Pop That Goes Crunch!

Seven Decades Of Melodic Rock & Roll

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Top 40 Albums of 2015

Caddy -- The Better End

We’ve taken some time off lately. Unfortunately, real life occasionally interferes with what is really important.

Nevertheless, we’re back with a run-down of the top long-players of 2015. This year, the list is expanded from 20 to 40, and there will be no list of the top songs of the year.

The decision was made to focus on longer form works, and recognize more artists for releasing music that is engaging over the course of eight or more tracks. Each of the albums on the following list would be a worthy addition to the collection of any serious music listener. A couple of entries were released in late-2014, but were were much more a part of the previous twelve months than they were of 2014.

Caddy’s The Better End captures the number 1 spot on this year’s list. The August 30, 2015 review on this site noted that Thom Dahl spiced his long-player with “rather liberal doses of layered, often jangling and chiming guitars, entrancing mid-tempo rhythms, swirling harmonies, beguiling tempo shifts and sunny, relaxed vibes straight out of early-70s Southern California.” Run, don’t walk, to your nearest electronic portal and get this record immediately, either digitally, on CD or on vinyl. Its one of the finest releases in recent years.

Although each of the long-players on this year’s list fit within the broad spectrum of melodically-based rockin’ pop, there is substantial variation in the mix, including old-school rock, acoustic pop, baroque pop, Americana, punk rock, and much more. Links are provided for your sampling, streaming and, of course, purchasing.

1.  CaddyThe Better End

2.  PugwashPlay This Intimately (As If Among Friends)

3.  Nick PiuntiBeyond The Static

4.  William DukeThe Dark Beautiful Sun

5.  The New Trocaderos — Thrills & Chills

6.  Love AxeSouth Dakota

7.  Stereo TigerTwo Weeks

8.  The HangaboutsIllustrated Bird

9.  The Junior League Also Rans

10. Susan JamesSea Glass

11. Ryan Allen & His Extra ArmsHeart String Soul

12. Cleaners From VenusRose Of The Lanes

13. Daniel Wylie’s Cosmic Rough RidersChrome Cassettes

14. The TurnbackAre We There Yet?

15. Michael CarpenterThe Big Radio

16. Steve Robinson & Ed WoltilCycle

17. Mono In StereoLong For Yesterday

18. Kurt BakerPlay It Cool

19. The See SeeOnce, Forever & Again

20. The NinesNight Surfer and the Cassette Kids

21. Pop4 — Summer

22. Gordon WeissIts About Time

23. The PopgunsPop Fiction

24. Yorktown LadsSongs About Girls And Other Disasters

25. Gretchen’s WheelFragile State

26. Summer FictionHimalaya

27. Travel LanesLet’s Begin To Start Again

28. Joel BoyeaHere Again, And Lost

29. Three Hour TourAction And Heroes

30. DC CardwellPop Art

31. Trip WireGet In & Get Out

32. Dr. Cosmo’s Tape LabBeyond The Silver Sea

33. Brandon SchottCrayons & Angels

34. The Corner LaughersMatilda Effect

35. WattsFlash Of White Light

36. Nato Coles and The Blue Diamond BandPromises To Deliver

37. Jonathan RundmanLook Up

38. The WeaklingsThe Weeklings

39. Plastic MaccaSensation

40. The ConnectionLabor Of Love

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A Power Pop Playlist Collected By Algorithm, Assembled By Hand

RecordsGroove” is one on the most used apps on my music device. The best thing it does is scan your music collection to create playlists based on your listening habits and tags in the Last.fm database. A “groovy mix” can be based on a genre of music. or a particular artist.

The other day, I created a quick “groovy mix” based on Chris Richards & The Subtractions, particularly the track “Sleep All Day” from the wonderful 2012 release Get Yer La La’s Out. I then trimmed the list to 15 songs, spanning 44 minutes — the approximate amount of time that could be comfortably squeezed onto vinyl — eliminating duplication of artists and less worthy songs, but maintaining a couple of the less well-known tracks from compilation CDs in my collection.

After revising the sequencing — but keeping “Sleep All Day” as the lead track — I uploaded the playlist to the 8 Tracks site. It is embedded below, and can be heard in full by clicking on arrow in the embedded image.

What will you hear other than “Sleep All Day”?

For one, there are a number of tracks by artists discussed in prior posts on this site, particularly in this one and this one.

But also included are: (i) “Portland” — one of the best tracks on Always On The Run, the 2011 release by An American Underdog; (ii) the tight and rocking “Above The Blue,” by Vegas With Randolph; and (iii) “Goodbye,” by the should-be-far-better-known Brad Jones.

Three covers are included: (i) Doug Powell’s slightly over-the-top version of “I Woke Up In Love This Morning,” a Top 15 hit by The Partridge Family,” (ii) Stephen Lawrenson’s take on The Beatles‘ “Yes It is,” and (iii) Lannie Flowers’ very cool re-imagining of Orleans’ Top 10 hit, “Dance With Me,” which closes out the set.

Complete track list:

1. “Sleep All Day” — Chris Richards & The Subtractions

2. “Above The Blue” — Vegas With Randolph

3. “My Favorite Revolution” — Eugene Edwards

4. “Last Thing On My Mind — The Finkers

5. “I Woke Up In Love This Morning” — Doug Powell

6. “Goodbye” — Brad Jones

7. “Hourglass” — Starbelly

8. “Portland” — An American Underdog

9. “A Girl That I Once Knew” — Three Hour Tour

10. “Yes It Is” — Stephen Lawrenson

11.”Waiting For A Sign” — Kelly’s Heels

12. “If You’ll Be My Adam” — Skeleton Staff

13. “Don’t Look At The Sun” — Chewy Marble

14. “I’m In Love” — Myracle Brah

15. “Dance With Me” — Lannie Flowers

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I hope you enjoyed this playlist. Perhaps you just heard your next favorite song.

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