minimal solos. SuperLuigi22 (talk|contribs) 23:57, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
@SuperLuigi22: Ok sounds good, I'll add it. Bowling is life (talk) 23:58, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
@Bowling is life: Cool, thanks. SuperLuigi22 (talk|contribs) 00:08, 11 January 2018 (UTC)

It's not weird when you take into account that there are things "pop rock" does that "rock" doesn't.--Ilovetopaint (talk) 14:10, 13 January 2018 (UTC)

External link deleted[edit]

  • Explain why you deleted the Power Pop Hall of Fame homepage? Espngeek (talk) 11:54, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
WP:LINKSTOAVOID #11 --Ilovetopaint (talk) 16:58, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

The Babys[edit]

What about the Babys as Power Pop? Robert Saldivar 4-39-20202605:E000:25CA:D900:B4D3:4F71:91DE:707 (talk) 21:48, 30 April 2020 (UTC)