Power pop is the hard rocking, but highly melodic music exemplified by the Beatles’ “She Loves You” or “A Hard Day’s Night,” or the Who’s “Can’t Explain” or “Substitute” in the ’60s: songs with blaring guitars, catchy choruses, and group harmonies.
Cleveland’s own Raspberries were a great power pop band, but the best American power pop band came out of Rockford, Ill. in 1977, and has been at it ever since. Cheap Trick – guitarist Rick Nielsen, singer Robin Zander, bassist Tom Petersson, and drummer Bun. E Carlos – combined the movie star looks of Zander and Petersson with the demented accountant appearance of Carlos and Nielsen, along with striking graphics, to create a powerful image that complemented the excellent songwriting of Nielsen, the Paul McCartney-ish vocals of Zander, a dynamic live show with Neilsen flipping hundreds of guitar picks into the crowd and changing guitars for every other song, and fine backing vocals from Petersson and Nielsen.
The bands first four albums, Cheap Trick, In Color and Black and White, Heaven Tonight, and Live At Budokan are all classics and they have had hits in three decades.
The “Authorized” greatest hits collection highlights great songs from the band’s 20+ years together, including “I Want You to Want Me,” “Southern Girls,” “Surrender,” “Dream Police,” “The Flame,” and “Can’t Stop Falling Into Love.” Or you can go crazy-go-nuts and pick up the Sex America box set – there are worse ways to blow $39.98.