In 2019, the British label Ace Records (via its Big Beat imprint) released a compilation CD called Come On Let's Go! Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s. I was so enthused about the set that not only did I buy it (of course!), but I also imagined a series of sequels that should have been.
Those four hypothetical sequels--It's Cold Outside!, Kids Just Wanna Dance!, Gotta Have Pop!, and the UK-centric Do Anything You Wanna Do!--never really existed, but Big Beat did eventually release two real-world sequels, Girls Go Power Pop! and Rockets Of Love!, and the latter disc did indeed fulfill my wish of including a track from Syracuse's own power pop power house the Flashcubes.
But I don't think Big Beat has yet used many of the tracks I suggested in my own individual flights of fancy; maybe just the Producers' "What's He Got?," the Go-Go's' "We Got The Beat," and Candy's "Whatever Happened To Fun...". To avoid duplication with the real-life Big Beat CDs, we've subbed out those two tracks in favor of selections by the Cynics, Ronnie Spector (with Marshall Crenshaw), and Shoes. Otherwise: for posterity, and mostly just for whatever-happened-to fun, today's post collects my 2019 ramblings about Come On Let's Go! and the subsequent power pop collections I thought Big Beat oughtta do next. I tell ya, the ideas are still pretty good. Somebody get Big Beat on the phone!
For now, though: are ya ready? Come on. Let's GO!!!
COME ON LET'S GO! Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s
The British label Big Beat is set to release a new power pop compilation next month. Come On Let's Go! Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s collects 24 tracks, mixing familiar favorites by the Raspberries, the Romantics, Shoes, the Flamin' Groovies, and Big Star with lesser-known treats of the same vintage. Cover boys the Rubinoos are represented by "Rock And Roll Is Dead," the single most rockin' track on that group's rockin' debut album. Here's the compilation's complete track listing:
THE PALEY BROTHERS & THE RAMONES: Come On Let's Go
THE RASPBERRIES: I Wanna Be With You
THE ROMANTICS: What I Like About You
DIRTY LOOKS: Let Go
DWIGHT TWILLEY BAND: Looking For The Magic
THE TWEEDS: I Need That Record
THE FLAMIN' GROOVIES: Shake Some Action [first version]
THE SPONGETONES: (My Girl) Maryanne
THE SECRETS: Radio Heart
ROBERT JOHNSON: Kerri
NASHVILLE RAMBLERS: The Trains
20/20: Nuclear Boy
THE TOMS: Better Than Anyone Else
BILL LLOYD: Nothing Comes Close
THE BOYS: (Baby) It's You
WIRE TRAIN: It's Only Dark
VAN DUREN & JODY STEPHENS: Andy, Please [first version]
THE ROOKS: Glitter Best
THE SHIVVERS: Teen Line
BIG STAR: September Gurls
GARY CHARLSON: Not The Way It Seems
SHOES: Tomorrow Night [first version]
THE RUBINOOS: Rock And Roll Is Dead
UTOPIA: One World
Looks like a nice set, and kudos for including the Spongetones' fabulous "(My Girl) Maryanne" and Dirty Looks' pumpin', peerless "Let Go," and more kudos for saluting the Shivvers (even though I would have gone with "Please Stand By" instead of "Teen Line"). As always, I wish there were something by the Flashcubes on here, but I gotta give credit to the Big Beat brigade for putting together a '70s/'80s power pop sampler that has hits for the dilettante and buried treasure for the faithful. Sure, I already have most of these, but there are a few I don't own yet, and getting the Dirty Looks and Paley Brothers/Ramones cuts on CD seals the deal for me. Come On Let's Go! Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s is due out on July 26th.
IN THE MEAN TIME, though, I think I'll see what I would slap together if I were in charge of a sequel. SPOILER ALERT: it would include a track by the Flashcubes. Stay tuned.
IT'S COLD OUTSIDE! More Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s
Yesterday, we talked a little about Come On Let's Go! Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s, a promising little pop compilation due out in July from the good folks at England's Big Beat label. Today, we move on to AN ENTIRELY FICTIONAL sequel to that disc.
(Well...maybe not entirely fictional. The songs themselves are all real tracks recorded in the appropriate time frame. The compilation is itself a fabrication, but I could slap it together as a real-life playlist and listen on my iPod right now. It would make a great CD.)
