This is an easy one! Growing up in the 70's and 80's it has to be DISCO!! Donna Summer! KC and the Sunshine Band! Parliament! I could go on but will stop. I could also add a few that are still around like Madonna and Janet Jackson. I guess the only problem is that I dont feel quilty and I make no appologies. :)
Phasecorrect, aside from Cheap Trick, your impeccable reputation remains intact. Mitcheft, on the other hand, has some serious explaining to do. :)
Some of my fun oldies but goodies that also show some pretty good sonics (though not every track) include:
Alan Parson's Project: Turn of a Friendly Card.
Bob James: Touchdown.
Grover Washington: Anthology of.
Herb Alpert: Definitive Hits.
William Ackerman: Past Light
Isley Brothers: Ultimate
Chicago: Greatet Hits.
Al Stewart: Year of the Cat.
Phil Collins: ...Hits.
Jeffrey Osborne: Ultimate Collection
Jethro Tull: Songs from the Wood
Some of these are pretty compressed recordings. The worst is the Isley Bros.. Nevertheless, after recent cabling and amp upgrades, most of these have become amazingly 3-demensional and involving.
I listened my old Grand Funk Railroad Greatest Hits recently. This recording is hopeless.
I admit it, I have many lps from the 60s, 70s and 80s that I still like to listen to: Journey, REO, Styx, Human League, The Babys, etc.
So shoot me!
Must add greatest hits discs from Billy Squier and Rick Springfield.
"Stroke me, stroke me!"
A group which many dismissed as "bubblegum music" and
lightweight, but which I believe will have lasting appeal:
The stage production "Mamma Mia!" has been breaking
box office records, and they are still one of the top
selling groups world-wide in history.
the fact that any non audiophile aproved recording should be considered guilty listening is one of the problems with this hobby. I have a moderatly high end system and own very few probably less than 10 albums/cd that wouldnt fall into your guilty category. My system is about making music i like sound good and tht is the real goal of high-fidelity audio equipment after all.
Shakira's 120 BPM+ groove thang is the 8th wonder of the world. Come to think of it, her music ain't half bad either.
Duran Duran "Rio". Since I've gotten my system to where it is now, I'm rediscovery this recording. It's not half bad.......John
Never feel guilty! Don't throw anything away! Great pop, although a relative rarity these days, is one of life's *genuine* pleasures! Savor it!
Just wanted to add a few artists from another genre, New Age and Electronic: Enya, Kitaro, Tangerine Dream I'm sure many of you have heard, but what about Mark Dwane, Michael Stearns, Patrick O'hearn, Constance Denby, etc.
Two things I've noticed about some of the above is excellent base and the overall sound is usually beyond reproach.
Absolutely Sweet. The best heavy metal bubble gum ever! Second place, Kiss.
Zaikesman is spot on! The ability to write a truly great three-minute pop song is a rare and undervalued talent. Technical proficiency on a particular musical instrument is far more common. How many people do you personally know, on a first name basis, that are, to cite one example, amazingly skilled guitarists? I suspect that many of you, like myself, count several among your friends and acquaintances. I must confess though, that no one within my circle of friends has ever composed a truly memorable three-minute pop song.
Rarest of all is the group that puts out an entire album wherein every single track could/should be a great pop song. In this elite and righteous rank, I would include the Rubber Soul era Beatles, the Bee Gees, The Hollies, The Kinks (at least in the 60's and 70's), The Ramones, The Buzzcocks, The Stone Roses, The Primitives, The Jam, Simon & Garfunkel, The Everley Brothers, Toots & The Maytals, The Honey Cone, and The Chi-Lites.
I have no guilty pleasures. If the voice of intellect asks me to look askance at some bit of music that is otherwise giving me pleasure, I just tell the voice of intellect to shut up.
Hail to the Tweak..I also have friends that went to music school but couldnt write a decent pop song to save their life...there is something to be said for the "less is more vision"...I would rather hear something simple and well done....over a complex, pretentious failure...I also am a huge fan of the many bands you listed...great singles bands who made great albums...also add Dave Clark FIve(great production) and the Rascals.....
To expound just a moment further, the concept of pop as being 'disposable' carries some interesting paradoxes. I suspect most of us have much stronger memories of or reactions to hearing a well-loved pop tune than we do many supposedly more 'ambitious' attempts at making great rock music. When a high-concept piece really works and hits on all levels, of course, the impact can be powerful. But when 'artists' who feel they must try to 'say' something with every song lack the ability or insight (or both) to bring it all together in a memorable and cohesive way, the result often embarrases more than does a fun toss-off.
Another aspect worth reflecting on is that artists reknowned for their emotionally 'heavier' work, starting with The Beatles and Dylan and going foward, almost always base their best tunes within a pop-conscious musical setting. In contrast, music that tries hard to be meaningful but discards the creative roots of the pop song structure is often forgotten in short order. A big part of the secret of the success of artists who are widely perceived as being 'complex', from Costello to U2 to Springsteen to Gabriel, is that they all knew how to base their best work in a pop-derived context (and when they have seemingly lost that ability, their listenability has suffered). Compare examples like those to artists who seem to try to make their music as heavy as their pretensions, but lose the essential pop thread - I think you will realize they are not nearly as important to people in the long run.
Another seeming contradiction to the 'throwaway' notion can be found in examples taken from music that actually was 'intended' to be disposable in a sense. Does anybody really think that Chuck Berry was doing anything other than trying to win the kids' money when he tossed off his classic material about cars and girls which became bedrock? He listened to jazz, C&W, and vocal standards music himself. Or look at The Ramones - almost every song an anthem in the best (non-strained, non-self-important) sense, yet all of them based on about four simple major and minor chords and delivered in an intentionally but deceptively artless fashion. 'Disposability' was an embedded part of the aesthetic, but the tunes are stone classics which have, and will, stand the test of time a hell of a lot better than a thousand more allegedly-'meaningful' bodies of work.
One of the greatest capacities of rock & roll as an art form is its ability to celebrate, in an emotionally-moving way, life's inanities and base impulses. What other kind of art form could one turn to in order to get the feeling you do from hearing "Louie, Louie" or "Wild Thing"? This is what rock excells at, and what is not-coincidentally all too often forgotten and frowned upon today, leading to 'pop' that truly *will* be proven disposable in the test of time.
props to Z as well...music is all about communication...and I do enjoy more elaborate styles from time to time... but the 3 minute (quality) pop song is an undervalued art form...it is music for non-musicians...and by passes the intellect in favor of the immediate visceral effect...wow..that sounds pretentious!
Bay City Rollers "Saturday NIght","bye bye baby"
Dwight Twilley's I'm on Fire.
the ARCHIES!!! sugar sugar
though i admit marley did it better.
"Sugar Sugar" is still my girlfriend's all-time fav tune, with the possible exceptions on alternating days of The Monkees' "Valerie" and Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit". Well, at least she's admirably steadfast in her dedication to simplistic ear-candy, and I won't complain...
On tweakgeek's Shakira comment, her disc Laundry Service really ROCKS! When my wife puts on her cd, I can hear all types of influences, mideastern, punk, heavy early 70's R&R, but Shakira takes it to another level with her fantastic lyrics and vocals. Maddona and Jaylo have nothing on this star. All the songs are good....Onto phasecorrect's post. Listening to my old favorite Johhny Winter Live/And, johhny's guitar playing is great, but what a terrible backup band and the horrible sonics! One for the garage sale.