Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | smithereens
249
archive,tag,tag-smithereens,tag-249,qode-quick-links-1.0,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,no_animation_on_touch,qode-title-hidden,qode-theme-ver-11.0,qode-theme-bridge,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.1.1,vc_responsive

Although a small label had unsuccessfully released some singles in 1963, most American rock and roll fans were introduced to a new band from England via Capitol Records’ 1964 album, “Meet the Beatles.” That album, and the subsequent visits by the mop-topped Liverpudlians to the U.S., sparked by appearances on TV including historic performances on the “Ed Sullivan Show,” re-set an entire generation’s emotional gyroscope. Beatlemania brought with it a different kind of music, pop that popped with surging harmonies and was driven by hard, clangy rhythms, shot through with the soul and R&B of rock’s roots but also energized with a new kind of electricity. The Beatles were the prototype for power pop, a genre that generations of bands, fans and rock critics have been seduced by ever since “Meet the Beatles.” The list of power-pop artists that have been critically heralded is long even though few have hit the charts and become rich and famous: the Byrds (as much power pop as folk-rock and later, country); Alex Chilton and Big Star, Marshall Crenshaw, Windbreakers, Bram Tchaikovsky, the Records, Flamin’ Groovies, Let’s Active, Bangles, Nick Lowe, Matthew Sweet, Rubinoos, the Shoes… the list goes on and on. One power pop band that actually has hit songs to its credit, the Smithereens, has gone full circle with its latest recording, “Meet the Smithereens.” It’s a song-by-song replica of “Meet the Beatles,” only done as the Smithereens.