'Power pop is what we play,' declared Pete Townshend in a
1967 interview to promote the Who’s ‘Pictures Of Lily’.
Although the term power pop did not gain much traction at the
time, it re-emerged at the beginning of the 70s after the Beatles
had dissolved and music began to fracture into various camps.
In the USA, bands that remained true to the Beatles tradition
began to be referred to as power pop. The Raspberries set the
ball rolling in 1972, and young bands began to spring up who
really only wanted to sing about girls and having a good time
on Saturday night. As the 70s wore on, the new wave had an
ever-growing influence on the movement, and even the
Ramones donned skinny ties long enough to back up harmony
pop masters the Paley Brothers on a thrilling update of Ritchie
Valens’ ‘Come On Let’s Go’.
What else is on offer? Pure pop bliss is provided by the Toms
on their richly melodic ‘Better Than Anyone Else’, while the
Dwight Twilley Band go ‘Looking For The Magic’ with
breathless energy and insistent determination. The Romantics
kick up a storm on ‘What I Like About You’ – its hectic rhythm
guitar, squealing harmonica, and raw Beatles-like vitality
making it an absolute killer. Staten Island’s Dirty Looks deliver
their paean to rock’n’roll, ‘Let Go’, with the same energy and
drive that any punk band would have been proud to muster,
while the Tweeds nail our musical addiction in one with ‘I Need
That Record’. Also included is the Flamin’ Groovies’ original
US version of ‘Shake Some Action’, which Cyril Jordan claims
is their best ever recording and we are not arguing.
'Come On Let’s Go!' presents us with a smorgasbord of
power pop classics, obscurities and left-field gems – collective
proof that nothing shakes some action like a snappy guitar-
based pop song delivered with a powerful beat, boundless
energy and joyous enthusiasm.