LegendaryMonkey: Loving denizens of White Stripes Nation, I, your (or at least Al's, which may or may not be creepy, now that I think about it...) Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart has so much enjoyed her holiday hiatus! Now, fortified with tryptophan and leftover pie, I am ready to beat the drum again for the revolution! Today we bring you:
“Fell in Love With a Girl”
White Blood Cells, 2002
LM: To start with the obvious point, "Fell in Love With a Girl" constitutes one of Jack and Meg's most straight down the center Ramones attacks. 110 seconds of pure punk goodness.
Generalisimo Alberto: Or again, early Kinks or Who would be relevant.
LM: I’ve heard it said by many that this was the best punk song of 2002, and to hell with the fact that there was no real competition. Certainly crap like Avril Lavigne doesn’t qualify.
GA: Any way you want to look at it, Jack doesn't even need a seven nation army here. His one simple guitar slams down those dirty power pop chords like the US laying down the law in the streets of Baghdad.
LM: Alberto… do NOT call this pop again or I will be forced to speak for at least an hour on why punk is not pop. And I may crush your larynx or something equally painful and irritating.
GA: There's no inherent contradiction between pop and punk, musically speaking. It depends on how you play out the contradictions of "punk rock." On the one hand, there was the idea of being studiously anti-social and spitting in the face of the industry. But the basic musical values ran to short and sweet stripped down pop song structure. The Sex Pistols were playing Chuck Berry style more than anything.
The Who are often considered the fathers of punk rock, and those early records that are the basis of that reputation were conceived as popular recordings for radio play and mass consumption. "My Generation" is a perfectly catchy little pop tune.
Certainly the Ramones were pop music. Their whole conceptual framework was short, sweet pop construction based on classic bubblegum. The Ramones wrote bubblegum with balls.
In short, "Fell In Love With a Girl" is pure, sweet hard candy pop music- and perfectly credible punk rock. To mix my candy metaphors, punk and pop are like a Reese Cup- two great tastes that taste great together.