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What do you consider a "pop" song?

Old 06-14-04, 01:14 PM
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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"?
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Old 06-14-04, 01:18 PM
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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.
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Old 06-14-04, 01:19 PM
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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.
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Old 06-14-04, 02:15 PM
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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.
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Old 06-14-04, 02:27 PM
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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.
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Old 06-14-04, 02:30 PM
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1. In public, I deride the song as "mainstream crap."

2. In private, I beebop and sing along.
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Old 06-14-04, 05:40 PM
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wendersfan:
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.
Agree.

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.
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Old 06-15-04, 01:16 AM
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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.
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Old 06-15-04, 01:47 AM
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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.
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