Power pop is a music genre which borrows elements from hard rock and pop. Although its mainstream success peaked in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the genre continues to influence new artists. The following list is divided in two sections. The first section includes notable power pop bands and solo artists, while the second section includes power pop songs by power pop artists, as well as power pop songs by artists whose main music genre is not power pop.
The genre known as power pop is a derivative of 1960s rock pop that ruled the airwaves. The best power pop bands have catchy hooks, quick songs that are easily to remember and seamless blend between hard rock and regular old melodic pop music. Generally, the best power pop bands made their impact in the late 1970s and 1980s and were generally of the new wave and punk rock variety. It may confusing to fans to see pop music and some of these genres mixed together,
"No Matter What" by Badfinger (1970)
Badfinger was an early influence on the power pop genre.
"Power Pop" refers to straightforward, jangly, guitar-based pop songs with little pretension or irony. The genre has its roots in the mid-60s but was not defined as such until the early 70s.
"Go All the Way" by The Raspberries (1972)
This classic song embodies all the elements of a power pop song.
The hooky yet hard-edged, guitar-driven musical style known as power pop didn’t generate spontaneously. There were threads and uprisings—disconnected sounds that later combined into something like a movement—as early as the late ’60s, when some young rock-‘n’-roll fans were already starting to rebel against rock’s increasing pretensions and ponderousness.
Music video by Cheap Trick performing I Want You To Want Me (Stereo). (C) 1979 SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT INC.
The 1979 live version of this track is more popular and well-known than the original studio verison.
Powerpop, some say, began with Emitt Rhodes's 1970 debut album or Badfinger's Magic Christian Music (also 1970), but really those were more like late Beatles works. Powerpop may have drawn on the 60s - in fact, there is a school of thought that has the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Who and the Small Faces as original powerpoppers - but powerpop is really a 70s invention.