To me pop is not just one thing. It makes me think of the old American Bandstand, “it’s got a good beat and I can dance to it.”
There is obviously just the pure classics like Billie Jean and the birth of the moonwalk at the Motown 25th Anniversary special. Michael Jackson may have lived an odd life, but I think his music will be played a generation from now. His “Thriller” and “Off the Wall” albums are about as good as pop gets. Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones together were magic. Wish he didn’t have the odd life of being a Jehovah’s Witness as a a young boy, a huge star and seeing his brothers having all the fun the 70s offered for someone famous, young, and beautiful.
Then there is to me at least my favorite recent big pop hit. And yes it’s “rap”, but there can definitely be pop rap. Macklemore’s unbelievably catchy “Thrift Shop.” “I’m gonna pop some tags, only twenty dollars in my pocket…” And of course the hook of “This is f**king awesome.” Just pure joy and makes you want to get up and dance.
And then you get a less known pure pop song like Mika’s awesome “Lollipop.” Just pure fun. Pure joy. Great beat, of course I am not sure he is really talking about lollipops.
Then you get songs that are just funk awesomeness. Like the total hip-hop classic from OutKast “Ms. Jackson.” Again amazing beat, you want to dance to it. And it’s genius.
And of course the awesomeness that is the 80s one hit wonder. So many great pop songs. Some even want you to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia. One of the the most unapologetic gay club songs. So “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. There is a reason it was a great choice in “Zoolander.”
And electronica can bring in the beats and bring in the fun. First thinking of the great “Rockefeller Skank” by Fatboy Slim. Again it just forces you to move. And one heck of a hook.
And probably the song that most forces me to get up and dance, L.A. Style’s unbelievably awesome and funky “James Brown is Dead.” Electronica can definitely be a force for good. And the original mix is way better and harder, even it doesn’t really have a video.
Here is probably the video I have watched the most of the last few years. First found out about it from Pandora. The Chemical Brothers silly and fun “The Salmon Dance.” It’s also one of the stoniest videos ever. Dude, it’s fish dancing and singing.
Then you get the songs that are so much fun they even come to the United States in their original langugage. All pop stations should be banned from playing “99 Red Balloons.” Here is Nena’s “99 Luftballons”.
I think that is enough for now. I just want to bliss out to some “James Brown is Dead” and go to work.
Dance like no one is watching. Seriously just do it. Saw my friend Alex Steed getting his dance on at Space listening to Heavy Trash and made me think of being the dopey 8th grader dancing my himself without a care. It’s awesome.
So one more that I have always loved “Wipeout.” Surf guitar is just fantastic. It starts with some silly 60s beach movies like “Beach Blanket Bingo.”
Ok one more on the surf guitar Dick Dale “Misirlou” from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack which is better than the early 60s original.
So dance, dance I say. “Push It” by Salt n Pepa.
Going to have to add more of these tonight. It’s just too fun.
Add to one of that’s obvious. One of the best hooks ever. And let’s just face it I love when “Baby Got Back”. I can’t believe Sir Mix-A-Lot only had the one hit. And the video is pure joy.
And of course MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” is pure joy. Pop music isn’t just what is played by the teeny bopper music like Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus that gets on current “pop” stations. Silly Clear Channel and the labels have made the focus of radio too thin.
Pop can even be a silly Weird Al remake of a pretty straight ahead rap song. “White and Nerdy” completely eclipsed the original. I had no idea how similar the video to the Chamillionaire song until I watched his video. And of course I am white and nerdy.
I will close for now with the pop song I have played the most on iTunes since I changed computers the awesome 80s “West End Girls” by the Pet Shop Boys (#30 overall – 36 plays.) The 80s had great pop music.
These music posts are fun, more are coming.