Power pop  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Power pop (also typeset as powerpop) is a form of pop rock based on the early music of bands such as the Who, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and the Byrds. It originated in the late 1960s as young music fans began to rebel against the emerging pretensions of rock music, and developed mainly among American musicians who came of age during the British Invasion. The genre typically incorporates melodic hooks, vocal harmonies, an energetic performance, and "happy"-sounding music underpinned by a sense of yearning, longing, or despair.

The term "power pop" was coined by the Who's Pete Townshend in 1967 to describe their style of music. However, the term became more widely identified with subsequent artists from the 1970s who sought to revive Beatles-style pop. The sound of the genre became more established thanks to early 1970s hits by Badfinger, the Raspberries, and Todd Rundgren. Subsequent artists occasionally drew from developments such as new wave, punk, glam rock, pub rock, college rock, and neo-psychedelia.

Power pop reached its commercial peak during the rise of punk and new wave in the late 1970s, with Cheap Trick, the Knack, the Romantics, Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds, and Dwight Twilley. During this time, music critics who wrote about the phenomenon popularized the term's usage. After a popular and critical backlash to the genre's biggest-ever hit, "My Sharona" (The Knack, 1979), record companies generally stopped signing power pop groups, and most of the 1970s bands broke up in the early 1980s.

Over the proceeding decades, power pop continued with modest commercial success while largely remaining an object of critical derision. The 1990s saw a new wave of alternative bands that were drawn to 1960s artists because of the 1980s music they influenced. Although not as successful as their predecessors, Jellyfish, the Posies, Redd Kross, Teenage Fanclub, and Material Issue were critical and cult favorites. In the mid-1990s, an offshoot genre that combined power pop harmonies with uptempo punk, dubbed "punk-pop", reached mainstream popularity.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Power pop" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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