As is the case with so much of the music that I enjoy, so much of the music that has soundtracked my existence here on Earth, it was Dad who introduced me to what later came to be known as power pop. Specifically and inadvertently through his vinyl copy of the Buddy Holly double-disc compilation titled A Rock & Roll Collection from 1972, which I spent quite a bit of time sneaking onto his turntable and listening through his Panasonic headphones when he was at work.
Lurking within those blue-black grooves were such pre-historic power pop gems as "Rave On", "Oh Boy", "Maybe Baby", "That'll Be The Day" and "Peggy Sue", all of which competed on a daily basis in a battle royale to be my favorite song until I fell ears-first into the wacky world of novelty songs - the first 45 I ever purchased was 1974's "The Streak". My brief passion for silly songs morphed into a hard-core, long term infatuation with Top 40 music (via the killer combination of listening to Casey Kasem's American Top 40 every week, summers spent feeding quarters to the Cow Talk Jukebox with its unique selection of current Top 40 & Country 45s and my ear glued to WLS the rest of the year) which featured the "transcendent teen anthems" of power pop every so often. Though I was but a pre-teen, the unbridled energy and sing-along harmonies of the music appealed to me even though I didn't know it was power pop. (And it still appeals to me even now that I am a grizzled grandfather forty-something years later.) Your own road to power pop adoration most likely took a different path but here we are today, giving a listen to the seventh disc in Rhino's tasty DIY Series, Come Out And Play - American Power Pop I 1975-78.
As for the Shake Some Action label and their 8 compact discs and 2 vinyl releases, each volume is subtitled A Collection of Powerpop, Mod and New Wave Rarities 1975-1986 and devoted to either the UK (Vol. 1), USA (Vols. 2, 4 and 7), UK & Ireland (Vols. 3, 5 and 8) or All Around The World (Vol. 6). (The vinyl albums mirror Vols. 1 and 2 and are labeled Vols. 1.1 and 2.1. and contain 50% of the tracks of their digital counterparts.) Liner notes are taken from Alan Fleagle's hard-to-find books on powerpop (sic) and the track selection goes deep. If you're curious, as of this writing, all 8 CD volumes can be listened to on YouTube.
While I immensely enjoy the Paley Brothers, Flamin' Groovies, and Nerves tracks as well as a few others on Come Out And Play, my current favorite track on the album has got to be "Where Have You Been All My Life" by Fotomaker. It's a little more soft pop than power and admittedly the group is made up of power pop ringers from the Rascals and Raspberries but man oh man there are hooks and riffs and sweet sweet harmonies that continue to haunt me days after listening. The track only made it to #81 on the Hot 100 in a six-week run spanning April and May 1978.
Only one disc left in Rhino's DIY Series!