Skip to main content

90s Power Pop: Six of the Best

Inspired by the Beatles, the Kinks and the Who, brought up on Badfinger, Big Star and Cheap Trick, the 90s saw a resurgence in power-pop: grungier, punkier but still as deliciously catchy. here are six of the best:

Redd Kross

Pre-teen LA punk brats turned power-pop kingpins. A huge, if unacknowledged, influence on Jellyfish.

Essential power-pop album: Third Eye (1990)

Enuff Z’Nuff

Chicago-based Beatles and Cheap Trick fanatics whose cheesy glam-metal image did them few favours. Essential power-pop album: Strength (1991)

Matthew Sweet

Cult singer-guitarist favoured by the likes of REM and The Bangles. An Alex Chilton for the 90s – complete with utter lack of success. Essential album: Girlfriend (1991)

Teenage Fanclub

Proving that it wasn’t just a US thing, these Glaswegians took Neil Young’s fuzzy guitars and shook sugar all over ’em. Power-pop perfection: Bandwagonesque (1991)

Silver Sun

Another British act, London’s Silver Sun could have been the UK answer to Weezer. Instead they got mixed up with Britpop and their biggest hit, a cover of Johnny Mathis hit “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late” consigned them to novelty act, one hit wonder status. Too Much Power-pop: their 1997 debut.

The Posies

Cult Seattle-ites whose Badfinger-on-steroids approach stuck out like a sore thumb amid the grunge revolution. Essential power-pop album: Frosting On The Beater (1993)

Paul Rees
Paul Rees

Paul Rees been a professional writer and journalist for more than 20 years. He was Editor-in-Chief of the music magazines Q and Kerrang! for a total of 13 years and during that period interviewed everyone from Sir Paul McCartney, Madonna and Bruce Springsteen to Noel Gallagher, Adele and Take That. His work has also been published in the Sunday Times, the Telegraph, the Independent, the Evening Standard, the Sunday Express, Classic Rock, Outdoor Fitness, When Saturday Comes and a range of international periodicals.