Melody Not Mayhem - A Power Pop Retrospective

Oct 25, 2019

First it started with The Beatles (who else?), then came Badfinger and The Raspberries, and then Cheap Trick and Big Star. They all had super melodies and hooks to keep you humming all day.

But for some reason the crunchy, jangly guitars and the driving backbeat never really came into its own. For some reason, radio never picked up on power pop leaving it to be found by a small cult of music nerds, who dug the harmonies and everything else about it.

In 1992, one of those who got the message was Jordan Oakes. He founded the music magazine Yellow Pills which was devoted to all things power pop. The name of the fanzine came from the group 20/20, whose first album from 1979 started off with a song by that name. Following that, Oakes hooked up with Big Deal Records and put out several power pop compilations featuring groups from the Seventies and Eighties that most people had never heard.

On this episode of the B-Sides with Bolin and Blumberg, we delve into this forgotten genre with cuts from four Yellow Pills compilations featuring bands from coast to coast.

Included are the aforementioned 20/20 from L.A., Shoes from Zion, Illinois and Dwight Twilley from Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition there's a cut from Adrian Belew doing the Badfinger hit, Come and Get It.

So sit back and kick off your shoes and be prepared for music to make your toes tap and your finger snap. Power Pop is back this week on Siouxland Public Media, and the kids can't stop dancing.