THE QUALITIES OF POP MUSIC
What makes pop music good or bad?
Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
This is a classic rock song on an epic scale. It is verhy rock and very opera at the same time. I love this song as it is well crafted. The vocals are sublime but it successes as it moves along with beautiful piano, soaring lyrics and a huge crescendo.
I believe this became popular as it was nothing like anything that had gone before it. People were curious and it had a music video to accompany the song which is now iconic in itself. This all contributed to a popular combination and a successful song.
ABBA – Waterloo
Combinung Napoleon in a pop setting of fixed time for Eurovision. Back in 1974 almost everyone in Europe watched the contest and songs were accessible to millions of people, guaranteeing the winning artist a sure fire hit right across Europe. ABBA were in the right place at the right time – singing this in English on the night as opposed to their native Swedish. They captivated the audience with their unique song and their unique look on the night.
This became a huge hit across Europe with the Eurovision win and everyone discovered this amazing band, including me, who still has the original issue of this song in her 7 inch vinyl collection.
Stevie Wonder – I just called to say I love you
Before I state my views please let me state that Stevie Wonder is a genius but this song I absolutely cannot stand I think it is the worst thing he has ever recorded.
I find it lyrically flat and the vocal whiney. That may sound strange but to me it feels like a money lyric and sound. I do believe that this became popular because everyone loved Stevie Wonder and some believed he could do no wrong and made it a hit. But for me it is his worst. Dreadful and a chart topper.
Mariah Carey – Fantasy
I will choose this song as it is the first in a long list of dire music that has had me reaching for the nearest mute or off button. I am not a fan of hers, it’s that awful whiney voice but the vocal on this is awful. I do feel she should just hold onto the one note and not warble it all ways as this, in my opinion, sounds like she has taken the whole song by the throat strangled it. It was very popular on its release as it did fit in with the musical sounds of the time, if that makes sense, and it set her to be a musical icon. A musical icon in my brain I am still trying to work that one out.
Joe Dolce – Shaddap You Face
Worse ever number 1 keeping the sublime and much better “Vienna” by Ultravox off the top of the chart. It is a simple annoying tune sung in an annoying fake Italian accent and I do believe that the singer was actually an Australian. It worked in the UK as we do seem to like the novelty record here. It was simple and you could sing along to it. How on earth people preferred this to Vienna is beyond me. I guess it appealed to a wider audience, being bought by our parents and a generally older audience – bless them for hating out pop and making this number one.