Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio is the archive for the premiere website that covered the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and reissued recordings, and a wide variety of features. We are now closed for new activity.
The latest and greatest pure, melodic pop hits are streaming on Pure Pop Radio, but hurry–you have only until August 25 to bop to the catchiest beats in town!
What’s new and now playing in rotation on Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio? “California Moon,” Fernando Perdomo’s new single, featuring Pat Sansone (Wilco, Autumn Defense), is top of the pops, as are four standout, propulsive tunes from the Turnback’s soon-to-be-released album, Spinning the Earth in Reverse.
Speaking of spinning, the Jangle Band’s new single, featuring the Byrdsian “The Guy Who Used to Care,” is playing in hot rotation, as are new songs from Azwel’s latest long player, Phantasmagoria, and new releases from Scott Brookman, Yani Martinelli and Friends; Lannie Flowers (another in his growing line of free songs being released prior to Lannie’s new album coming due in the fall); and McPherson Grant, whose debut album features the Klaatu-ish tune “The Marvelous and Mysterious Adventures of Sir Ollie and His Ox,” supported percussively by Klaatu’s Terry Draper.
New songs from Optiganally Yours, Tsar’s Jeff Whalen, George Usher and Lisa Burns, Michael Slawter, Jeffrey Foskett and Jeff Larson, Sean Solo, Miami Dan and the Hayes Street Band, Farrington, Wilkerson, Tony Valentino, and many more of your favorite artists are also being featured in these last 11 days of broadcasting.
Remember that we will be active as active can be here on the Pure Pop Radio website, even though Pure Pop Radio will be going off the air on August 25. So fire up your Internet radio receptacle, groove to the pop tunes, and we’ll see you on the air.
Pure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day (until August 25). Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!
Can it really be spring? Certainly, the calendar says it is, and so does the merry mood in place here at the always harmony-filled Pure Pop Radio headquarters. Here on the first of five days of our Springtime New Music Explosion, we’ve got a ton of new songs and artists to tell you about; we’ve added hundreds of new tracks to our playlist, all of them currently spinning in rotation.
So without further ado, let’s get to the business at hand. Beginning today, and continuing through this Friday, we’ll be telling you all about the new sounds sizzling on our air. We kick off today’s list with our exclusive airing of tracks from what is surely one of the great albums being released this year.
Andy Bopp | Blisters and Thorns Leave it to longtime pop patriot Andy Bopp to put together one of the finest collections of catchy songs that will likely see release this year. Blisters and Thorns shines from first song to last. Like Andy’s great recordings released under the band name Myracle Brah, these songs place their melodies and hooks center stage, right where they should be. It’s an exciting collection, and we’re the first radio station to play them.
Where to start with a collection that more than makes the grade with each song? The lovely, mid-tempo “Hello” scores with gorgeous, fluid pedal steel lines (also heard on the catchy “Every Word”) and Andy’s emotional vocal. A strong drum track shines on the upbeat “Every Word” (the thrashing cymbals add an extra measure of zing). The pretty ballad, “Lowe,” rides with understated banjo and pedal steel parts and Andy’s committed vocal.
Through two decades, Andy Bopp has graced pop fans with 15-plus albums and countless, thrilling musical moments that have stood the test of time. The songs that make up Blisters and Thorns, a quite great and important album–one of the very best of this still young year–are equally superlative. We’re the first radio station to be playing these songs ahead of their release (not yet scheduled). Seven of them are now playing in rotation: “Lowe,” “Minneapolis,” “Hello,” “Every Word,” “Simple Things,” “Broken Ties,” and “Red Eye.”
Supported by an ace group of talented players, including Pure Pop Radio favorite Nick Bertling, Warren Boes, Andrew Grimm, Brian Simms, and J Robins, who co-produced this album with Andy and mixed the songs, Andy has made a truly wonderful long player. Awesome.
Pop 4 | “Help is On its Way” Everything this quartet of pop magicians touches turns to gold, as evidenced by their exciting cover of Little River Band’s “Help is On its Way,” one of the songs collected on radio station WFMU’s Super Hits of the Seventies: Hit Explosion!, which is tied into the station’s 2016 fundraiser.
