Week 33: Cheap Trick – In Color

6 Apr


Let us consider for a moment the genre of powerpop.

Powerpop confounds me. It is an unholy blend of blue-collar rock music (ugh, sweaty balls) and shimmery 60s pop (ugh, Beatlemania) and by all rights it should make me want to vom all over my shoes.

It’s simultaneously blokey and fey and merely writing about it as a concept this second is annoying me. And yet I really, really love so many powerpop songs. They should be tacky, but they’re just not. There’s something magical and unexpected in the chord progressions of a great Cheap Trick song. the sneaky little sevenths and minor chords in the verses that just lifts it out of Status Quo territory and into something inimitable and instantly classic cool without ever being obvious.

I’ve put In Color down as my album of the week, but actually I’ve been playing my favourite self-made powerpop CDR. I know that’s sort of cheating the whole classic-album-a-week thing, but I can’t stop listening to it, I love it, and there it is.

Surrender – Cheap Trick
Go All The Way – The Raspberries
Hanging On The Telephone – The Nerves
A Million Miles Away – The Plimsouls
Boys Don’t Lie – Shoes
What I Like About You – The Romantics
Southern Girls – Cheap Trick
I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend –The Rubinoos
Hold Onto Something – Great Buildings
Starry Eyes – The Records
I Want You Back – Hoodoo Gurus
I’m On Fire – Dwight Twilley Band
Time and Time Again – The Smithereens
Precious To Me – Phil Seymour
Come On Come On – Cheap Trick

Blondie are a great example of a popular band of the same era that did that same thing of taking a potentially cheesy song and swaggering it til it sounds timelessly cool (their cover of the above Nerves song is a good example).

I’m not sure if you’d call the Cars and Blondie pure powerpop bands – more powerpop influenced – but they were absolutely the sound of my babyhood. I do wonder if excessive exposure to that sound is what gives me a blissed-out nostalgic feeling when I hear all this delicious stuff.

I have been getting behind with this blog! I am 34 weeks tomorrow. I desperately need to tell you about NCT and the day Sam built the Power Triangle. Next time, next time.


5 Responses to “Week 33: Cheap Trick – In Color”

  1. thatdadblog April 7, 2013 at 5:58 am #

    I’m going to get these songs downloaded and make my own Power Pen mix. Ace.

    • tokaipenny April 7, 2013 at 7:21 am #

      Amazing! Let me know what you think. Some absolute classics on there – perfect music now the sun’s decided to come out too.


  2. martyflyby April 7, 2013 at 7:42 am #

    Totally agree on The Cars and Blondie. There’s quite a few songs in that list I haven’t heard. Ill check em out!

  3. martyflyby April 7, 2013 at 7:44 am #

    Totally agree about The Cars and Blondie. There’s quite a few songs in that list that I haven’t heard. Ill check em out!

  4. siobhanjc April 12, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    Yes YES YES! I have been listening to this exact version of Hanging on theTelephone recently too!

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