Part 1: http://carlcafarelli.blogspot.com/2016/02/the-kids-are-alright-history-of-power_11.html
Part 2: http://carlcafarelli.blogspot.com/2016/02/the-kids-are-alright-history-of-power_12.html
Part 3: http://carlcafarelli.blogspot.com/2016/02/the-kids-are-alright-history-of-power_13.html
Part 4: http://carlcafarelli.blogspot.com/2016/02/the-kids-are-alright-history-of-power_15.html
While there were pop elements in the work of each of the acts mentioned above, I submit to you that the world’s first avowed all-female power pop group was The Poptarts, a still-unknown quintet that formed in Syracuse, NY in 1978. They were inspired by The Flashcubes, and Poptarts songwriter/guitarist Meegan Voss (aka Debbie Redmond) actually was Flashcubes guitarist Arty Lenin’s girlfriend at the time, but their goals were always clearly stated: to become the female Raspberries, with their faces on a lunchbox, proudly and perkily perched at the toppermost of the poppermost.
The Go-Go’s started as a ragged L.A. punk band in the late ‘70s, and it’s likely that no one who saw them then could have ever predicted their eventual stardom. But they cleaned up real good--in fact, they wound up looking an awful lot like The Poptarts-- and they wrote terrific pop tunes. If the members of The Go-Go’s were initially dismayed by the pop sheen given them by veteran producer Richard Gotterher on their debut album Beauty And The Beat, they got over it quickly, as the album exploded (# 1 for six weeks in 1981) and singles “Our Lips Are Sealed” and “We Got The Beat” stormed radio, retail and MTV.
The Bangles were constantly compared to The Go-Go’s, primarily because of their striking similarities: they were both all-female, self-contained rock ‘n’ roll groups, obviously influenced by ‘60s pop music, and...well, that was it for similarities, actually. Where The Go-Go’s seemed a new wave update on ‘60s girl groups, The Bangles drew more inspiration from The Beatles and, more noticeably, American folk-pop (We Five, The Mamas and The Papas, The Grass Roots, etc.). The Bangles’ self-titled 1981 debut EP (following a 1981 single as The Bangs) was a nice enough introduction, but 1984’s full-length album All Over The Place was a pure delight, sensitive and vulnerable in spots, but brash and confident where it needed to be. Subsequent albums were more successful—1986’s Different Light hit # 2, and included the massive hit “Walk Like An Egyptian,” a novelty tune that has unfortunately become the group’s signature number; 1988’s Everything also spawned a massive hit with the ballad “Eternal Flame”--but neither matched the pop promise of All Over The Place. The Bangles disbanded unpleasantly in 1989, but have since regrouped for a pretty good album, Doll Revolution, in 2003 .