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The Perfect Pop Song

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Comments

  • Hard to have more hooks than this one: drums, bass, guitars laying down that riff, stuttering vocals, AND a great guitar solo. Surely, one of the best pop songs ever.

  • edited February 3

  • Over the past week I’ve had a thought, and I thought I’d let the contents settle for a while to see if it’s still valid. I think it might be, but it isn’t complete yet. Here it is anyway:

    I think I’ve arrived at how to define the difference between rock and pop, for my own satisfaction anyway.

    A piece is pop if you take away the lead line or vocal melody and all there is left is a backing track. You probably wouldn’t have bought the song on the strength of just that backing track. The top line on its own is probably what you remember of it.

    A piece is rock if you take away the lead vocal melody and what’s left is still intrinsically interesting in its own right. The vocal top line might well be too, but that’s probably not the primary reason why you’re listening to it.

    Obviously this has counter-examples and exceptions and overlaps and holes, but I’m happy now.

  • @u0421793 said:
    Over the past week I’ve had a thought, and I thought I’d let the contents settle for a while to see if it’s still valid. I think it might be, but it isn’t complete yet. Here it is anyway:

    I think I’ve arrived at how to define the difference between rock and pop, for my own satisfaction anyway.

    A piece is pop if you take away the lead line or vocal melody and all there is left is a backing track. You probably wouldn’t have bought the song on the strength of just that backing track. The top line on its own is probably what you remember of it.

    A piece is rock if you take away the lead vocal melody and what’s left is still intrinsically interesting in its own right. The vocal top line might well be too, but that’s probably not the primary reason why you’re listening to it.

    Obviously this has counter-examples and exceptions and overlaps and holes, but I’m happy now.

    Obviously this has counter-examples and exceptions and overlaps and holes... indeed :D

  • Perfect

    Not quite perfection, but I’m sure a lot of folks around here would appreciate these artists.

  • Woke up on a grey Austin morning secure in the sudden knowledge that "The Tracks of My Tears" (written by Miracles members Smokey Robinson, Pete Moore and Marv Tarplin) is the perfect pop song

    In the five-LP publication The Motown Story, by Motown Records, Robinson explained the origin of this song in these words: "'Tracks of My Tears' was actually started by Marv Tarplin, who is a young cat who plays guitar for our act. So he had this musical thing [sings melody], you know, and we worked around with it, and worked around, and it became 'Tracks of My Tears'." Tarplin's guitar licks at the song's intro are among the most famous in pop music history.

    It's the you know, and we worked around with it, and worked around that seems so surprising because that song just feels fully born (surely) just like that....anyway, I think the way the verse flows into the chorus is slippery and brilliant.

  • Paddy McAloon 😍 Was he mentioned here before?

  • @JohnnyGoodyear said:
    Woke up on a grey Austin morning secure in the sudden knowledge that "The Tracks of My Tears" (written by Miracles members Smokey Robinson, Pete Moore and Marv Tarplin) is the perfect pop song

    In the five-LP publication The Motown Story, by Motown Records, Robinson explained the origin of this song in these words: "'Tracks of My Tears' was actually started by Marv Tarplin, who is a young cat who plays guitar for our act. So he had this musical thing [sings melody], you know, and we worked around with it, and worked around, and it became 'Tracks of My Tears'." Tarplin's guitar licks at the song's intro are among the most famous in pop music history.

    It's the you know, and we worked around with it, and worked around that seems so surprising because that song just feels fully born (surely) just like that....anyway, I think the way the verse flows into the chorus is slippery and brilliant.

    I remember several years ago talking to my business students (in a spare moment) about how I considered Tracks Of My Tears to be an excellently constructed song, and I particularly pointed out that the bass and drums backing were really quite powerfully heavy and relentlessly rock solid, yet contrasted superbly with the light flighty topline. The two together work superbly.

  • edited February 11

    All these are so great. This song for some reason never fails to choke me up—Evan Dando covering a throwaway song from the musical “Hair.”

  • I'm not sure I even know what pop music is anymore, but the I've had the stupid freaking songs from the movie A Star Is Born in my head for a week now.

  • @DrChris said:
    Paddy McAloon 😍 Was he mentioned here before?

    Good call B)

    I seem to remember at the time, this was slated in some quarters for being "over produced" :/
    nobody complains about a record being over produced these days :D

  • Ian Dury / Clever Trevor

  • 10cc / Art for Arts Sake

  • the perfect pop song from the perfect pop band ?

  • From my early years:

    Katrina & the Waves - Walking on Sunshine

    From modern times (I now have two daughters)

    Katy Perry - Firework


  • edited February 19

    'What Makes You Beautiful'
    One Direction. For better or worse, five boys changed modern pop forever in 2011.
    https://inro.in/lucky-patcher/ https://inro.in/9apps/ https://inro.in/vidmate/

  • Also, Bluebeard.

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