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Definition:

A wide-ranging term covering mid and uptempo popular music not otherwise obviously tied to major specific genres (such as Folk, Blues, Jazz etc) covering both pre/post Rock n Roll eras. As I do with the Rock n Roll (Rock n Roll Ballad) and Soul (Soul Ballad) genres, I give slow-tempo Pop songs their own category - the Pop Ballad. Note that a significant number of Traditional Pop songs are rather found in the Crooner / Cabaret category, whenever the style dictates. As for the regular up-tempo Pop, there are too many sub-genres to list comprehensively, but Brill Building, Bubblegum pop, Dance-pop, Sunshine pop, Synth-pop and Teen pop would all be most likely to be included. More sophisticated and progressive forms of Pop would be likely to be tagged under a separate genre - Cerebral Pop.


The Jukebox Pick (of 10,151):

 Be My Baby

 (Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, Phil Spector)

 The Ronettes

 10 out of 10 “Utterly perfect” Pop

 “For every kiss you give me, I’ll give you three.” Full of seductive promise, this timeless masterpiece dares to dream and inspires fantasy. Some of the heights scaled in the many irresistible Ronettes (led by Veronica Bennett, with sister Estelle Bennett and cousin Nedra Talley) tracks were otherworldly for the age; producer Phil Spector and his recording engineer Larry Levine fully merit all the plaudits going for their vision and the studio wizardry - even if Spector did rule with an iron hand. After being denied a release of their first recording, and having to silently tolerate the credit for their next four recordings going to another group (The Crystals), the Ronettes hung in there with the producer and were rewarded when “Be My Baby” (featuring a 17-year-old Cher on backing vocals) shot to #2 in the fall of ’63. “Our lives were turned upside down” lead singer Ronnie later recalled. “All the things I'd ever dreamed about were finally coming true.”. 21-year-old Brian Wilson bought the single and set about deconstructing its arrangement and production. Reckons he's heard it 1,000 times since the first impact: “I was driving and I had to pull over to the side of the road — it blew my mind. It was a shock. I started analyzing all the guitars, pianos, bass, drums and percussion, once I got all those learned, I knew how to produce records. I felt like I wanted to try to do something as good as that song and I never did, I’ve stopped trying. It’s the greatest record ever produced. No one will ever top that one.


Some favourite artists:

The Beach Boys, Madness, Roy Orbison, The Shangri-Las

The Jukebox pick:

 

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