The History of Power Pop

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In the beginning—and I’m talking about, say, 1955—it was easy to categorize popular music…there was rock, pop, country and r&b…it was nice and simple…pretty much all mainstream music you heard could be dumped into one of these four buckets…

But even back then you could get more granular…you could slice certain genres into thinner slices to include big band, Dixieland, Ska and hillbilly…and jazz…and gospel…and Broadway show music…and I guess we can’t leave out classical, can we?...

And as rock’n’roll grew, it fragmented and separated and stratified with each passing year…before long, it wasn’t enough to say that you were in a “rock band”…you had to specify what kind of rock band you were…

In 2014, a guy named Glenn McDonald created a project called “every noise at once”…he was able to identify 1,264 micro-genres of popular music…and new micro-genres are being invented every day…every hear of blackgaze or deep filthstep or skweee?...they exist…trust me…

Some of these genres rise and fall pretty quickly…they’re “of the moment” and soon sound completely outdates…others, though, have staying power…they can be with us for decades…why?...because they just work, that’s all…

And one genre that’s been working very well for over half a century is called “power pop”…this is its story…

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