Recorded exclusively for this compilation, Pop 4’s spirited take on “Help is On its Way,” a top 15 tune on the Billboard chart back in 1977, nearly eclipses the original’s lovability factor (we totally dig the chug-a, chug-a, percussive guitar hits, the groovy guitar solo, and the sly little key change leading into the instrumental playout). The group’s Scott McPherson, Andrea Perry, KC Bowman and Kirk Adams take this classic song at a bit of a faster pace and with a little more panache (yes, we said panache). Why cover such a favorite tune? The following text is presented in the liner notes for Super Hits of the Seventies: Hit Explosion!:
“We nominated KC to be producer of our cover song and he chose this song because he loved it as a kid, partly because it was unusual subject matter for a pop hit in the 70s. Other songs were about boogie, pina coladas, werewolves, skeezy romance. This song was about being totally inside your own head. And it has an undeniable chorus hook. Sounds like a commercial jingle. Plus we wanted [to] do something that hasn’t been covered to death and isn’t in heavy rotation in karaoke bars and classic rock/oldies radio. And, it was the fourth biggest selling single in Australia in 1977, which makes it a legitimate lost classic.” Word, right? Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio, where the members of Pop 4 have open seats at “the table.” Place settings included.
Miami Dan and the Hayes Street Band | The Days Ahead Speaking of superlative, Miami Dan’s latest release, a terrific and too-short EP, should find pride of place in melodic pop collections worldwide. Exhibiting a sharp melodic sense, these songs, beautifully arranged and full of deep hooks, are among the best this artist has delivered. The title song rolls through with a somewhat relaxed “Be My Baby” vibe; “Broken Shells,” similarly relaxed and tuneful, sings with lovely harmony vocals; and the absolutely gorgeous ballad, “We Tried to Take Love All the Way,” dreamy and sounding like nothing less than a standard that should be covered by the great, popular crooners of all time, is this record’s shining star. We’re honored to be playing these songs in rotation.
The Floor Models | Letter from Liverpool The first new song from the Floor Models in 30 years is an instantly memorable, melodic gem, now playing on our air, that sports a catchy melody and jangly guitars (and allusions to the Byrds and Don McLean (trust us on this one)).
The Letter from Liverpool EP is also represented on Pure Pop Radio by the upbeat, rhythmic and catchy “Sittin’ Tight”; a live take of the very Roger McGuinn-esque “The Hand that’s Strong”; and the original acoustic demo of “Letter from Liverpool.”
In 2013, the Floor Models were given a tasty retrospective resurrection by Australia’s Zero Hour Records (the terrific Floor Your Love–highly recommended). Seek it, and this top-flight EP, out. How this group, which comprised Gerry Devine, Andrew Pasternack, Steve Simels and Glen Robert Allen, didn’t top the charts three decades ago is a mystery. Time for that to change now, we think.
Tommy Sistak | “If I Only Knew” And now, something pretty much completely different from the great Tommy Sistak–a song that would have sat comfortably on AM radio playlists back in the golden ’60s alongside the old-timey pop of the New Vaudeville Band. The ukelele and the washboard–certainly the first instance of this colorful instrument in Pure Pop Radio history–propel Tommy’s tune, which he classifies as “skiffle pop,” into the charming track hall of fame. As catchy and wonderful as his previous songs have been, this one may well be our favorite. It might wind up being yours, too. Quite groovy in so very many ways.
The Hour Zero | “See You Again” and “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone” Elsie (aka Lisa) Mychols and Tom Richards thrill with a pair of classic-sounding (think a cross between Blondie and the Ramones), charming and breathless pop ‘n’ roll numbers that feature Elsie’s smooth-as-silk, yet forceful, vocals and a powerful rhythm section. These catchy songs may well peel the paint off of your walls! Both songs are now playing in rotation. More, please!
Pezband | Women and Politics Nearly four full decades after the release of Pezband’s first, self-titled LP, the band is back with a sparkling new EP, recorded more than 30 years ago. Women and Politics remained unreleased until recently, when Frodis Records remastered it and brought it to market. Pezband fans, and power pop fans in general, should rejoice. We know we are. We’re playing two songs from this great release: the ultra-catchy, upbeat slice of power pop, “Waiting in Line,” and the propulsive, rocking, provocatively-titled “Fab Girlfriends.” Powerful? Check. Great harmonies? Check. Wonderful and welcome? Check and check. A truly great release.
Randy Franklin with Jamie Hoover | “Constellation Prize” This Franklin/Hoover co-write, produced and recorded by Jamie, about not being the one the girl wants (the constellation prize), proves instead that nice people finish first, for it is the nice people, in love with great pop music, who benefit from this very Hoover-sounding recording. Catchy as catchy can be, with great vocals and instrumentation, this is a clear winner. Would there be more on the way, we wonder?