It's Cold Outside! More Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s
1. STIV BATORS: It's Cold Outside
2. THE MOSQUITOS: That Was Then, This Is Now
3. THE FLASHCUBES: No Promise
4. THE KNACK: Good Girls Don't [single version]
5. THE REAL KIDS: Now You Know
6. DOLENZ, JONES, BOYCE & HART: You Didn't Feel That Way Last Night (Don't You Remember)
7. THE LAUGHING DOGS: Get 'Im Outa Town
8. FOTOMAKER: Come Back
9. HOLLY & THE ITALIANS: Do You Say Love
10. PAGLIARO: Lovin' You Ain't Easy
11. APRIL WINE: Tonight Is A Wonderful Time (To Fall In Love)
12. RAY PAUL & RPM: How Do You Know
13. THE SHIVVERS: Please Stand By
14. VAN DUREN: Oh Babe
15. FOOLS FACE: Even Angels Fall
16. SORROWS: Teenage Heartbreak
17. THE RESTLESS: I Wanna Know
18. EMITT RHODES: Fresh As A Daisy
19. THE DWIGHT TWILLEY BAND: You Were So Warm
20. GARY CHARLSON: Burning In You
21. THE SCRUFFS: Teenage Girls
22. TUFF DARTS: Who's Been Sleeping Here
23. THE NOW: He's Takin' You To The Movies
24. THE ROMANTICS: Little White Lies [first version]
I'd buy that! We lead off with former Dead Boys singer Stiv Bators' incredible cover of the Choir's 1966 pop classic "It's Cold Outside" (featuring Blue Ash guitarist Frank Secich), and we close with the Romantics' debut indie single (one of the best tracks they ever did, and it's never been given any legit reissue). In between we have a mix of simply stellar pop cuts made by North American acts in the '70s and '80s. This make-believe set would be the first-ever CD appearance of anything from the original lifespan of Springfield, Missouri's phenomenal pop combo Fools Face, and the first time the Restless (great '80s Buffalo group whose one album for Mercury Records is in dire need of reissue), the Mosquitos (original version of a song covered by the Monkees), the Flashcubes' "No Promise" (my all-time favorite power pop track), or Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart's fabulous "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" rewrite "You Didn't Feel That Way Last Night (Don't You Remember)" has appeared on a various-artists pop CD.
And it cries out for another sequel! And I have just the thing in mind. In the mean time: Hey, Big Beat Records! Get to work! And send my finder's fee here.
KIDS JUST WANNA DANCE! Even More Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s
Can't stop the pop!
We've already followed the announcement of the British Big Beat Records label's forthcoming (and cool) real-world '70s and '80s power pop compilation Come On Let's Go! with my own fictitious sequel It's Cold Outside! That was fun! Let's do another!
Kids Just Wanna Dance! Even More Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s imagines another 24-track collection of North American cuts from that area. The title tune is an effervescent, Who-influenced 1977 B-Side by the Fast (and we're definitely using the single version here; the group's subsequent Ric Ocasek-produced version sounds less like power pop and more like the Cars). The rest? The rest rocks! To overstate the obvious: THIS COMPILATION IS FICTIONAL! It doesn't exist. But it should! As always, I invite Big Beat Records to just send me my finder's fee and take it from there.
Kids Just Wanna Dance! Even More Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s
1. THE FAST: Kids Just Wanna Dance [first version]
2. PHIL SEYMOUR: Let Her Dance
3. PEZBAND: Love Goes Underground
4. THE MOSQUITOS: I Know A Secret
5. BLUE ASH: Abracadabra (Have You Seen Her)
6. THE RASPBERRIES: I'm A Rocker [single version]
7. RONNIE SPECTOR WITH MARSHALL CRENSHAW: Something's Gonna Happen
8. BULLET: White Lies, Blue Eyes
9. THE RAMONES: Babysitter
10. PIPER: Drop By And Stay
11. NEW MATH: Die Trying
12. FOOLS FACE: Nothing To Say
13. GREG KIHN: Hurt So Bad
14. SCREEN TEST: Sound Of The Radio
15. THE MARSHALLS: AM
16. NIKKI & THE CORVETTES: Just What I Need
17. ARTFUL DODGER: Follow Me
18. QUINCY: Turn The Other Way Around
19. THE DIODES: Tired Of Waking Up Tired
20. VANCE OR TOWERS: Do Whatever We Want
21. THE SCRUFFS: Revenge
22. THE POPPEES: Jealousy
23. THE NERVES: Hanging On The Telephone
24. SHOES: The Things You Do
Power pop compilations! One real, two fake. AND IT'S NOT ENOUGH! Let's do one more North American set, and then...well, rule Britannia!
GOTTA HAVE POP! Still More Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s
One more time!
We've discussed the new compilation CD Come On Let's Go! Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s, due in July from Britain's way fab Big Beat Records label. We've already added two imaginary sequels, It's Cold Outside! More Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s and Kids Just Wanna Dance! Even More Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s. Let's slap together one more faux collection of vintage North American pop (with one UK ringer) before we finally finish up this exercise with a set of jangle 'n' buzz from the British Isles.
