But now to the business at hand. To wit:
Is the above Spoonful classic -- "You Didn't Have to Be So Nice" -- (proto)power pop or not?
PS: Some venerable readers may recall that I first raised this question to NYMary, shortly after she gave me the metaphorical keys to the car around here. But I can't recall what conclusion we reached at the time. I will say, however, that this is the first song the Floor Models played live before an unsuspecting audience, and that -- up on the stage at least -- it sure as hell struck my ears as power pop.
Okay, now that we've got that clarified, thanks again for stopping by --and have a great weekend, everybody!!!
PS: The great Burt Bachrach's passing caught me by surprise; I'll have nore to say on the man and his work on Monday.
The first time I heard the term "power pop" it was used by Peter Townsend to describe the Who. I got the feeling he invented it. If that is so, then I'd say YDHTBSN was NOT power pop in the Whosian sense, mostly because I can't hear Keith Moon playing it.
I would say it is a very good example of early power pop. But, The Lovin' Spoonful with their different influences from other early power pop acts to be outliers to the genre.
I consider the singles of The Hollies from the same era to be the beginning of the genre as we came to know it. Townshend may have called the early Who sound power pop but it's mostly not power pop as we came to know it. I'd call the early Who sound "Fuck You World" Rock & Roll,
God bless all the above mentioned musical acts!
Folk-rock pop, maybe?
This is why labels only get you so far -- musicians make music without regard for labels, which are only slapped onto their work after the fact. So many songs in the 1960s had elements of pop, folk and rock mixing and mingling, pretty soon you start arguing percentages -- is this song 65% pop and 35% folk-rock? Or the other way 'round?
Meanwhile, the musicians just keep making music.
(Reminds me of the late 70s when punk & new wave (more labels!) bands were eagerly embracing disco and dance music, while their fans professed to hate it. The musicians knew it was all just music and glommed onto what they liked and let their fans catch up or not.)
YDHTBSN is one of those few songs where I can sing the harmony part without thinking about it when it comes around. One of my fave Spoonful songs for sure.
It may be pop without the power, though a wonderful tune. Now then, what of The Turtles’ “Happy Together?” There was a raft of such soft tunes afloat in those years.
Good one, Alan
As per my above anonymous comment, maybe pop without the power, meaning Moon-propulsion, just beautiful voices and lyrics riding above strings and keyboards. This might be a good segue for that Bacharach piece.
Nice tune but not, er, tumescent enough to achieve that label. To my mind, 'Power Pop' has a light veneer along with a heavy(ish) bottom. Pretty harmonies along with power chords ala Shoes. Mixed metaphor alert: If you're looking for a Rosetta Stone, all roads lead back to the Fabs.
YDHTBSN is definitely power pop. That hook clearly puts it in that category.
Jangly folk-rock, yes. Power pop, no. (No power, no distortion...)
Somebody needs to do a power pop version of this.
What wardo said.
Like most folks who come here, I love power pop, and yet until reading the comments above, I've never heard anyone try to give a definition of it that doesn't simply list examples of bands who fit the profile. I mean, what is it, exactly, that makes a song power pop rather than just "pop" or "rock" or "jangly folk-rock"? Now, I have my own "I know it when I hear it" working definition, which absolutely includes Who songs like Substitute and Kids are Alright and So Sad About Us. And although I LOVE You Didn't Have to Be So Nice, to me it's not power pop. (Do You Believe in Magic, maybe.) But I'm not sure I could tell you why.
How about this one?
There are 14 songs on The Who's "Meaty, Beaty, Big & Bouncy" and I have no issue with calling 13 of them power pop.
How can you forget about the Kinks ?
PrePunk maybe but a consistent record of great songs - slashed amps and all - PowerPop
Pure Pop For Now People ;>
It has the DNA of power pop just more folksy. Done live with the inherent live grit it could well be a solid example of power pop I would think.
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