The Optic Nerve | “Penelope Tuesday” and “Here to Stay” The Optic Nerve created pure pop music while the 1980s garage rock scene stormed around them. The band released two singles and fizzled. An album was recorded in 2005, but not released. Thankfully, there is a happy ending to this all-familiar story: State Records has put out two of the best songs from that album, both of which are now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. “Penelope Tuesday” is a catchy slice of buoyant melodic pop that surely would have been a mid-’60s chart topper; the soft-pop charmer “Here to Stay” sounds for all the world like a song that Harpers Bizarre might have recorded in the ’60s when they were called the Tikis. A great, important discovery.
Fallon Cush | Bee in Your Bonnet If Bob Dylan were an out and out pop artist while still playing with rock conventions, he would trade his songs under the name Fallon Cush and he’d be called Steve Smith, a Sydney, Australia musician with three-decades of experience under his belt. Bee in Your Bonnet is a top-flight collection of engaging songs that features Smith’s commanding vocals and engaging instrumentation. We’ve added six songs to our playlist, including the poppy, mid-tempo title ballad, and the aluring “There’s a Dark Side to that Moon.” We’re also playing “Less You’re Near,” “Kings Ransom,” “Dorothy,” and “Haunting.” A great long player.
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And so it goes: Day one of Pure Pop Radio’s Springtime New Music Explosion comes to a close. Day two is only a day away, so make it a point to come back here tomorrow for another tour through our latest song and artist adds. Until then, why not click on one of the listen links below to hear the above-mentioned songs and 8,500 more, playing in rotation on your home for the greatest melodic pop music in the universe from the ’60s to today…Pure Pop Radio. It’s all happening here!
New releases, you will not be surprised to note, have once again been making their way into the sumptuous studios of Pure Pop Radio. We’re frankly up to our ears in catchy melodies and harmonious harmonies, which means we had better get to telling you about some of the latest adds to our ever-growing playlist, now nearly 7,500 songs strong.
So, here we go. Feast your ears on the following fine platters, songs from which are now playing in rotation:
Pugwash | Play This Intimately (As If Among Friends) With this wonderfully-titled album, one of the most treasured melodic pop bands in the world is finally face to face with its first internationally released studio record, and what a gloriously lovely record it is. From the joyous, electric guitar-fueled, melodically-rich, blessed-with-a-surprising-psychedelically-charged-bridge “Kicking and Screaming” and the intoxicating, beautifully sung ballad “The Fool I Had Become” to the bouncy “Hung Myself Out to Dry” (with more than a hint of ELO in the background vocals) and the dramatic, Roy Orbison-styled emotional ballad “All the Way from Love” (which begins with a slowed down drum part, a la the always fashionable “Be My Baby”), it is readily apparent that this is the disc melodic pop fans will be spinning on constant repeat.
Featuring guest turns from the likes of Ray Davies, Andy Partridge and, yes, Jeff Lynne, Play This Intimately (As If Among Friends) is without question Thomas Walsh and company’s finest hour, a hall-of-fame-worthy record, and one of this year’s best releases. We’re playing 10 of the 12 songs on offer, including “Kicking and Screaming,” “Lucky In Every Way,” “Feed His Heart With Coal,” “Just So You Know,” “The Fool I Had Become,” “You Could Always Cry,” “Hung Myself Out to Dry,” “Silly Love,” “Oh Happy Days,” and “All the Way from Love.” Quite the treasure.
Tommy Keene | Laugh in the DarkA strong collection of tuneful medium- and fast-paced pop rockers, Laugh in the Dark announces itself as a top-flight release more than three decades after 1982’s Strange Alliance, which will come as no surprise to Keene fans. Is there a heritage artist that’s hitting the catchy song bullseye in a more spot-on fashion? This album has it all: the hard-hitting “Out of My Mind,” the tuneful toe-tapper “I Want It to be Over Now,” the acoustic-meets-slide charmer “Go Back Home,” and many more. We’re playing these three numbers in rotation, along with “Last of the Twilight Girls,” “All the Lights are Alive,” and “I Belong to You.” No surprise that this is another great Keene platter.