Our final set of American and Canadian pop from the '70s and '80s commences with ex-pat American (and current Canadian resident) Bob Segarini, who was a member of the Wackers before going solo. Segarini's call-to-arms "Gotta Have Pop" serves as the kickoff for yet another stunning array of pop music from this classic era. We wish this compilation really existed, but alas, it does not. Nonetheless: pretty good for a fabrication, I say!
Gotta Have Pop! Even More Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s
1. SEGARINI: Gotta Have Pop
2. THE SMITHEREENS: Strangers When We Meet
3. PAUL COLLINS: Walking Out On Love
4. STANLEY FRANK: S'cool Days
5. THE NATIVES: Tell Me A Story
6. THE VERTEBRATS: Diamonds In The Rough
7. THE PLIMSOULS: A Million Miles Away
8. COLOR ME GONE: Lose Control
9. LET'S ACTIVE: Blue Line
10. THE MOD FRAMES: I Don't Want To Cry
11. THE NUMBERS: Can't Sleep At Night
12. DAVID WERNER: Too Late To Try
13. TEENAGE HEADS: Tornado
14. THE EUCLID BEACH BAND: There's No Surf In Cleveland
15. THE TEARJERKERS: Syracuse Summer
16. THE VIPERS: Tears (Only Dry)
17. THE SPONGETONES: Have You Ever Been Torn Apart?
18. THE CYNICS: Girl, You're On My Mind
19. THE CICHLIDS: Did You Ever
20. THE ROMANTICS: I Can't Tell You Anything [first version]
21. THE BANGLES: Silent Treatment
22. THE OHMS: Chain Letter
23. GREEN: She's Not A Little Girl
24. TODD RUNDGREN: Couldn't I Just Tell You
While we could certainly continue to concoct irresistible collections of '70s and '80s North American power pop for, oh, forever or so, we'll conclude the week with just one more set, hopping across the pond for a compilation of ace pop tracks from the British Isles.
DO ANYTHING YOU WANNA DO! 70s & 80s Power Pop Gems From The United Kingdom
At last, we reach the end of our short series of fabricated power pop compilations inspired by the real-world Come On Let's Go! Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s, due out in July from England's Big Beat Records. Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do) responded with three fictional sequels--It's Cold Outside!, Kids Just Wanna Dance!, and Gotta Have Pop!--each offering 24 more tracks of fab North American pop from the '70s and '80s.
We close with one final disc, moving our spotlight across the water to the British Isles. Eddie and the Hot Rods' "Do Anything You Wanna Do" is one of the defining singles of power pop, so of course it opens this set of primo pop from England, Scotland, and Ireland. There are old wave names (the Searchers, plus former Herman's Hermits leader Peter Noone fronting the Tremblers), international teen stars (the Bay City Rollers, represented by a post-mania track, originally credited to the truncated name the Rollers), and a variety of other pop, punk, and new wave acts of the era.
Do Anything You Wanna Do! 70s & 80s Power Pop Gems From The United Kingdom
1. EDDIE AND THE HOT RODS: Do Anything You Wanna Do
2. THE JAM: I Need You (For Someone) [single version]
3. THE KEYS: I Don't Wanna Cry
4. BLUE: Danger Sign
5. ADVERTISING: Ich Liebe Dich
6. THE SEARCHERS: Hearts In Her Eyes
7. THE BUZZCOCKS: Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)
8. THE BAY CITY ROLLERS: Who'll Be My Keeper
9. THE PLEASERS: The Kids Are Alright
10. THE TIMES: Whatever Happened To Thamesbeat?
11. CHICORY TIP: Good Grief Christina
12. THE ZONES: New Life
13. THE LAMBRETTAS: Da-a-a-ance
14. GENERATION X: Ready Steady Go
15. THE RECORDS: Starry Eyes [album version]
16. SQUIRE: The Life
17. THE TREMBLERS: I'll Be Taking Her Out Tonight
18. THE RICH KIDS: Rich Kids
19. STARRY EYED AND LAUGHING: Chimes Of Freedom
20. DOLLY MIXTURE: Everything And More
21. KIRSTY MacCOLL: Terry
22. THE BARRACUDAS: Summer Fun
23. SQUEEZE: Pulling Mussels (From The Shell)
24. THE UNDERTONES: Get Over You
I don't wanna get over this! And I don't have to. Music has no expiration date, no limit, even when it's cold outside. Kids just wanna dance. Do anything you wanna do. Gotta have pop. Come on, let's GO!