Eight power pop albums that deserve more love

Some albums that were neglected or didn't get the wider attention they deserve

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Flamin’ Groovies - Shake Some Action

Another band that is considered a prime mover of power pop had a similar fate as Big Star. Starting out in San Francisco in the late sixties, Cyril Jordan and his crew always had more interest in the sound of the Beatles and the Byrds than Jefferson Airplane or The Grateful Dead. This meant consistency with the melody hooks, harmony vocals, and jangling (and ringing) guitars.

With three albums prior to it “Shake Some Action” (1976) turns out to be prime Flamin’ Groovies, but also prime power pop, and it was not only the title track that is considered as a power pop classic at its best. The whole album doesn’t have a single weak spot. That still didn’t help it go much further than the hardcore power pop fans.

XTC - Skylarking

By the time this album came out in 1986, XTC as a band had squarely moved away from its punkish/new wave roots into psych-tinged power pop with Andy Partridge squarely at the helm of the band, with solid support from bassist Colin Moulding.

After the release of the album, Partridge and the band expressed their dissatisfaction with how Todd Rundgren handled the album’s production and tried to rectify what they saw fit in later reissues. Yet, reissued or in its original form, this album remains one of power pop classics, with its variety showing at the same time that the genre is not "a one-trick pony."

The Posies - Frosting on the Beater

Initially, Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow, the prime movers of the Posies wore their British beat influences on their sleeve. They cited everybody from the Beatles to the Hollies and the Zombies in their initial two albums.

By this, their third album in 1993, they had a fully formed sound of their own. They revived the original power pop to its full form with some incredible melodies, vocal harmonies, and guitar work. Songs like “Solar Sister” and “Flavor of the Month” are considered genre classics by both critics and fans. Still, that didn’t do the band much good as far as sales are concerned.

The Greenberry Woods - Rapple Dapple

While The Greenberry Woods made some sort of a ripple with their second album, Big Money Effort (1995), it was this, their first record in 1994 that defined their sound. Meaning, a swift, modernized combination of the Beatles and the Byrds, presenting this band as a fully-formed band with something to say.

Yet, the whole thing fell apart after two albums, due to, it seems, internal strife within the band as where the things will go from there on. Still, both albums, and particularly this one, remain as a sign of rejuvenated power pop in the nineties,