The New Trocaderos | Thrills and ChillsTough as nails, with a decidedly melodic pop heart, this meeting-of-the-musical minds between the Connection’s Brad Marino and Geoff Palmer and the equally dynamic Kurt Baker thrills, chills, rocks and pops–it’s an album that keeps listeners on their toes. Hitting hard with driving rockers one minute and softer, pop gems the next, this album never fails to delight. Of course, we’re primarily drawn to the less manic numbers like the mid-tempo delight “Crazy Little Fool” and the Byrdsian “Like an Angel,” but we also break out our air guitars for the early rock ‘n’ roll raver “Business to Tend To” and the Rolling Stones-inspired “I’m So Bad,” which rocks with this finely-honed quip: “Well the babysitter/Felt so bitter/Trashed my name/All over Twitter.” We’re playing the aforementioned modern-day classics, plus “She Don’t Know,” “Love Anymore,” and “Midnight Creep.” These songs will collectively shake your windows and rattle your walls. Absolutely essential. Don’t miss this one.
The Allrightniks | Two Places at One TimeRoanoke, Virginia’s own band of pop-rocksters brightens up the musical landscape with this new release that draws on influences far and wide. Meeting somewhere in the middle, the Allrightniks deliver an album’s worth of catchy songs that place strong melodies and hooks above all else. We’ve been playing this band for awhile; we’re happy to be able to add more songs of theirs to our playlist. Now playing in rotation: “Nice to Know,” “I Can’t Wait,” “The One,” “Vacation,” “You Can’t Be Right,” “Today is the Day,” and the title cut. Allright!
Scot Sax and Suzie Brown | Our Album Doesn’t Like You EitherInstantly charming and inspiring, this husband and wife duo cook up an alluring stew of roots-pop, rock, country, gospel, and, yes, doo-wop that will be hard to resist when it comes time to tally up the winners in this year’s best-of sweepstakes. The airy, countrified “Heaven Forbid,” sung by Scot, bops along with more than a hint of Paul Simon from his There Goes Rhymin’ Simon days; the entrancing “Jury’s Still Out,” sung by Suzie, mixes country, gospel, pop and a dash of doo-wop; and the gorgeous ballad “Two Babies,” also sung by Suzie, bathes itself in the joy of contentment and love that family brings. These songs, and “Good Everything,” “I Could Write a Book,” and “Everybody’s Following their Dreams” are now playing in rotation. We love this album, and you will too.
The Jigsaw Seen | “Have a Wonderful Day” For whatever reason, we’ve been remiss in reporting on the addition of this classic slab of rockified pop, drawn from a Cream-drenched well. So here we make amends: The Jigsaw Seen does it again, to no one’s surprise. Dig the lovely bridge, swimming in ’60s haze. Love, love, love it.
Herb Eimerman | Five Dimensional Man We’ve been playing the great Herb Eimerman’s music on Pure Pop Radio almost since the old, weekly show began in 1995. We instantly fell in love with his sweet, lyrical sound, and have frankly been in love with it ever since. Which is why we were thrilled to find that Herb has released a brand-new EP, produced by the equally great Joe Algeri. So greatness ensues and, to prove it, we’re playing four songs in rotation, like the gentle, Roger McGuinn-esque folk-pop of “Believe that I Do,” heard during last week’s Pop Tunes deejay show; and the fragile ballad, “Something.” Also spinning: “Live to Tell” and “Sentimental in Berlin.” Essential.
Steve Somerset’s Shadow Kabinet | “The Acid Test” This delicious nugget, written by our old friend Steve Somerset and finished off on an upright piano in Birmingham, England, is a late-inning surprise. Steve sent his demo to ex-XTC man Dave Gregory, who created the gorgeous, Beatlesque arrangement. Cue Steve, who sang the lead and backing vocals and, voila, mission accomplished. This song sings; we’re proud to have it on our air. Top of the pops.
Miami Dan and the Hayes Street Band | “Broken Shells” This lovely song, which will be included on Miami Dan’s next album, is a gentle breeze of a tune with sweet lead and backing vocals and a beautiful melody. It’s the perfect song for the late summer, and we’ve got it playing in rotation.
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We’ve also added music that we’ll be reporting on next week, including nearly the entire new album from Dana Countryman (Pop 3! Welcome to My Time Warp!); the lion’s share of a terrific album from Nick Bertling, recorded under the band name Bertling Noise Laboratories; a fun trip back to the ’80s from Dan Pavelich; and new songs from Jules Shear (“The Words”), the Bye Bye Blackbirds (“Let Your Hair Fall Down” and “These Blues”), Laurie Biagini (“Try Our Luck Today”), Clay Bell (“Mood Ring” and “The Weather in Our Way”), Prix (“Ordinary Life”), Tommy Lorente (“B.B. (Tu Me Plais Tant)” and “Un Certain Savoir Faire”), and Lee Gregory.
Until then, enjoy the melodies and harmonies on Pure Pop Radio, the original 24-hour-a-day Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. Click on one of the listen links below to enjoy!