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The Pop

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Editors’ Notes

Before The Pop signed to Arista Records—whose label heads demanded the band record a glossy guitar-pop album to compete with The Cars—it played melodious power pop on par with Dwight Twilley, The Records, and Shoes. The Pop's eponymous 1978 debut album opens strong with “You Oughta Know,” a prime example of the Velcro-catchy music coming out of the Los Angeles underground during the late '70s and early '80s. The only thing that sounds better than those cascading vocal harmonies soaring from the chorus could be the punctuated guitar tones popping out of “Down on the Boulevard.” The Pop succumbs to its genre’s prerequisite Rickenbacker jangle on “Saturday Night Hitch Hiker,” but that sound is cleverly contrasted with garage-rock distortion and raspy singing in the verses, which set up a contagious chorus. With similarly infectious guitar parts, “Ad Man” reveals that The Pop’s knack for writing unforgettable melodies wasn’t limited to vocal parts. A meritable cover of The Kinks’ “I Need You” is an album standout, as is the gritty bonus track “Night Run.”

Customer Reviews

The Pop

This album is filled to the brim from start to finish with great tunes. I would call this required reading for anyone who is a fan of the L.A. music scene of the mid to late 70's. THE POP qualified as somewhere between power pop and pop punk with their sweet melodies and street smart lyrics. I am thrilled to be able to download this gem - it's been too long since I held the vinyl record in my hands. Thank you for re-issuing this one.

Easily One of the Top 10 Greatest Power-Pop Albums Ever!!!

I was SO happy when I saw that itunes offered THE POP's amazing debut album from 1977. This truly legendary piece of power-pop history has still not yet been released on CD which is a total travesty. Thankfully, here it is! With three bonus tracks as well! THE POP are one of those bands like THE QUICK, SHOES, PAUL COLLINS' BEAT, PLIMSOULS, THE SHIVVERS & RPM's (both from Milwaukee), etc., who in an alternate universe ended up being HUGELY successful. Like the above mentioned bands, THE POP were simply so talented and emerged from the same amazing L.A. power-pop scene which saw the emergence of THE NERVES (featuring both Paul Collins and Peter Case), THE QUICK, MILK 'N' COOKIES, THE MOTELS, etc. These bands emerged in the '75-'76 period which saw them sharing bills with the nascent punk scene which was forming at underground clubs like The Masque and also the famous Whisky.

THE POP recorded demo material in '76(including an early version of "Down On The Boulevard) and their live reputation was sufficient to get them a deal with Automatic Records (a division of Arista). In '77 they recorded their self-titled debut and achieved instant (but unfortunately in these heady times, short-lived)success with the single of the now fully formed power-pop classic "Down On The Boulevard", a song which is simply so infectious it is almost a blueprint for how to write a perfect power-pop anthem. The tune received substantial radio play in L.A. but seems to have not been introduced into any other markets (THE POP are a perfect example of a band whose career was stymied by their record label's lack of promotional initiative). But THE POP's debut was far more than just a vehicle to sell "Down On The Boulevard"!

At ten tracks, THE POP's debut is a flawless album, jam packed with a variety of moods, rock stylings, lyrical content, and dynamic musicianship. Even listening to it over 35 years after its release it still packs a tremendous punch. It is a "one listen and you know you love it" kind of album. From the downright beautiful pure pop of opening track "You Oughta Know" to catchy pop-punk intensity of album closer "Panic" the album is simply awesome! The album download of the album includes three bonus tracks-the originial '76 demo version of "Down On The Boulevard" (which is VERY different than the classic version featured on the album) and two other tracks which sound like '76 demo tracks. If you are a fan of classic power-pop and have not heard this album (many haven't as it's never been made available on CD)then this is an absolute must-have addition to your collection! As the title of this review states, it is easily one of the Top 10 greatest power-pop albums ever recorded...

As an afterword, THE POP would release another masterful LP in 1979 titled "Go!". Sadly, this album is not available on itunes and has also never seen CD release (although it is SO worth hunting down the original LP). In 1981 THE POP released their final recording, a truly stellar 12" EP called "Hearts And Knives" on Rhino Records. Right now, I feel that of ALL power-pop bands THE POP are the MOST deserving of a full restrospective and reissued catalog. They are simply too amazing to be forgotten....

The Pop, The Pop
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