Power Pop

Badfinger “Wish You Were Here” (1974)

Simply put Badfinger’s best album, contains no hit singles and was surprisingly pulled from the shelves (which can’t have helped Pete Ham’s fragile mind) but everything here has a cohesion and quality control lacking on other albums. ‘Just A Chance’ is a fabulous rocker, amongst the best of the band’s career, ‘You’re So Fine’, ‘Know One Knows’, ‘Love Time’, ‘King Of The Load’ could all quite conceivably been hit singles, all show the band’s poppier style to fine effect, ‘Got To Get Out Of Here’ and ‘Dennis’ show off a more acoustic, reflective almost countryish style whilst ‘In The Meantime/Some Other Time’ and ‘Meanwhile Back At The Ranch/Should I Smoke’ are pure power pop, lavishly arranged, musically and melodically as inventive as the band was ever to get, it lacks one of Ham’s gorgeous ballads but otherwise this is as good as they ever got, shame then that it was to be the band’s final album before Pete Ham’s suicide, they could have gone on to even better things. –Derek

The Quick “Mondo Deco” (1976)

The Quick’s 1976 debut, and only, LP is hands down, no arguing allowed, the best powerpop album ever recorded. Song after song, side after side, this record delivers on so many levels it’s almost comical. Danny Wilde’s (yes, THE Danny Wilde from the Rembrandts who penned the ultra annoying ‘Friends’ theme song..) vocals are so high pitched they occasionally make Russell Mael from Sparks sound like Bowser from Sha-na-na. The guitar tone is pure glitter/punk and the drums and keyboards are trashy and pounding. Lovingly produced by Earle Mankey (Sparks, Dickies, 20/20, Paley Brothers) and Kim Fowley (everyone else in L.A.), this record truly is the sound of glitter and punk, on speed, colliding in the heat of Los Angeles. The lyrics are that perfect mix of gum chewing, over sexed, punk smartass and theater major, that somehow, when sang in a 14 year old girl falsetto, sound even more manly..(scientists are still scratching their heads at this phenomena…). Out of print for years on vinyl, and never legitimately issued on cd (aren’t major labels SO COOL??!!), masterpieces like this LP and Milk and Cookies one and only LP are finally available. Fans of old punk take note, the Dickies classic ‘pretty please me’ is a Quick cover. Between the shimmering beauty of Kimono My House and the golden pop culture trash heap that are the the first two Dickies LP’s lies this diamond. It does not need appraisal, its cuts speak for itself. –Richard

The Records “The Records” (1979)

Sure, their flawless, jet-setting single “Starry Eyes” is reason enough to pick up The Records’ debut, but the album as a whole is stuffed with more sugary goodness than your average box of Frosted Flakes. The first side is jam-packed with the restless “All Messed Up and Ready to Go,” adolescent buzz of “Teenarama,” minor key mood piece “Girls That Don’t Exist,” and choice deep cut in the lingering ballad “Up All Night,” while the remainder is highlighted by the punchy rock of “Girl,” nervous “Insomnia,” and jukebox hero tale, “Another Star.” With the requisite vocal harmonies and ringing guitars filled out with the occasional organ or synthesizer, The Records is steadfast in it’s delivery of classic power pop confection. –Ben