Having written that epic, four part history of power pop, I am not really much in the mood for writing tonight. I then thought I would simply treat you to a video trip through power pop history, from the Sixties to the Naughts.
"All Day and All of the Night" by The Kinks
This is a clip of The Kinks performing on the ABC TV Show Shindig, which aired on January 20, 1965. This was only a few weeks before The Kinks' historic appearance on NBC's Hullabaloo on February 16, 1965. Their appearance on Hullabaloo resulted in a dispute between and the American Federation of Television and Recording Artists, who managed to get The Kinks banned from performing in the United States until 1969.
"I Can Hear the Grass Grow" by The Move
I am not sure where this clip originated. What I can tell you is that "I Can Hear the Grass Grow" was one of their most popular songs. It went to #5 on the British singles chart. It has been covered by Status Quo, Jellyfish, and The Fall.
"Open My Eyes"--Nazz
Yes, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan weren't the only artists to make videos in the Sixties, although in those days they were generally called "promotional films" or "promotional clips." "Open My Eyes" received a good deal of airplay in the Eighties on VH1 and on MTV Closet Classics (back when MTV actually showed videos...).
"Go All the Way" by The Raspberries
I don't know if this was a promotional clip made for "Go All the Way" or if it is a clip from American Bandstand or some similar show. At any rate, I feel as if I have to apologise on behalf of The Raspberries for the fashions--it was the Seventies...
"Dream Police" by Cheap Trick
This is the video for the song "Dream Police." The first time I ever saw it was on the short lived NBC TV show Pink Lady and Jeff. For those of you who don't remember the show, it was a variety show teaming Pink Lady, a Japanese singing duo barely able to speak English, with comedian Jeff Altman. It is now counted as one of the worst shows of all time. The only redeeming thing about Pink Lady and Jeff was that in those days before MTV it was one of the few places one could see music videos. In addition to "Dream Police," they also showed "Clones" by Alice Cooper and "Shayla" by Blondie.
"All Messed Up And Ready To Go" by The Records
The Records were the British power pop band of the late Seventies and early Eighties. Looking back, it is rather surprising that their success in the States was so limited, as their sound would appear to have been very accessible for American audiences. Sadly, I am not sure where this clip originated.
"Fly High Michelle" by Enuff Z'Nuff
This is the video for "Fly High Michelle" by Enuff Z'Nuff. Notice the contrast between Enuff Z'Nuff's Big Star/Cheap Trick style song and their Poison/Slaughter wardrobe...
"The Ghost at Number One" by Jellyfish
"Baby's Coming Back" may have done better on the charts (it actually cracked the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at #61), but "The Ghost at Number One" seems to be their most popular song. At any rate, not only do I think it was their best song, but I also think it was one of the best power pop tunes to come out of the Nineties.
"Pumping on Your Stereo" by Supergrass
Supergrass is my favourite group from the Britpop movement of the Nineties. "Pumping on Your Stereo" is one of my favourite songs (I swear it shows influences from every major British Invasion band there was, from The Rolling Stones to The Who) and I love the video, especially the beginning (a tip of the hat to the cover of With The Beatles).
"Hide Another Mistake" by The 88
The 88 is one of my favourites among the current crop of power pop bands. And I love "Hid Another Mistake." I also like the video, which as a wonderfully retro Eighties feel. That having been said, I don't know what women in Eighties era aerobics garb really have to do with the song....
I hope all of you have enjoyed this video trip through power pop history!