Music Talk Discuss music in all its forms: CD, MP3, DVD-A, SACD and of course live

What do you consider a "pop" song?

Old 06-14-04, 01:14 PM
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
cungar's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 21,032
What do you consider a "pop" song?

Seeing the list of 200 pop songs on this board I was struck by the fact that there seems to be two definitions of pop songs:

1) Popular hits - Exemplified by Beyonce, Nelly, Celine Deon, Richard Marx, the Carpenters etc. (catchy songs by boring artists)

2) Pop songs - Exemplified by Big Star, Teenage Fanclub, the Shins, the Shoes, the Plimsouls, Bangles, Matthew Sweet etc. Not necessarily chart toppers but quick catchy songs that stick in your head.

How do you define "pop songs"?
cungar is offline  
Old 06-14-04, 01:18 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 132
I'm of the latter persuasion....Big Star, the Kinks, Teenage Fanclub, the Beatles....they wrote pop songs and they are classic...the Beyonces of the world are popular (as judged by sales, but there is no accounting for taste) but when I think of "pop" songs, I think of the bands listed in your second category.
aisle9 is offline  
Old 06-14-04, 01:19 PM
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago
Posts: 8,159
1. They have to have a hook, whether it's a riff, bass line, drum pattern etc.

2. They have to be either upbeat or bittersweet. Straight depression is out, as is punishing heaviness.

3. They have to be between 3-6 minutes in length.

4. They have to have a good beat.
Hiro11 is offline  
Old 06-14-04, 02:15 PM
wendersfan's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Nuova Repubblica di SalÚ
Posts: 32,602
All of the above. A song that's consumed by the masses, or so intended. I cast the net wide and don't look down on a song because it's popular or catchy.
wendersfan is offline  
Old 06-14-04, 02:27 PM
DVD Talk Special Edition
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,560
I kinda touched on this in my intro to the 200 PP Songs thread, but I'll flesh it out some more.

Like I said before, pop music is both a form and a phenomenon. I guess for a really clipped definition of what the form is, Hiro's post is on the mark. Then there are styles of music that are popular in a certain time (glam, disco & metal in the 70s, synth pop in the 80s, alternative/grunge in the 90s, etc), and that's the phenomenon.

The third group are those bands that appeal to a style of music that is not commercially-viable in the time that they are working: Elephant 6 bands have healthy obsessions with The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and The Zombies; the Sleepy Jackson is in love with George Harrison; Weird War worked with Sly and the Family Stones' mixing board. Etc.

I guess I think of nearly everything when I think of pop music.

Last edited by fallow; 06-14-04 at 02:29 PM.
fallow is offline  
Old 06-14-04, 02:30 PM
Groucho's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 70,818
1. In public, I deride the song as "mainstream crap."

2. In private, I beebop and sing along.
Groucho is offline  
Old 06-14-04, 05:40 PM
DVD Talk Special Edition
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,186
All of the above. A song that's consumed by the masses, or so intended. I cast the net wide and don't look down on a song because it's popular or catchy.

I love pop music as much as I love metal, rap, and r&b. I can throw in a Corrs cd after listening to Megadeth. It's all just music, man. If it's submitted to a radio/video station, it's pop, or intended to be pop. If you don't wanna be pop, do what bands like Fugazi have done.

Last edited by Amel; 06-14-04 at 05:44 PM.
Amel is offline  
Old 06-15-04, 01:16 AM
DVD Talk Hero
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Lighten up, Francis! (Funland)
Posts: 26,856
I'm a big fan of the type of bands in part two of your example. They're pop, but not really popular.

BTW, it's Shoes, not the Shoes.
Buford T Pusser is offline  
Old 06-15-04, 01:47 AM
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 2,629
something accessible to the mainstream, and/or everyone with a desire for something pleasing to their ears, that may likely end up stuck in their head. catchy.
Hollowgen is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.